It’s nice, I guess, but it seems to me like it’s the sort of thing people would do anyway even if it was illegal – and that companies would be disinclined to make themselves look bad by going after a relatively small number of people who wanted to keep using software they weren’t interested in supporting anymore anyway.
By making it legal, people like the Internet Archive can publicly work on and share this work. With it being illegal, it would sit in the dark corners of the Internet where, for example, arcade emulation lives.
I suppose. At the moment the “dark corners of the Internet” seem to make a much more suitable hub for this sort of work than the Internet Archive, dark though those corners may be. (I’m thinking in particular of a lot of old, copyrighted software that’s turned up there whose distribution I very much doubt was properly and completely cleared with the original rights holders.) But perhaps that will change in time.
You do realize that pirating software, even if largely unprosecuted, is technically illegal so that means no business or incorporated organization would formally support it for fear of a lawsuit?
But of course; the Internet Archive would never formally state, “Hey look, we’re pirating software!” It just very much seems to me that they’re not being especially careful about what they choose to make available.
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