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I would like to get the Lego Racers 1 video game. I am wondering if it's free now off the internet because it's 21 years old. if the game is not free why are so many people not being caught for illegally hosting a copyrighted video game?

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    If you ever find yourself wondering when copyright on something expires, the answer is always "basically never." – user253751 Mar 9 at 19:22
  • Are you asking for a copy of that game, or is it just a question if it is illegal or not? – Cooleman2007 gaming Mar 13 at 11:04
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It's "abandon ware", however the game is still under copyright, so you cannot legally obtain a copy of it. However if the owner of the IP (LEGO) doesn't care enough to enforce the copyright, the chance you will be sued or fined is close to zero.

Something else you need to consider: There is no guarantee that the game you download from an abandon ware website is unmodified. It might contain malicious code, compromising the security of your system.

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While it varies by country and jurisdiction, copyright of software tends to follow that of other literary works (i.e. within the E.U. this is "the life of the author plus seventy years").

The LEGO Group have historically been fairly active in enforcing their ownership of a number of "core" IP rights they have (elements, logos, sets, etc.), but they do not appear to be quite so concerned with 20 year old computer games based on their original IP (unlike the games based on other licenses - Harry Potter, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc.).

See also "Is Abandonware Legal?" in this article.

In the first instance, any Cease and Desist letters would be issued against those hosting the application, and if the music and video industry is anything to go by this would include torrent hosters, etc.

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