Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Lending XP Home disk and Product Code?

by seafox13 / May 8, 2006 3:50 PM PDT

Although I have advised a friend that it is morally wrong to do so, he would like to know the actual repercussions of lending his XP Home installation disk and Product Code to a relative for her to install the OS on a recently acquired PC.
He has, to his credit, demurred, but she claims to be aware of friends frequently doing this, and that they have a work-around for the activation procedure.
Comments appreciated, please.

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It is called piracy and...
by Edward ODaniel / May 8, 2006 3:56 PM PDT

the activation can't be "got around".

Repercussions? $10,000.00 for each instance plus all legal fees and court costs.

Tell him to tell her to start bidding on eBay or looking for sales.

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Actual repercussions...
by rquesada / May 8, 2006 11:57 PM PDT

Are likely to be none, but there is always the potential for penalties like described by the other poster. I think there's also the possibility of some prison time. Up to five years if I'm not mistaken. And the entertainment industry has been buying up Congressional support on the left and the right to try and shove through increasingly draconian legislation which would apply to software.

The most likely scenario you'll run into, is the copy won't activate, or it will but then your friend will need to reactivate his copy for some reason and won't be able to.

There are ways around activation, but pretty much all the activation "cracks" you might find are loaded down with some sort of nasty hidden payload in the form of a virus or trojan.

Ultimately, it's just better to save your money and buy a copy. Retail copies of XP Home go for $100, and OEM copies can go on ebay for close to half of that. Or it might be a good time to give Linux a try instead. You might even consider just getting a Mac, saving yourself a lot of the hassle related with Windows like virus scanners and malware, even if only for a time.

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I purchased win XP through Best Buy
by seabee69m / May 12, 2006 1:28 AM PDT

I have one unit with Win me on it and another with 98se
why am I unable to use it on both. The 98se is a legal regis. version. my comp. are in my home for personal use?

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OEM copies on ebay have to be purchased with its hardware
by ackmondual / May 12, 2006 2:30 AM PDT

states that purchase of OEM software must be accompanied with the hardware it was bundled with. Unless you're willing to buy a whole PC as well, you may be going against ebay's policy there.
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Most OEM on Ebay...
by techbrute / May 12, 2006 3:17 AM PDT

Most OEM software on Ebay will include an obsolete hard drive or motherboard in the package to satisfy the obligation to purchase hardware. This has been my experience in the past.

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as a buyer or a seller?
by ackmondual / May 12, 2006 4:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Most OEM on Ebay...

Either way... kick-***!! An elegant loophole if I do say so myself Happy

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Any hardware
by konwiddak / May 12, 2006 4:55 AM PDT

Actually you will find that the law states it must be purchased with a piece of computer hardware and so does the ebay system. This means any piece of computer hardware, so if you do buy oem software of ebay you get the most unusual bits and pieces from odd pretty much useless cables to chips that have been ripped off ancient motherboards.

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that changed in 2005
by linkit / May 12, 2006 7:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Any hardware
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Typical MSN want it all their own way
by daveboxley / May 14, 2006 10:40 PM PDT
In reply to: that changed in 2005

Maybe we should hold a poll to see whether MSN should be found guilty of abusing their monopoly - antitrust status or whatever they call it in the US and should be smashed into smitherines or at least split in two like the baby bells

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(NT) (NT) It's Microsoft NOT MSN (MicroSoft Networks)
by Themisive / May 15, 2006 12:22 AM PDT
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Here's a unique idea
by darrenforster99 / May 19, 2006 5:55 PM PDT
In reply to: that changed in 2005

1. Get a relation or friend to buy your computer system
2. Get your friend or relation to purchase an illegal OEM copy of Windows XP (the ones from ebay with a piece of hardware), but don't install it on the system
3. Get your friend or relation to sell you your computer system back to you, with the Windows XP OEM.
4. Install Windows XP OEM on your system
5. You're friend hasn't broke the law 'cos if you buy XP OEM with just a piece of hardware it just means that you can't use it (and they haven't), and you haven't broke the law either 'cos you've bought Windows XP with a complete system, and can now proceed to install it!

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Unique indeed...
by John.Wilkinson / May 20, 2006 2:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Here's a unique idea

If the copy of Windows XP is illegal (ie pirated), then a tangled mess of transfers of the system and copy of Windows will not make it legal. The friend will still have bought a pirated OS, and the user will still be running a pirated OS. The reason is that the friend cannot give you a legitimate license to the OS is he does not possess the legitimate license in the first place.

If the copy of Windows XP is illegal (ie OEM version sold by itself), then the transfer of the computer and copy of Windows still wouldn't change anything. According to the updated EULA, an OEM copy may be sold ''only with a fully assembled computer system.'' Thus, while the user's repurchase of the computer, not including the OEM OS, would be covered, the friend's purchase of the copy of Windows would not. So, like above, it doesn't make much of a difference. If you're going to do it, just do it yourself instead of involving others in it too.


