General discussion

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  • #2276349

    Cheap Software

    Locked

    by sidvail ·

    Is discount OEM software legal? You know, the stuff from Russia and eastern europe?

    We are getting ready to build about 30 new machines for our company and will need operating systems. My boss, wanting to save money, asked about buying the software from one of those places you get email spam from. Todays email was a company that claims legal OEM versions at a 1/10th of the price of retail.

    Personally, I have bought a copy of Quicken through a discount house out of Czechoslovakia – and it worked out fine. It was a real disk with real CD Key. I registered it and have had no problems. I’m still unsure though of it’s legallity.

    And the place my boss is looking at doesn’t even look that good. You have to download it and are provided a CD key through email.

    I just feel like this is wrong for some reason. But not quite sure.

    Any ideas or advice?

All Comments

  • Author
    Replies
    • #3312235

      Not me

      by jdmercha ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      I wouldn’t trust any unfamiliar software house that sent me spam. Especially one from another country. But if I were intent on saving money, I would verify that the company was reputable. But this verification may cost more than what I was saving.

      • #3299827

        Me Neither

        by aceskaraoke ·

        In reply to Not me

        I can understand possibly risking purchasing software from a less-than reputable vendor for home use…but in a business atmosphere…not a good idea.

        At best the software is probably pirated at worst it could contain more than you bargained for…viruses, worms, spyware, adware, and whatever other malware you can imagine.

        What will your boss do if he gets caught using pirated unlicensed software, or if he tries to get support or downloads only to be turned down. Then how much is he REALLY saving.

        In business, pay the extra dollars for the real thing and you’ll have options if you need updates or support.

    • #3312223

      Sketchy

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      I think at best it sounds sketchy. buyig a download from WHERE? sounds like someoe is mass distributig software illegally.

      as for your Quicken, it sounds a little mroe legit but I would want to explore laws or licence clauses of that specific product regarding foreig software used in America.

      There is a guy in nanaimo who advertises all oer the Island for THOUSANDS of titles completely legal at abotu $25.00 copy. Personally, I have never needed to pay for softwae so it doesn’t amuse me, btu I wonder how many eople are buying up WinXPPro for $25.00? And what the repersuccions would be, I am nearly positive this guy doesn’t have some loophole ad is just pirating software.

      For a company, tell the stingy bugger to dig deeo ad do it right, then yuo will eer have to worry, you can then run the business knowing without a doubt that you are morally and ethically correct.

      home PC’s that’s one thing, I have used more than my fair share of pirated software for personal use, usually just to learn it properly on my own time. For a business, stay above board, if there’s grey areas, walk into the light instead.

      • #3313585

        Thanks

        by sidvail ·

        In reply to Sketchy

        Thanks Oz. I feel the same about this. Just a bit too unsure to trust it.

        Think I’ll tell the boss to buy the real stuff. 🙂

        • #3313572

          LOL

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Thanks

          I forgot to edit that last post, I am surprised you can read it at all! I am not a typist and have terrible (keyboard) fingering technique, that coupled with an IBM keyboard that is like a manual typewriter and all hell breaks loose.

          Tell the boss to spend the money, it’s a write-off anyway, what’s the problem?

        • #3313477

          IBM keyboard?

          by jardinier ·

          In reply to LOL

          Sorry to diverge from the topic, but I use an original IBM keyboard (probably 12 – 14 years old) specifically because I can type more accurately on it than any of the newer, soft-touch keyboards.

          In my “trade” of selling refurbished computers, hundreds of keyboards pass through my hands. The IBM leaves them all for dead, and is certainly vastly superior to the keyboards that have come with recent computers that I have purchased new, which have a feel like marshmallow and you can’t really tell by feel whether or not you have actually made the electrical contact.

          With the IBM I make far fewer typing errors than on any other keyboard I have used.

          And while we are on the subject, let’s think back to the IBM Golfball electric typewriter: it could accommodate the fastest typist, but it was virtually impossible to make a typo on it.

        • #3313345

          I’ve got an “ancient” Dell keyboard like that

          by tomsal ·

          In reply to IBM keyboard?

          ..its from years back when NT 3.51 was still all the rage in the Windows networking world. The thing is as big and heavy as a tank but I like how it types. It makes a rather loud “click” sound when you type on a key, much more distinct than the “cheaper” sound of the new keyboards you can buy for $20 these days.

          For playing games though, especially FPS games (ala Half-Life 2) I prefer the “soft touch” keyboards of new however.

        • #3299561

          good keyboard engineering

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to I’ve got an “ancient” Dell keyboard like that

          I love those old spring-switch keyboards. They rawk my socks, seriously. I have three or four of them sitting around here, unfortunately unused.

          That’s right, unused. Though I know for a fact that the old, heavy, solidly built spring-switch keyboards are far better engineering and far more conducive to accurate typing, and just generally mo’ better to use (in addition to being able to double as an effective blunt instrument in an emergency), I don’t use them in my day to day computing.

          I use a newfangled membrane switch keyboard. It doesn’t go “clack clack” like a keyboard should, it’s more susceptible to falling apart over time, it doesn’t have the same satisfying sounds and feel associated with it, and so on.

          The keyboard I use, however (a Microsoft Natural Elite), is ergonomic in design. I know that I would have a horrible case of carpal tunnel syndrome by now if I was using a non-ergonomic keyboard for the last couple of years. I think I’m barely keeping that at bay as it is.

