Features - The Magic of the PD Companies

The Magic of the PD Companies
If you are an Amiga user you have most probably already heard of names like 17 Bit Software, Quartz PD or Silver Software. What have all these companies in common? The answer is simple - they were all (and some still continue to be), Public Domain companies.

These firms had their greatest time in the early and middle 90's. They checked mailboxes and BBS's for new software (games, utilities, demos, etc.) and after getting the software it was copied onto disks and sold to customers. Often, private programmers would write directly to the PD companies and ask whether they would be interested in publishing their creations. Some PD companies paid money to the authors for permission to distribute their productions.

You see that the method above worked, but this business quite often had its losers - the software authors themselves! This is because there were many black sheep in the sector of PD companies - they simply stole someone's work and sold it! Because of the commercial quality of some games and tools, many copies were sold and as a consequence, the software authors (the people who actually wrote the stuff), received no money for their efforts.

Nowadays, we have the CD-Rom and Internet - the most common enemies of the Amiga PD companies. Today, very few people are willing to pay money for disks whose contents are freely distributable on the Net. For this reason, many of the formerly popular PD companies like the legendary 17 Bit or Software Center Bocholt are no longer active.

But here in Germany there are still some Amiga PD dealers: For example Silver Software & Design and Patrick Pawlowski Software. Silver has a great coloured catalogue with Amiga PD stuff on disks. Prices are quite fair and you even get a price reduction if you order 11 disks or more. Pawlowski is quite expensive and one disk costs 6,50 DM. Good Public Domain games like Moria even cost 10,00 DM! In my opinion this is far too expensive.

Here are finally some scans of old Public Domain adverts:

Text by Bernd Gmeineder, June 2000

All copyrights for design and content by AMI Sector One.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Mentioning theses trademarks is no violation of applicable law. Please feel free to send us your comments and thoughts.

Downloads à la Carte

Download the games that we recommend this month:

Case of the Cautious Condor
Dungeon Quest
Quiksilver Pinball
Fire & Ice
Jetstrike Jr.
Der Trainer

Other downloads of interest:
LSD Docs Disks
Grapevine Diskmags



Read our special features about:

1. Amiga Games vs. Amiga Joker
2. Microdeal - A resume
3. CD Review - "Immortal"