Z*Magazine: 24-Aug-88 #120From: Atari SIG (xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 07/31/93-09:31:11 PM Z
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From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG) Subject: Z*Magazine: 24-Aug-88 #120 Date: Sat Jul 31 21:31:11 1993 ZMAGAZINE August 24, 1988 Issue #120 CONTENTS <*> Deegans Desk........News and Commentary............John Deegan <*> Copyrights..........Part 1.......................June B. Morre <*> CompuServe 8 Bit Filename Policy....................CompuServe <*> Atari 8 Bit News and Comment.........................John Nagy <*> Credits Deegans Desk (News/Commentary) by John Deegan (Editor) I have found it very difficult over the last few weeks of editing this fine publication, to comment openly about the 8 bit community. The news of releases has been slow and looks to be a that way for awhile. The only open commentary has been targeted at the Carina II BBS software. At times I have felt that it would be in very poor taste to even pursue the subject, but based on the material I have received this week, I would say that this entire matter has really gotten out of hand. One important note noticed was the fact that Ron Kovacs did not present another side to the issue. After reading his original commentary in Issue #112, I have to say the Ron detailed his personal thoughts in the article with a few suggestions. One point was missed that I will print now. Carina II offers a money back guarantee. So, if you are not satisified with the product, you can always send it back. In looking over past issues of ZMagazine, I did notice that Ron dedicated one entire issue to Carina II and subsequent issues detailed a few help files from the software. It seems to me that there was excellant support from ZMagazine at the beginning, this alone should reflect the attitude Ron Kovacs and ZMagazine felt before the problems arose. The Carina II BBS System may still be having a few problems. This however can only be assumed from the messages I received. If there are indeed problems, I am sure the Carina II staff will take action accordingly to correct them. I also noticed that there were a few helpful messages from the concerned, with suggestions and possible cures. This alone shows the concern of the owners and the team work required to assist the author. If your system is a Carina II BBS and you are having problems, Please call the Carina II support system. You can also call any Carina II BBS System and get a quick response. In other news, rumors abound the Michigan area and Michigan Atari Magazine. In case you havent noticed, User Group material is buried in the back of the issues, the price has risen a few cents, and advertising isnt the best. From observing the recent releases, the entire flavor of the magazine has gone from User Group newsletter, to independant publication. There is nothing wrong with that particular approach, but leaving the User Groups behind is a real bad move. My understanding is that Michigan Atari Magazine represents (8) local user groups. The question I have is where the heck are they week to week? Is there an apparent oversight in the publishing or editing duties? Are the User Groups NOT submitting material? Whatever the excuse, piling the main support of the magazine in the back, and publishing off the wall comedy as editorial feedback is very poor thinking. How about listing all the User Groups on the cover? On the second page? Adding a simple line to your cover stating you are representing the following user groups? Lets get back to how you started and not give the impression that you dont care. I am sure there are a number of members out there wondering what is going on. How about it? Instead of looking into the heavens and producing a financial monster, how about representing and reporting from your area. A lot of work goes into publishing, but leaving the impression, which I feel others may pick-up, that you are no longer representing a user group, leaves a sour taste in my mouth. In Atari news: Atari Stock UP!!! August 19, 1988 Stock Sales Last Net Chg. DWG Corp 707,300 7 1/2 up 3/4 Wang Lab B 267,700 9 off 1/8 Hasbro Inc 262,300 14 3/4 up 1/4 NY Times 253,200 25 7/8 up 1/8 Dome Petrol 215,600 1 7-64 unch Conquest Expl 202,200 2 1/8 up 1/8 Echo Bay Mn 189,300 18 1/4 up 1/8 Lionel Corp 181,900 4 3/8 up 1/4 Atari Corp 166,800 7 unch <----------------- Prop Cap Tr 111,800 21 1/4 up 2 1/2 The ST-REPORT artwork contest ends August 31, 1988. If you havent sent in your entry, please take note of the date. For more information on the ST- Report artwork contest, Please read ST-REPORT! Special sign-up offer appears in ST-Report. If you are interested in signing on to CompuServe and get a special $15.00 credit as a new member, take a look at the most recent release. CHANGES AHEAD There are