          What I really need is an ergonomically designed spring-switch keyboard. I don’t mean one of those IBM “ergonomic” keyboards where they changed the layout of the keys, omitted the keypad on the right, and just stuck a hinge in the middle of the keyboard, though. I’m talking about something like the Microsoft Natural in layout and design, but a spring-switch keyboard in engineering under the hood. I’d pay a premium for such a thing.

        • #3311627

          IBM Keyboard

          by jrcrutcher ·

          In reply to IBM keyboard?

          I am still partial to the old Sys38 – AS/400 dumb terminal keyboards. You know the ones with the enter key where the right control key is on the a pc keyboard. Man those thinngs were solid. You had no doubt about if a key was struck or not and they were all but indestructable. it took me a long time to get used to a pc keyboard. In fat I still sometimes catch my self hitting the control key with my little finger thinking that I am hitting enter.

        • #3311597

          Hi Julian

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to IBM keyboard?

          YEah I know you like your IM keyboard, I remember how happy you were when you got it.

          Myself, I was never a typist (you’ve had many years on manual and electric typewriters in your career I’m sure).

          My problem is I use my laptop, which is Ian BM but the keyboard is SOOOOOO nice. When I get to my other workstation keyboard, I don’t depress keys properly, miss spaces and orphan a lot of letters.

          I suppose it’s just what I am used to.

          I was talking to a banker the other day and he uses an IBM and loves it too, yet he also has always had IBM keyboards and doesn’t use a notebook.

          TO each his own mate, I agree that the keystrokes or an IBM keyboard are much more solid and for someone used to that it would be impeccable.

          For a novice such as myself, my notebook is my baby. 🙂

        • #3303475

          IBM Keyboard

          by eroncone ·

          In reply to Hi Julian

          OZ_Media,

          It appears that you gave your response to Julian using the workstation keyboard 😉

          An alternative to the keyboard hysteria would be voice recognition… make sure you turn off the mic before making any negative comments about the boss, else you wont have any keyboards to for your worries.

        • #3290844

          IBM (or Northgate) — 12 on the left!

          by arealoldtimerfromibm360days ·

          In reply to IBM keyboard?

          I use many keyboards in my work, but I treasure my old Northgrate 101’s with 12 function keys on the LEFT, where they can actually be USED without looking … ‘cept current software IGNORES function keys of course! What I HATE about new keyboards are all the $#@! play, record, volume, access IBM etc. etc. etc. “special purpose keys,
          which of course only work with the OEM’s machine and its software … they become useless when you wipe out their customization code by formatting and loading a clean OS copy for example. What a waste of desktop space!

        • #3299826

          Never have trouble with keyboards

          by aceskaraoke ·

          In reply to LOL

          Keyboards always work for me …unless I spill soda on them. My mice, however, always become temperamental, glitchy, and usually end up unusable.

          I guess I’ll have to break down and get an optical mouse one of these days.

      • #3313128

        Question about Price Grabber.com

        by fcolando ·

        In reply to Sketchy

        I just wanted to find out how people view PriceGrabber.com. I received an email from them the other day that quoted:

        Office Professional 2003 (Full $135.76)

        AND

        Windows XP Professional (Full $54.95)

        What about a company like that? Would anyone take the risk buying software from Price Grabber?

        • #3313109

          Reply To: Cheap Software

          by frowzin ·

          In reply to Question about Price Grabber.com

          PriceGrabber.com only provides a listing of vendors who can provide that product. They don’t actually sell anything. Get the detail from the listing. And be safe !!

        • #3299825

          That’s GOOD advice

          by aceskaraoke ·

          In reply to Reply To: Cheap Software

          Check vendor ratings AND how many have rated it. Usually, only a couple bucks more to buy from a vendor with good rating from over a thousand customer responses than from a fly-by-night vendor with one glowing report from a customer (probably related to them).

          Look for names you’ve heard of Newegg.com, TigerDirect.com, etc.

        • #3315103

          PriceGraber.com

          by ccanis2 ·

          In reply to Question about Price Grabber.com

          well i work for a rather small company that sells discounted oem software and we advertise on price graber site is called pronetcd.com if interested to see but the botom line is that all that they got it’s true you might get here and there like everywhere else cheaters but as far as i can see you have to pay pricegraber in order to advertise so.

        • #3313634

          check the sellers ratings

          by lame duck ·

          In reply to Question about Price Grabber.com

          pricegrabber is a shopping site they dont sell stuff
          you shloud ck the sellers ratings

      • #3290867

        Play it safe – it’s better in the long run.

        by deetee2000 ·

        In reply to Sketchy

        When you’re talking about closed source software, buy it from an authorised reseller. Licensing is not some thing you should skimp on.

        D.

        • #3290808

          IT must be oriented to business.

          by varocha ·

          In reply to Play it safe – it’s better in the long run.

          If there is a legal way to get lower licensing costs, then you must take advantage of it. I’m not agree with “Licensing is not some thing you should skimp on”: Like in every other business asset, you are responsible to get the better cost/benefit deal.

        • #3300990

          Unless it’s not legal software

          by awfernald ·

          In reply to IT must be oriented to business.

          and you get hit with a large fine (if I remember right, up to $100,000 per incident which would be per software per computer, so… 2 softwares on 100 computers would be 200 incidents).

          Then how does that affect the bottom line?

          You must practice due diligence to avoid legal liability, and when you get to the point where the offer seems too good to be true, then, you have to start asking yourself if it really is true.

          However…. as companies oftentimes have different pricing structures in different countries, then there may be a different price in Russia then in the US, however, the licenses purchased in Russia may not be legal (due to EULA) to use outside of Russia.

