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 PostPost subject: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:25 pm 
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Due to recent events it has come to attention to us that certain kind of files carry a much higher risk of being misused and misinterpreted. It's one thing to release binaries which requires extensive knowledge to trace and debug, but it's an another when you got the original developer code in front of you in all its glory. Every nuance, every method, every command and call just as the developers intended. This can, for an experienced debugger, lead to a very good understanding of how the developer thought when making the code, the methodology behind it, and for a debugger or coder with malice intent also a very good way of finding exploits within the source code. Even if the recent events and overreaction by the sensationalist-depraved media proved to be pretty harmless it shows that we need to be more careful what is being put online.

Therefore we are going to remove all source code compilations from this site. Any distribution of source code will also be prohibited and the only source code discussed must be linked to the developer site or an acknowledged code respository (such as Github, Sourceforge etc). This prohibition includes, but it is not limited to:

  • Any abandonware or beta software source code, original or modified.
  • Any core engine code (LithTech Engine, Source Engine, Unreal Engine, DirectX etc.).
  • Any source code packs or kits.
  • Any modification of such packs, kits or distributions.

It doesn't matter if it's deemed open source or not. We do not carry open source software and will not carry open source code. It also doesn't matter if the source code is freely distributed by the developer, if needed to be shared it should be linked to the original developer source.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:26 pm 
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DDK and SDK packages contain some source code. Are they included in "any source code packs or kits"?


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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:53 pm 
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While source codes should be removed (as the owner of OpenNT has removed the source codes from his github, etc.) I am also with rififi and also wonder if SDK, DDK, PDK (including in some Chicago builds, etc) count or not.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:22 pm 
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I hope this won't include MSDN SDKs and DDKs (and similar companies' kits).

The whole purpose of that code was to facilitate adoption of Windows, etc. and was widely distributed by Microsoft to achieve that end.

It clearly doesn't pose a risk of being misused.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:33 pm 
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Regarding new softwares (like Windows 10), I can understand the move and it's a wise one. But regarding the source code which was on the FTP (sometime for years), I'm not sure the removal is of any use (except giving some food to the dogs? look we are doing something). The fact that it was on the FTP means that it was probably everywhere else so one more place is not probably a problem. All hackers on this planet probably have the Windows 2000/NT4/Research Kernel on their hardrive. I'm not even sure these leaks had an impact on security issues.

Some source code which was on the FTP was also made available by their authors... like Adobe Photoshop... Mayvbe you plan to put the allowed ones online after doing some sorting?


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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:21 pm 
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So far we've had no authors that gave us direct permission to publish their source code on BetaArchive. And it doesn't matter if it's already widely spread or not, we are not going to host it any longer. We removed the old Windows NT/2000 source code a long time ago due to its controversy, and we removed the recent Shared Source Kits, although harmless, due to its current controversy.

As for the SDKs, DDKs and similar kits they will for now be unaffected, Microsoft distributes these freely and openly on their website for any public build, so as long as we have other builds they will remain. Same with the MSDN kits as well as they are part of the MSDN subscription packages and also freely distributed (for those paying for the subscription of course). The developer kits are more public so they are less in the spotlight than any source kits that are heavily regulated by closed door agreements.

We don't know each source code license and with what permissions they were originally released so we will take the safe route and simply not allow any of it. We may in the future add the Shared Source Kits if they are deemed to be safe, but for now they will remain unreleased and on the ban list. We simply need to investigate more what they contain and how they are distributed. And if the source code section is reintroduced again then it will be heavily regulated by our abandonware policies without any exceptions like modifications or anything like that. There will be a discussion about this in the future, but for now source code packs are strictly forbidden.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:27 pm 
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mrpijey wrote:
So far we've had no authors that gave us direct permission to publish their source code on BetaArchive. And it doesn't matter if it's already widely spread or not, we are not going to host it any longer. We removed the old Windows NT/2000 source code a long time ago due to its controversy, and we removed the recent Shared Source Kits, although harmless, due to its current controversy.

As for the SDKs, DDKs and similar kits they will for now be unaffected, Microsoft distributes these freely and openly on their website for any public build, so as long as we have other builds they will remain. Same with the MSDN kits as well as they are part of the MSDN subscription packages and also freely distributed (for those paying for the subscription of course). The developer kits are more public so they are less in the spotlight than any source kits that are heavily regulated by closed door agreements.

