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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main machine is using legit Windows 7 64bit, so I am only planning to use non-officially sold Windows XP on secondary, outdated machine(s), if that is okay legally.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 12:46 PM.

  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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    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.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus 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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  5. #5
    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.

  6. #6
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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 07:16 PM.
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  7. #7
    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.

  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 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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  10. #10
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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

  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 soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    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?
    The fact that support has ended doesn't mean that MS have no commercial interest in the software, nor does it mean that it's now out of copyright and thus not subject to protection. You can still expect it to be protected. How much they'll bother with said protection is another matter though... not that I'm condoning what you're proposing.

    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    Edit: Oh, one thing we cannot afford to miss. You guys have any recommendations on some great modified Windows XP out there?
    No, they're almost universally rubbish. The vast majority add a load of pointless bloat along with WGA cracks. The rest strip out 'non-essential' services which seem great but make little impact on overall system performance and suddenly become a big issue when you decide you want to hook up your scanner or something.


    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    "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
    This is true. There was never such a thing as 'abandonware', it was piracy by another name. The only thing that distinguished it from other forms was that the rights holders had usually forgotten about the title and very rarely made an effort to chase after it. Then there was a big crackdown. Home of the Underdogs found that out the hard way.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.
    Soldant's Law - A person will happily suspend their moral values if they can express moral outrage by doing so.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    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?

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    Since MS no long has any commercial interest over XP, it seems there is no copyright issue of it, is it?
    Everyone's answered already - it doesn't matter if it's no longer being sold (although what they actually say is that support for the OS ends, some people might still be selling licenses), the copyright still stands, and thus you cannot pirate it. It's irrelevant whether something is being sold or not.

    TL;DR - No you can't pirate XP after 30th of April without repercussions.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.
    Soldant's Law - A person will happily suspend their moral values if they can express moral outrage by doing so.

  17. #17
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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 10:08 AM.
    It is a technical difference, but's there none the less.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    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
    Something "magical" will happen. Microsoft (and others) continues to find security flaws, which are then patched in all their affected operating systems. After they cease support for XP, they will still patch these things for Vista, 7, and 8. Hackers can then quite easily reverse engineer the patch and see what kind of vulnerability is involved. They can then exploit that knowledge to have their way with any systems still running XP.

    It's ages old, but that doesn't mean new exploits cannot be discovered. Quite the contrary, to be honest.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
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    Thanks all for your replies. Of course I intend to move on to a newer version of Windows, but since I have a few holidays and busy months at work coming up, I was planning to start looking around for a new machine somewhere in may (after support ends). Of course disconnecting a pc from the internet rules out being infected by malware via that route, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something I hadn't thought about.
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  20. #20
    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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