    • #3313589

      Open Source instead

      by marco schumacher (at biznesslegion) ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      Have you considered Open Source software instead? You avoid the legal issue and get the cost savings.

    • #3313342

      Very easy answer to this…YES and NO..lol

      by tomsal ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      I’ll simplify this as much as possible.

      First off, I know the sites you are referring too I get *at least* an offer for their business 3 times a week, and sometimes twice that often.

      Those guys are shady…and I can all but guarantee you they acquired that software for resale through non-legitimate means. Think of it in logical simple terms if you need to rationalize — how else could a vendor support their business selling software with an MSRP of $500 for $50 – $85? For them to even cover the costs of overhead to turn a profit they’d have to charge more than that alone IF THEY PLAYED BY THE RULES THEMSELVES when buying the software for resale.

      I know the standard line they feed for their prices….

      A) Well we do all our business exclusively online and because we keep our costs low we can afford to pass savings onto our customers?

      YEAH RIGHT…I’ll buy that if the savings is say 25-30%, but 75-90% savings? (Why is that old line ” if it seems to good to be true it usually is” playing in my head now?)

      B) Volume. The good ol’…oh we get very low prices due to our enormous purchasing power…line.

      Yeah and your business is so boomingly big, your purchasing power so great that your spam emails have more grammar errors than a 100 word essay written by a 4th grader and the professional look (and effort) of the newsletter you send out or the website I go to looks like something my technology-phobic sister whipped up in 5 minutes. Nice try.

      OEM software is not allowed to be sold as retail software is, without accompanying a hardware purchase of some kind (that’s the loop hole).

      I got XP Pro OEM through newegg.com, but it was legal since when I bought the OS I also bought a hard drive and a CD-RW drive with it; meeting the hardware requirement.

      Another thing to note is OEM software is tied to the machine its installed on originally.

      I’m not going to kid you, I bet you 90% (if not 100%) of everyone violates the hell out of that rule with regards to software use at home; but in a business — don’t violate that OEM rule.

      • #3312898

        Well put

        by sidvail ·

        In reply to Very easy answer to this…YES and NO..lol

        Thanks T.

        Makes sense to me. 🙂

      • #3313094

        Quite Correct

        by govtech ·

        In reply to Very easy answer to this…YES and NO..lol

        TomSal has hit the nail on the head! OEM software error is the responsibility of the vendor, NOT M$. This is a case of – let the buyer beware. For personal use, I would still stick to known U.S. vendors or distributers.

        For business purposes, stick with the OEM rule and buy the software and hardware as a bundle. The military buys from a variety of vendors (including Newegg) and we have received great service in software replacement or equipment replacement when errors occur (usually a freebee, shipping included.)

        As stated earlier, it is a cost of doing business and can be amortized or written off.

      • #3303437

        Potential Savings

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Very easy answer to this…YES and NO..lol

        I worked for a time for a Canadian Government agency, and bought about 4000 copies of MS Office 2000. The contract between MS and the Government had a guarentee that the price paid would be the lowest offered in Canada at the retail level(including OEMs). The price was still higher than those SPAM artists – so I have a hard time thinking they do more volume that the Canadian Federal Government and their million odd employees.

        James

      • #3300507

        Correct

        by brentkwilcox ·

        In reply to Very easy answer to this…YES and NO..lol

        The fines are way out of sight. It is just not worth it to skimp on properly licensing software. Last I checked the fines were $500K for each software publisher product you are abusing, AND the suggested retail price of each node you are using. And THAT does not make you legal, it is just the fines.

    • #3312875

      Get it from the horse’s mouth

      by brichardson ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      Microsoft and other companies that are subscribers to the BSA (Business Software Alliance) are the best resources as to the validity of licenses on their products. One could email “piracy@microsoft.com” and get a pretty quick reply to any questions they may have about this.

      It’s just one of those things…it’s not a problem until you get caught. Then, it’s a HUGE problem…

      • #3299824

        From the horse’s…

        by aceskaraoke ·

        In reply to Get it from the horse’s mouth

        For business, always play it on the up and up, the liability factor will always outweigh the savings.

        Always make sure of what you are getting (including guarantees, updates, support, etc.) AND who you are dealing with (what’s their reputation, history, and how do they rate with prior customers).

        Like they said get it from the horses mouth…no other equine orifice will do.

    • #3313042

      Responding to Spam Offers of Software

      by pdouglas4294 ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      I do not like the idea of purchasing software (either for home or business use)from Spam solicitations.
      To me, it seems along the line of the scam (Note: rhymes with “Spam”) of a tradesman knocking at your door with the offer of “We just finished a job down the street and we have some left over material. We can take care of your roof/painting/wallet real cheaply.”
      I want to do business with someone I can initiate the contact. I want to know where they are (not just 1-800-scam-you or http://www.NeverGiveASuckerAnEvenBreak.ru) so I can contact them.
      Paul

    • #3312946

      Cheap Software-Reply

      by wzeig ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      I have found a website called Soft Portal that advertises boxed products along with keys-fully legal, for instance Windows Xp Pro for $50.00. I have never purchased from them, so can’t verify their integrity, but maybe someone else out there has?

      • #3294038

        Soft Portal… Uncovered!

        by mll1013 ·

        In reply to Cheap Software-Reply

        I stumbled across the Soft Portal site as well,
        and did some digging around. The first (and
        most obvious) thing about these guys was that
        they were from Signapore, as indicated by the
        .sg domain name.

