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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Is It Okay to Use Pirated Version of Windows XP and Office 2003 After April 30?

    I don't know where I can post this, I guess the most relevant board is this one. Please feel free to remove if you deem inappropriate.

    I wan't to know if this is okay legally, either for home use or commercial use. Since they are no longer supported after the said day, obviously MS should no longer have any commercial interest in the concerned software?

    I know that Windows XP SP3 requires online authentication. I think SP2 is already stable enough so I am comfortable with that.

    For the record, my main machine is using legit Windows 7 64bit, so I am only planning to use non-officially sold Windows XP on secondary, outdated machine(s), if that is okay legally.

    Edit: Oh, one thing we cannot afford to miss. You guys have any recommendations on some great modified Windows XP out there?
    Last edited by squirrel; 08-03-2014 at 11:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    I don't see any reason why that would be legal. Even if they stopped selling it, it's still under copyright.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LTK View Post
    I don't see any reason why that would be legal. Even if they stopped selling it, it's still under copyright.
    That's my thought too - if it were an out of print book, copyright would still apply.

    The copyright they have on the software applies indefinitely (it's less, but let's be honest they change the law on their side so much, we may as well consider such rights lost).
    I'm not sure why you're going on about changing the law. "Normal" copyright lasts a bloody long time, so there's little need to do that. Mind, that's not to say that some software lobbyists haven't decided to be stupid and try and extend theirs further for some reason...

    I don't know enough to say whether UK or US copyright law applies to a US-made product when you're talking about UK citizens, but a layman's interpretation of Wikipedia leads me to think it would be 50 years from XP's release under UK law, and 95 under US law.
    Last edited by Danny252; 08-03-2014 at 06:16 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny252 View Post
    That's my thought too - if it were an out of print book, copyright would still apply.



    I'm not sure why you're going on about changing the law. "Normal" copyright lasts a bloody long time, so there's little need to do that. Mind, that's not to say that some software lobbyists haven't decided to be stupid and try and extend theirs further for some reason...

    I don't know enough to say whether UK or US copyright law applies to a US-made product when you're talking about UK citizens, but a layman's interpretation of Wikipedia leads me to think it would be 50 years from XP's release under UK law, and 95 under US law.
    "Long time" is not "forever". Thus, while they have not yet changed the law to "forever" they are moving in that direction. So I used the wrong term "indefinite" and noted it's wrong, but still fitting in this instance, because I know everyone is miserable on the internet and nit picks. Great that even that information has been nitpicks. :D

    If you tell someone "soon" and that soon is 50-95 years away, it might be better to say "never" or "never in your lifetime" or in my case I chose "forever/indefinitely". Note english is not the first language of the OP, so going into the details of English or US law may be rather complicated when the real result is "never in your lifetime is it going to be ok to Pirate XP, unless the laws change." :)
    Last edited by TechnicalBen; 09-03-2014 at 09:08 AM.
    It is a technical difference, but's there none the less.

  5. #5
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    Yeah. I'll forgive you for asking because:
    1) There is never a "bad/wrong" question if it's honestly given.
    2) It's not natural to think about items we have, or information as being "illegal to use or give to someone else". And here we have rules that do so.
    3) Where you are from might socially or legally see things differently as where we/Microsoft are.

    But the short answer is no (as said above). The copyright they have on the software applies indefinitely (it's less, but let's be honest they change the law on their side so much, we may as well consider such rights lost).
    That means they always own and decide who and what can be done with the software. They have only said they are no longer distributing or supporting it. They have not changed any of the rules regarding it.

    But better than that, most older PCs would benefit from a Linux Distro now and have relatively the same usage as with XP. Or take the plunge and get 7/8 if possible.
    It is a technical difference, but's there none the less.

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node L_No's Avatar
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    I hope you don't mind me highjacking your thread for a little bit, but here goes:
    If I were to physically disconnect my win xp pc from the internet just before support ends, would that make it effectively safe as a standalone gaming machine? I have a lot of games in my backlog that do not require a connection to the internet, and I was planning on playing some of those while I consider my options for a new pc. What is your take on this?
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  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus LTK's Avatar
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    You make it sound as though Microsoft's support of XP is like Gandalf standing guard before your computer's ports, saying "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" to the legions of hackers and viruses that are continually assaulting his defenses.

    XP no longer receiving security patches and the like means that the continuous discovery of new vulnerabilities is no longer being counteracted, so you can expect an XP machine to have a higher risk of infection by malware as time goes on, but there's really no difference between how secure XP is the day before support ends compared to the day after.

    I would have thought it obvious that unplugging any machine from the internet means it can't get infected by malware (that isn't already on it), so if that's what you're afraid of, why haven't you unplugged it already? Malware infection is a possibility regardless of support.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LTK View Post
    I would have thought it obvious that unplugging any machine from the internet means it can't get infected by malware (that isn't already on it), so if that's what you're afraid of, why haven't you unplugged it already? Malware infection is a possibility regardless of support.
    It can be infected via malware introduced via other pathways such as a USB flash drive. Just like in the days before the internet took off, where floppy disk viruses were a thing.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    It's because you're in China, isn't it? Where they standardize on ancient things like IE7 and Win XP because that's what everyone has pirated anyway.

