Hi. You hit on the sticking point: copyright. It is illegal in many
countries (including the US, where FreeDOS is hosted) to distribute
non-free, proprietary software in the way you propose. And much of the
legacy software you refer to is proprietary.

Even hosting copies of these proprietary files elsewhere but maintaining an
index on the FreeDOS site is likely to enter us into legal trouble. The US
DHS has shut down other sites that did this, even those that linked to such
sites, and confiscated their domains. We do not have the funds or energy to
fight that kind of legal battle.

At least in the US, this is still an issue for proprietary programs where
the parent company may have gone out of business. (Also referred to as
"abandonware".) The copyrights are often bought out as "intellectual
property" and the new IP holder would have control of that copyright.

There is nothing wrong with these proprietary program if that is what you
prefer. And back in the day, I had my own licensed copies of Wordperfect,
Aseasyas, Doom, Procomm, QuickC, Borland C, and other proprietary DOS
programs. But these programs are non-free and may not be redistributed
(except Doom & Aseasyas, which may be redistributed in their original,
unmodified shareware zip files.)

That is why it is important to focus on Free and open source software that
may be used by all. Our FreeDOS software list includes only programs that
meet this criteria.

jh
On Mar 28, 2012 5:16 AM, "Alex" <alxm...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I have an idea which may prove fruitful for many FreeDOS users:
> creating a catch-all shared pool of old (or even new) DOS programs.
>
> I know, there are already websites with legacy software collections,
> but what I have in mind would be something better, and more organized,
> and above all managed by FreeDOS users.
>
> Many of us probably have our 'private collections' of DOS software. My
> proposal is that we contribute our old programs, possibly with a
> one-line (or more) description for each program, and that we neatly
> arrange the software into categories and sub-categories. Then, for
> each category, we hand-pick the best programs, those that may still
> serve some practical purpose today.
>
> I have noticed that the Software List section on the FreeDOS website
> is rather limited, considering the huge amount of DOS program that are
> in circulation. But I guess that is because of a deliberate choice.
>
> My proposal is: either to expand the Software List area, or we create
> a separate, more extensive repository to host all our programs.
>
> Would the FreeDOS website be willing to host such a repository? That
> would be the optimal solution. The only stumbling block that comes to
> my mind is copyright laws. I believe that most old non-free DOS
> programs are technically still under copyright, and in the worst case
> scenario we may have to store our repository somewhere else. In that
> case, what alternatives do you suggest?
>
> Please share your thoughts on this proposal.
>
> Alex
>
>
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