Sim City Classic — released in 1989, I wouldn't think twice about copying.
Rationale: The game fit on a floppy disk, it has 4 newer versions, it was made for DOS/Mac6, I can't buy a copy anywhere, and the only reasonable way to obtain it is probably to download it illegally. The company that made it, Maxis was swallowed up by Evil A$$holes. EA doesn't even support two newer versions than the original. I would probably forced to run the title in a DOS emulator just to get it to function.
Sim City 2000 — Same story as the original. Released in 1994, impossible to find, company no longer exists. Copy it.
Sim City 3000 — I suppose you might be able to find a copy in a bargain bin at Staples or Office Max. At a $3 price point why bother driving to the store to get it? Download and be done with it. This was released in 1999.
Sim City 4 — This is a purist version and has current expansion packs coming out with it. Although the title is dated, it's still being sold, probably at a $20 price point. Released in 2003 I'd be OK with shelling out cash for this.
Sim City Societies (5?) — This is a current release. I'd buy it without question.
Here are my questions:
- Which versions (1/2/3/4/'5') would you copy freely, and why?
- Do you think game manufacturers should adopt a 'recursive' model with older titles? For instance, if I register 5 on a cloud service like steam, if I paid $X dollars extra on the cloud I could pull 1,2,3 and 4 to play as well? How much should $X be?
- With software registrations, I think CD-ROM and related media are absolutely obsolete. Do you think if you register a valid S/N# and email address with a company they should be obligated to make the title permanently available for download? (For instance, my house caught on fire and I lost Office 2003. Shouldn't I be able to download and install it forever with impunity? I paid for it.... )
- Do the rules differ for different types of software? Would you feel different about copying, say, Oracle 6 than an abandoned game or an old school (Mac OS7, 3.11WFW) operating system?
- Would you send a small amount of $$$ to a developer if they made a 'come clean' abandon ware site?
Thanks for your input and advice."