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I am in the very, very early stages of writing an Amiga 500 emulator, and would like to include the hardware documentation either alongside my source code or in a separate doc package.

As one example, here is the copyright notice from the Commodore Amiga A500/A200 Technical Reference Manual:

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That doesn't sound promising.

Other documents I'd like to include are the Motorola 68000 Programmer's Reference Manual, the AmigaDOS Technical Reference Manual, and perhaps others in the future.

Do I need to tackle these documents one-by-one, or is there a "Yes you can" or "No you can't" umbrella that covers all of them?

If there is a broad-brush answer, it does not need to be specific to my documents in particular.

Thanks in advance!

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Hi mwcz, this is a programmer's and not a lawyer's site. It's also very localized as these laws differ from country to country. Please notice that this question is regarded off-topic according to the faq. –  Falcon Sep 22 '11 at 20:36
    
Off-topic, really isn't a technical question. The fact that it's about an Amiga manual doesn't change that it's purely a legal question. –  Cyclops Sep 22 '11 at 20:36
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closed as off topic by Falcon, Mark Trapp Sep 22 '11 at 20:40

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1 Answer

Nothing copyrighted in the 1980s is going to be legally redistributable in the United States for decades, unfortunately. You will need written permission from the copyright holder to do it.

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Exactly. Nothing printed in 1928 (or later) will ever go out of copyright. Everytime it comes close, Congress extends copyright periods again. –  Tangurena Sep 22 '11 at 20:45
    
Specifically, Mickey Mouse will never go out of copyright. –  Philip Sep 23 '11 at 13:21
    
Highly recommend Lawrence Lessig's freely available books on this topic. Yes, the fact that basically anything written since the twenties is still under copyright is a joke. I would personally support a copyright interval of twenty years. If you can't make a profit from your work in twenty years, it just isn't meant to be. –  PeterAllenWebb Sep 23 '11 at 16:50
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