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Ebay and Microsoft Fight Software Piracy 208

Posted by Zonk
from the black-flag-off-the-port-bow-me-hearties dept.
illeism writes "E-commerce News is reporting that Microsoft is going after Ebay sellers offering pirated copies of Microsoft software. From the article 'The suits do not name eBay as a defendant and Microsoft indicated that it has received extensive cooperation from the auction giant in the past as it tried to ferret out piracy. In fact, Microsoft said it asked eBay to remove some 50,000 suspicious auctions during 2005 alone ... The suits are mainly against individuals and cover alleged counterfeit sales of several Microsoft programs, including Windows and Office XP and older versions, such as Office 2000.'" More interestingly, the article flatly states that MS has no hope of ending piracy. The suits are apparently meant to 'protect consumers'.
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Ebay and Microsoft Fight Software Piracy

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  • More M$ Hooey (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:16AM (#14941266)

    This article is so slanted, it's positively perpendicular.

    From TFA:
    Piracy is in fact becoming more dangerous for end users, with hacked or illegal versions often containing malicious code that can be used to infect PCs with viruses or to install Trojan horses that can be used to steal private data, Yankee Group analyst Laura DiDio said.
    Yes, of course....this incentive is to protect the consumer...not the multi-billion dollar software giant the Yankee Group is actually beholden to. 'Won't somebody think of the children', indeed. It's clear that if you have reservations about this in any way, you are un-american and hate our children. Why do you hate our children? Why do you hate America?

    Here's another gem from TFA:
    Many of the suits were sparked by the company's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program, a program launched last year to let buyers of software determine whether it is properly licensed. Buyers who learned their programs were not genuine then helped Microsoft by providing information on the sellers.
    Replace 'let' with 'force', and we might have a statement approaching truth. Checking if your Windows install was legal used to be entirely voluntary. WGA is voluntary only in the sense of 'you don't need to participate...and we don't need to give you non-critical updates'. This is analogous to a bank requiring your SS number to open an account, despite the fact that that number was meant soley for government use, and never designed for that sort of application. When asked why a SS number is required, when in fact, this requirement is illegal, bank managers invariably reply, "oh...you have every right to refuse to divulge your SS number...as we have every right to decline your account application". Same situation.

    And finally:
    By its own admission, Microsoft is unlikely to significantly dent the software piracy industry with lawsuits against individuals.
    That depends on your definition of significant. Any headway they make is likely to save them much more than it costs, and that's all Microsoft really cares about in the final analysis....not stamping out piracy...not 'protecting the children', but enhancing the bottom line.
    • I make it a strong personal policy to completely disbeleive anything with Laura Didio's name associated with it. She's long been a special friend of Grocklaw [grocklaw.net]
    • Re:More M$ Hooey (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Alex P Keaton in da (882660) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:22AM (#14941293) Homepage
      You can hate Microsoft all you want- But independent of that, I think it is reasonable that a company would go after people selling counterfeit products in an open forum. Look at what Tiffany and Co. is doing to Ebay.
      • Microsoft would not be where it is today if people hadn't 'stolen' their software. They LOVE that they are now so prolific, in no small part due to piracy for use in the home. This is especially true of Microsoft Office products.
      • by Thud457 (234763) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:42AM (#14941436) Homepage Journal
        Doctrine of First Sale [wikipedia.org]


        Goddamn corporate whores are colluding to not just monopolize an industry, but the market itself. That's just wrong.


        If I'm forced to buy a copy of Windows that I don't want with my new computer, I should be able to freely re-sell that copy. (Ok, so being software, someone could make a "backup" copy and sell their original. That's not right either.)

      • Re:More M$ Hooey (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rolfwind (528248)
        That depends - can you sell your copy of Windows (the CD) on ebay, if you don't want it on your computer? Or does ebay kick it off?

        These days, you don't even get a normal CD-rom anymore but a manufacture's CD specific to your model - so it's just Microsoft enforcing it's new computer tax even further.
      • Tiffany will be chasing those selling diamonds on eBay, not because they are counterfeit, but because resale of diamonds is anaethaema to the De Beers cartel.