        However, while all of their products have
        pictures of boxes, they are falsely advertising
        their real products. It took me a while to find
        the following on their FAQ page:

        “You will receive installation CDs only (no
        original retail packing). Although OEM
        software does not come with a box or a manual,
        it is the typical and actual software, no
        trial or demo versions.”

        Best wishes,
        Mike

        BTW, don’t I remember hearing about China
        software piracy issues in the headlines recently?
        And isn’t Singapore just a hop, skip, and a jump
        away, with historic roots tied to China? Hmmm…

        • #3290866

          Re: Soft Portal Uncovered

          by lungfish ·

          In reply to Soft Portal… Uncovered!

          Just a clarification, Singapore have anti-copyright laws, which is much better than what China have currently. However, as far as I understand of the law right now, if the copyright holder does not go to the courts, the police have no rights of seizure to go after the software pirate, even if they know about the website.

          Come 1 Jan 2005, the law will be amended whereby it becomes a criminal offense for willful infringement, regardless whether the copyright owner approaches the judiciary, so that gives the authorities more “teeth”.

          As it stands now, there is a gray area for intellectual property rights as stated in the Copyright Act, which allows some s/w pirates to operate w/o worrying about being caught, especially if they are not on the radar screen of the big copyright owners (eg. BSA).

        • #3290865

          Re: Soft Portal Uncovered

          by lungfish ·

          In reply to Soft Portal… Uncovered!

          Just a clarification, Singapore have anti-copyright laws, which is much better than what China have currently. However, as far as I understand of the law right now, if the copyright holder does not go to the courts, the police have no rights of seizure to go after the software pirate, even if they know about the website.

          Come 1 Jan 2005, the law will be amended whereby it becomes a criminal offense for willful infringement, regardless whether the copyright owner approaches the judiciary, so that gives the authorities more “teeth”.

          As it stands now, there is a gray area for intellectual property rights as stated in the Copyright Act, which allows some s/w pirates to operate w/o worrying about being caught, especially if they are not on the radar screen of the big copyright owners (eg. BSA).

      • #3336727

        Cheapo

        by holyearth ·

        In reply to Cheap Software-Reply

        Look on ebay cause I think something’s fishy there.

        http://www.casacertified.org

    • #3290837

      Something else to consider

      by amcol ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      Having read all the posts, not to sound critical but I’m a little surprised no one’s brought up the issues of ethics and corporate responsibility.

      I’m all for saving money but quite frankly I’m wondering what you’re even thinking about here. None of us who have purchasing authority on behalf of our organizations have any obligation to enrich vendors but we do have a moral, legal, and ethical responsibility to operate by the rules.

      This is not a rant on free trade…my point is that we all have a personal responsibility to operate at the highest standard of ethical behavior, and a corporate fiduciary responsibility to protect our organizations from harmful products. We also have a larger responsibility to the IT community and the entire business community to discourage the proliferation of shady operators by refusing to do business with them.

      If a deal sounds too good to be true…it is. I believe you knew when you saw the solicitation that it was almost certainly bogus, or else you wouldn’t have posted the question.

      Spam is spam, and a scam’s a scam. If it smells bad, walk away.

      • #3290787

        relkinjb is Absolutely Right

        by noo-yawker ·

        In reply to Something else to consider

        Besides the issue of the risk of getting pirated software or never getting it at all, business and personal ethics and corporate and individual responsibility should be a primary consideration. Buying from pirates, or not questioning the legality of the enterprise, is giving them explicit support to continue. Would you buy a stolen bike? If not, then the same principles apply here.

        Whether you love or hate Microsoft or any other software vendor, stealing is stealing. Your management would not want anyone stealing their products and this is no different. Plus there’s the risk of being caught with unlicensed software and its legal implications.

        In addition, there is the risk of running your business on software that may be questionable. You should always be sure of what you’re getting and if you’ve got a doubt in your gut, listen to it.

        Good luck.

        • #3300697

          . . but you aren’t.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to relkinjb is Absolutely Right

          I agree that rekinjb is correct: none of us should expose clients or employers to the kind of legal repercussions that can arise from using unathorized copies of strictly commercial software. To act in a manner that places clients or employers at risk like that would be highly unethical. I don’t believe the original poster would intentionally do such a thing, and that he was asking for some guidance on a particular instance where he wasn’t sure whether the offered software was legal. By now, with all the responses, I’m sure he’s come to the conclusion that it’s better to avoid the software in question because of the probability that it is illegally distributed.

          There is a huge difference between legality and ethicality, however, despite the fact that legality should unerringly flow from ethicality (in a “perfect world”). His ethical responsibility is to protect the interests of those who depend on his advice. It is not his ethical responsibility to protect an extortionary business practice. So-called “pirated software” is just data that is distributed without conforming to wholly arbitrary rules of supposed ownership.

          While the people who make a business of “pirating” software, particularly when they represent their illegally distributed software as legal copies (essentially committing an act of fraud), are certainly not ethical in their actions, the reasons for that are not what people like Microsoft executives, RIAA and MPAA representatives, and the popular news media would have us believe. They’re unethical because they misrepresent the legal status of what they’re offering, not because what they’re offering is illegal.

          In fact, by exerting extortionary, legal controls over the distribution of information, the vendors themselves are often as ethically in the wrong as the illegal distributors who represent their “products” as legal copies. The entire concept of “intellectual property” is essentially an institutionalized scam on a massive scale. It is in many ways a contravention of the right to free speech.

