On Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 11:01 PM, Rugxulo <rugx...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 7:36 PM, Michael Robinson
> <plu...@robinson-west.com> wrote:
>> There has been quite a bit of talk about AST hardware needing special
>> drivers even under DOS. Well, if the company won't put the drivers in
>> the public domain and there aren't very many AST computers in the world,
>> the logical thing to do is recycle the ones that are left and replace
>> them. Am I missing something? Are AST computers superior to normal PC
> It's probably fair use to backup copies of drivers if the company goes
> offline. Redistributing might not be allowed, though honestly if it's
> available nowhere else (and not charged for), I don't see the harm.
> Otherwise, yeah, I don't see any better answer than dropping them, but
> that's a horribly sad and useless "solution".
Mirroring "abandonware" drivers is a bit uncertain - unless the
license says we can redistribute them. I agree the original copyright
holder probably doesn't care; they've gone out of business.
But according to Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AST_Research>
as of early 2011, the dormant AST trademark appears to be being
relaunched by a new, independent company named DATA ACCESS based in
France. I don't know if that means they purchased the previous
copyrights (Beny Alagem, founder of Packard Bell Electronics, bought
the name and intellectual property of AST Research, Inc. in 1999.)
If they have purchased them, they would probably have an issue with us
redistributing AST's previously "abandoned" drivers. I don't want to
risk damaging the FreeDOS Project by mirroring these driverse (if the
license doesn't say we can redistribute them) then get a C&D letter.
We don't have resources to defend ourselves legally.
It's not an ideal situation for these old drivers, but we need to be
careful here. And I'll admit that I'm not sufficiently motivated to
comb through all the driver zip files (I assume zip) and read all the
Readme & License files, just to see if we can redistribute them. I'll
leave that to someone with more free time. :-)
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