        If you auction second-hand diamond jewellery, it suddenly has resale value. Since diamonds don't wear out, deBeers really don't want that, because their fortune depends on their control of the price of diamonds. If you could sell diamonds for anything like their market price, people would be more inclined to do so, the market would be flooded with t

      • It's a little odd to compare Tiffany and Microsoft. If you buy your girlfriend a copy of Windows XP, she'll just look at you funny. If you buy her a Tiffany bracelet, well, let's just say the results will be significantly more positive in your favor. Then again, if you'd buy your girlfriend a copy of Windows XP, chances are you don't have a girlfriend anyways (or you won't for long), so I guess it doesn't really matter.
      • Piracy? Really?

        So if a consumer (individual or corporate) buys a shiny new computer BUNDLED with the
        OEM OS, the OEM OFFICE SUITE, etcetera and decides that he/she/they did NOT actually
        want to pay (or wanted a rebate on) the proverbial MICROSOFT tax imposed (and perhaps
        install LINUX or SOLARIS x86 instead), they will be prosecuted for being a GRAY MARKET
        source of MS software (as opposed to BLACK MARKET)?

        Whatever happened to the concept of FAIR USE?
        I do know that M$ License 6 tries to tie their OS and other
    • Re:More M$ Hooey (Score:4, Insightful)

      by altoz (653655) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:22AM (#14941296)
      Yes, of course....this incentive is to protect the consumer...

      it isn't really even a consumer, it's a potential software pirate.
      • It is a potential software pirate that was at least 'willing' to be a consumer.

        The problem is with EBay auctions pretending to sell an original Windows copy.
        If you go on EBay and *buy* a pirated copy of windows like this, you were most likely a genuine interested customer that really though that was a bargain. ( The argument is simple and I have seen it work in real life, not on ebay : a guy just pretend to be a Linux only user and want to get his money back on the Windows he got with his DELL laptop - sell
    • Re:More M$ Hooey (Score:5, Informative)

      by jdreed1024 (443938) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:27AM (#14941336)
      This is analogous to a bank requiring your SS number to open an account, despite the fact that that number was meant soley for government use, and never designed for that sort of application. When asked why a SS number is required, when in fact, this requirement is illegal, bank managers invariably reply, "oh...you have every right to refuse to divulge your SS number...as we have every right to decline your account application

      I agree with most of your arguments, but that's a poor comparison. The SSN is your Tax Identification Number (and if you're a business opening a bank account, they require your company's TIN). Interest on bank accounts has to be reported to the IRS, and banks need your SSN to do it. They're one of the few places (along with any potential employer) that has a legitimate reason to ask for your SSN.

      Better examples of places that have no good reason to ask for it are your cell phone provider, electric company, cable company, etc. Yes, in some states, they can't require it and can force you to pay a deposit instead, but other states have no such protection. Even some supermarkets are asking for it for their "rewards" or "coupon" keychain tags.

      • Regarding SSNs, correct me if I am wrong, but anyone who pulls your credit report will want your ssn. My cable company doesn't need it- They don't have a contract. My cell phone company "needs" it because they pull your credit report before you can get a phone... (At least they did when I go my phone from Cellular One in 1995- Which Became AirTouch, Which Became Verizon- so I have always just renewed).
        What irritated me most was in college when they made you put your ssn on exams...
        And as far as those rew
        • I spelled my name wrong on the application (but close enough that it was still delivered to my desk- I gave them my work address) and made up an SSN... So I get to stick it to the man! I get my Diet Pepsi 24 packs at 2 for $10 (non card holders pay 6.99 a piece!!!) and they still aint got my SSN

          Or you could have just used someone [epistolary.org] elses.
        • I've heard that your ID when you get a reward card isn't that important, actually, because the supermarket systems simply tie together the reward card and the credit cards you use to purchase groceries to create a "family ID". They're not too worried about having your exact identity, what they want is just to make sure they know about your shopping habits as a data point. But in any case, they get your name when you use a credit card to buy stuff.
      • what would be the justification then?

        most checking accounts with balances under 1000 never earn interest,,,

        • what would be the justification then? most checking accounts with balances under 1000 never earn interest,,,

          doesn't matter. They still have to report it and your account may make interest. I think last year my checking account accrued a whopping $120 which I duly reported as income. :P Ya know, to support the war and all that.
    • Re:More M$ Hooey (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Half a dent (952274) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:28AM (#14941339)
      True. But I have purchased DVDs and software on ebay, some are blatently copies but some sell as the real deal only to be fake - these are what piss me off.