          So. Don’t assume everyone buys into the same assumptions you do about “illegal” being equivalent to “unethical”. While I do not use illegally copied software (it’s not worth the risk), and I certainly don’t recommend others do so (it would be unethical to expose others to that risk, particularly when there are better options out there and paying for software for indemnification is a better return on investment), I won’t condemn anyone for taking one’s legal status in one’s own hands, using illegal copies of software. It’s not up to me to judge that person for that act. It’s not up to you, either.

      • #3299417

        Original post questioned legality

        by aceskaraoke ·

        In reply to Something else to consider

        The original post queried if discount OEM software was legal to purchase. I didn’t get into corporate ethics because the original post didn’t ask if they should buy “pirated” software.

        If it was legal to buy the discounted OEM version then there would be no question of ethics, and the fact that they are concerned about the legalities of buying discount OEM software doesn’t suggest a lack of ethics, just a concern for the bottom line.

        Other posts suggested that it might in actuality be pirated software, but that was not what the original post asked about.

        I cannot question their ethics or fault them for wanting to get software at the best legal price.

    • #3290790

      Is “sidvail” REALLY that stupid?

      by johnn ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      Or is this just some fiction posing as “journalism”?

      • #3290730

        Is Johnn REALLY that …….?

        by sidvail ·

        In reply to Is “sidvail” REALLY that stupid?

        There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.

        Are you trying to scare people away from asking questions they really want an answer to? Sorry you’re such an ……

    • #3290770

      OEM Licensing Rules

      by ndynamics ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      Check any Microsoft OEM license agreement. The license is only valid with the hardware that was purchased at the same time as the OEM license (and they both have to come from the same vendor). If that hardware ever dies, the license dies with it. It is not transferrable to another PC, even one that REPLACES the originally licensed PC.

      So, if you are going to pirate software anyway by buying OEM copies that aren’t legit, why pay for pirated copies at all?

    • #3290719

      In Europe and Russia, Copyright laws differ

      by jdii1215 ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      Well, first, in the case of Microsoft you are talking about a US company, and for this reply I am going to assume that you want XP Pro SP2 on your new computers. What I would do, if you folks are building the computers in-house, is to in essence declare yourselves (the builders themselves or a small department within the company) Microsoft OEMs and register as same. In point of fact, you then CAN buy OEM software legitimately from the majors.Current legit OEM price for a thrity pack of XP Pro is in the competitive range of about $3800 shipped for thirty unit packages (likely to be SP1, add about $200 to the thirty pack price for SP2), and I have seen OEM singles and three-packs for about $135.00 shipped each.I get these things shipped ground, normally– so air will amek your milage vary from mine.

      There are three problems with buying XP from overseas. First, you cannot be really assured of getting keys that Microsoft issued.

      Second, enforcing the bad ship will be not done under US law, it will be done under the country’s law where the company actually is located. And court action will happen in that country.Second, the precise version will be up to the company selling the product– soem of those who are selling legit copies of XP, with legit COAs.Microsoft says if a COA is not physically tendered it is NOT licenseable unless you get a site license from the channels that Microsoft allows for in its licensing and policy enforcement, so for a download plus key in email for an OS from Microsoft or any Microsoft product, this would be defacto OUTSIDE the licensing policies and the contract law Microsoft uses to enforce the licensing. For AP, key alone is not enough, unless you are registered with Microsoft as a site license or bulk licensing distributor, and that mostly applies NOT to SP2 and rather to 2000 and earlier as the licening contracts for older operating systems of Windows kinds were somewhat less stringent.

      Third, let’s say you get a Windows pack from Bulgaria and it comes in not as SP2, not even as SP1a, but as XP Original. There are several gotchas in this one: language settings and installer might be in an eastern European language or Cyrrilic (Russian alphabet, roughly); the time per computer to upgrade 30 boxes will either eat a TON of network bandwidth and IT time, or you will need to apply SP1A and security packs and then SP2 to each box from legit archives of those things– that alone will take more time in IT pay than the buying of SP2 pre-canned would take up in paying a legit price for same XP with SP2 preintegrated onto CD (those CDs ARE shipping); you will get to go back to the Bulgarian company for tech support for the most part– self-OEMs do not get install support from folks who buy OS and ARE NOT themselves Registered OEMS, for XP SP1a and SP2, and if the COAs are not in print and you are challanged contractually in court, you get big fines given the DMCA in US and Microsoft’s aggressive stance in US.

      There’s somthing worse that could happen– what you get might not even be XP as your boss knows it– there is a new version of XP being offered int eh Far East, Thailand, parts of India, etc, which is being sold as a cut-down-feature XP whihc is intended to be used only in country Microsoft sells it in– and lots of the things a business needs are simply not in that regional subversion.

      Get it shipped in, one COA per box, or buy a site license if all boxes will be in one place. qualifying to buy a site license can be complex, and you will need an attorney involved in the eval. I’d buy a thirty-pack if you are really buying enough hardware for new boxes, and if you want to really dot all I’s and cross all T’s then you buy lots of your hardware from same place you buy the OS pack from.

    • #3290700

      Beaware of Product Keys from Cheap Places

      by dxkong ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      I know someone bought Nero software and bought a product key from eBay. Can’t remember exactly the story, but either the key expired or had only days left.

    • #3290679

      Fire your incompetent boss

      by dave’s not here ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      Your “boss” is cheap, clueless, and incompetent — and those are his good points. Your fearless leader not only reads his spam, but would actually consider sending money to a spammer.

      This guy’s a real bargain — not only would he violate copyright law, placing his organization at risk, but he would pay a spammer for the priviledge. All to save a buck. A real winner.

