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  1. #1
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    FYI about Windows COA stickers

    I just got this email from Microsoft and thought it might be of interest (although it could be posted in the wrong place):

    Dear US System Builder,

    There is no legitimate way to buy a stand-alone Certificate of
    Authenticity (COA). A COA Label should always be accompanied by Genuine
    Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Software.*

    Microsoft is dedicated to protecting honest and legitimate resellers
    from Certificate of Authenticity (COA) piracy. As part of our
    commitment, we recently filed lawsuits against the following companies:

    * Affordable Computer Warehouse of Clinton, NY for allegedly
    distributing counterfeit COA labels and infringing Windows XP and Office
    XP Professional software.

    * ERA Limited of Lake Zurich, IL for allegedly distributing counterfeit
    COA labels, plus counterfeit Microsoft software and/or related
    components.

    * Kenneth Xu of Union City, CA for allegedly distributing counterfeit
    COA labels and Microsoft software components.

    * Master Computer, Inc. of State College, PA for allegedly distributing
    counterfeit COA labels for Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, as well
    as infringing Windows 2000 Professional software.

    * Micro Info Tech (USA) Corporation Edison, NJ for allegedly
    distributing computers with unauthorized copies of Microsoft software.

    * Monarch Technology, Inc. of San Clemente, CA for allegedly
    distributing counterfeit COA labels and Microsoft software.

    * Software Provisions, Vancouver, WA for allegedly distributing
    counterfeit COA labels plus counterfeit Windows ME software components.

    * Warp Systems/Computers LLC of Raleigh, NC for allegedly distributing
    computers with unauthorized copies of Microsoft software.

    These are just some of the examples of how we continue to take legal
    action against software piracy and infringement. For more information on
    these judgments and other cases of software and software component
    infringement, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/coastandalone

    To be sure the software you get is genuine, acquire from one of our
    Authorized Distributors. For a list of Authorized Distributors, please
    visit http://oem.microsoft.com/BuyAuthorized

    For an additional Authorized Distributor special offer, please visit
    http://oem.microsoft.com/script/cont...?pageid=553742


    * Genuine Windows software comes shrink-wrapped in a package that
    includes the manual, the media with an edge-to-edge hologram, and the
    COA affixed to the shrink-wrap.

    (c) 2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


    Sincerely,
    US System Builder Communications Team

  2. #2
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sick Willie
    I just got this email from Microsoft and thought it might be of interest (although it could be posted in the wrong place):

    Dear US System Builder,

    There is no legitimate way to buy a stand-alone Certificate of
    Authenticity (COA). A COA Label should always be accompanied by Genuine
    Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Software.*

    Microsoft is dedicated to protecting honest and legitimate resellers
    from Certificate of Authenticity (COA) piracy. As part of our
    commitment, we recently filed lawsuits against the following companies:

    * Affordable Computer Warehouse of Clinton, NY for allegedly
    distributing counterfeit COA labels and infringing Windows XP and Office
    XP Professional software.

    * ERA Limited of Lake Zurich, IL for allegedly distributing counterfeit
    COA labels, plus counterfeit Microsoft software and/or related
    components.

    * Kenneth Xu of Union City, CA for allegedly distributing counterfeit
    COA labels and Microsoft software components.

    * Master Computer, Inc. of State College, PA for allegedly distributing
    counterfeit COA labels for Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, as well
    as infringing Windows 2000 Professional software.

    * Micro Info Tech (USA) Corporation Edison, NJ for allegedly
    distributing computers with unauthorized copies of Microsoft software.

    * Monarch Technology, Inc. of San Clemente, CA for allegedly
    distributing counterfeit COA labels and Microsoft software.

    * Software Provisions, Vancouver, WA for allegedly distributing
    counterfeit COA labels plus counterfeit Windows ME software components.

    * Warp Systems/Computers LLC of Raleigh, NC for allegedly distributing
    computers with unauthorized copies of Microsoft software.

