What does abandonware mean?
What is the definition of Abandonware? Abandonware is a word that describes a piece of software no longer supported by its developers nor its publishers and is no longer available for sale in any form (digital or retail). Abandoned + software = "abandonware".
Others have tried to provide a more accurate answer to the "what is abandonware?" question by better defining the abandoned games phenomenon and sometimes trying to clarify the copyright issues:
When we talk about abandonware we usually refer to old games for systems no longer available to the public such as DOS, Commodore 64, Amiga, Spectrum, old Macintosh PCs etc. But there's a catch: every "abandoned" game NOT released as freeware (ie. liberated) is still subject to copyright laws.
Most copyright holders (usually the original programmers or designer) don't mind about to see their old games online, after all it's been years since these games were on sale.
However, from time to time happens that a company acquires the rights to some old game and asks to the owners of abandonware sites to remove that game from the web. That's why on Abandonware DOS quite a lot of games are tagged as "protected" and not available to download. LucasFilm games are protected as well as all the SSI catalog (sigh...). Well, you can always buy those on GOG.