      Maybe the cheap Viagra and manhood enhancement technology worked out for him.

      Employers have a right to expect that their employees are productive and ethical and earn their pay. Employees (that would include you) have a right to expect competent, ethical management that is deserving of loyalty. Your boss is not holding up his end of the bargain. Terminate him.

      But enough about your boss — let’s talk about you — that you would choose to continue to work for a proven fraud is questionable. Perhaps you have some personal situation that locks you into such a dysfunctional organization, but more likely you have a choice — you can remain an inmate of the asylum or walk. Better yet, tell your boss to knock off the stupid pills, give you a $10,000 raise (he’s probably paying you jack) and don’t EVER make such a idiot suggestion again, or you’ll go over his head to his boss — and if you hear one peep of retaliation from either of them, it’s BSA-City, baby.

      To your question — you are “not quite sure” about this. The proposed vendor doesn’t “look that good”. No kidding! The return e-mail address is no good. The domain is spoofed. There is no physical address, no phone number. You get dozens of almost identical spams every month, altered slightly to get through the filters. You can buy for 10 cents on the dollar. What are you “not quite sure” about? Can you possibly be this clueless?

      Boy, this is really confusing, really tough to figure out — it sounds like a total scam and rip-off, but hey, maybe you can save $1.98 for all the hours of work and risk you will take.

      Of course, you could just call the BSA at 202.872.5500 (took me 2 seconds on Google to get the number) and ask them about this. Or read their article entitled “Software Watchdog Issues Consumer Alert: Beware of Software Offered Via Email Spams — Most Email Spams Trace Back to Organized Pirate Groups in Eastern Europe”. This non-dilemma can be resolved in 60 seconds, assuming you really want to the know the answer.

      Here’s what I’m “not quite sure” about — is it really your “boss” that has this brilliant idea? If so, I have a “friend” that would like to buy some cheap Viagra from him.

      • #3290649

        ROFL

        by sidvail ·

        In reply to Fire your incompetent boss

        Thanks Dave,

        That did me good. And yes, I agree – it should not have been asked in the first place. But the boss asks you to check on something and you check on it.

        I’m now trying to talk him out of purchasing 30 E Machines for workstations. Wish me luck. 🙂

        • #3290560

          E Machines — Good luck

          by dave’s not here ·

          In reply to ROFL

          Let me guess — he likes E Machines because they’re …. cheap? I’m thinking this guy is not a recognized leader in his industry.

          In response to the next question he will ask you — Yes, it is illegal for you to break into an office at night and “borrow” these machines from another company.

        • #3299407

          In defense of E Machines

          by aceskaraoke ·

          In reply to E Machines — Good luck

          Yes they are inexpensive, and that’s a bad thing?

          I am currently writing to you on my 2nd E machine, yes, not only did I buy one, I liked it so well I bought another one later. I have had no trouble with upgrading or the day to day use of said E Machines, which is more than I can say of other big name pre-built machines I’ve had the misfortune of working with or on.

          All things considered, I would most strongly recommend building one from scratch, but if you want Windows XP for it’s functionality with so much of the software and hardware out there, it’s hard to beat the bottom line of buying a PC that’s already got it installed.

          I would, especially for the price, not hesitate to recommend an E Machine to a friend or family member on a budget.

        • #3300695

          relative value

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to In defense of E Machines

          For the money, there’s nothing wrong with buying one, in terms of the value gained for the investment. Of course, that’s only true if you assume that only a preconstructed, low-price system is necessary. The moment you want either high-end quality or are willing to have one custom made (or build it yourself), it’s suddenly not a good option any longer.

          There are better companies to go to than any of the major vendors, no matter where on the scale of system quality the major vendors are. Smaller operations, such as Nobilis/Equus, provide far better quality for the price. Better yet, when you don’t have to make large orders, is to build them a piece at a time yourself.

          For my part, I’d avoid E-Machines, Dell, HP, Compaq, Gateway, and even IBM desktops, even if price is no object. Give me a shop that doesn’t show up in the papers every day, does made-to-spec orders, and provides good work for reasonable prices any day of the week, if I’m not willing to do it all myself on a given project.

          As for my own computers, they’re all put together by yours truly, one part at a time (with the exception of a couple of hand-me-down systems I use for testing and very low-priority purposes). I won’t settle for less.

    • #3303471

      Miantenance Contract

      by eroncone ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      Ok lets say you got the deal of the century, and you have out smarted all the large corporations and governments who may have the same per post price that you have found; and if this is true, you should consider opening a “How to get it cheaper” consultancy… you’ll make a killing!

      My questions to you are who is going to maintain the software for minor and major updates? To whom will you report a bug or security hole that has just allowed some “de facto” illegal to enter you business causing havoc and perhaps arrest of the hierarchy needed to run the business causing crashing stock shares, and door closing of a once reputable business? Do you really thing that you are going to have any maintenance support from this type of transaction? Don’t forget that maintence is a reoccuring back door cost of 10-20% of any licence.

      Think of licence purchasing as an investment into a line of trade tools. Most quality trade tools have a lifetime guarantee; if it breaks, you get a new one. Going the discount OEM route, unless sold with the necessary HW for which it was intended, you are illegal… and when it breaks you will be forced to buy the real thing… so you have actually increased the price of your tool instead of the desired decrease.