      I buy used DVDs because I don't care if I'm the first person to see it or not and I can get a title for 33% of retail this way but about every third DVD I get turns out to be a pirated copy. To be fair some of these are really high quality BUT some are filmed at the multiplex in glorious shakeycam (TM) with added foreign subtitles (non removable) thrown in at no extra cost.

      I want to pay a "fair" price. A fair price for used or OEM software is not the same as a CDR with a photocopied licence code.
    • Re:More M$ Hooey (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ubergrendle (531719)
      Although I agree that Microsoft's primary concern is to protect their marketshare and revenue, i don't think its fair to paint their other concerns in a nefarious light.

      If, as an unwitting noobie user, price compare (as I would with any other product) and find a cheaper price online at eBay, I'd probably buy it. Best price wins, right? Except Microsoft holds a monopoly and fixes the prices effectively... so it doesn't really benefit you to shop around. Buying cheap on eBay is a risky venture.

      Also, tro
    • Checking if your Windows install was legal used to be entirely voluntary. WGA is voluntary only in the sense of 'you don't need to participate...and we don't need to give you non-critical updates'. This is analogous to say ...

      IIRC, the WGA program was instituted to mitigate losses from the resellers on eBay and elsewhere who sold systems with a non-licensed install of XP. Given how widespread that practice was/is, the WGA program in conjunction with Microsoft's other efforts seems perfectly fair and consi
    • versions often containing malicious code that can be used to infect PCs with viruses or to install Trojan horses that can be used to steal private data

      Huh, doesn't that apply to all versions of MS-Windows ? :)
    • Yes, of course....this incentive is to protect the consumer...not the multi-billion dollar software giant the Yankee Group is actually beholden to. 'Won't somebody think of the children', indeed. It's clear that if you have reservations about this in any way, you are un-american and hate our children. Why do you hate our children? Why do you hate America?

      That depends on your definition of significant. Any headway they make is likely to save them much more than it costs, and that's all Microsoft really

  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:17AM (#14941270) Homepage Journal
    It's always heartbreaking to see people pay money for MS products.
  • I understand. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kranfer (620510) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:21AM (#14941292) Homepage Journal
    As a programmer, I understand where Mico$oft is coming from. I wouldn't want someone stealing my code and making a profit off of it by stealing my programs. My Question is, why does it seem that the Tri-State COmputer Show here in NY always seems to have pirated software/OEM software (without the hardware piece) for sale and they never get in trouble? Theres something fishy there... But not to digress, I think that Microsoft is doing a good thing by attempting to stop piracy.
    • Because International customers are not going to that tri-state show to buy software to put on PCs that they resell throughout the country.
    • I once saw similar things at our local computer show -- burned CDs in jewel cases with photocopied covers for Windows/Office software.. And they were real cheap [~$20].

      I don't like Microsoft's activation stuff. And I've even read stories where people have to go out and buy new copies of Office/Windows because their motherboard died and windows detected the change. I suspect the Windows Update site is exchanging more info than what they claim.

      On the other hand, I have no sympathy for thes bastards selling
    • It would be trivial for MS to stop pirating. They already have a unique serial number, they already have a massive IT infrastructure. All they have to do is the shut down windows if it's already registered to somebody else. If people call in to register just check the database and refuse to give them a key if it's already registered.

      I have news for you. MS wants windows to be pirated. Not by anybody in the US or the rest of the "first world", we are here to be milked so we can subsidize people stealing in a
  • by Tominva1045 (587712) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:22AM (#14941299)


    The upside for smaller software companies is that law governing this kind of activity is more fully developed. Down the road this may help them if they find themselves in the same situation.

    Just because technology allows copying of 1's and 0's doesn't mean one should do so.

    Here's a question- if MS software is disliked by so many then why do so many pirate it?
    • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:38AM (#14941409) Homepage Journal
      Here's a question- if MS software is disliked by so many then why do so many pirate it?

      Maybe for the same reason so many people steal cable TV service even though there's really nothing good on to watch. Most average consumers really don't see an alternative to using Windows. I keep a Windows box up and running so I can dependably run some of my favorite apps and games, the next person may have to keep Windows in order to take their Windows-based work home, and so forth. It's just too ubiquitous for many people.
    • A very sensible post. It always makes me laugh when people say "your software suxxorz you cant stop us warezing it". If its so bad, WHY pirate it?
      Windows is a complex bit of kit. I dont mind paying for a full proper legal version.
    • because technology allows copying of 1's and 0's

      we should find another way to profit from such labor. Laws of nature trump laws of man. Trying to outlaw copying is about as effective as State of Indiana House Bill #286 which stipulated that pi = 3.