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by abhi_jais / May 12, 2006 7:25 AM PDT

And you can get windows xp, and most other Micro$oft products (as a student at a univerity) for incredibly cheap. I used to use pirated versions of windows etc... but I ended up buying the student versions of windows and office for 30 dollars. And the chance of you getting caught is next to nothing, as long as you aren't a moron and make it obvious to the feds that you are stealing software. I don't have to worry about it because I have LEGAL copies of M$ products, but even if they did catch you, they probably wouldn't do anything. They just say crap to scare people.

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Have OEM WIN XP Home Edition
by DarCLew2 / May 20, 2006 4:00 AM PDT

Not from EBay, but from a Microsoft Partner that sells Genuine Windows. It was a topic and this is a copy of various prices:
Microsoft Windows XP Home With SP2 3-Pack - OEM price: $268.95
Microsoft Windows XP Home
Windows XP Home Edition gives you the freedom to experience more than you ever thought possible with your computer and the Internet.
Manufacturer: Microsoft Type: CD Only (tax free)
The SP2 update is shipping only, eDirectsoftware is no taxes and this is their site: they provide tech support and it is guarenteed for a full year. They do have either Gateway or Dell logos but they are genuine windows. Also the SP2 from Microsoft is a CD and it is cheap.
If you have a lot of free space on your hard drive, (mine is only 14.33 GB) I had both WINME and WINXP in. You can forat your HD from the CD. Darrell Lewis

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Validation process
by jackintucson / May 9, 2006 4:17 AM PDT

will get either you or her. When you want to get updates from the Microsoft website it will ask you to run a program that generates a code. You feed that code on the website. If it matches the profile determined by the OS when it was first installed and activated it will allow downloads.

Microsoft's anti-piracy programs are getting ever tighter. And they are starting to track down illegal copies through this validation process. First they deny the service and then they GET YOU! Look for a nasty letter in your mailbox.

You violate it by giving it to her. She violates it by installing it. Do you really want to risk it?

and life goes on...


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I would echo this except the Ebay
by chuckieu / May 9, 2006 5:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Validation process

A real OEM full disc runs about $85 US at Newegg and no worries. At Ebay you might get a real disc that's good to go, or one you can't activate because it is still registered to someone else. More likely, it will be a pirated copy or you just get ripped off. Big gamble.

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Got nasty letter but it was an illegal burnt CD WIN98SE
by DarCLew2 / May 10, 2006 3:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Validation process

It was burnt by a person who had no conscience. I thought he was reputable!
When I got a legal WIN98SE, I replaced the other. I kept thinking, what if anoter person or persons went on the internet as the same time as me with the same registration code??

Now, that is something that anyone should really think about, I was paranoid for a while. Was it worth it?? Nope. Darrell L.

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(NT) (NT) free, legal, and pretty darn good = Linux
by linkit / May 9, 2006 5:18 AM PDT
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Why steal - Get LINUX
by jimhrrt / May 11, 2006 10:26 PM PDT

I have to agree, even as a rather newbie to Linux. With the mutltitude of distros available, and all of them free , plus the number of open source programs available it's just nuts to mess with Microsoft. While we still run one XP pro based system, all our other systems are Linux based, including my 6 year old sons' computer. We can easily do more with the free programing available, and save big bucks on upgrades and security issues.
Try It!

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Linux != windows
by Aaronatblue / May 11, 2006 11:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Why steal - Get LINUX

It's not "just nuts to mess with windows". If you've ever done any kind of tech support and had to deal with Joe average computer user, you will know that linux ain't quite ready for the big time.

Plus, if you're running any newer chipsets than you are out of luck when it comes to linux. Try getting ubuntu or any linux distro to run on an nforce4 motherboard with sata drives and nvidia sli video. It won't happen.

Windows is cheap and it works on pretty much everything. You like playing games? Stick with windows. People like to bash the big bad microsoft, but when you look at the complete package nothing compares to it. OSX included.

As far as the moral implications of using your neighbours copy of windows? The worst thing that'll happen to you is activation will fail and your pc won't boot into windows. The fbi aren't going to break down your door.

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It doesn't need to be
by rquesada / May 12, 2006 5:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Linux != windows

I know a couple of people who set up Linux boxes for their elderly parents, and they've been working just fine for years now.

Also, most people don't care about using all the latest stuff, they just want something that can function as a word processor and internet terminal. Linux can do that exceedingly well.

And for the record, Ubuntu is a heavily modified Debian, which itself is probably the most "out there" distribution of the major players. It's the least compatible with ANY of the other distributions, even if you're using the testing branches. Ubuntu has already progressed to a point where it's largely incompatible with Debian now. If you use some of the more mainstream distributions like Fedora Core or Mandriva, you should be able to use nVidia's chipset drivers just like their video drivers.

