spare parts Copyrights?

Ikazuchi

New Member
Jun 26, 2019
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Hi community,

I just joined the board because i was very curious about the spare parts situation.
Getting a defect C64 for a few $ is easy, but getting all parts could be tedious.

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Who does currently own the copyright for example the VIC II ?

Of course commodore is long gone, but the rights must be with someone.
As far as i know theMINIC64 is just a raspberry in a nice case.

Anybody has any idea about the actual original parts?
 
May 22, 2019
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Cloanto appears to own the Copyrights and Trademarks, and I believe the patents have expired.

Copyrights only protect recordings, writings, and images. This includes the ROMs and operating systems used in Commodore computers. The Commodore logo is still under Trademark, so that must also be licensed (if someone wants to use it on a product.)

Since it's been far more than 20 years since the Commodore VIC, PET, and Amiga computers were made, I believe there are no longer any applicable patents on any 8-bit or 16-bit Commodore hardware, including the VIC-II and SID chips. As a result, people several FPGA implementations of both the VIC chip and the SID chips.

Gideon produces the Ultimate 64, Individual Computers makes the Turbo Chameleon, and several people produce various SID emulators.

However, the program code in Commodore computers, including the KERNAL, BASIC ROM, Amiga ROMs, and the Amiga operating system, are still under Copyright by Cloanto. So hardware makers cannot freely distribute any of those materials without a license.

An exception has been made for non commercial distribution of the Commodore 8-bit ROMs, and the VICE team has been distributing ROMs with VICE based on that conversation. However, the conversation was later lost, so there's no effective way to document this.

So what most hardware makers do (including all emulators and FPGA core designers) is suggest people license the ROMs directly by purchasing Amiga Forever or Commodore 64 Forever from Cloanto. Folks can download the emulator, then copy the ROM files off and use them for other hardware. (Since Amiga Forever is based on WinAUE, that emulator just uses the ROMs from their installed location.)


C64 Forever is the equivalent package for Commodore 64 systems.

For larger distribution, such as commercial systems, you'd need to talk to Cloanto directly. However, as David Murray demonstrated on YouTube, they aren't very responsive to individuals. Retro Games Ltd. managed to get a license, but I'm not sure how they reached Cloanto when The 8-Bit Guy couldn't.