how to recover an old CD for which the company went out of business?

Is there any software out there on the market that I can use to recover the contents of an old shareware CD for which the company went out of business?



Now I don't get it anymore. You clearly asked "how to recover an old CD" AND "Is there any software out there", and now you change it to, "do I have the right to use it"?
Research if the company was indeed sold or not. If you're sure it wasn't, sure, use the software. That's because the original company can't sue you, because it doesn't exist. No one can EVER sue you, just as zombies don't exist (as in, only the original company can sue you, and since it doesn't exist anymore, any new company is a new company and not the old one).



Depends on what the problem is. Usually you don't use software, as this isn't really a software problem. I'm just guessing you can read the CD because the reader will say it can't read it.
If it's because of scratches, use those CD cleaning kits (usually with fluids, sand paper etc). You "polish" away the scratches (manual will probably tell you to use straight motions from inward to outward).
If it's because the age, sunlight etc, the chemicals that holds all the data (zeroes and ones), maybe all is lost. You can only use software to recover whole files. Basically, you use the software to skip over unreadable parts, it won't magically make files appear.



I haven't really heard of any valid place that still sells used software, since the far majority of the model has moved to download only for most of the distributions. You can try ebay perhaps?



No. That's not exactly what I meant.

What I meant was whether I could get the files to install from a CD that was from a previous version of Windows and not have any problems with copyprotection?



Removing the copy protection is called hacking and is illegal even if the original company doesn't exist. You don't need software to hack it, you need a hacker, by that I mean a person able to hack software If that kind of software was available, it would be the top seller in every software store.



No. I don't want to remove any copy protection. That's not what I mean either.

What I mean is that if the company went out of business and I use their software, (just by installing it the normal way), then I am not in trouble with any intellectual property rights that they have because there is no longer any money backing up their institution as a company.

Although sometimes the software rights are sold off to some other company when the first company goes out of business.

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