[ubuntu-uk] [Fwd: Re: [OT] - MS XP Pro OEM CD - How?]

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Sat Feb 16 17:26:43 GMT 2008

Hi Eddie,

On Fri, 2008-02-15 at 23:16 +0000, Eddie Armstrong wrote:
> Alan Pope wrote:
> > Being brutal - not our problem and somewhat "OT" for this list.
> >   
> I clearly labelled the topic OT and i stressed that it must be  a legal 
> solution.

My "brutal" reply was to Tony Travis, not your original message, so I'm
a little susprised by this reply.

> IANAL and do not 
> fully understand the legality of copying something for which I have a 
> licence and  which I can use legally  and  whether that constitutes 
> /software piracy /, only retrospectively do I think it MIGHT be the case 
> that /sharing/ it is wrong.  Therefore I am open to a better solution

I don't think you need to be a lawyer to understand that you can't go
around making copies of, or sharing copies of software for which you
don't have explicit permission for. I would recommend that you should
read the license for software that you are running, which of course
includes the EULA for Windows if that's what you're running.

> As for the previous advice I was given I think it was given in good 
> faith and no one was attempting any fraud/theft/copyright 
> violations/piracy or anything else illegal.

Yes they were. Tom Bamford suggested using bittorrent to download/share
_copies_ of Windows XP. 

>  I DID search Microsoft's 
> sites using different search criteria and could not find a solution, I 
> also read articles and MS documents re OEM software licensing.  

> Microsoft would not have been harmed by this, there was no financial 
> loss; in fact probably the opposite, as I was  refurbishing the machines 
> and putting them back into circulation; re-installing- XP giving them 
> more opportunities to get even richer ,  making them dual boot instead 
> of pure Ubuntu boxes.

Whatever the intention, however nice it may be, the fact is that the
software is under a somewhat restrictive license. You can't claim that
"I was pirating this software so I could give the computers to poor
one-legged orfans" and expect that to be a legitimate defence in court. 

> I was not charging for this either
> We download/copy/share licenced software all the time; as OEM software 
> has all ready been bundled and is only being re-installed it did not 
> occur to me that this was wrong.

Again, I'd recommend you re-read the OEM Windows XP EULA as it makes
this pretty clear. 

>  Obviously if there's a risk of breaking 
> copyright then we shouldn't advocate torrents but I don't think we were 
> '/promoting software piracy/'. I have never knowingly installed 
> stolen/counterfeit etc software nor advocated it - quite the opposite, 
> in fact. Hence my concern that solutions  be legal.

I didn't say you did, I merely pointed out to Tom that it wasn't a good
idea for us (a free software group) to advocate / recommend the use of
pirated software and sharing of that software.

> There must be a legal way of getting a copy of MS OEM software  - in the 
> absence of any other suggestion I will try phoning MS next week.

That's probably your best bet.


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