    • The upside for smaller software companies is that law governing this kind of activity is more fully developed. Down the road this may help them if they find themselves in the same situation.

      But by then, software piracy would be so insigificant it wouldn't matter. And for all we know, piracy is one of the things keeps these software giants going. If a lot of people using pirated software actually had to pay for it, they might start seriously consider open source software of less expensive alternatives. Consi
    • if MS software is disliked by so many then why do so many pirate it?

      I keep Windows around, specifically to:

      - Be able to run BIOS and firmware upgrades for my PC
      - Clean/align the printheads on my inkjet printer
      - Access Windows-only documents/networks used by government

      Does this mean I like Windows? HELL NO, I wish to @#($@#&%! that manufacturers would release firmware upgrades I can run from Linux, that inkjet printer manufacturers would port their printer utility kits to Linux, and that governments woul
  • by torokun (148213) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:22AM (#14941301) Homepage
    "MS has no hope of ending piracy."

    At least until they implement end-to-end hardware-supported trusted computing, with laws making it illegal to circumvent or produce analog peripherals.

    • At least until they implement end-to-end hardware-supported trusted computing, with laws making it illegal to circumvent or produce analog peripherals.

      They'll won't do this, because Microsoft relys on piracy to perpetuate its demand. They know perfectly well that if they actually make it impossible (or even very difficult) to pirate Windows, a LOT of people will suddenly become interested in Linux. This is the last thing MS wants: they need Windows to be the "only" OS that the vast majority of users run,
  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:22AM (#14941302) Homepage
    In fact, Microsoft said it asked eBay to remove some 50,000 suspicious auctions during 2005 alone.


    So are these human emplyees that are manually reading, inspecting and analysing all the individual auctions, sending the removal requests by hand or is there some automated system replying to anything containing "Windows"? Is it illegal to resell your original copy of Windows?
    • If it is an OEM copy then it is at least against the EULA, and most people have OEM copies.
      • by Half a dent (952274) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:35AM (#14941388)
        It is legal for individuals (and companies?) to re-sell OEM licenses in Europe under the 1991 European Computer Software Directive.

        Here is a link to the story:

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/05/08/selling_oe m_windows_copies_you/ [theregister.co.uk]

        Europe does tend to stand up to MS no matter what Bill puts in his EULA.
        • I'm actually in the middle of this right now. I saved almost $200.00 by putting the new system I bought together myself. The copy of XP is OEM designated as 'To be sold only with new systems'. Now I can't activate it, as it requires some software Macro$lab provides to the manufacturer that activates pre-installed copies. The seller, who probably has a lot of these, is figuring it out.

          Open to advice here, though 'You're fucked now' isn't very helpful.
      • >If it is an OEM copy then it is at least against the EULA, and most people
        >have OEM copies.

        Perhaps they have never agreed to it, perhaps they have terminated their agreement (thus not in force any more) or perhaps there was something that made the EULA or that particular part not valid, perhaps they disagreed to it when presented, perhaps there are some other reason that makes it possible to sell it...
    • by Bomarc (306716) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:33AM (#14941374) Homepage
      I've had my software sold on eBay pulled by M$. The claim was that the software was pirated. The ad stated that the software was genuine; CD was real w/ key, box and license. But I wasn't sure that it had all of the paperwork. M$ then claimed that this was a "Pirated" copy. I got in contact with the person at M$, and after a few words, offered to bring it over. He declined. I asked how I could tell if I had all of the advertising papers, and he said that was my responsibility. M$ has an interesting definition of what is "Pirated".
      • You are allowed to sell just the paper license if you want and keep the CD - of course you will no longer have the right to use that CD unless you have another license. It's perfectly legal to have only 1 copy of the Windows media but multiple licenses!
    • Is it illegal to resell your original copy of Windows?

      I don't know, but with the required "call home" for many software packages, I'd be very hesitant to buy any software second hand. I'd be afraid that when I installed the second had software, it'd call home to activate and refuse to activate because there have been too many installs for that particular license.

