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Are old OS's Public Domain?





jwellsy
When microsoft quits supporting old operating systems like windows 98se, can one copy be installed on multiple test bed computers?
ocalhoun
Not sure about legal perspective, but from a moral perspective, if they're no longer selling an OS (or any software), then you can't possibly be taking any potential profit away from them by pirating it. If you have to have it, and there is no other way to get it, who's to stop you?
Flarkis
Legally microsoft still owns the right to the system so technically it is pirating. But as ocalhoun said the moral part behind it is that they no longer sell it so you aren't stealing profit you are just stealing the actual product.
{name here}
jwellsy wrote:
When microsoft quits supporting old operating systems like windows 98se, can one copy be installed on multiple test bed computers?

Copyright lasts 75 years after the death of the author, or in the case of corporations, even longer. No operating system is really, truly in the public domain, although some are old and considered "abandonware", where the company that made the OS doesn't exist anymore or was absorbed but the parent company doesn't care about their product anymore. CP/M, DR-DOS (Not MS-DOS or PC-DOS however and it only applies to one distribution of it), BeOS, and Plan 9 are all freely available (though technically not in public domain) legally under a restricted license.

Versions of Windows, MS-DOS/PC-DOS, OS/2, etc. definitely aren't going to be legally downloadable anywhere.
Studio Madcrow
It depends on how old and who wrote it. While nothing that runs on a PC without an emulator falls into this category, certain older mainframe OSes from IBM are, if fact, public domain because they were never copyrighted. It wasn't until the mid-70s that IBM decided to start copyrighting their mainframe OSes, so prior to that it's all public domain from IBM!
ThePolemistis
{name here} wrote:

Copyright lasts 75 years after the death of the author, or in the case of corporations, even longer.


I thought it was 50?

{name here} wrote:

Versions of Windows, MS-DOS/PC-DOS, OS/2, etc. definitely aren't going to be legally downloadable anywhere.


u can get MS-DOS 6 from msdn aa for free Smile along with vista and xp and other M$ goodies. That's legal too.
mehulved
ThePolemistis wrote:

u can get MS-DOS 6 from msdn aa for free Smile along with vista and xp and other M$ goodies. That's legal too.

But not multiple licenses or is it?
And definitely not under public domain.
Diablosblizz
FYI: Windows 98 SE and below are no longer supported as well as Windows ME and so is Windows XP 64bit 2003.
{name here}
ThePolemistis wrote:
{name here} wrote:

Copyright lasts 75 years after the death of the author, or in the case of corporations, even longer.


I thought it was 50?

Nope. The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 increased it to 95/120 years (for corporations and other organisations) or 70 years after the author's death. I was off by 5 years.
hunnyhiteshseth
As {name_here} said its about copyright.

Besides that, there is another thing by which any software or operating system may be legally available. It happens when the owner or owner company itself donates the project to open source. Like for example, Netscape did with firefox.


But microsoft has not done anything like that.

If you still want these operating systems you can purchase second hand on ebay.
ThePolemistis
{name here} wrote:
ThePolemistis wrote:
{name here} wrote:

Copyright lasts 75 years after the death of the author, or in the case of corporations, even longer.


I thought it was 50?

Nope. The Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 increased it to 95/120 years (for corporations and other organisations) or 70 years after the author's death. I was off by 5 years.


Wikipedia states:

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyrights wrote:
In most of the world, the default length of copyright is the life of the author plus either 50 or 70 years.


I too was right Smile
Arnie
It depends where you live.
wicke
We have to wait until Microsoft dies. Keep using Linux or Mac instead paying for Windows. It will die someday.
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