    These are just some of the examples of how we continue to take legal
    action against software piracy and infringement. For more information on
    these judgments and other cases of software and software component
    infringement, please visit http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/coastandalone

    To be sure the software you get is genuine, acquire from one of our
    Authorized Distributors. For a list of Authorized Distributors, please
    visit http://oem.microsoft.com/BuyAuthorized

    For an additional Authorized Distributor special offer, please visit
    http://oem.microsoft.com/script/cont...?pageid=553742


    * Genuine Windows software comes shrink-wrapped in a package that
    includes the manual, the media with an edge-to-edge hologram, and the
    COA affixed to the shrink-wrap.

    (c) 2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


    Sincerely,
    US System Builder Communications Team
    Note the key word counterfeit. BD51
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  3. #3
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    Quote Originally Posted by BIGDADDY51
    Note the key word counterfeit. BD51
    Here is what I was noticing:

    Dear US System Builder,

    There is no legitimate way to buy a stand-alone Certificate of
    Authenticity (COA). A COA Label should always be accompanied by Genuine
    Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Software.*
    This makes any COA not accompanied by the software counterfeit.

  4. #4
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sick Willie
    Here is what I was noticing:



    This makes any COA not accompanied by the software counterfeit.
    Not if it passes thier piracy test. It seems to me, that all the names on Pricewatch that sell COAs without the software ,are therefore PIRATES, and are doing something illegal, including advertising themselves as authorized MS distributors.It could get quite stickey in a court of law, especially if you have have a legitimate receipt from one of the above mentioned "PIRATES" One could also argue, that MS should be able to tell if a coa is legit or not, by thier activation systems. If you aren't trying to run more than one copy of XP per 1 coa, I don't feel you are breaking any law. This applys to OEM software, and NOT retail box.If you are retailing a good number of PCs, you are probably better off ,just buying a oem copy of XP, installing that, and handing the disc over with the new machine.I've activated dozens of fresh as well as "repair" installs, and have had every activation successfully activated. It makes Lindows look awful inviting By the way, I signed up as an OEM builder. BD51
    Last edited by BIGDADDY51; 12-01-2004 at 07:22 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    Personally, I don't see how they could say it much more succinctly than:

    Dear US System Builder,

    There is no legitimate way to buy a stand-alone Certificate of
    Authenticity (COA). A COA Label should always be accompanied by Genuine
    Microsoft(R) Windows(R) Software.*
    I don't see an unless, except or other than anywhere in the above quote.

    In any case, it's just FYI. I certainly wouldn't want to debate whether they are morally or philosophically correct or not. But no, having a receipt for something that is not legitimate would not help alot in a court of law.

  6. #6
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    Quote Originally Posted by Sick Willie
    Personally, I don't see how they could say it much more succinctly than:



    I don't see an unless, except or other than anywhere in the above quote.

    In any case, it's just FYI. I certainly wouldn't want to debate whether they are morally or philosophically correct or not. But no, having a receipt for something that is not legitimate would not help alot in a court of law.
    Reading the entire document, refers to end users verses oem builders. There are some interesting other links there, about used PCs and refurbs.There is also an exclusion, when you, as an oem builder, replaces a "defective" motherboard You're wrong about the receipt. In a court of law, it shifts the blame to the seller, since the buyer could say he thought they were selling a "legal" copy of an XP product. It will be interesting to follow the lawsuits, and see what happens. MS lost most of thier lawsuit against Lindows.They now have software that can used used only a few times, and then is useless, and I wouldn't be surprised to see MS use something like this in newer versions of XP, or any newer software they produce.SP2 was supposed to contain some anti pirating code, and find pirated software. It looks like the best way to be safe, is to purchase new software for every new machine you build. Note that the link there says, it is perfectly legal to sell a"USED PC" with the software that's installed on it.Or better yet, switch to Lindows, and support someone who's battling MS It remains to be seen, if PRICEWATCH.COM is named as a promoter of the sale of Pirated COAS. BD51
    Last edited by BIGDADDY51; 12-01-2004 at 08:39 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    Being unaware something is counterfeit might absolve you of criminal intent, and possibly even liability (as in prosecution), but it won't buy you a legitimate license if your license is found to be counterfeit. And ultimately, the end-user is the one that must possess the valid license. By extension, if I, as a builder, don't have a provide license, the person that buys the machine from me (with Windows on it) won't have one either. And again, Microsoft doesn't state that this policy is limited to any particular buying sector. I see nothing in the statement that provides for any exceptions. It makes much more sense for them to go after the distributors rather than the individual user. I'm sure they would hate to look like the RIAA. Further, if you feel your stance is correct, you could always call and ask. I'd be glad to, but my word wouldn't prove anything.