  • It makes sense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkNemesis618 (908703) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:25AM (#14941319) Homepage
    Also realize that counterfeit software more than likely has hacked CD Keys. Microsoft does not want people buying this hacked software only to find out that it doesn't work like it should. Microsoft doesn't want that simply because it could make the customer (who was a fool to buy it on ebay in the first place) think that it's Microsoft's fault. Because then the customer would have wasted money and be pissed off at Microsoft. All debates on how good or bad Microsoft products are aside, from a business standpoint, counterfeit software can hurt any software company, Microsoft or otherwise.
    • Also realize that counterfeit software more than likely has hacked CD Keys. Microsoft does not want people buying this hacked software only to find out that it doesn't work like it should.

      Or worse, contains a payload it shouldn't, like a keylogger. Rule #1 of eBay is "Buyer Beware." My wife has only recently gotten into eBay and been burned a few times buying those "too-good-to-be-true" items only to be sadly disappointed. I tried to tell her. Buying software on eBay s just a bad idea.

    • Because then the customer would have wasted money and be pissed off at Microsoft.

      I did both of those things back when I used to run Windows, and my copy was perfectly legit.

    • That seems like a silly argument.

      1. Is there any evidence that people buying pirated copies of Microsoft software are receiving "hacked" versions containing malware or inferior code?

      2. When it's so cheap to simply copy bits, where is the incentive for a seller to spend a lot of time and effort modifying code?

      3. If there was malware on the disc, I would think most people would realize that it was because they bought a pirated copy, not because Microsoft put it there.
    • Good point. People are quickest to blame the most visible target.

      Windows crashes daily? It must be Microsoft's fault. Of course, it could turn out to be the badly-written driver for your scanner, or some software surreptitiously installed by a Sony CD. But while some of us will dig deeper, looking for the cause, most people are just going to see that Windows is crashing, and why the hell would Microsoft write such shoddy software anyway.

      Similarly, people will try out Firefox, go to their favorite "desig
  • by igb (28052) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:29AM (#14941346)
    Of course, Microsoft have an incentive to allow some level of piracy to flourish, just as cigarette companies want to encourage some smuggling from low-tax countries. The last thing that Microsoft would want is a situation where people with limited means cannot obtain Windows, legally or otherwise, and therefore instead opt to use Linux. At the moment, using Linux is a significantly worse outcome for Microsoft than people using pirated Windows. An increase in Linux use would mean a decrease in broken government websites that only really work with IE, for example, and that's a virtuous circle (from our point of view) and a rather less virtuous one for Bill. Likewise Office (in fact, far more so Office): it's worth almost infinite residential-market piracy to keep OpenOffice out of peoples' minds.

    ian

    • It's not necessarily just the low end of the market that can get picked off this way, either. Corporate and institutional customers of proprietary software are subject to very intrusive audits by vendors and the BSA (Business Software Alliance), often with expensive outcomes. A couple of those and you'd be negligent not to consider FOSS alternatives.
  • Shill Alert (Score:4, Informative)

    by A beautiful mind (821714) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:30AM (#14941353)
    The article is by Laura DiDio - the SCO supporter shill.

    You get what you paid for - it's a venomous piece.
  • by Gannoc (210256) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:31AM (#14941364)
    When I was trying to sell a used Mac, I was competing with many, many auctions with descriptions like:

    "Selling used iMac G4. Comes installed with, Adobe, Maya, Final Cut Pro, etc. Includes "backup" disk with "backup" copies of this software."

    It included EVERY major OSX software product imaginable, and I knew it was in no way legitimate. It had to be $5000+ worth of software, total.

    The retail value of the iMac G4 was maybe $1000, but the auctions were going for $1600-$2000. Clearly, people were willing to pay the extra money to get a copy of the software. I would be willing to bet that some of those people thought they were getting used legitimate copies.

    This isn't fun+happy software piracy, where the 19 year old college kid wants to play with the $3000 professional video editing tools, this is a criminal selling someone else's software for profit, and I hope the hammer comes down on them...

  • by wile_e_wonka (934864) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:34AM (#14941377)
    When I bought my computer off eBay, I asked the seller if it had Windows XP Pro (my school required XP 'Pro,' and not 'Home'). He told me that it does, and Office too, but that eBay shut his site down when he advertized it. I thought, that's odd... (I was so naiive).

