I was looking at a freeware Assembler for the i8080/8085 and noticed that the mnemonics used were not the same set as used by the intel (ISIS-II) assembler and referenced in the SDK-85 User's Manual (which is attached here). Is this because the intel mnemonics are, or have been in the past, subject to copyright? Would I be violating any law(s) if I were to modify the assembler so that the mnemonics mirrored the original intel set?
Thanks for any thoughts,
... (a short while later) ...
I've answered my own question - at least in part. The mnemonics were copyright Intel Corporation in the past as the screenshot of a page from the 8080/8085 Assembly Language Programming Manual shows below. I don't know much at all about US copyright law and I'm wondering whether the last date referenced here, 1977, means that the copyright has lapsed? I don't really want to find I'm being sued by a corporate heavyweight because of some fine print which is over forty years old.
Is there any way to get some clarity on this?
If you are doing this for your personal use, the question is really moot. You can do whatever you want. Intel wouldn't see anything that you have done. The issues (if there really are any) would come if you are sharing this.
My confusion here is why this would be happening at all. I do not see why a freeware Assembler would need to change the mnemonics even back then while the main copyright was in place.
Yes, as you point out - it's not an issue if I'm not redistributing anything. I was originally thinking of doing just that though, if I considered the code quality good enough, but I've decided on a radical change in direction. I've discovered an ISIS emulator which runs under DOSBox on a Linux host. It works perfectly and comes with the original intel assembler "asm80" and associated tools, so no need to bother with anything else. I can assemble the complete SDK-85 Monitor with it which is just what I wanted as I can now make a few alterations to the monitor and re-burn new EPROMs. This will satisfy my retro-tinkering cravings for a while.
Thanks for your comments.