    My advice would be to get a legit copy of Windows 7 or 8, and then run Windows XP in a virtual machine. Microsoft won't really have much to complain about then, and the system will be much more secure.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    It raises a question, how long for software to become abandon ware? As soon as lawyers give up chasing people.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    It raises a question, how long for software to become abandon ware? As soon as lawyers give up chasing people.
    LOL - even if they don't chase you it doesn't mean it's legal. What is "OK" for you and what is "legal" are entirely different.

    The complexities of who 'owns' a piece of software are probably beyond anyone to truly define but suffice it to say that nothing will EVER be 'abandonware' - that's a concept invented by people who are trying to not call themselves pirates...

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    nothing will EVER be 'abandonware' - that's a concept invented by people who are trying to not call themselves pirates...
    And occasionally content owners who cut the tethers.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    And occasionally content owners who cut the tethers.
    Problem is that there's almost never a case where someone completely owns the rights for something - and you cannot give-up your rights under law anyway - if someone changes their mind or someone else inherits the rights they can re-enforce them pretty-much any time they like.

    "Abandonware" is based on the idea that because a game is no longer commercially available it is 'abandoned' and therefore OK to copy/play which is clearly utter nonsense anyway tho

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Problem is that there's almost never a case where someone completely owns the rights for something - and you cannot give-up your rights under law anyway - if someone changes their mind or someone else inherits the rights they can re-enforce them pretty-much any time they like.

    "Abandonware" is based on the idea that because a game is no longer commercially available it is 'abandoned' and therefore OK to copy/play which is clearly utter nonsense anyway tho
    A great example of that is Mechwarrior 4. A few years back it was released as abandonware via mektek, but as the rights got jostled around it had to get taken down (plus other stuff behind the scenes).
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    It raises a question, how long for software to become abandon ware? As soon as lawyers give up chasing people.
    Abandonware isn't a legal concept (like shareware or freeware) - it's just a word concocted to explain a certain mindset. Claiming something was Abandonware in a court of law would not get you any where - of course, if the software really is abandoned, then who is going to sue you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    And occasionally content owners who cut the tethers.
    If all the rights owners relinquish their copyright, then at that point it becomes freeware.

    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    Claim down guys. Seems there's be a common misunderstanding of my concern. I am asking for using XP which will have been out of any store's shelf from 30 April. I am not asking if I can use unauthorized versions of Vista / 7 / 8. Since MS no long has any commercial interest over XP, it seems there is no copyright issue of it, is it?
    Legally you don't have to have a commercial interest in it to claim copyright. Like if a band decide their first album is embarrassingly bad and so stop selling it, because they don't want anyone to hear it, that doesn't mean you can freely distribute it.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    TL;DR - No you can't pirate XP after 30th of April without repercussions.
    Well that's a different question. Have there ever been repercussions for pirating Windows? Has Microsoft ever sued a single end-user over using copyright software? I guess maybe in big business situations? But I don't think on a person-to-person level they've ever done anything.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Well that's a different question. Have there ever been repercussions for pirating Windows? Has Microsoft ever sued a single end-user over using copyright software? I guess maybe in big business situations? But I don't think on a person-to-person level they've ever done anything.
    Irrelevant - they are within their rights to do so if they so choose. To my knowledge though, nobody's been prosecuted for using a non-genuine copy, they just tend to fail WGA checks (until they get re-cracked) and that's enough deterrent. I'd wager MS make most of their sales in the corporate sector or through OEM copies to manufacturers like Dell, so it's probably not a big issue for them.

    Does not change the fact though that they could take you for copyright infringement if they chose to do so, the 'end of support' date means nothing. And that's what Squirrel was effectively asking - it isn't legal.
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jesus_Phish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    Well that's a different question. Have there ever been repercussions for pirating Windows? Has Microsoft ever sued a single end-user over using copyright software? I guess maybe in big business situations? But I don't think on a person-to-person level they've ever done anything.
    "No you can't pirate XP after the 30th of April without fear of repercussions and it will still be illegal to pirate it".

    There.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    "No you can't pirate XP after the 30th of April without fear of repercussions and it will still be illegal to pirate it".

    There.
    I get what you're saying and it's all true. Though it's an interesting thought experiment that if Microsoft did, for any reason, turn it's considerable legal team towards prosecuting you for piracy for some crazy reason, they would win. Regardless of if you actually pirated it or not.

    As for stuff put out as freeware, there's a bunch of ScummVM stuff, notably Flight of the Amazon Queen, Beneath a Steel Sky, Dreamweb and some others.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deano2099 View Post
    As for stuff put out as freeware, there's a bunch of ScummVM stuff, notably Flight of the Amazon Queen, Beneath a Steel Sky, Dreamweb and some others.
    Revolution not only release them as freeware, but also helped with the implementation of ScummVM. It's a winning combination.
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  20. #20
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    I love that people think something magical will happen to XP when 'support ends' - because

    a - support has been ending - in various ways - for YEARS now
    b - it's AGES old, I think all the holes have been found (at least in XP itself) anyway

    The problem with continuing to use XP is that the latest versions of software either don't work, don't work well or aren't properly tested and they COULD be a risk. Even if they're not a risk - you're effectively a 2nd-class-citizen because you're not really on the support list for most developers anymore.

    Seriously - I'm very much someone who hates throwing stuff away - I used XP for as long as I thought it was a viable option and then a bit longer beyond that and I baled-out of it over 2 years ago!!

    If if still works for you - it will continue to work for you but don't think that the OS is the issue, it isn't, it's the software you're running on the OS which is the problem.

    W7 is fine - it's been fine for a few years at least - move on FFS

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