VOGONS


First post, by johnnystarr

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

This might seem like an obvious "eBay" answer. But is it really?

I didn't know until recently what OEM really means. Yes you can buy copies of DOS and Windows OEM, but I believe these were never meant for resale.
Most listings I have seen are for OEM or "Upgrade". Which means you have to already have an older version of of the OS installed.

I saw sometime back, you could buy an MSDN and download DOS 6.22, Win 3.1, 95 etc. This no longer appears to be a thing. In fact, MSDN now takes you
to a docs site or Visual Studio subscription landing page.

It would seem the only way to really do things 100% by the book, is to buy an old PC with the original OS and upgrade your way up? It seems silly to me that
for those ethically inclined (those who choose not to download software) are still facing technicalities. I'm sure MS doesn't care about these old systems,
but its the principal of the thing.

I know this isn't a forum for legal advice, but I feel that there are experts on the topic here who might have good suggestions for a reasonable path here.

Thanks!

Reply 1 of 50, by flupke11

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

A humble personal and non binding opinion: it's reasonable to expect Microsoft to litigate when MS products are being traded in a shifty grey market, let alone counterfeit products.

That aside, it might also reasonable to expect Microsoft not being bothered with a collector installing the same Win98SE license on his/her machines when these machines are economically obsolete.

Reply 3 of 50, by johnnystarr

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
flupke11 wrote on 2020-07-26, 17:17:

it's reasonable to expect Microsoft to litigate when MS products are being traded in a shifty grey market, let alone counterfeit products.

I think thats logical. But I'm specifically talking about original disks from MS. Not counterfeit reproductions. Its the EULA / OEM that makes
this a challenge. The only "retail" copies of DOS I can find on eBay are IBM DOS ironically.

Reply 4 of 50, by rmay635703

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

This is the problem with Disney’s software, copywrite and patent law as it stands.

It is ripe for holding companies to camp out on others work’s not for the purpose of sales but instead for lawsuits.

I strongly believe Reforms are needed in cases of long distant “owners” enforcing rights without any intention of production or improvement.

Much of our ability to repair maintain and use old equipment is impeded by poorly thought out law, you can ask any farmer about this.

Hopefully we find a way forward through Enforced obsolescence.

In so far as being legal it can be difficult and expensive and will only become more difficult and expensive as things continue to age out andvintage enters the age of no physical media or license or even down right leased software scenarios.

Reply 5 of 50, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I would not be surprised to see Microsoft open-source newer versions of DOS (or the parts that they can) eventually, likely some time after UEFI-only machines (no CSM) have made it completely and irrevocably obsolete .
See https://developer-tech.com/news/2018/oct/01/m … n-source-msdos/

Reply 6 of 50, by johnnystarr

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I have found retail copies on eBay of Windows 3.1 in big box PC form. What I'm not sure of is what the limitations are in installing it on a retro PC build. For instance, you'd need a copy of MS DOS 5+ to install it.
One idea I had was to install it on FreeDOS using JEMU386 support. This stuff is such a headache though.

Reply 7 of 50, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
johnnystarr wrote on 2020-07-26, 17:38:

I have found retail copies on eBay of Windows 3.1 in big box PC form. What I'm not sure of is what the limitations are in installing it on a retro PC build. For instance, you'd need a copy of MS DOS 5+ to install it.
One idea I had was to install it on FreeDOS using JEMU386 support. This stuff is such a headache though.

Doesn't Windows 3.1 come with a bundled copy of HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.exe ? It would have had to, considering it can run under DOS 3.1 which did not come with these files, AFAIK .

Reply 8 of 50, by johnnystarr

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
darry wrote on 2020-07-26, 17:38:

I would not be surprised to see Microsoft open-source newer versions of DOS (or the parts that they can) eventually, likely some time after UEFI-only machines (no CSM) have made it completely and irrevocably obsolete .
See https://developer-tech.com/news/2018/oct/01/m … n-source-msdos/

This is fantastic. It would be amazing if they released all of it.

Reply 9 of 50, by johnnystarr

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
darry wrote on 2020-07-26, 17:42:

Doesn't Windows 3.1 come with a bundled copy of HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.exe ? It would have had to, considering it can run under DOS 3.1 which did not come with these files, AFAIK .

That would be great. The goal is to work within the limitations of the agreements and laws.

Reply 10 of 50, by rmay635703

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
johnnystarr wrote on 2020-07-26, 17:38:

I have found retail copies on eBay of Windows 3.1 in big box PC form. What I'm not sure of is what the limitations are in installing it on a retro PC build.

One idea I had was to install it on FreeDOS using JEMU386 support. This stuff is such a headache though.

I wouldn’t worry about it if you have physical media.

What is mind boggling is EVERY NA OEM Brand name pc came with a legal copy of (at a minimum) msdos.

It is unfortunate that Just because the license became lost/destroyed over the years that you are now considered illegal despite the fact that many times the software could never be legally separated from its hardware.

Rather ignorant first world problem, sort of like loosing the title to your car so you have to buy another (preferably brand new) car.

Last edited by rmay635703 on 2020-07-26, 17:52. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 11 of 50, by adalbert

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

In European Union buying and using OEM software shouldn't be a problem, as long as the disk is original https://www.itassetmanagement.net/2016/10/31/ … -software-2016/
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120703/11 … -you-cant.shtml
https://www.theregister.com/2002/05/08/sellin … ows_copies_you/

I don't know about other countries, probably it is most difficult in the US, because the EULA is more likely to be enforced. In Europe it's more important not to "steal" the software, like using fake copies etc.

