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evil316
December 31st, 2007, 08:46 PM
I've switched my Windows computers to Ubuntu leaving me with a number of Windows licenses that are not used. Can these licenses be legally sold by me or traded assuming I give up all rights to use them?

popch
December 31st, 2007, 08:54 PM
I've switched my Windows computers to Ubuntu leaving me with a number of Windows licenses that are not used. Can these licenses be legally sold by me or traded assuming I give up all rights to use them?

If you bought them with the computer, you can not.

Methuselah
December 31st, 2007, 08:54 PM
Usually transferrability is allowed.
But the EULA may have chosen to deny you even that.

Microsoft software may be particularly problematic becuase they enforce the EULA with WPA and they limit tranfers to one or two instances I think. You might have to check each individual product.

Godd point popch...I didn't even see that he was referring particularly to windows licenses.
OEM windows license is forever married to the hardware you bought even if you unisntalled it.
It's almost as if you got it for free huh?
Except you didn't. :)

evil316
December 31st, 2007, 08:55 PM
If you bought them with the computer, you can not.

I did buy them with the computer. Wow, that doesn't seem fair but oh well.

p_quarles
December 31st, 2007, 08:57 PM
I did buy them with the computer. Wow, that doesn't seem fair but oh well.
I'm not saying it is fair, but OEM versions of Windows are sold to the manufacturers at pretty big discounts -- so they EULA is a lot more restrictive than for a stand-alone copy of the OS.

Steveway
December 31st, 2007, 09:00 PM
Well, it's Microsoft. What did you expect?

popch
December 31st, 2007, 09:03 PM
I did buy them with the computer. Wow, that doesn't seem fair but oh well.

What do you mean by not fair? You explicitly agreed to the conditions of sale and the EULA by running that software. You could have objected then.

evil316
December 31st, 2007, 09:05 PM
What do you mean by not fair? You explicitly agreed to the conditions of sale and the EULA by running that software. You could have objected then.

Sure I could have. My bad, I agree. It's just a shame since most every product you buy you can legally resale but not certain Windows licenses.

Paulmd
December 31st, 2007, 09:09 PM
I've switched my Windows computers to Ubuntu leaving me with a number of Windows licenses that are not used. Can these licenses be legally sold by me or traded assuming I give up all rights to use them?

Transferring licenses is.... perilous.

If it's an OEM. You cannot.
If it's an off the shelf retail, you can.

If they came with your computer, you can certainly include them in the sale of your computer.

Selling a used license is not really doing the recipient any favors because of the difficulty in getting them re-activated.

popch
December 31st, 2007, 09:10 PM
Sure I could have. My bad, I agree. It's just a shame since most every product you buy you can legally resale but not certain Windows licenses.

Actually, you don't buy Windows. You acquire the limited right to use it under some carefully selected conditions.

But then, I gravely doubt that Microsoft would pursue small fry such as me our you if we kept the number of Windows instances running at the same time at home equal to the total number of licenses bought. It depends, of course, on where you live and what you do for a living.

Methuselah
December 31st, 2007, 09:12 PM
I had this rude awakening when the Millenium disc that came with my Dell refused to install on another machine after I had bought windows XP and wiped the original Me off the Dell's hard disk.

I was so upset I copied the disk contents, found out what to change and burned a CD, called it Win ME Fixed and installed it with a boot floppy on the machine I originally intended to put it on.

I'm generally careful not to pirate software. If I think the terms are unreasonable I just don't use it. However in this case, I felt completely within my rights since I had paid for both XP and Me, didn't have much choice in the Me case, and didn't see why I should be forced to use only one.

These days I'm smarter. Building my own PC and putting a free OS on it.

arsenic23
December 31st, 2007, 09:12 PM
Of course there is a way to get some use out of them. You can sell them with PCs yourself. Just try to install the OS on a different computer and if it complains about different hardware when you go to activate it, just call up Microsoft and tell them that you had to replace your motherboard and now your Windows won't activate. They'll fix the problem for you (or give you a new serial number) and then you can sell that PC with your useless Windows license.

evil316
December 31st, 2007, 09:13 PM
I don't care about the Windows licenses. I wouldn't go anything illegal with them, I just wondered if I could get anything out of them and if so great, if not no big loss.

Paulmd
December 31st, 2007, 09:13 PM
Usually transferrability is allowed.
But the EULA may have chosen to deny you even that.

Microsoft software may be particularly problematic becuase they enforce the EULA with WPA and they limit tranfers to one or two instances I think. You might have to check each individual product.

Godd point popch...I didn't even see that he was referring particularly to windows licenses.
OEM windows license is forever married to the hardware you bought even if you unisntalled it.
It's almost as if you got it for free huh?
Except you didn't. :)

<ntipick> I presume you mean WGA, not WPA. WGA is Windows Genuine Advantage. WPA is a wireless encryption protocol. </nitpick>

Methuselah
December 31st, 2007, 09:15 PM
<ntipick> I presume you mean WGA, not WPA. WGA is Windows Genuine Advantage. WPA is a wireless encryption protocol. </nitpick>

No, I did mean WPA but standing for Windows Product Activation. :)

p_quarles
December 31st, 2007, 09:15 PM
"Win ME Fixed"? Wouldn't that involve burying it on the bottom of the ocean inside of a welded-shut steel safe? (NB: I'm not MS-bashing, but everyone seems to agree that ME was their worst release ever).

HermanAB
December 31st, 2007, 09:16 PM
it doesn't matter what anyone here post about your question. The only thing that matters is the "Sale of Goods Act" (or whatever it is called) in your state.