OS X is kind of nice in that it's largely a black and white scenario with hardware. It either works or it doesn't for the most part. If you've ever dealt with "sort of working" hardware on Windows and the multitude of problems it often brings, it's a nice change.

Aside from gaming, there's no real need to have all the latest fancy hardware in your system, and this is exactly why I went back to consoles for gaming. Even if I went out and got an Xbox 360 Premium now, I'd get a complete gaming system for less than I could spend on just a video card for a PC. Games are all written to that specific hardware spec, so there's no risk of my going out and setting down $50 for some new game and it not working because my system is underpowered in some way. I don't need to worry about other programs conflicting in some way, bad video driver releases, or anything else. I buy a game, pop the disc in the unit, and away I go. I'll be a good half hour into a game by the time you get your PC copy installed. So I don't get all the latest graphics... How often do you stop to admire the scenery in a game?

Running Linux or OS X doesn't mean you have to give up gaming, it just requires a different strategy. One that can ultimately save a bundle of money. I have an Xbox, PS2, and GameCube... Even if I bought them all brand new at full retail, and the same with all the games I have for each (around 35 between them all), I'd probably still come out spending less than most people do on their SLI setups and I pretty much guarantee I'll get a lot more life out of my setup.

Anyway, that's my rant on the issue.

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Uh huh..
by roadiebob / May 12, 2006 7:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Why steal - Get LINUX

I spent 15 days or so and 2 linux distros trying to get a PVR built (MythTV). Searching for drivers, finding several that did not work. Trying to get wireless networking set up.. more driver issues...trying to get compiles to work... more issues.
Finaly I dropped 100 bucks and installed XP home. 2 hours later I was done. it detected and installed drivers for everything. If I have some time to kill, I will play with Linux, if I need to finish the job, I am going with Windows.
just so you know, I am a professinal computer tech. I cant imagine what a casual user would go through with linux.

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And as a professional...
by drat_ninny / May 12, 2006 9:17 PM PDT
In reply to: Uh huh..

It never occurred to you to do a little research beforehand to find out what sorts of hardware works and what doesn't presently?

I can't count the number of DIY PVR guides I've seen, and I'm sure you can find dozens more with a simple Google search. I've looked at the MythTV site in the past, and seem to recall them having a hardware compatibility list.

Seems to me, that your impetuousness is what did you in. Linux requires a little planning, just like most things worth doing.

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by Treker / May 15, 2006 1:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Why steal - Get LINUX

I totally agree! I have a few Linux programs which I'm starting to familiarize myself with. I've recently run into some issues with trying to change hard drives from one machine to another with store bought, legal softward programs from Microsoft and it's a pain in the BUTT! I'm tired of Microsoft ripping people off. If you can't run your own programs in your own machines the way you want, that's ridiculous. They're never gonna stop people from doing illegal stuff, but why do honest people who buy and use their own programs have to suffer for it. Linux is getting easier to use and I'm seriously thinking of educating my family and having all of us switch over to it. I'm sick of Bill Gates, Microsoft and all his money-grubbing, paranoia, greedy legal crap. And that's all I have to say about that! Ahhhh, felt good too Happy

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(NT) (NT) Much as I imagined : thankyou all.
by seafox13 / May 9, 2006 2:06 PM PDT
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Immoral and illegal
by seegod1 / May 11, 2006 8:33 PM PDT

So let me see if I've understood you correctly: it's not stealing as long as you're stealing from people who are rich.

Hmmm... well morally-speaking, the 8th commandment says "You shall not steal", not "You shall not steal, unless it's from a Really Rich Guy, then it's okay."

Legally-speaking, at least here in Canada, our Criminal Code says that theft is committed when anyone "...fraudulently and without colour of right takes... anything, whether animate or inanimate..."

Nope! No exception there for rich people...

I conclude therefore that it is both illegal and immoral, period.

Just my two cents...

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by herbw2 / May 11, 2006 11:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Immoral and illegal

I just finished weeping for Bill Gates. How moral is monopoly achieved by lobbying (bribing) Congress?

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by DeFly / May 12, 2006 1:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Immoral

Im useing a tissue as we speak for the monoply called Microsoft. then again maybe I should go to church MM

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Immoral =envy
by ABLONDIAU / May 12, 2006 1:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Immoral

Microsoft is the big guy on the block because like it or not it is the best available out there even with all its warts blemishes and annoying ticks.
Thats why it's targeted by pirates and freeloaders .
Bill Gates and Microsoft is not the enemy but rather intruduced the masses to the benifits of free and open technology.
The price of sucess no matter how benevolent must endure the envy of those it most benifits.

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