copyrights: zx spectrum

As everyone knows, Sinclair's ZX Spectrum is over now. It had its time to rule and games for it are not produced anymore. This forced the market to change radically. The 8-bit computers ended and the era of 16-bit started, with brand new games, developers and publishers. Magazines for Spectrum also closed the doors, and others changed their names to still rule the computer's world.
The fact is that you can no longer buy a Spectrum software, since early 1993! Now, this machine is considered a myth, a classic or whatever. All those who possess one may be considered lucky. Why? Ask them and you'll understand. :)

Before, only all those who had a Spectrum were able to play its games. Now everyone can play them, even without a Speccy!
Actually, emulators of Sinclair's machine are free to be distributed, but games still have their own copyrights and trademarks. This means that Spectrum's software is not allowed to be downloaded, copied, distributed and so on. What you can actually do is play an original cassette, if you have one or, in the other hand, play an allowed-to-be-emulated game.
Of course no one will play the original games nowadays. Who wants to wait 5-8 minutes for a game to start? Who cares about copyrights? What matters if you are prohibited from copying a game? Yeah, considering that Spectrum do not sell anymore and games for it are also not produced for a pair of years, that kind of thoughts are understandable. However, the problem is deeper than that...

At the present day, many Spectrum companies no longer exist, some changed their names and many others were acquired by other companies. But the copyrights of the created softwares will still last for many years, probably more than those you'll live! This means that you still can't have but the original software to play.

Since Gamestage intends to be a legal site, we are still trying to contact all the ZX Spectrum's publishers/developers and individuals, to check the current state of their copyrights. Unfortunately, this is a very hard task. We have sent e-mails to the bigger companies (which currently hold many of the little ones), but not all answers are nice to read. For example, companies like Codemasters, Capcom, Konami and so on, do not allow us to distribute their old Spectrum games, claiming something in trade or say that what we ask is out of question. They probably have their reasons, but what if they don't?
Fortunately, not all are bad news, since there are some other companies/individuals which allow us to do a free distribution of their software. So, if you cannot download a game from this site, then it means that we don't have legal permission (from the copyrights holder) to do so. We really hope that someday all enterprises will understand our point of view and let us distribute their products with no "buts".

The idea of contacting the copyright holders is to have updated informations about the current status of their software. We want to have a complete and fully working interactive database, where visitors can find exactly what they look for! We want Gamestage to have every single piece of information about ZX Spectrum games, companies, magazines and more, while, at the same time, dive them into a world of nostalgia, childhood memories and excitement.

Not only in our point of view, Spectrum's software should be freely distributed for several good reasons. We have mentioned some for anyone who cares to read them. Take a look:

1) If people show interest in a certain company's software, then it means they liked it in any way and will probably buy more software from it.

2) If one day, a certain company does a re-make of an old software, the people who already know and liked it before will surely be the first one to buy it!

3) Since ZX Spectrum's software were stored in tapes, it constantly tends to grow weak by the minute. Free distribution of old software (which do not sell anymore) is the right way to avoid its loss forever.

4) Since ZX Spectrum companies will no longer be able to replace original Spectrum cassettes or give any further assistance, how will their once costumers react to a damaged (by time) software? Will the company retrieve them the money? Nah, we don't think they will. It's easier to allow free distribution!

5) Since Spectrum's market is more than over, free distribution of its old software is a free show of what a certain company did in the past. The point? It's free advertising for current and potential new gamers.

6) What will companies gain by disallowing a free distribution of their Spectrum software? Nothing! No money, since the company will no longer be able to sell it, and no simpathy from past customers by such attitude. Would you get happy with that yourself?

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