      The discount SW houses who have built-in key generators for their printed CD-ROMs or downloadable counterparts have a very high risk of containing scrpipts that open your enterprise to the world, litteraly! Handy those built-in keyloggers as well.. thats right 3 months have past by and now you discover that someone has conveniently transferred your company money into banking accounts around the world for who knows what they will be financing. Child pornagraphy, human slavery, exploding buildings…?

      All for what, the greed of potentially 2 billion people worldwide who want to save $50 ?

      If you cannot afford it, you should not buy it.

      Does your employer treat his investment into human resources in the same fashion? Look out ’cause you will be replace via outsourcing (discount) or externalisation (deep-discount).

    • #3292172

      Discount OEM software

      by dclarida ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      I purchased some after my own search turned up the site. I contacted the maker of the software and asked them about it. The response was that it is legal. It works. I had no problem downloading, installing or using it. I trust I was not lead astray.

    • #3299396

      Does it have to be Windows?

      by aceskaraoke ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      Your boss might want to look at Open Source. He’ll have better stability and one hell of a lot more support with any version of Linux, and no worries about the legality of it all.

      You can even buy hard drives with Lindows…er, Linspire pre-installed. I haven’t had the chance to work with Linspire, but I’m told it’s got as close a look and ‘feel’ to Windows plus the stability of Linux…

      Hard combination to beat.

      • #3300694

        Linux systems for business

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Does it have to be Windows?

        You can also get systems from HP with SuSE pre-installed. You can get great laptops with one (or more) of several versions of Linux pre-installed from EmperorLinux. There are a lot of options out there now for pre-installed Linux systems.

        You’re right, open source solutions are definitely worth looking into.

    • #3298976

      Where do you get the balls??? Your a thief!

      by dafe2 ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      I’ll keep this short. Your both thieves. Both incompetent & clueless. And you…you’re exactly the incompeted clueless idiot that give the rest of us in this business, trying to make an honest living a bad *&^% name!

      If you can’t operate a business with integrity, get the hell out.

      If your in Canada or the US your costing us jobs.
      The BSA or CAAST, no doubt, would be interested in this kind of “transaction.”

      Neither of you deserve to be in business. Get lost.

      Hope I’ve cleared up the “Not sure Why” part for you.

      • #3299308

        Open-mindedness

        by itwhat? ·

        In reply to Where do you get the balls??? Your a thief!

        Something you lack, is said to be a good indicator of intelligence, which you obviously also lack. You have no right to speak to anyone in the manner you did in your post. Where do you get the balls? Your profile says you are a rseller of some sort. I would buy from anyone else in the world before I would help you continue to prosper.
        You sir, are insane. Take a pill of some sort and relax. Sit down and think of some new ways to mark up what you sell and you will feel much better. If you had any integrity you wouldn’t respond to people the way you do. To me, that is worse than any discrepency in software liscensing.
        The person that started this post had every right to ask a question about possibly saving some “hard earned money”. That person did not say they had purchased anything.

        • #3299303

          Not for theft

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Open-mindedness

          This was the question:

          “I just feel like this is wrong for some reason. But not quite sure”

          I think the person is sure(r) now. 🙂

        • #3313663

          true . . .

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Not for theft

          . . . but there’s still something to be said for diplomacy.

          Heh.

        • #3317150

          As part of a resolution, the edited version:

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to true . . .

          Where do you get the balls/ovaries? Your could be considered thieves.

          You could be considered the incompetent clueless idiot(s) that give the rest of us in this business, trying to make an honest living a bad name & shoddy reputations.

          If you can’t operate a business with integrity, it could get into some legal trouble.

          If your in Canada or the US you could be costing us jobs.
          The BSA or CAAST, may be interested in this kind of “transaction.”

          Hope I’ve helped clear up the “Not sure Why” part for you, and thanks for practicing a questionning attitude.

          😉

        • #3301511

          Take it easy

          by sunplayer ·

          In reply to As part of a resolution, the edited version:

          Shame on you my friend. You must have been bitten bad in the past to react the way you did. As mentioned before the guy was asking a perfectly normal question before checking out the available options. He is right to ask those questions and your reaction can only help to steer people in the opposite direction from you. Let’s face it, everyone is after a good deal – even your organisation as an IT reseller must be looking for the best deal on all products or else you wouldn’t be able to compete. So be a little more realistic and treat people who ask these types of questions with a little more respect after all they are only doing what every business – including yours, would do and that is to go after the best deal they can.

          Now tell me you haven’t pirated software for your home computer……

        • #3301457

          It’s theft…..period

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Take it easy

          .

        • #3318428

          to: dafe2

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Take it easy

          I disagree. I don’t recognize “intellectual property” ethically because ideas are not property.

          On the other hand, that doesn’t mean that “pirating” software is legal. It isn’t. As such, I don’t recommend it. I also don’t do it myself.

          Then again, I don’t have any particular reason to copy software illegally. I can get all the free software I like by using open source software. Ain’t life grand?

        • #3318266

          Apotheon

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Take it easy

          Just because you don’t recognise the concept of intellectual property, doesn’t mean the world doesn’t. If there were no intellectual property there would be no copyrights on music, art, literature and software.

          If you ask us to respect your property rights, and you believe in the rule of law, then it follows you should respect the intellectual property/copyrights of others.

          Now things can be taken too far. In Canada there have been lawsuits against dentists and doctors who play music from the radio in their offices – asking them to pay royalties. Thats a bit much, considering there is no direct benefit.

