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What is the best way to obtain old versions of MS-DOS and Windows?

When will the copyrights on various versions of Windows and DOS expire?

Once they expire I presume one could then legally download a copy from an online archive.

I know that DOS 2.0 was already made open-source.


  • 3
    Open source does not mean the copyright is expired. Copyright does not have to expire to permit legal downloading. Mar 20, 2020 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


For works "made for hire" in the USA after 1978, copyright extends for 95 years after the date of first publication.

So for practical purposes, it depends entirely on when (or if) Microsoft decides to put them in the public domain.

  • 8
    And this statute has in the past been extended multiple times, always shortly before the copyright on some of the original Walt Disney cartoons was about to run out, which is of course a complete coincidence. Mar 21, 2020 at 13:42

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