We don't know each source code license and with what permissions they were originally released so we will take the safe route and simply not allow any of it. We may in the future add the Shared Source Kits if they are deemed to be safe, but for now they will remain unreleased and on the ban list. We simply need to investigate more what they contain and how they are distributed. And if the source code section is reintroduced again then it will be heavily regulated by our abandonware policies without any exceptions like modifications or anything like that. There will be a discussion about this in the future, but for now source code packs are strictly forbidden.
What would be your position on the source code for certain early software, such as the source code that Microsoft made available in March 2014 for MS-DOS 1.1 and 2.0 along with Microsoft Word for Windows 1.0? The old code for those old products doesn't seem to be generating any controversy right now, which is why I ask.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:29 pm 
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Do you have any official sources on these source code releases?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:45 pm 
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mrpijey wrote:
Do you have any official sources on these source code releases?
Here you go:
MS-DOS 1.1 and 2.0 source code: http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/microsoft-ms-dos-early-source-code/
Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1a source code: http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/microsoft-word-for-windows-1-1a-source-code/
These releases were made available under the Microsoft Research License Agreement, which you should review before adding any of this back to the site.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:48 pm 
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I don't see computerhistory.org as an official source for Microsoft source code. I want to see a reference where Microsoft has acknowledged that this source code has been released and under what license.

Also, if it's on computerhistory.org, then why do we need to archive it here?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:15 pm 
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While I don't think it necessarily needs to be archived here, here is the desired proof that Microsoft has acknowledged the release of the source: https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/03/25/microsoft-makes-source-code-for-ms-dos-and-word-for-windows-available-to-public/

As far as licence goes, its right on the Computer History Museum page. You have to agree to the license before downloading. Direct link: http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/microsoft-research-license-agreement-msdos-v1-1-v2-0/

As one of the largest computer museums in the United States (if not the largest), I would trust the Computer History Museum to not post anything that isn't legally re-distributable.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:53 am 
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Sounds to me then that they got a far better system for sourcing the file than we do.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:40 am 
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mrpijey wrote:
Sounds to me then that they got a far better system for sourcing the file than we do.
Would the files be acceptable for the FTP here if the Computer History Museum website goes down, or would it still be against the rules?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:42 am 
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I can't speculate about what might or might not happen, for now all source code is banned.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:59 am 
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mrpijey wrote:
I can't speculate about what might or might not happen, for now all source code is banned.
But the files that I'm talking about were released to the public by Microsoft as stated above. Are you saying that the files were only allowed to be legally distributed on the Computer History Museum website itself, or is there another reason for why even those particular files are still not allowed here? Note that I am not trying to argue or anything like that here, I'm just asking your opinion, since the files were an official Microsoft release, and not a "leak" of any type.

Also, since the FTP server previously accepted open source software that was distributed on CD-ROM, will those remain, or will they be removed?

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:51 am 
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SoftPCMuseum wrote:
Also, since the FTP server previously accepted open source software that was distributed on CD-ROM, will those remain, or will they be removed?

All source code means all source code. The folders were fully removed last time I checked.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:08 am 
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AlphaBeta wrote:
SoftPCMuseum wrote:
Also, since the FTP server previously accepted open source software that was distributed on CD-ROM, will those remain, or will they be removed?

All source code means all source code. The folders were fully removed last time I checked.
I was referring to free and open source software such as certain Linux distributions (commonly referred to as "FOSS" here) in that question, not the "Source Code" folder that was removed.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:23 am 
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The Linux distributions will remain as they are not mere source code packs, but actual compiled operating systems that happen to be open sourced and include open source code. And we only accept original discs of linux distros and nothing else as we keep them for their originality. We don't accept any other open source software.

The only thing that has changed now is actual source packs, nothing else. I.e all the source folders we had.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:51 am 
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mrpijey wrote:
*snip* And we only accept original discs of linux distros *snip*

So, wait, that means this would be accepted?
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And here I thought no linux distros will be accepted, lol.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:55 am 
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Yes, that would be accepted since it's original pressed disc.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:59 am 
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I am not convinced with this change in policy.

If you were to bow down to some media misreporting , what will you do if some media outlet accuses you of breaking Microsoft's laws because you're storing a pre-released version?

With this context , I wonder if the site itself will shut down because someone on the media misreports or blows up something in proportion.

What will happen to excellent topics like https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=61&t=33250? And that's not the only one.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:56 pm 
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A lot of what-ifs and speculation. That's irrelevant really, what matters is what happened now, and we've taken this decision to be safe than sorry regarding the source code. We will, when time allows, revisit this policy and see if we can draw up something that will allow us to keep more source codes, but for now it's banned. No need for convincing, the decision has been made by me and Andy for security reasons.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:04 pm 
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FOD is already released by Microsoft, why did you remove it?


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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:12 pm 
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All Windows 10 packs were removed until I can review all of it is safe to release. Microsoft only released recent FOD packs, we had a lot more older ones.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Changes to FTP and forum policy        Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Sad news for BA indeed. But understandable in light of those recent events.

Any ETA on when the source code files will be removed? I'd like to grab as many of them as I possibly can before they are deleted. Can you supply a (current) list of files which will be affected by the wipe? I think I have all the interesting ones (UNIX/VMS source code mainly) but just to make sure I'm not missing any, a full list would be helpful.

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