MORE changes ahead for ZMagazine. In September look for release days to change to SATURDAY. More details will appear next week. Other changes in the offering include: <*> XE Game System Coverage <*> Action Programming Series <*> Software Reviews (1 or more every week) <*> Extensive Commentary columns <*> ZMAG Technique Returns with a new writer <*> User Group Report <*> ST-Report Update <*> Pilot Programming (For Kids) <*> Education on the 8 Bit <*> Garbage On The Line returns <*> and more.......... These are just a few of the columns we are working on for fall. If you are interested in writing or commenting, Please call us voice between the hours of 7pm-11pm at (201) 968-8148. Ron Kovacs will be around to answer the phone. Please note that we cannot promise a connect since Ron may not be available all the time. You may also send your commentary to: Syndicate ZMagazine, Post Office Box 74, Middlesex, New Jersey, 08846- 0074. ______________________________________ Copyrights Part 1 Copyrighting Public Domain Programs by June B. Moore, JD Member, California State Bar There is concern about the copyright status of the programs provided by innovative and diligent members of the CP/M Users Group to the Group with the understanding, explicitly stated or otherwise, that the programs were contributed to the "public domain." The term "public domain" means, from a legal point of view, a program or other work that does not have copyright protection. The indiscriminate use of the word confuses the copyright issues. A work disclosed to a specific group of people for a limited purpose is not necessarily "public domain" software. A new federal copyright law went into effect on January 1, 1978, which complicates the following discussion for that software written and/or contributed prior to that date. I will start with a discussion of the law as it applies now and to programs written after January 1, 1978. The new law is Title 17, U.S. Code. Any written material (including computer programs) fixed in a tangible form (written somewhere, ie a printout) is considered copyrighted without any additional action on the part of the author. Thus, it is not necessary that a copy of the program be deposited with the Copyright Office in Washington for the program to be protected as copyrighted. A contribution of a program to the members of the public (CP/M Users Group) for their noncommercial use constitutes a license for that purpose and that purpose only. It does not destroy the programmers rights in the copyright to the program. HOWEVER, the government does not enforce the programmers rights. A copyright is a property right, just like the right you have in the house you own. If someone trespasses on your property, the cops may come and put the fellow in jail, but they will not stop him from doing it again nor will they procure compensation for any damage the intruder may have done to your property. You have to do that yourself by going to court. So it is with copyrights. In order to prevent anyone from selling your programs you must ask a court (federal) to stop him by an injunction and to give you damages for the injury he has done to you by selling the program. Going to court requires that the program be registered with the Copyright Office in Washington,D.C. The fee is $10. The government will prosecute CRIMINAL copyright infringements, such as where someone simply copies (as in copying an audio or videotape) for profit, and when the government can show criminal intent (ie, knowing violation of the law or fraud in the acts of the copier). This is not done very frequently except in the case of wholesale audio and video taping pirates. The copyright law has a concept known as a "derivative work." A derivative work is one which is based on a work already entitled to and protected by copyright. The original author of a work has the sole rights to "derivative" works derived from his work. He can authorize (license) others to prepare derivative works from his work, as in the case of a programmer of a Users Group program who says "If anyone fixes this for a DCHayes MM-100, let me know." I suspect that many of the programs contributed to the Group and their modifications fall within this category of license - that is, users have been allowed to prepare derivative works. However, the original author does not lose his original copyright! And all the derivative works made using the original are dependent on the continuation of the license except as to the parts added by the author of the derivative works. A simple explanation might help: A program provides for generating data showing ratios for sales to inventory turnovers (I know the example is silly), and the output is simply a bunch of numbers. The second programmer decides to enhance the program by turning the numbers into some kind of chart or graph. The