    Anyway, I bought the computer, and it came with a burned version of the resource CD, and the hard drive had images of windows XP, Office, Nero, Norton (no, I didn't install Norton!) and several other programs. Mind you this computer was cheap too. I though, wow I got a deal!

    But obviously everything on here is pirated. However, whenever I download something from Microsoft, they check to make sure my copy of Windows is "genuine" and it seems to think everything is in proper order...
  • You'd think that they'd at least call them "customers" in a situation like this.

    *sigh* As a customer, it's getting hard to find people to do business with these days. I still don't envy the lot of "consumers" though. But then again, if your self-worth is low enough that you're willing to be called a "consumer" by your "vendor", you're asking for trouble.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:41AM (#14941425) Homepage
    I must say I'm surprised at the amount of money people manage to make selling warez. I can't imagine many of these look like the real thing, I suppose it must be the "allofmp3.com" factor - you paid for it, so you've legitimized yourself. I certainly wouldn't trust anything I bought on eBay to be more genuine than the nearest bittorrent site. Without starting a "buy vs pirate" flamewar, getting it off eBay seems to be the worst of both worlds.
    • I must say I'm surprised at the amount of money people manage to make selling warez. I can't imagine many of these look like the real thing

      Prepare to be surprised.

      Back when I worked in a computer store in the mid-to-late 90's, we took in a shipment of copies of Office 97 from a major vendor. As we unpacked them, a colleague and I looked and I said "Hmm, that's funny, the CD-key label looks a little grainy". The orange did look a little grainy, so we looked at the rest. The CD looked fine, printed the wa

  • by Peldor (639336) on Friday March 17, 2006 @10:44AM (#14941449)
    I tried to list a new-in-the-box Windows NT4 CD on Ebay several years ago. It was pulled within hours with a note stating Ebay in cooperation with MS do not permit reselling of their software except by licensed parties (and so forth).

    A lot of these 50,000 'suspicious' copies are probably legitimate, you just can't sell it on Ebay because that would price the software at its true market value. First-sale doctrine [wikipedia.org], we hardly knew ye.

  • 1. If I recall correctly, Ebay gave microsoft accounts the right to pull auctions directly. EG: MS employee logs in, scans auctions, finds one like "XP Pro for sale, I use Linux, don't need this" and pulls the auction. Reasoning: The XP Pro for sale was an OEM version without right to transfer without the hardware.

    2. MS alleges that many people selling Windows were selling their original install disks, and were still running the install on their own hardware. That would be a license violation.

    3. All thi

    • All the OEMs should have a replacement install disc available for about $20. Don't give Microsoft another dime!
      • You'd think so, but when I was servicing a friends computer and needed to re-install the OS I found the problem. They hadn't gotten a CD. No problem, I thought, I'll just call the maker (whose name starts with G). They're response? No ... I'm sorry, the computer is out of warrenty (1 yr), and if you hadn't received a re-install CD you should have called us with the first 14 days, and no, we you can't have one now (even if we were willing to pay for it).

        All OEMS SHOULD have replacement disks available, bu
    • There is a GNOME email client called Evolution that is,
      unfortunately from my viewpoint, very much like OutLook.

      If that won't do, I suggest VmWare and a firewall that
      only lets the VmWare image connect to the Exchange server.
    • You can call the OEM that made the computer and get new disks for it. If it's newer, it may even have an installation copy on another partition (Dell likes to do that nowadays).
    • Sounds like a good time to try Linux, if you're feeling a little adventurous...
  • The suits are apparently meant to 'protect consumers'.

    It seems that someone is taking the "protect consumers" line as if it's somehow a backhanded move but my experience with eBay software is different...

    I once ordered a Solaris training CD from a seller on eBay under the assumption that I was getting a legitimate product but when I got the package in the mail it was far from it; I got a CD mailer with a burnt copy of several PDFs and a java-driven testing and review system. I can faithfully confirm that
  • E-bay loves piracy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by erichf (19315) on Friday March 17, 2006 @11:06AM (#14941619)
    E-bay makes it incredibly easy for people to sell pirated software but makes it very difficult for owners of the software being pirated to stop the sellers. You have to join a program and then swear on your mother's grave and under threat of purgery that the person selling software is absolutely breaking the law and then you have to fax in documents to substantiate your claims (yes fax not e-mail). E-bay does eventually take action but they make the process as difficult as possible for owners of IP to defend their ownership. If I ran a business out of a store where I unknowingly (wink wink) facilitated the sale of stolen property, the police would still bust me and I'd find myself in court. E-bay does the same thing and somehow just waltz along with no repercusions.
  • About five years ago I tried to sell the copy of Microsoft Works that came with my Dell on eBay. Never wanted it, would have gladly passed on buying it with my system had that been an option. It was sealed in the shrink wrap with the authenticity sticker still on it (the "opening this package means you consent to the licensing agreement" message sealed inside). Never used... never openend... pulled off eBay.

