As many of you know, Cloanto acquired the licenses to the historical Amiga ROM collection in 2009. More info here https://www.amigaforever.com/kb/13-122 – since then they have been actively protecting their copyright by issuing takedown requests to websites offering download links to Amiga Kickstart Rom files.
Cloanto has taken exception to a number of files wrongly or rightly hosted on our servers. These were promptly removed in accordance with the law.
Working on our behalf, a kind supporter of Retro32 is trying to confirm the license agreement for the historical kickstart roms as unfortunately the provided literature with the computers did not seem to clarify the EULA. We are currently waiting for a response from Cloanto to confirm this (working under an alias Jon.D)
We have already explained that we owned an Amiga 500 and requested the kickstart roms for our original hardware. We were told
“As you describe, you own an Amiga with the OS licensed for the machine on which it is installed. I am not sure under what interpretation that license could be extended to making copies for use on different other computers. You would have to ask a local attorney.”
We’ll update you on their further responses as we get them.
Should the ROM files be in the public space?
We firmly believe that the historical kickstart ROM files (up to 3.1) should be in the public space. They are no longer in development and see their current “ownership” as nothing more than a way of milking our community for their own pockets.
With so little information and guides available on how to legally “back up” the kickstart roms from your original hardware most people are seemingly compliant in rebuying the Roms they already own. The EULA could in fact be in favour of Cloanto on this but without firm details from the license holder, we are unable to be sure.
We are compiling guides on how to back up your kickstart ROM files from your Amiga. Yes, in most cases it will be cheaper and quicker to hand over your cash to Cloanto but in our eyes this should not be required. Much like what happened to Amstrad, we believe that the historical Amiga ROM files should be freely distributed to the very people who have kept our amazing community alive. At this point in time, we see no proof that Cloanto / Amiga forever is actively working with the community to better the platform we know and love.
We can’t legally offer download links as such but a number of websites such as archive.org and others have extensive collections of Amiga software.
Since we do not want to be accused of inciting “Copyright Infringement” direct links have been removed following a kind tip-off from a concerned supporter of Retro32.
Google is your friend here, there is no shortage of websites offering a full range of Amiga Kickstart Roms (up to 3.1).
How can I legally obtain / back up my kickstart roms?
This is the fun part. Despite legally owning a license to your kickstart ROM there is no “easy way” to “backup” the ROM files. We’ll cover the various processes in a future article, we’re just waiting on some cables to arrive from China.