program that generated the numbers is protected as to the original author. The output formatting ONLY is protected as a license derivative work to the second programmer. The restriction placed on the programs in recent years limiting use to individuals on their personal machines and denying use of a program for commercial purposes is probably a valid restriction of the license granted in the CP/M Users Group Library. It constitutes fair warning to all who would lift the program and attempt to convert it to commercial purposes that such use is not licensed. It is not clear that such restriction applies automatically to earlier donations to the Group, unless there is something explicit in the documentation that accompanies the work itself when it is distributed. In many instances, the programs donated prior to 1978 were not copy- righted (that is, contained no copyright notice and were not registered with the Copyright Office). The status of these programs is not clear, although a case can be made that they were initially distributed only to paid-up members of the CP/M Users Group. My documentation from the Users Group, which is undated but which is postmarked June 13, 1978, states "The material [donations of programs] is received by the Group with the understanding that the contributor is authorized to make it available to hobbiests for their individual non-commercial use.....Members receiving material are free and encouraged to share it with other hobbiests for their individual non-commercial use." The membership information included a request for any member's knowledge of persons violating the non-commercial restriction on the programs distributed. A membership fee of $4 was charged for 1978 as a prerequisite to receiving material. This limitation on the prospective use of a program obtained from the group indicates that the distribution was limited to non-commercial users. Pre-1/1/78 software that was not automatically copyrighted and did not contain a copyright notice could be protected only under state laws in existence at that time. The state laws varied considerably but generally the rule is that, if the work was not distributed willy-nilly to the public without restriction, the state law protected the work even if the federal law niceties were not complied with. The problem is whether the restrictions of the CP/Users Group distribution were sufficient limitations on the "publication" of the program. Publication destroys a state law copyright, making the work free to all. "Publication" here means making it available to the public at large, even though restrictions were placed on the initial disclosure of the program. That is something only the court or jury actually hearing the case can decide and may well turn on facts not available to me. For example, was any real effort made to prevent computer stores from distributing the programs to their customers who were not members of the Group? Were the non-commercial use limitations explained to those customers? To the computer stores? One other concern has been expressed by some program authors, those authors who have desired not to have their programs modified but whose programs have nonetheless been modified. Referring to the discussion above about the limitations on use of contributed programs, if the limitation did not authorize anything but "use" of the program, then the modifications constituted "derivative" works that were not authorized. This, unfortunately, would be a very tricky thing to prove, and it would have to be proved - how did the parties understand the authorization to use the programs (ie, was modification prevented but noncommercial use allowed?). If there was an implied license to modify (for example, because the program was included with other programs in which modifications were explicitly authorized), it might be very difficult to prove infringement under either the state or federal law, depending on which was applicable. It should be clear from the above, however, that modifications of programs entitled to copyright protection are infringements if they are not authorized by the owner of the copyright in the original program. The problem is in the proof of lack of authorization. Since January 1, 1978, all programs are protected by federal copyright laws without regard to copyright notice or registration with the Copyright Office and the state laws no longer apply. The federal law "preempted" the state laws on that date. But the federal rules apply across the board ONLY to works first "fixed" or "written" after that date. However, improvements or modifications in one's own program can qualify for federal copyright protection under the new law and perhaps those interested or affected by the problem should make formal registration of their works as well as including the copyright notice somewhere