Paul Koning paulkoning at
Wed Mar 30 12:50:59 CDT 2016

> On Mar 30, 2016, at 1:26 PM, Liam Proven <lproven at> wrote:
> On 30 March 2016 at 18:58, Fred Cisin <cisin at> wrote:
>> They define "abandonware" as:
>> "In order for a piece of software to be abandonware, it must, as a general
>> guideline:
>> Be over 7 years old.
>> Be out of support by the manufacturer.
>> Be mostly out of use by the general populace (abandoned)"
>> So, if you are a software author, if you won't SUPPORT stuff that you did
>> over 7 years ago, they believe that they have a right to distribute it?
> No, not the same thing.
> I think the more important question is/are:
> ...
> I own real, licensed copies of OS/2 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 4.0 and 4.5.
> However, due to the age and location of the media, and the fact that
> my current laptop and desktop machines do not possess optical drives,
> nor any place to fit optical drives, let alone floppy drives, it's
> considerably more convenient to download these ancient OSes and run
> them in VMs than it is to use my actual originals.
> I am thus legally licensed to use them. I own them.
> ...
> So I run a downloaded copy of Word 97, under WINE. It understands the
> same file formats, is tiny and very fast even on my 2008-era laptop,
> as that machine is a decade newer than the kit it was designed for. I
> don't want any newer version, thanks; IMHO the product has degenerated
> since then.
> I legally own it. I have licences. 

That's great.  And a lot of discussion on this list is about how to get proper licenses, such as "hobbyist licenses" either one by one, or as general dispensation for hobbyist purposes.  Or old software that is actually, legally, in the public domain.  So we have OpenVMS users, and RSX-11 users, and OS/360 users, and CDC COS users...

Some licenses are tied to specific hardware, others are not.  I think PC type licenses typically are not, so for those you're clearly ok.  Minicomputer or mainframe licenses might be a different matter, strictly speaking.

In any case, the concern some of us have is that the "abandonware" site, by its definitions, clearly does not appear to care about licenses or copyright.  That should give those of us who DO take care to operate by the rules -- with proper licenses and all that -- concern, because it makes the community look like it doesn't care about property right, when in fact a lot of the community DOES care about these things and only some disingenuous types ignore the subject.


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