Most of these acts say something to the effect that if it looks like a sale, then it is a sale and to be a licensed agreement, it needs to be duly executed as such, which is usually not the case. If you bought your PC or software at a high street store, then you bought it fair and square and can resell it all.

Methuselah
December 31st, 2007, 09:17 PM
"Win ME Fixed"? Wouldn't that involve burying it on the bottom of the ocean inside of a welded-shut steel safe? (NB: I'm not MS-bashing, but everyone seems to agree that ME was their worst release ever).

LOL, yeah. But at least one especially pernicious bug was gone, the darn thing wouldn't install! Or maybe the refusal to install was the bug fix. Now I'm confused.

lisati
December 31st, 2007, 09:21 PM
it doesn't matter what anyone here post about your question. The only thing that matters is the "Sale of Goods Act" (or whatever it is called) in your state.

Most of these acts say something to the effect that if it looks like a sale, then it is a sale and to be a licensed agreement, it needs to be duly executed as such, which is usually not the case. If you bought your PC or software at a high street store, then you bought it fair and square and can resell it all.

<brief digression> It's a bit like the "no refunds" policy that some retailers try to get away with - depending on local laws the retailer might be forced into a refund if what they're selling doesn't do what it should and they can't put it right, even if they have a "no refunds" policy".

mr.propre
December 31st, 2007, 09:26 PM
Actually, you don't buy Windows. You acquire the limited right to use it under some carefully selected conditions.


Sounds like marriage.

Spike-X
December 31st, 2007, 11:03 PM
Actually, you don't buy Windows. You acquire the limited right to use it under some carefully selected conditions.

Exactly. You should be grateful they even let you use it on the computer you bought it with. Bow down, peasant!

stoodleysnow
December 31st, 2007, 11:16 PM
We are not worthy...
So we use Ubuntu

Peyton
December 31st, 2007, 11:36 PM
As I understand it, OEM versions are pretty much the responsibility of the vendor, not Microsoft. The vendor makes sure that Windows is fully compatible with a given computer model's hardware, and the vendor provides support. So, really, OEM versions are not designed to be handled the way that retail versions are, and so you can't trade them.

Steveway
December 31st, 2007, 11:43 PM
As I understand it, OEM versions are pretty much the responsibility of the vendor, not Microsoft. The vendor makes sure that Windows is fully compatible with a given computer model's hardware, and the vendor provides support. So, really, OEM versions are not designed to be handled the way that retail versions are, and so you can't trade them.

Microsofts EULA still applies. So no go.

Peyton
January 1st, 2008, 01:05 AM
I never stated it didn't apply. You're arguing a different case.

forrestcupp
January 1st, 2008, 01:34 AM
It is fair that you can't resell an OEM version. The reason you paid so little for the OEM copy is because it is bound to the hardware. With the retail version, you pay more so you get more.

What's not fair is that Vista OEM is bound to the motherboard. Because of that, you can't even legally upgrade your motherboard without buying a new copy, unless you call MS for activation and lie about it.

If I were to ever buy Windows and I had the money, I would definitely spring for the full retail version.

Paulmd
January 1st, 2008, 11:39 AM
It is fair that you can't resell an OEM version. The reason you paid so little for the OEM copy is because it is bound to the hardware. With the retail version, you pay more so you get more.

What's not fair is that Vista OEM is bound to the motherboard. Because of that, you can't even legally upgrade your motherboard without buying a new copy, unless you call MS for activation and lie about it.

If I were to ever buy Windows and I had the money, I would definitely spring for the full retail version.

Where I think the binding to the motherboard comes from, is that some vendors were sneaking around the "bound to hardware" ambiguity in the license, and selling OEM XP with something like an IDE cable, or, even a sawed-in-half 72-pin SIMM. Kinda sticks to the letter but violates the spirit.

I'm pretty sure that if you call MS for activation, and tell them that you upgraded your motherboard, you'll be fine. I've had to do this with XP, and they activated it. Not tried with Vista.

forrestcupp
January 1st, 2008, 04:17 PM
I'm pretty sure that if you call MS for activation, and tell them that you upgraded your motherboard, you'll be fine. I've had to do this with XP, and they activated it. Not tried with Vista.
No. The EULA is different with Vista. I've done it in XP, too, but I know of people who have tried that with Vista and they wouldn't activate it. From then on, anytime they called, it didn't matter who they talked to they wouldn't activate it.

But I have heard people who lied and either said that their mobo was blown and they replaced it with the exact same kind, or that they changed other parts and they got it activated. I have heard that the people at MS don't have the right to ask you about it; all you have to tell them is that it is only installed on one computer. But don't ever tell them you upgraded your motherboard.

But none of this applies to the retail version.

Midwest-Linux
January 1st, 2008, 04:33 PM
I've switched my Windows computers to Ubuntu leaving me with a number of Windows licenses that are not used. Can these licenses be legally sold by me or traded assuming I give up all rights to use them?


Hold on to the licenses and when you sell the computer at some point in time...reinstall Windows on it. If it is XP, it will sell more than a Linux machine...yes I know Linux is the way to go...but the masses are still Windows driven.

Some point XP machines will be harder to find, so you might get a premium for for selling a machine with XP on it. You can get another hard drive or two, swap the hard drive out with the Ubuntu on it, install Windows on another hard drive and do a full update, then swap back the hard drive with Ubuntu on it back in the computer.


This way, when you do sell the computer all you have to do is to install the hard drive with the Windows on it when you do decide to sell it.