in the program. ---------------------------------- It is obvious that most volunteer programmers do not have the finances or time, or inclination for that matter, to pursue a legal remedy in the courts. At the same time, they do not want the software they authored to be used by others for commercial gain without some control over its use. I suggest that microcomputer software authors nation-wide form an organization similar to that of ASCAP or BMI, although on a smaller scale, to monitor improper uses of software donated to the hobbiest for personal use. Only through concentrating the efforts and power of all authors can real protection be obtained. Otherwise, the unscrupulous vendor is going to take his chances that the individual programmer will not or can not defend his copyright. Such a group might be formed with the support of an active computer group like the NJ Amateur Computer Group or the Homebrew Computer Club in California. Or it could be established independently if there were sufficient interest and an organizer could be found to do the necessary paperwork, collect the dues needed to provide a war chest, and hire the attorneys and other persons necessary. It wouldn't have to be a full time job for anyone but it would have to be more than volunteer activity. My suggestion appeared (anonymously) in an article in the July 1982 Microcomputing. I am not interested in doing it, although I would cooperate with any efforts along these lines with counsel and advice. I suggest, however, that an early attack, which might include programmers for profit whose programs are slightly modified by fly-by-night vendors without compensation, will establish the principles necessary to deter future invasions of your copyrights. June B. Moore, JD Member, California State Bar ______________________________________ CompuServe Atari 8-Bit Forum Filename Policy Since February, 1987, SIG*ATARI has been accepting files with 'standard' Atari filename extenders. The right choice of an extender makes things MUCH easier for those who will be downloading your contributions from the libraries. Please include an extender in the name of every file you upload! And remember, CompuServe filenames are only SIX characters long with a 3-character extender. If you specify a longer name, the extra characters will be ignored. Here's the official suggested filename extenders: OBJ - Machine Language object file EXE - 'Load and Go' Object file COM - SpartaDOS COMmand file BAS - SAVEd Atari BASIC program LST - LISTed BASIC program BXL - SAVEd BASIC XL program BXE - SAVEd BASIC XE Program TUR - SAVEd TURBO BASIC Program PIC - Picture Data file AMS - Atari Music System song file DOC - Documentation file TXT - Text file ASM - LISTed assember source code M65 - SAVEd MAC65 source code file ACT - Action! source code file PAS - Pascal source code file CTB - Compiled Turbo BASIC program ARC - ARChived file (see below) ALF - ALF CRUNCH file (see below) DCM - DISKCOM file (see below) BIN - CIS 'A-protocol' files ONLY We ask that you do not use .XMO for an XMODEM file; using a standard extender helps to identify a file's contents more easily. Also, we strongly request that you do not use CompuServe's 'A' protocol when uploading new files. Please use Xmodem or CompuServe 'B' protocol when uploading files. If you have no choice but to use 'A', PLEASE be sure to use the .BIN extender in the filename and CLEARLY state in your file's description that it was uploaded using CompuServe 'A' protocol. Please note that some files uploading before February, 1987 may still have the .XMO and .BIN filename extenders. A Word About File Types... As you have undoubtedly noticed, many of the files in the libraries are listed with "/binary" appended to the filename. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THESE FILES NEED TO BE BINARY LOADED!! CompuServe classifies each file as one of the following: ASCII -- Standard 7-bit ASCII text file that can be 'captured' or <R>ead online BINARY -- 8-bit program or data file that MUST be downloaded using an error-checking protocol such as Xmodem or CompuServe 'B' protocol. RLE -- Run Length Encoded picture file (can be viewed online using VIDTEX or TSCOPE) GIF -- Graphics Interchange Format picture file (can be viewed offline using the 8 bit GIF viewer) CompuServe appends "/binary" next to the names of 8-bit files, "/rle" next to RLE picture filenames, and "/gif" next to GIF picture filenames. All other files are ASCII text. Files that contain 8-bit data (any character with an ASCII value greater than 127) MUST be uploaded as a 'binary' file! This includes SAVEd BASIC programs, object ('load') files, ARC files, etc. When uploading, you can choose this option by specifying 'TYPE:binary', or selecting the '8 bit' Menu Choice. === ARC, ALF, DISKCOM === If you want to upload a number of related