I'm seeing a number of mod flags around links to abandonware sites like:

Should these "grey market" sites be allowed?

3 Answers 3


My opinion -- unless the site is clearly illegal and hosting "warez", it's OK to link to these sorts of grey area "abandonware" sites.

The legality of following the link and downloading abandonware is a decision for the person behind the mouse click, and the person running those sites, not us.

  • 1
    I think the litmus test for these things should be: "Does this encourage gaming amongst all gamers?" Piracy hurts the gaming industry, so that's a no. By comparison Abandonware is not considered financially viable, so the distribution of such games encourages gaming, so that'd be a yes.
    – tzenes
    Jul 9, 2010 at 16:45
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    @tzenes: just as an aside, this government organization finds that piracy may often help the industry by creating greater market saturation. Just an aside and by no means a justification to piracy :D Jul 10, 2010 at 1:53
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    There's not much (if any) of legal different between abandonware and newer games. The medium is new enough that copyright hasn't expired yet. It's not a legal gray area; it's a moral one.
    – JamesGecko
    Jul 13, 2010 at 3:13
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    @James that's not entirely true. If the owner of the copyright is unwilling to pursue legal recourse, then the abandonware is legal de facto. Morally we oppose piracy because it harms developers and thus future games. What moral reason do we have to support/oppose abandonware?
    – tzenes
    Jul 14, 2010 at 8:59
  • Abandonware isn't legal, at all, ever. If the copyright holder chooses not to pursue their rights, thats up to them, but it does not make it legal. It does make is free from punishment. Any link to an abandonware site shuold come with a warning of the this.
    – Stese
    Oct 24, 2018 at 6:30

My opinion is to not link to those sites where not needed, but not remove if they clearly add to the question/answer.

I prefer "might be availble on abandonware sites" instead of "can be downloaded from http://www.abandonia.com"

Naturally, when the site in question is clearly hosting warez etc. it is clearly disallowed, and should be swiftly removed.


I really don't want that the new game site is blocked my corporate firewall because it links to porn/warez/hack site.

For me is ok link abandonware sites but they have to be rated good and safe by services like for example http://www.mywot.com/

  • 1
    That's a good point. We don't want 'gaming overflow' to get blacklisted for linking to dodgy websites.
    – MJeffryes
    Jul 11, 2010 at 11:00
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    I disagree with censorship by a third party. We shouldn't cater to being allowed through corporate firewalls specifically. I mean, this is a gaming site.
    – user56
    May 28, 2011 at 17:59

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