Fred Cisin cisin at
Wed Mar 30 12:52:00 CDT 2016

>> 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?
On Wed, 30 Mar 2016, Liam Proven wrote:
> No, not the same thing.
> I think the more important question is/are:
> Will the original author still *sell* it to you? Or, if it's a
> discontinued version of a still-current product, will it make it
> available to you in some way, possibly very cheaply or even free of
> charge?

not necessarily.  It is quite reasonable when a software company makes a 
policy that "If you buy the current version, then you automatically have 
right to use the older ones."  (Obviously not the other way around, due to 
the revenue stream of updates).  But, they are not legally obligated to be 
decent human beings.

> I think it is entirely reasonable to ask software vendors to make
> obsolete, discontinued, unsupported versions of products, versions
> which no longer run on current hardware or operating systems,
> available FOC. For instance, Microsoft offers Word 5.5 for DOS as a
> free download, as it is Y2K compliant, which no earlier versions were.

It is entirely reasonable to ASK, but not reasonable to demand, nor 

> Actually, many vendors will not do this. If they don't, if they no
> longer even possess the product in any form, then I do think it's fair
> enough that others offer the service.

It's fair enough to produce a competing product.

> them running today. I cannot legally obtain them; Digital Research no
> longer exists. So, again, I think downloading an old one is legit.

DRI sold the rights.  It is up to the current owners to decide.
They seem to be OK with giving it out.

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