files to the Library, we suggest you use one or the other of these 'file compaction' programs. All are available in Library 3. There are many similar programs around, but we'd like to standardize on the following: ARC is used to archive a number of related files into a single compressed file. ARC uses a sophisticated scheme to compress these files - an ARChive may end up only half the size of the original files, or even less in some cases. That translates into less time (and $$$) to download the ARChive. ALF is similar to ARC, but usually yields more compact files, and works faster. However, unlike ARC, which is also used on other computers (e.g., ST, IBM), ALF files can ONLY be extracted on an Atari 8-bit. DISKCOM compacts an ENTIRE DISK into one file for easy uploading and downloading. Experimentation is encouraged before you upload to see which method yields the most efficient results for your application. Whichever method you choose, remember: Don't include 'standard' files that most people already have. For example, don't include DOS 2.5, RAMDISK.COM, or the Turbo Basic interpreter. These just make your file take up more space and cost more time and money to download. If one of these 'standard' files is needed, just mention the fact in the file description; those who don't already have the necessary file can download it separately. Do choose 'binary' as the file TYPE when you upload an ARC, ALF, or DISKCOM file! These all contain 8-bit data, and any other choice will make the file unusable. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask any of the SYSOPs for more info!! ______________________________________ Atari 8 Bit News Update by John Nagy Atari's former User Group Coordinator Sandy Austin was apparently only one of many faces that have changed in the administrative revolving door we call ATARI. CINDY CLAVERAN was appointed as new User Group Coordinator by Sig Hartmann, Atari President of Software (at least a few familiar names remain!). Cindy will be working on the User Group News, under the ATARI COMPUTER banner, along with new editor Elizabeth Shook.. You can contact her at Atari Corp (408) 745-2569, or on GEnie by her address "Cindy.C". User group officers in the Los Angeles area who had met with the momentary officials are stunned, but not surprized. "It seems that every time ATARI gets someone who knows what they are doing and seems like a positive mover, they fire them," said LA-ACE President Bill Lurie. He referred to the growing list of Breifly Employed Atarians like Jerry Brown, who brought his APPLE marketing expertise to ATARI for about 60 days last year. The departed officers who have been willing to say anything about their experiences at Sunnyvale agree: it's not easy working with the Tramiels. Lets hope that the "rugged individualist" attitude at ATARI will eventually allow SOMEONE to bring proven and fresh marketing and sales ideas into the seemingly drifting ATARI. Loose ends: Last time I mentioned that NEWSROOM for the 8-bit Atari was finally released but had a bug preventing use with the standard Atari 850 Interface. I got several "Newsrooomed" letters demonstrating that I was wrong, and several more thanking me for telling them why they couldn't get anywhere with their copy. This means one or more of the following: 1) Springboard Software (Not SPINNAKER as I mistakenly called them last time) may have fixed the bug in some later copies of NEWSROOM; 2) the bug report was false and many people simply can't follow directions; or 3) there are SOME 850's it will work on and SOME that it won't. I favor the last possibility. There are at least two distinctly different 850's... and they are different enough that some DOS packages even offer two different handlers for the R: modem port. If I find out for sure, I'll pass it along. Notice, however, that no other interface has had the problem reported. Also updating an older story, here's more on keyboard repairs for the Atari 8-bits. The "resistor addition" console key repair for the XE series suggested 3,000 ohm resistors jumperig the START, SELECT, and OPTION key connections at the keyboard connector socket. Some users have found that for their particular machine, 3,000 was too low, causing TOO sensitive a touch or even uncontrolled repeating of the console key press. If this happens, try 5,000 or even higher. At about 18 cents per resistor, you can afford to try several until you like the result. TIDBITS: Can you believe it? The Atari IBM PC clone lineup is still "coming", according to recent Company objections to stories awarding it the "ultimate vaporware". Also still coming is ADOS, now re-dubbed "DOS XE" or "XEDOS" depending on when you ask. It is the new Disk Operating System from Atari that will support the XF551 disk drive in its double sided mode. Although there is a version of