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Windows 7: Windows on used PCs

21 Jul 2015   #1
pokeefe0001

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 
Windows on used PCs

Recently I was talking with someone considering buying a used PC. I argued against it for safety and security reasons. I hadn't considered the ethical and legal considerations until reading a thread about pirated copies of Windows.

What is the status of Windows on a used PC? Assume it was legally licensed to the original owner. Is it considered "pirated" until the new owner buys a license? Obviously it will still run (along with any malware that might be present), and I assume the Windows Update function should still work since Windows and Microsoft won't know any change of ownership has occurred. But this isn't legal is it?


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21 Jul 2015   #2
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

OEM Windows is tied to the PC it came on. Therefore most people buying off the shelf would have Windows preloaded. To my way of thinking there would be no problem selling the machine with the OS on esp. if they did a restore to put the OS back to original condition.

But I am not an attorney. Your milage and time in the slam may vary.
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21 Jul 2015   #3
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

Check the EULA/End User License Agreement:
Quote:
Read the Microsoft Software License Terms

The Microsoft Software License Terms contain information about the terms and conditions of using Microsoft software. The license terms differ depending on the edition of Windows 7.
To find out which edition of Windows 7 is running on your computer

  • Click the Start button , right-click Computer, and then click Properties.
    The edition of Windows 7 you are running is displayed under Windows edition near the top of the window.
To read the license terms

  1. Click the Start button , and then, in the Start menu, click Computer.
  2. Under Hard Disk Drives, double-click the drive where Windows is installed. This is often the drive labeled (C.
  3. Double-click the Windows folder, double-click the System32 folder, double-click the en-US folder, double-click the Licenses folder, and then double-click the _Default folder.
  4. Double-click the folder that corresponds to the edition of Windows 7 that's installed on your computer, and then double-click license.
    The license will open in a new window.
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21 Jul 2015   #4
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

At $200/hr the explanation from the lawyer will cost more than a retail copy.
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21 Jul 2015   #5
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

In my opinion the Windows 7 OEM operating system is licensed to the computer (motherboard). It is not licensed to a person (owner).

Microsoft has no idea what person paid for the use of the operating and really doesn't care.
As long a the proper OEM Coa key stays with a proper activation on the computer it came with Microsoft doesn't care if you sell, trade or give away the computer with Windows 7 installed.

Their are exception when referring to Enterprise and some volume licenses.
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21 Jul 2015   #6
margrave

Size 12
 
 

Inanimate objects cannot be granted a license.
Licenses can only be granted to people (or companies of people).
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21 Jul 2015   #7
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

If you bought the used PC and it didn't come with a COA, I would consider that illegal, and/or piracy because then you're using the copy of Windows without a license, and you don't know if the copy on the PC has been pirated or not.

But if you buy the used PC with a COA and it's legit, then you're ok. It's my understanding that the copy of Widows is tied to the machine, not the owner of the machine.
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21 Jul 2015   #8
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by margrave View Post
Inanimate objects cannot be granted a license.
Licenses can only be granted to people (or companies of people).
Disagree.

In this case, Microsoft is not licensing the software to you specifically. They are giving the owner of the PC (whomever that may be) a license to use the OS on one specific computer, identified my motherboard serial number and BIOS signature. Since that copy of the software cannot be moved from the computer it is installed on, and since that computer can be sold to a third party, Microsoft is effectively licensing the machine to use the OS, not you.

The whole intent of the OEM license is for system builders to build systems for people. Part of the OEM agreement is that you will provide support if you build the system for a third party.
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22 Jul 2015   #9
margrave

Size 12
 
 

The machine doesn't need a license. Machines cannot be granted license (permission) for anything. Only a person can be granted such.

So it's true ... the user is not named specifically. But the user, whoever he may be, is being granted license to use.

The license is tied in as part of the sale. You buy a box with a license ... and you're granted that license.

It really makes no sense any other way. How can a machine be in violation of the license rights? How can a machine be held liable for a violation?
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22 Jul 2015   #10
MilesAhead

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by margrave View Post
How can a machine be in violation of the license rights? How can a machine be held liable for a violation?
Hmm, everywhere I go people blame the computer all the time. Sorry your lunch is cold. It's that damn computer. Sorry you only got half your pay.. yadda yadda.

Sorry. I couldn't resist. It's this damn computer!
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 Windows on used PCs




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