4

I just stumbled upon this answer which suggest to use "Windows XP Ultimate", which is in fact a Windows XP System modified by a Third-Party (read: Not Microsoft).

I'm not sure about possible implications, since I don't know as what such Third-Party-Builds are considered if it comes to 'Warez'.

So, what to do with it? I know that illegal actions of any kind should be flagged and punished...but I have no idea where to place this nor if it is an illegal or off-topic action. So the basic question is, are Third-Party-Builds of Windows/MacOSX are considered illegal, or not?

Edit: It seems like that is considered illegal because WPA and CD-Key-Activation was removed, though, that's a little thin because my arguments about torrents come to mind. You can still install Windows XP Ultimate and own Windows XP, so technically it wouldn't be illegal...difficult.

Edit2: The linked answer is gone.

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As Hello71 pointed out, it helps in such cases to read the EULA.

Microsoft Windows Home EULA, Section 1.2:

There are technological measures in this Software that are designed to prevent unlicensed use of the Software. Microsoft will use those measures to confirm you have a legally licensed copy of the Software. If you are not using a licensed copy of the Software, you are not allowed to install the Software or future Software updates. Microsoft will not collect any personally identifiable information from your Workstation Computer during this process.

Section 4:

You may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the Software, except and only to the extent that such activity is expressly permitted by applicable law notwithstanding this limitation.

So, yes, Windows XP Ultimate is with a pretty good possibility a violation of the EULA and there for off-limits on SE.

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    “Windows XP Ultimate is with a pretty good possibility a violation of the EULA” in the USA (and most of Europe). Jurisdictions vary as to the legality of forbidding reverse engineering. But since SE is based in the USA, that's what matters. – Gilles Oct 27 '10 at 0:34
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Flag it as spam. When it reaches 6 flags ( HEH! ) the answer will be auto deleted and the user will get a -100 rep punishment.


If you have enough privileges, you can also edit out the offending link.

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    My problem is that I don't know if it is offending...yes, my question was poorly stated, I apologize. – Bobby Oct 22 '10 at 13:52
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    @Bobby I do believe third-party builds violate the EULA, though I'm not sure – Sathyajith Bhat Oct 22 '10 at 13:54
  • @Sathya: I don't believe third-party builds, in and of themselves, violate the EULA. However, if such third-party builds use reverse-engineering to obtain the source code of Windows, then they are illegal in spite of the first sentence. – Hello71 Oct 22 '10 at 21:36
  • Often, third party builds consists of packages which remove WGA or cheat validations, in that case, they would be violating the EULA right @Hello ? – Sathyajith Bhat Oct 22 '10 at 21:38
  • @Sathya: That would violate section 1.2, section 4, and possibly section 1.1 too if they use the cheating of validations to install it on multiple computers. – Hello71 Oct 22 '10 at 21:49
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    @Hello71: Do you care to write an answer to that? Because that's the answer to my question, quote from the EULA: If you are not using a licensed copy of the Software, you are not allowed to install the Software... this does not seem to refer to the License but to the Installation-Medium itself. There for rendering WinXP Ultimate an violation of the EULA and a case for the crematory on SE. – Bobby Oct 22 '10 at 23:19
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Think of it as your own software for a moment. After spending thousands of hours of software that you have perfected through coding and testing and coding and testing would you want someone to be altering that software at will? More than that though, would you want someone to be distributing the software for free? This is why the issue should be flagged or edited out as Sathya suggested. Taking away any legality issues it's just morally wrong and Super User is dedicated to the promotion of useful and moral answers to today's (and yesterdays) issues.

  • “Think of it as your own software (…) would you want someone to be altering that software at will? (…) would you want someone to be distributing the software for free?” For the many people who write free software, the answer is a clear yes! As far as morality is concerned, there are people who consider the license verifications performed by Microsoft immoral. So most of your answer is just bogus. The grain of truth is that the software in question is (I think, IANAL) illegal, at least in the USA and other locales that have a DMCA-type law. – Gilles Oct 27 '10 at 0:33
  • @Giles I agree that open source software is great and does follow the freedom of community of change,which has great benefits, but there are those out there that make a living off of software and that's where the difference is. We all (including me) think of Microsoft as this "Major corp" headed by Bill Gates and that's it. What I think gets looked over is the hundreds even thousands of people that put in hard work to make Microsoft what it is. It's these people that I'm defending in my answer above. – James Mertz Oct 27 '10 at 0:42
  • Please do not forget that there are enough people out there who make their living with FOSS. Just because it's free/libre, doesn't mean that you can't live from it. – Bobby Oct 27 '10 at 6:50

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