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Why does eBay allow sales of illegal software?

    Question

  • Why are prople allowed to sell illegal copies of Microsoft Windows? OEM can not be sold as a stand alone product and yet hundreds of copies of stand alone OEM software is available for purchase.
    I bought a copy of Windows XP Professional for $89. Unfortunately the product key is for a volume licenceing agreement. I am one of the lucky ones because somehow i was able to convince the seller to refund my money.
    But eBay knows there are so many illegal copies up for sale. Why do they allow this?

    Monday, March 15, 2010 9:05 PM

Answers

  • But eBay knows there are so many illegal copies up for sale. Why do they allow this?


    Yes, most, but not all.  So if not all the sellers are selling bad software, how do you know who not to allow  and who to allow to sell?

    only way I know is to Win the auction, then test the software and if it's Non-Genuine, ask the auction site to remove all the other software that seller has up for sale.  Then 20 minutes later the same seller (with a new account) comes back and posts up the same bad software for sale again and we do it all over again. 

    It takes time, and doesn't do allot of good.

    The best ways a customer can avoid being cheated is to :

    a) Only buy from a person or company you trust.
    b) If the price is too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true
    c) Only use a mode of payment that allows you to get your money back if the software turns out to be bad (most credit cards have fraud protection and such)

    Thank you,
    Darin MS
    Wednesday, March 17, 2010 9:33 PM
    Owner

All replies

  • Ok well i can see how eBay is profiting from these illegal auctions but why does Microsoft allow eBay to allow sellers to auction illegal copies of Microsoft software?
    It is possible to buy a genuine retail copy from an individual for a good price or from a power seller for close to retail price.
    There are sellers with unlimited copies of Microsoft Windows for 70%-80% (too good to be true) off retail price. And no one does anything about it. I just don't get it.
    Monday, March 15, 2010 9:18 PM
  • OEM can be sold stand alone, it just must be sold to a system builder, or with a PC part. Look at sites like tigerdirect,  amazon, or newegg. All of these sites sell standalone OEM software perfectly legal.
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 12:40 AM
  • Now, selling serial numbers is illegal.
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 12:41 AM
  • Yeah the real people sell it for $170, which is slightly more than 50% off retail value of $300.
    The fake people are selling it for under $100 and people are lining up to buy it even though the product key is for a volume licence.
    OEM is supposed to be a value added reseller like if you are going to build and sell a system. These Windows sold on eBay are specifically targeted and described in the listing for home, retail users on their personal clients which is a direct violation of the Microsoft user agreement.
    Tuesday, March 16, 2010 1:20 AM
  • But eBay knows there are so many illegal copies up for sale. Why do they allow this?


    Yes, most, but not all.  So if not all the sellers are selling bad software, how do you know who not to allow  and who to allow to sell?

    only way I know is to Win the auction, then test the software and if it's Non-Genuine, ask the auction site to remove all the other software that seller has up for sale.  Then 20 minutes later the same seller (with a new account) comes back and posts up the same bad software for sale again and we do it all over again. 

    It takes time, and doesn't do allot of good.

    The best ways a customer can avoid being cheated is to :

    a) Only buy from a person or company you trust.
    b) If the price is too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true
    c) Only use a mode of payment that allows you to get your money back if the software turns out to be bad (most credit cards have fraud protection and such)

    Thank you,
    Darin MS
    Wednesday, March 17, 2010 9:33 PM
    Owner
  • Love you answer. I have a customer user buy it now for my eBay item for $185 and he request money back after item was shipped saying that he bought cheaper windows for only $50 each as many as he want. I do refund but he must not open the priority mail envelope and return it in original form. 3 weeks latter he came back to me and told me it was a valume licnese and microsoft won't help him activate it. I sold xp pro OEM SP1 1-2CPU, older version of XP, but after update to SP3 it work just like new. Now I try to sale them in Amazon with title Windows XP Pro, nothting else because amazon will not allow to sale OEM software. Well I gess I can only mention it is for system build in the details and ship the item with a pice of OEM hardware like RAM or screw. lol... yeah a small screw will work for OEM resale software.
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 4:45 AM
  • First of all it is in violation of the rightholders copyright -- this is a civil matter between two parties and actually is not criminal copyright infringement, hence not illegal.

     

    Second for quite a while, since around XP SP2 IIRC, OEM copies are sold in a single system builder pack that can be sold by itself, without hardware. The entire hardware thing was silly anyways and I would not consider a real (in that it actually came from Microsoft) OEM copy of Windows that was only installed on 1 PC to be pirated if the only some minor thing like it was sold by itself is "violated." 

     

    Finally to answer you question: eBay charges sellers fees to list items and also a % of items after the item sells. So the more items that sell on ebay and for the higher amount, the more money eBay makes. To the average person there are "many controls in place" to prevent pirated software and other counterfeit goods from being sold. Above and beyond all eBay is a marketplace, they are (should be) a neutral 3rd party for transactions, just as say your local newspaper classified section, craigslist or a community bulletin board is. eBay does not go and verify every item listed, just like your newspaper isn't going to verify that you actually own a car before you can list it for sale. It would be IMPOSSIBLE for ebay to screen every item and determine if it is authentic or not. And furthermore it would create too much liability, because if eBay were to check that each item is genuine, if you got a fake you would hold eBay accountable and demand THEY replace it.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010 4:50 AM
  • What makes you think that ANY of the MS software deals presented @ eBay are bona fide? I just spent a week trying to get Win 7 Pro on the up-and-up and in the end, virtually every single one there is bootleg and illegal. NOTHING they sell is really legal. MS is "proprietary software", basically meaning that sales can only be offered by approved retail vendors (e.g. Best Buy) so any other type of presentation is inherently bogus and illegal. As with all issues of intellectual property piracy, you must buy it to own it, and not from some eBay con-job. FYI - - Try to show me where there is such a (real) thing as a "decommissioned" computer.......one where they strip-off the serial number and activation key UPC label and try to re-sell it to you. OEM nomenclature is permanently attached to whatever gear it was originally sold with and cannot be removed or ever sold. Don't kid yourself. MS techs aren't in any way that stupid. C'mon.
    Monday, July 9, 2018 2:42 AM