Theme Hospital is Free on Origin

shintakie10

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Sep 3, 2008
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Johnisback said:
Rituro said:
Or, you could go to GOG.com as I did and get it legally [http://www.gog.com/game/theme_hospital] for the exact same price EA is charging on Origin once the free deal ends. It's the next best thing to digging through your old box of game CDs to try and find where the heck your old disc is hiding.
Come on now, I realise that abandonware is still technically under copyright but it's in the grey area between outright illegal and legal. The technically illegal but completely unenforced grey area.
If you wanted to smoke some weed while you were in Canada or India, would you say no to a joint even if everyone around you was enjoying it just because it's written that it's technically illegal on a piece of paper somewhere?
Except we can't call it abandonware if you're perfectly able to buy a copy of the game with little to no hassle. If I can go on GoG or Origin and buy a copy of Theme Hospital, its not abandonware. I wouldn't call it piracy because its not, but you're most definitely no longer in the legal grey area when it comes to older dos games that you can buy on legitimate sites anymore.

On topic!

Yay! Once my new graphics card comes in and I can use my own computer again I'll be all over this. Really likin Origin as a service lately. On the House is a great system and (for me) its definitely far more usable than Steam is.
 

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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shintakie10 said:
Except we can't call it abandonware if you're perfectly able to buy a copy of the game with little to no hassle. If I can go on GoG or Origin and buy a copy of Theme Hospital, its not abandonware. I wouldn't call it piracy because its not, but you're most definitely no longer in the legal grey area when it comes to older dos games that you can buy on legitimate sites anymore.
But that's not what defines abandonware. Abandonware is simply software where the copyright holder is not tracking or enforcing copyright violations. And EA does not seem to be doing that with Theme Hospital (considering the many abandonware websites it's freely available on).
The grey area persists.
 

shintakie10

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Sep 3, 2008
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Johnisback said:
shintakie10 said:
Except we can't call it abandonware if you're perfectly able to buy a copy of the game with little to no hassle. If I can go on GoG or Origin and buy a copy of Theme Hospital, its not abandonware. I wouldn't call it piracy because its not, but you're most definitely no longer in the legal grey area when it comes to older dos games that you can buy on legitimate sites anymore.
But that's not what defines abandonware. Abandonware is simply software where the copyright holder is not tracking or enforcing copyright violations. And EA does not seem to be doing that with Theme Hospital (considering the many abandonware websites it's freely available on).
The grey area persists.
Thats not technically accurate. Abadonware is where its not being distributed by the copyright holder. Part of the whole shebang is that they don't go after copyright infringements yes, but the idea behind abandonware is that it has been abandoned by the copyright holder. That's where it got its name.

Any game on GoG can't possibly be considered abandonware because it is being distributed via legal methods and the copyright holder is doing so. It is still being supported by the copyright holder. You can still get support for the game, though not through the original developers (though you probably didn't get it through them in the first place). The only reason copyright holders aren't goin after these sites is because it would be a gigantic waste of time and money to do so due to the amount there are on the internet now. Also it would somewhat endager their standing if a judge decides that not supporting it for X amount of time and only supporting it now counts it as having been abandoned and making it part of public domain. That's highly unlikely to happen, but the possibility is always there.
 

Steven Bogos

The Taco Man
Jan 17, 2013
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shintakie10 said:
Thats not technically accurate. Abadonware is where its not being distributed by the copyright holder. Part of the whole shebang is that they don't go after copyright infringements yes, but the idea behind abandonware is that it has been abandoned by the copyright holder. That's where it got its name.
Even if I did agree with your definition of abandonware (which I don't)....

shintakie10 said:
Any game on GoG can't possibly be considered abandonware because it is being distributed via legal methods and the copyright holder is doing so. It is still being supported by the copyright holder. You can still get support for the game, though not through the original developers (though you probably didn't get it through them in the first place). The only reason copyright holders aren't goin after these sites is because it would be a gigantic waste of time and money to do so due to the amount there are on the internet now. Also it would somewhat endager their standing if a judge decides that not supporting it for X amount of time and only supporting it now counts it as having been abandoned and making it part of public domain. That's highly unlikely to happen, but the possibility is always there.
Theme Hospital was considered abandonware as early as 2010 and only showed up on GoG in 2012 and on Origin this year.
Like you say, EA do not attempt to reassert their copyright on the product to abandonware websites because they are fully aware that five years of allowing free distribution of the game places it firmly in the public domain. In the realm of abandonware.
 
Sep 9, 2007
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Huh, apparently I've had an EA account for just under 7 years now... I wonder how that happened. The only EA thing I had an account for was C&C3 online. Oh well, guess I don't have to worry about creating another account.
 

bdcjacko

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Jun 9, 2010
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Ugh, the catch is that it doesn't save games. My copy keeps glitching and I can't get past level 1. I am glad I didn't pay for it now. Does anyone know how to get the files to save or do I have to keep DOS box running?
 
Sep 9, 2007
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bdcjacko said:
Ugh, the catch is that it doesn't save games. My copy keeps glitching and I can't get past level 1. I am glad I didn't pay for it now. Does anyone know how to get the files to save or do I have to keep DOS box running?
I've had a poke around GoG, and the common suggestions seem to be either running as Administrator and that Theme Hospital only recognises short filenames (8.3 format). This means if the source folder's name is longer than 8 characters, the game will not recognise it. Does that help?
 

bdcjacko

Gone Fonzy
Jun 9, 2010
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The Eupho Guy said:
bdcjacko said:
Ugh, the catch is that it doesn't save games. My copy keeps glitching and I can't get past level 1. I am glad I didn't pay for it now. Does anyone know how to get the files to save or do I have to keep DOS box running?
I've had a poke around GoG, and the common suggestions seem to be either running as Administrator and that Theme Hospital only recognises short filenames (8.3 format). This means if the source folder's name is longer than 8 characters, the game will not recognise it. Does that help?
I'li let you know. Thanks for the tip.