Old Software Selling Rights RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have an old retail box of Windows 95 and retail box of Windows 98 that has never been opened (and for sake of topic focus, genuine).  I understand some license agreements like Select or Open has the OS tied to a particular machine, but not retail copies.  Instead of tossing them out, I decided to sell them on Craigslist but the listing got flagged for removal.  One moderator quoted, "Mr. Gates says you can't sell Microsoft products unless you are a reseller".

    If that's the case, then shouldn't they flag every computer sold on craigslist by an individual (not reseller) that does not specifically state the OS has been completely removed?  Surely Retail skus can be sold with the license transferred.

    It's not so much whether these 2 boxes of software sell as much as I want to see if this is a license "myth" or reality.  I've tried to search for specific verbiage regarding this question but can't seem to find any.  Would someone from Microsoft please clarify licensing resell rights an individual has for non OPEN or SELECT or EA agreements?

    Thank You
    Tuesday, July 21, 2009 12:02 PM


  • Hello CuriousDFW,

    Traditionally, Windows retail licenses are different from the systembuilder and major manufacturer OEM licenses in several aspects, one of which is transfer of the license.  To sum up transfering (selling) Windows licenses by end users/consumers, how you got it is how you transfer it.

    If you have an OEM license (systembuilder=small manufacturer and royalty=major manufacturer), the only way to sell the OEM license is right along with the hardware it came on.  You can't separately sell the computer to Party A and the OEM Windows license that came on the computer to Party B.

    If you have a retail license (retail upgrade or retail full), you have the option of selling the Windows license and the computer as a package, or you can separate the Windows license from the computer and sell the computer to Party A and the Windows license to Party B.  If the license is a retail upgrade, then the previously installed Windows that was upgraded has to accompany the transfered upgrade license.

    All of the above is covered in the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) that is included.  I think on the older Windows versions like 95 and 98, the EULA was included on a separate sheet of paper or card inside the box, as well as being kept electronically as a text file on the hard disk drive.  Newer Windows versions like XP and Vista keep it only as an electronic file that you can access.  The part of the EULA that covers transfering the license is generally entitled "software transfer" or similar.  Not sure where exactly it is located in the W95 and W98 EULAs, but a retail XP Home license covers transfers in paragraph 14.  The EULA for an OEM license for XP Home covers transfer in paragraph 1.2.

    Regarding the CL mods, it sounds like someone told them that the computer and the license have to be sold together...but that's only half correct because it applies only to OEM licenses.  To argue your case with the Craigslist moderators you would have to dig up a copy of the W95 and/or W98 full retail EULA on the net and send them a link so they can see it for themselves. 

    For great advice on all topics XP, visit http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp
    Tuesday, July 21, 2009 7:30 PM