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19.Feb.2015



Cloanto confirms transfers of Commodore/Amiga copyrights
In the last few months, Cloanto started distributing Amiga System Software - the publisher traditionally refers to it as "Workbench" instead of "AmigaOS" - on CF cards, Floppy Disks and as a downloadable Workbench Disk Image Pack. Approached by Amiga-News, Cloanto's Michael Battilana confirmed that the company owns the copyrights for all works created by the Commodore/Amiga companies up to 1993.

The deal was finished in 2012, as Battilana states: "We already had licenses from some older agreements with various parties, including Gateway and Amiga Inc., which in part were exclusive. The transfer of these copyrights to Cloanto was then completed with new agreements a few years ago."

The combination of the multiple agreements makes Cloanto the rights holder of not just any Amiga related products and media, but also the system software, documentation, Commodore-owned publications, videos and advertisements for Commodore's various product lines.

As it turns out, back in 1997, ESCOM had assigned all former Commodore/Amiga copyrights to Gateway - not just the Amiga-related ones - and they were handed over to every new IP owner since then. Only the "Commodore" trademarks (but not any patents, nor any copyrights) were sold to Tulip Computers in 1997.

A look at the database of the US Copyright Office confirms Battilana's statements: The items in the list of titles are now assigned to Cloanto.

Note from the editor: While Cloanto's agreements cover everything created by Commodore/Amiga up to 1993, not all of the copyrighted works are listed in the public database. Like most publishers, Commodore did not deposit everything with every new release. As the US Copyright Office explains, registration is voluntary, and not required for protection. Advantages that come with registration include the availability to copyright owners of statutory damages and attorney's fees in case of court actions.

An overview of the ownership of the Amiga-related IP

Ownership of Amiga-related intellectual property became more fragmented in the last few years. As far as we know, this is the current list of parties owning parts of it:

Amiga Inc. owns the domain name amiga.com as well as all remaining Amiga-related trademarks (partial list, PDF). They do have a license from Cloanto for their activities on the BlackBerry platform, but no license for any other platforms.

Hyperion Entertainment, recently declared bankrupt, has a license to modify and distribute AmigaOS 3.1, an exlusive license for the AmigaOS and AmigaOne trademarks (limited for use with AmigaOS 4 or higher) and a non-exclusive license for the BoingBall trademark (limited for use with AmigaOS 4 or higher). Hyperion's license can only be transferred to a third party with Amiga Inc.'s consent.

Cloanto owns the Amiga Forever and Workbench trademarks and the copyrights to the Commodore/Amiga works as described above.

The status of AmigaOS 3.5/3.9

AmigaOS 3.5/3.9 were developed and distributed by Haage&Partner, under license from Amiga. As far as we know, said license has expired by now (and was even revoked prematurely in OS 3.9's case), meaning that there's no party holding the complete rights to these releases at the moment.

Individual modules that were part of OS 3.5 or 3.9 have been rereleased in the meantime as part of both Cloanto's Workbench 3.X distribution (included with Amiga Forever) and AmigaOS 4.

Small Updates for AmigaOS 3.1

In the latter half of the nineties, Heinz Wrobel and Olaf Barthel released several Updates for AmigaOS 3.1 via Amiga's website. These updates have been made available in Cloanto's download area a while ago. (cg) (Translation: g)

[News message: 19. Feb. 2015, 16:06] [Comments: 1 - 23. Feb. 2015, 15:14]
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