          James

        • #3346319

          to: James, re: IP law

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Take it easy

          I’m fully aware that the law recognizes what is colloquially referred to as “intellectual property”. I don’t discount the ethicality of “intellectual property” on a whim, or because I want stuff for free. I discount it because [b]it’s not ethical[/b]. Yes, it’s the law, but it [b]should not be[/b]. There is no physical component to “intellectual property” that can be controlled: every time someone reads something that has been copyrighted, a copy has been made. The concept of “intellectual property” does a downright crappy job of accounting for that because it’s conjuring a body of law from thin air. There is no empirical basis for ownership of ideas.

          Your statement, “Just because you don’t recognise the concept of intellectual property, doesn’t mean the world doesn’t,” is nothing more than an appeal to popularity. The fallacy of believing the validity of something based on how many other people believe it is a very tempting mistake to make, but it’s still a mistake. If nobody ever believed anything that conflicted with popular opinion, we wouldn’t have modern science.

          “If there were no intellectual property there would be no copyrights on music, art, literature and software,” you said. My answer: Good! Copyrights and patents should be abolished.

          I don’t “believe in the rule of law,” actually. I believe in the necessity of ethical action. I believe that any law that isn’t ethical is invalid. The “rule of law” is, itself, of no value if it doesn’t involve ethical laws. In fact, where unethical laws exist (for instance, legal slavery in the early nineteenth century), the “rule of law” actively does harm.

          By confusing the issue of property rights, by artificially constraining the freedom of action of those who do not act unethically, and by creating additional unneeded complexity in the law that can be abused, “intellectual property” law brings harm to individuals on a daily basis, even if they don’t realize it.

          I don’t pirate software. I don’t trade MP3s online. I’m pretty much a law-abiding citizen, where intellectual property law is concerned (though not so much where speed limit laws are concerned). I observe the restrictions of these laws because there’s a great big government hanging over my head, ready to enforce unjust laws. I also do so because it’s easy to observe such laws: I just use free software almost exclusively, and though I could burn MP3s and movies to CD and DVD, I prefer the higher quality professionally-made CDs and DVDs and everything that comes with them (including lyrics, a second DVD full of extras, and so on).

          So: You’re wrong on every count. Your two main points were “Intellectual Property Is Good!” and “You (meaning me) Are Bad For Not Observing IP Law!”

          1. “Intellectual property” is not good. The fact that it’s enshrined in law doesn’t make it so. The fact that lots of people think it’s good doesn’t make it so. The fact that major record labels and Microsoft make money hand over fist by selling duplicates of something that they hardly spent any money on directly doesn’t make it so.

          2. I observe copyright (and even patent) laws, probably more strictly than you do.

          So, in summation: Stick a sock in it.

        • #3346297

          Apotheon:

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to Take it easy

          I hadn’t addressed the other guy (sunplayer?) because his argument(s) where childish.

          I understand what your saying. For the record, believe it or not, I have no illegal software on ANY machine I own. If a supplier doesn’t give it to me, I BUY it from distribution.

          Businesses support Businesses, simple as that.

          From my business side, I do whatever I can to compete & save a buck legally, ethically & through honorable negotiations. I expect the same from anyone that works for (or) with me.

          Clearly the poster(s) boss or whatever, was considering an illegal activity that has a direct effect on all of us in this business as well as his business and the employees that work there. In hindsite of course, my words where a little uhhh sharp, but WTF I have no patience for that stuff. (I don’t suggest you or anyone else does either)

          I should also mention I have very little tolerance for cracked software or serial # apps for the above reasons (and) the fact that the machines used in surfing arround for the cracks & serials are usually infected with spyware & viruses. I return the favour by asking that the system be re-imaged as necessary. No attempt is made to repair these systems. (Small pleasures)

          The users learn quickly & I don’t have to remove their firewall accounts. Life is good.

        • #3346237

          to: dafe2, re: cracked software

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Take it easy

          Because of legal issues and the typical security nightmare that cracked software represents, I too am rather intolerant of the use of cracked software in any circumstance where I have a say in the matter. While I’m convinced that there’s no direct ethical issue with copying copyrighted software, there is most definitely a whole slew of indirect ethical issues there, largely involving the fact that using illegal copies exposes people to legal liability and tremendous unnecessary security risks (not to mention that cracked copies of proprietary closed-source programs are often spam servers and the like, which is a problem that affects everyone).

          In other words: We seem to be in agreement about the importance of avoiding illegal use of proprietary software, but for entirely different reasons. I won’t argue whether there are any moral issues involved, because morality is a function of one’s philosophical convictions and, thus, unprovable. I am, however, generally prepared to argue the matter of ethicality. As far as I’m concerned, intellectual property law is unethical.

          I don’t even like the GPL, ethically, because it places legal restrictions on how one distributes software (specifically, it requires distribution of source code even if the distributor of the binary doesn’t want to distribute the source). In fact, the GPL requires copyright law to function. The only distribution licenses that I find to be ethically appropriate are those that effectively replicate the status of works distributed in a world without copyright law. For an example, feel free to peruse the text of the CCD CopyWrite distribution license (located at http://ccd.apotheon.org for your convenience). Another example is the BSD license, though it is unfortunately limited to software source code.

    • #3172528

      Run

      by philchil ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      Try and get back to the site where at least you got the cd and keys physically – I GUARANTEE that the site your boss is thinking about will put you in hot water! I used to work for an ISP when those emails first started coming out, did a lot of research on the sites.

    • #3175069

      Cheap Software

      by mr_appman ·

      In reply to Cheap Software

      I won’t buy software from eastern europe. I buy my software from a company called AppCDs in the UK which matches these eastern countries here’s the link:
      http://www.appcds.com

      really great software that works!

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