SpartaDos (from ICD/OSS Corp.) that accomplishes this now, and I beleive that MYDOS can be persuaded to support it as well, ADOS was supposed to be a public domain inclusion with the drives. When the drives were ready and the DOS was not, the decision to ship with DOS 2.5 (ugh!) was made, with ADOS to follow in the public domain. Now, it appears that DOS XE will be sold commercially by Atari, although probably with a low price, and user redistribution may or may not be permitted. It should be noted that the new DOS requires 64K or more (an XL or an XE) and will not operate on the old 800 series of computers. Another delayed software item is now making its way to dealer shelves. The EXPRESS! terminal program specially made for the Atari SX212 1200 baud modem is available at last, with a SIO daisy-chain cable for the 8-bit Atari. The price is $19.95. Of course, most SX212 owners already have a copy of the Keith Ledbetter's modified EXPRESS! program that has been available for some time... and won't need another cable either. But for those who do, it's now available. Atari has had to defend itself for not including the cable and software in the original package. Their very reasonable response has been that the modem is useable on any brand of computer, and is being marketed as an all purpose unit (and a very good buy at under $100). To lose (and charge for) an SIO cable and 8-bit disk in every package, regardless of the buyer's brand of machine, would indeed be foolish. By the way, XF551 owners report that some older commercial program copy protection schemes are keeping them from using their new drives. The latest reports say M.U.L.E. and Pinball Construction set won't load, while ARCHON actually loads better than from a 1050. Of course a new set of cartridge format games, both new and revisited, are coming soon. Look for an adventure game, bases on the old calssic "ADVENTURE", but with 26 levels, called DARK CHAMBERS. It will be available on all three game formats, 2600, 7800, and XEGS. And by January there may be another game machine in the Atari stable. Based on the ST. "STGS"? Computer users hope the ST name won't be used and thus diluted, but software compatibility would be welcomed. FLASH! Atari mail order DOES still exist... direct from ATARI (retail prices of course). You can get a price list from Customer Relations, (408) 745-2367, or by mail at Atari Corporation, P.O. Box 61657, Sunnyvale, CA 94088, Attention Customer Services. Mail-order repairs and replacements for almost anything with ATARI's name on it are also available direct from the company. Remember the stories about trade-ups of 400's and 600XL's to 800XL's? It still is in effect, althought he price has risen. Now, $50 and any ATARI 8-bit computer in any condition will get you an 800XL by return mail. Trades are also available for the wiz-bang ATARI 1027 letter-quality printer. $75 and your 1027 clunker gets you up to the new and surprizingly good quality but slow XDM121. It is a tank of a printer and weighs a ton, but the true Daisy-Wheel print (a Silver-Reed clone, according to a salesman at Federated) is reasonably quiet, solid, and outstanding to look at. It should let you interchange font wheels, and a tractor feed is supposedly planned (yes, it is only friction feed at this point). Like the 1027, it requires no interface for use on the 8-bit Atari's. Retailing alone at $249, it is a terrible deal, but for $75 and somebodies junk for trade, it is a bargain. CREDITS Syndicate ZMagazine is published weekly by American Publishing Enterprises Inc. Opinions presented in this magazine are those of the original author and does not reflect the opinions of ZMagazine, APEInc or the editor. Oposing points of view are welcome and encouraged. You may send any reply to the following address: American Publishing Enterprises, Inc. Post Office Box 74 Middlesex, New Jersey 08846-0074 Attn: Issue #120 Syndicate ZMagazine Issue #120 is Copyright (c)1988 APEInc. All Rights Reserved. Reprint permission granted as long as Syndicate ZMag and the author are credited at the top of the article. Restrictive reprints are noted in any article. PUBLISHER: Ron Kovacs MANAGING EDITOR: R.F. Mariano ZMAG EDITOR: John Deegan ASSISTANT: Lisa Kovacs The following bulletin board systems are registered headquarter systems for distribution of ZMagazine. ZMAG NORTH (Launch Pad BBS) (201) 343-1426 ZMAG MIDWEST (Stairway To Heaven) (216) 784-0574 ZMAG SOUTH (Bounty Atari) (904) 786-4176 ZMAG WEST (Shadow Haven) (916) 962-2566 The Online Services have dedicated areas for distribution of ZMagazine. COMPUSERVE Go Atari8 - LIB 11 GEnie Atari8 - Library 13 DELPHI Group Atari - Database - News and Reviews THE SOURCE Coming Soon! ========================================================================
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