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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Software licenses and computer sale

    I am not sure this belongs here, but, if not, then one of the mods can move it to where it should be. My concern/problem is this: my wife and I purchased a couple of new computers. Our grand daughter says she would like the old W2K machine, and when we mentioned our new computers to a friend, she asked what we were going to do with my wife's old Win98 machine. We said we would scrub the hard drive and recycle it (our city holds recycling drives once a year). She asked if she could have it. She wanted something to keep recipes, etc. on. We said okay, but my dilemma is that I own all the software licenses on that machine. Does anyone know whether or not I have to give her a nominal bill of sale transferring all licenses to her and removing any of my liability for the performance of the machine, the software and any and all of its peripherals. <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20>

    Any insight that anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Ron M <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Software licenses and computer sale

    Geez, I hope I don't get too windy here. I am not an attorney, so I don't know what a lawyer-person would say about this. I also don't know in these times of "validation" or support or registration if my two first-hand experiences are valid anymore. Now that I've said all of that, you may still want to contact the companies in question and see what they say. They might give you a hard time (like I got) in an attempt to sell more product, but that doesn't mean it's "the law."

    I once GAVE AWAY a backup utility program and was contacted by the software vendor who tried to browbeat me into their opinion that I had violated the law. When I told them that I had given away the original media and the documentation and kept NO copies for myself, they went away and were never heard from again. I figured I had abided by the spirit of the law in spite of THEIR claim that I didn't have the right to "transfer" that software to another person. Maybe they were right but thought it not worth pursuing for one little guy.

    In another case, similar to yours, I sold a used computer to someone and included not only the MS operating system, but a (non-Microsoft) major word processing program as well. As in my first example, I provided the buyer with the original media and documentation and kept no copies for myself. This gentleman tried to get support from the word processing company and they called me on the phone to talk about it. Again, when I explained what I had done, they were happy to "transfer" the ownership of the program to my buyer and as far as I know, he never had any more problems getting support from them.

    My stories are just "reality on the street" tales and not a reflection of what the copyright laws entail. Let's be honest about it here. We all know we shoudn't steal software and if we try to abide by that "spirit" of the law, I don't see how it could create a liability problem. But, a software company could withhold support if they've a mind to.

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Software licenses and computer sale

    As long as you aren't making and using illegal copies of the software, I don't see what the problem would be. Just remove from the original machine any software you want to move to your new machine.

    Jim

  4. #4
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Software licenses and computer sale

    You might like to read this recent article, which deals with MS Licensing.

    The "satire" article to which a reference is made at the very end of The Register article includes the same right-hand "PC Licensing Checklist" from the original Microsoft website (referenced at the end of the first paragraph), as far as I can see...

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  5. #5
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    Re: Software licenses and computer sale

    Thanks folks <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15>. Big Al, it sounds like your experience is, or might be, similar to mine. I still think I will feel better if I have a peice of paper that relinquishes my rights to all the software and gives them to my friend. Your input about not keeping any copies, etc. is of value in this respect.

    John, thanks for the reference. If I interpret this correctly, the licenses travel with the PC. I do not want to keep any of them, I simply want to hand them off, so to speak, to my friend. She gets the PC, she has the licenses. <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20>

    Ron

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Software licenses and computer sale

    Ron,

    I'm pretty sure that Al's interpretation of things is the "legal" method of transferring ownership of "used" software. You simply remove it from your machine and give the install disks and any documentation to the "new owner" and that's it. There is no formal transfer procedure if the program is installed or just on a disk, it makes no difference. Especially given that before XP, Microsoft's software, like almost everyone elses' was used like "Shareware" with everybody "lending" their copies to their friends. MS has all they can do to keep track of the copies of XP out there that have slipped through the cracks (no pun intended). You, of course, are entitled to get some proof of transfer of ownership to protect yourself. But you have to ask yourself, if Microsoft is just barely supporting Windows 98, how much do you think they are going to put into keeping track of who owns which copy now ??? Just my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

  7. #7
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    Re: Software licenses and computer sale

    Thanks Doc. Your <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> is appreciated. <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20>

    Ron

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