DRM on the Commodore 64 is a problem.

While that obviously sounds silly when we're dealing with things like Denuvo now, a lot of C64 copy-protection relies on one specific floppy drive (1541). The 1541 was effectively it's own computer with it's own processor and BASIC running. As a result many copy protection schemes relied on that specific drive to verify you weren't playing a copied disk, making clones of these drives technically very difficult to make without using proprietary code.


Commodore actively sued people for making fully compatible drives because they often reused parts of Commodore's proprietary source.

While Commodore itself is no more, the source code is still proprietary and is in the hands of some obscure company at this point.

While it's very unlikely they would file suit at this point, many projects that want compatibility with the C64 are actively rewriting code that shipped with it (even CBM Basic), most notably Mega65: github.com/MEGA65/open-roms

And yes, it's 2020 and we still don't have libre, 100% compatible C64 ROMs and floppy drives.

Every time you download a Commodore 64 game and see a cracktro, remember that you may not be able to play that game without some warez group cracking it and putting it up on their BBS.

Show thread

@polarisfm tbf some C64 programs actually take advantage of what the exact code in the KERNAL is, so, working around that correctly will definitely be challenging

@polarisfm The company, IIRC, is Cloanto, and they are viciously litigious. I would not risk making a 100% compatible clone of the 1541.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
☠️ librepunk ☠️

A friendly mastodon instance primarily for shitposting, gays, and the glory of the free and open source software movement.