Allan, on Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:16 PM, said:
I agree but generally when people get mad when a prototype isn't released it's simply because they want a copy of it to play. In general you can compare something like a revolver to a prototype but the one distinct difference is that no can make a copy of a physical object and still have it have the same significance as the original. (well maybe but it would cost a lot of money which is a big part of the argument.)
Cost isn't the issue. A replica of the revolver Annie Oakley used for the Kaiser Wilhelm demonstration, no matter how perfectly it was constructed, would still not be the actual item she used.
When it come to software though it's a little different. It's kind of fuzzy but there is a difference. For example you don't see people getting mad over somebody having a piece of hardware like a prototype computer or something, but if you don't make a copy of a prototype game and give it out free, than your going to be a target of a lot of hate. If you don't beleive me, try finding a really good unreleased prototype and tell everybody about it. Then when people start saying you should release it because it might get bit rot and it would be lost to the community, make a few back-ups of it and tell everybody what you have done. Then also tell them though that you are not going to release it. Then see how many hate emails and death threats you get from people. Because the truth is they really just wanted a copy of the game for themselves. I'm all for people releasing prototypes. That's great and I think they are great people for doing it. But I also think it's a prototype owner's right to not release it if they so chose, even though I wish they would release it. That's all.
Someone who boasted of having a particular historic firearm but refused to share pictures or other relevant information about it would not be viewed terribly kindly by the collecting community. Obviously there are limits to the extent to which a collector can allow people to share in the experience of a physical artifact like a revolver, but many collectors do allow others to share to the extent possible (e.g. by putting their items on display from time to time, exchanging photographs, etc.)
Another issue is the murkiness surrounding the concept of copyright ownership versus physical ownership. If someone happens to acquire what happens to be the only tangible copy of a work through a transaction not involving the copyright holder, to what extent does or should that person acquire the copyright? The copyright laws, as written, can sometimes be extremely murky especially in the case of unpublished works by deceased authors. What I'd like to see would be for the person acquiring the work to receive with it a short-duration copyright. Copyright protection would encourage the person to publish the work, but because he didn't write the work himself its duration should be short. I'm not holding my breath for anything so sensible as that, though.
Oh yea, I love the stuff just for the historical aspect a lot. Like Dutchman's recent 5200 E.T. post. I'm sure 90% of the people saw that there was no rom to download and moved along to another post. I, Myself find that stuff facinating and apprieciates him posting it. I also love hearing all the people stories. (and yes I like the games as well.
The same way as people might quickly leave an exhibit on historical firearms if they discover it contains nothing but poor-quality photographs that give nothing near the experience provided by the real items.