Issue of using original license key on pirated versions of windows OS? ethical vs technical debate RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hey Microsoft,

    I'm here to ask you about a certain issues related to use of licensed Microsoft keys on counterfeit / ripped/ unlicensed or pirated versions of Microsoft OS.

    My friend who runs small SME business as "travel guide" in Pakistan. What started more as ethical / academic discussion on issue of privacy; turned into a serious debate where I displayed extreme shock and technical difference in his use / and confidence where he is using single official license  over multiple windows machines.

    Here what matters in his case; since in country like Pakistan pirated copies of Os is really issue and nothing something  addressed by the legal structure as it should. So, what happens is that there are readily copies of pirate Windows OS for all version available in the market. Most come with cracked keys and other custom ripped under the name of person / group / entity who also profits through selling their name / work through making these counterfeit copies. Nearly all would come with key-generator programs or list of key files in notepad.

    With the background explained, so my friend its an ethical matter to use / restrict his license for 1 computer 1 key policy;infact he says its cost-effective to spread the one original license over multiple os.

    My whole discussion / argument is "technical" that's so, because mostly these custom ripped / image O/S comes with their own set of modifications starting with boot-menu; to user-interface to custom-themes and array of pirated / unregistered software e.g adobe,autocad,photoshop basically these software are to attract different set of buyers engineer, IT, games , graphics designers.

    How, I see an OS not prepared by Microsoft and distributed through authorized channels means loss of trust from end-user point of view and loss of says-integrity. How can i trust whats package inside a ripped counterfeit O/S? Does putting a original license key make the use legal? I'm confused. Actually, I want from Microsoft side to increase my awareness of this issue; and what possible harms in terms of "real-risks" (i.e patches issues , support) from establishing such IT environment. How well this strategy scale for medium to large size organizations.?

    Most people like to walk in grey areas; since its comfortable because to them If google has nothing bad to say it usually means its wise to implement and follow the gut. I'm sure there are more then moral; ethical penalties on such issues perhaps technical aspects which many users are not aware of ; and unknowingly most of time exposes their work environment to different kinds of threat in its use.

    I want people on this forum to share their two cents on the issue.


    Friday, April 18, 2014 3:37 PM