    I now understand that OEM Software is to stay with the machine it was bought with, but when the so
  • Doesn't seem to be a problem [ebay.com] in Taiwan.
    Step right up, they have tons of these ready to go.
  • It's time to clean up the pirated software off of eBay. Tons of people download pirated software and use it. While I'm not going to argue the morality of that, I can say that selling burned software is by far more immoral than downloading it for yourself. At any given time on eBay you can find numerous popular software titles that are clearly pirated. I see a big difference between installing a hacked copy of photoshop you snagged off the Internet, and downloading a copy, burning a shitload of them, and tu
  • by krbvroc1 (725200) on Friday March 17, 2006 @11:46AM (#14941925)
    Funny how many scams are run on Ebay and they do little about it. Trying to contact a human is close to impossible. Their safe harbor department rarely gives a shit. Known scammers are allowed to keep their sellers id's even after numerous complaints.

    Given Ebay history, my guess is that MS threatened to sue Ebay, so they are cooperating.
  • ... the Shepherd "protects" his sheep from the wolves only so he can continue to shear them.

    And occasionally have a bit of veal.

  • But who buys them? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheCoders (955280) on Friday March 17, 2006 @12:20PM (#14942194) Homepage
    Ok, Office maybe, but would anybody want to or need to buy Windows on eBay? Maybe I'm out of touch with the masses, but with the abundance of Free software out there, and with Windows coming with every new PC (whether we want it or not), what's the point? Add to that the fact that you can get pretty much any piece of commercial software you want off of BitTorrent, and I can't imagine the market for used software being very big. And don't tell me the buyers don't realize that the burnt CD with the hand-written label is counterfeit. These people know exactly what they're doing, but they don't have the technical savvy to use P2P.

    Furthermore, I would be willing to bet Microsoft is spending more money on these lawsuits than they save by stopping the handful of pirates they sue. Basically, this is just a PR game to try and disuade potential pirates with the threat of a lawsuit. The majority of Microsoft's profits come not from individual consumers, but companies, and most companies are not going to be buying their software off of eBay.

    Listen, I have no problem with a company trying to protect its source of revenue. They sell software. That's what they do, that's how they make money, so if they want to go after those who violate the software license agreement, good for them. But don't tell us you're doing it for the consumer. You're doing it for yourself and your bottom line. Maybe if Microsoft would be a little more straightforward and just come out and admit their motivations, they wouldn't have as much of a credibility issue as they have now.
  • The suits are apparently meant to 'protect consumers'.

    My Hero! */me kisses M$, while lifting one of my legs slightly*

    -M
  • Microsoft sells software with a very restrictive EULA. The fact that this EULA is illegal in most places doesn't prevent microsoft from pointing out (e.g. towards Ebay) that resale of an otherwise legit copy of windows is against the EULA.

    As I understand things, if I happen to buy an extra copy of Windows by accident, the law says I get to sell it (provided I haven't used it or made a copy). Microsoft considers this piracy.

    Software is something "soft". If you buy it, the microsof reasoning is that the soft
  • Couple of disclaimers: IAAL in IP. That being said:

    A couple of posts in this thread refer to the First Sale Doctrine and lament the fact that one can buy software from Best Buy, EB, newEgg.com, etc., but then runs into legal trouble because that same person cannot turn around and sell that same software to a third party, claiming that the first sale doctrine should protect such a sale. But does it?

    I think we can all understand the first sale doctrine as it relates to physical objects, e.g., chairs, tables,
  • by Quila (201335) on Friday March 17, 2006 @03:30PM (#14943975)
    Does anyone else remember the Microsoft eBay buddy account they used to object to many legitimate auctions? Sellers of legitimate Microsoft products put up harsh comments and negative ratings for the MS account, and eBay switched them all to neutral. Later, after this trick went pretty public, they shut the account.

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