Reply 12 of 50, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I have seen CD based Windows 95, Windows 98 SE and Windows XP retail media with COA , product key and sometimes even in original packaging in thrift stores . This is probably the least expensive legal route for those, if you are lucky enough to find what you want .

Reply 13 of 50, by rmay635703

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
darry wrote on 2020-07-26, 17:56:

I have seen CD based Windows 95, Windows 98 SE and Windows XP retail media with COA , product key and sometimes even in original packaging in thrift stores . This is probably the least expensive legal route for those, if you are lucky enough to find what you want .

This brings up a point.

Do you have downgrade rights with any more modern operating systems?

Reply 14 of 50, by cyclone3d

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

DOS 6.22 was released for free by MS on their ftp years ago.

Sure it was the upgrade version but all you need is a bootable drive to install it. You can even do that with the 6.22 upgrade disks.

Then to make it have everything you also need the free supplemental disk.

For newer stuff, maybe we could contact MS and possibly get a written statement that they are fine with people using it without a technically legal license.

Last edited by cyclone3d on 2020-07-26, 18:08. Edited 1 time in total.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 15 of 50, by johnnystarr

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie
cyclone3d wrote on 2020-07-26, 18:04:

DOS 6.22 was released for free by MS on their ftp years ago.

This wouldn't happen to be on the wayback machine would it? If so, is that a valid thing to use?

Reply 16 of 50, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
johnnystarr wrote on 2020-07-26, 18:08:
cyclone3d wrote on 2020-07-26, 18:04:

DOS 6.22 was released for free by MS on their ftp years ago.

This wouldn't happen to be on the wayback machine would it? If so, is that a valid thing to use?

I think the answer to the second question is in "consult a lawyer familiar with your jurisdiction" territory .

My uneducated guess is that if it is an archived copy of something that was made publicly available from the rights-holder for years and if there are/were no limits set as to re-distribution rights, then you might be OK, but you would need to ask a lawyer to have an actual legal opinion .

The legal right to using the actual download would likely depend on whether your use case meets the requirements for the "upgrade", but you would need to consult a lawyer for an actual legal opinion .

Reply 17 of 50, by Jorpho

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
johnnystarr wrote on 2020-07-26, 16:46:

Yes you can buy copies of DOS and Windows OEM, but I believe these were never meant for resale.
Most listings I have seen are for OEM or "Upgrade". Which means you have to already have an older version of of the OS installed.

There are non-OEM big-box versions of these things, except for maybe the oldest versions of DOS.

johnnystarr wrote on 2020-07-26, 17:38:

I have found retail copies on eBay of Windows 3.1 in big box PC form. What I'm not sure of is what the limitations are in installing it on a retro PC build. For instance, you'd need a copy of MS DOS 5+ to install it.

There's no reason you couldn't install it on a PC running DR-DOS or IBM-DOS or some other flavor of DOS. There's an infamous code snippet that Microsoft could have used to prevent people from doing so, but it was never enabled.

One idea I had was to install it on FreeDOS using JEMU386 support. This stuff is such a headache though.

There's no such thing as "JEMU386". FreeDOS uses its own version of EMM386 by default. JEMM is a completely different thing, and – last time I checked – its author made a deliberate decision not to bother with the necessary trickery to make it compatible with Windows. (If I'm not mistaken, Win3.x does not require any kind of expanded memory manager to be loaded externally.)

cyclone3d wrote on 2020-07-26, 18:04:

For newer stuff, maybe we could contact MS and possibly get a written statement that they are fine with people using it without a technically legal license.

Microsoft has very little to gain by making any such statement.

Reply 18 of 50, by leileilol

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
johnnystarr wrote on 2020-07-26, 16:46:

This no longer appears to be a thing. In fact, MSDN now takes you
to a docs site or Visual Studio subscription landing page.

It's just a rebranding from what i've heard. Keep in mind though that the purposes are for developer's compatibility testing/checking and NOT redistribution.

apsosig.png

Reply 19 of 50, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Microsoft don't understand OEM themselves, They somewhat famously won a court case few years back against a man providing Dell recovery disc's.
He wasn't providing keys or the COA, Jus t the CD's that would have only worked with a key on the side of a Dell PC.
https://techcrunch.com/2018/04/25/how-microso … s-away-for-free
According to MS OEM means the PC "owns" the licence not the user which is why you can't transfer it. So how can it be illegal to obtain the media to do this?
(I'm sure the fact this was when MS were really pushing Win10 had nothing to do with it)

but then you have businesses for years have selling OEM copies of currant OS by also including a bit of cheap hardware, making you a somewhat system builder and entitled to OEM.

Then you have different countries with different laws just to confuse things even more. EU is more consumer friendly when it comes to second hand software then compared to the USA.
If you want to be 100% covered then you want retail not OEM versions of software, complete with the COA as that is owned by the individual, if you own an upgrade product then you'll also need the same again for the qualifying older version as well.

For things like Windows 3x, think of it as Office, you still need to legally own the required software before installing it.

Of course this is indeed quite silly and limiting in the real world. but isn't that's true for most things in law?
and no I'm no lawyer. I do have to sell MS software to business from time to time though. and even modern stuff can be a headache!