  8. #8
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    As a builder, it would also matter wether or not you sold the machine as 'New" or "used" It really gets into legal terms.I noted that they have one name in the piracy list, right up the street here in CT.I couldn't get the link to work , but it's http://oem.microsoft.com/script/cont...?PageID=553065 where the used and refurb section is located. You may have to sign in in order to access the page. Let's face it, they are trying to lock in the price for every single copy of XP sold, as well as WHO you buy from. What about all the places selling oem, that aren't on thier list? It's kinda like telling you if you want to buy a Chevy, you can only buy one from a Chevy dealer.I doubt a Ford dealer can sell a new Chevy, but they can sell a Used Chevy, even if it only has 1 mile on it. I've gotten into the used and new thing, because of K-Mart, who can LEGALLY sell thier Demo stuff off the shelf as "new", simply because an "end user" hasn't yet purchased it.One Tv they offered for sale ,was 3 years old! That list at that link, will be growing ever longer until it contains at least 1 name from every one of the states.It gets into the same kind of BS that you run into, recording TV and Music. It's against the law, but they sell Tivo and other machines capable of doing it, as well as DVD recorders that can also record TV.I remember when all this BS started, way back in 1970 when Radio Shack, started selling a recorder, capable of recording off the radio to an 8 track tape blank, AND Cartridge to cartridge. I guess they are making it widely known, that this selling of COAs alone is illegal. I wonder when the ball will drop on those guys still selling them? www.lindows.com QUOTE from MS; A used pc, is a computer system that has had few or no hardware changes. The license for OEM software may not be transferred to a NEW or different PC, HOWEVER, the ENTIRE USED PC including software, media, manuals, and COA may be transferred to another end user, along with the software rights. I'm sure, you will see sites that ARE selling COAs only stop doing so, until a decision is reached in the court cases. BD51
    Last edited by BIGDADDY51; 12-01-2004 at 09:33 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    Just to show how confusing this can get. www.salesintl.com/store.asp The good news is now XP home oem is starting to drop in price, $65 complete. This store also has a Microsoft certified partner ad on the right, BUT, in the left col. They offer COAs only for sale.All the other stores that are listed at www.pricewatch.com, are still there, offering coa only sales.Me? At just $65 for the whole deal, that's the way to go. I'm betting it's old software though, and doesn't contain SP2. BD51
    http://forums.pcper.com/trading.php TRADING RULEZ!! BIGDADDY51 I've joined the QUAD CROWD! ASUS M3A78 & a 9850

  10. #10
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    And to think people would steal an O/S that is so riddled with BUGS it hardly even runs. MICROSUCKS sure has created a World full of dumba$$ PC users but MS can't fix the tens of thousands of O/S BUGS and unending security holes... Gates, Ballmer and the other MS cronies belong in jail right with the criminals that steal (defective MS) software or sell phony COAs.

  11. #11
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    As a builder, it would also matter wether or not you sold the machine as 'New" or "used" It really gets into legal terms.
    Not really. New or used, you are supposed to transfer the license and COA with the machine. And not retain any copies for yourself. You cannot provide a copy of Windows on a machine, legally (in MS terms), without the license and COA even if the machine is 10 years old and the software is no longer available commercially.

    In the link you provide, with the exception of the very last item listed under both OS and Office, the COA's are provided w/ media. So, it's quite possible that www.salesintl.com is merely confused about the agreement. Or maybe they only let you buy the license for the last item with a purchase of any of the previous items that allow what they are doing.

    And you can change the motherboard in a PC w/ an OEM version of Windows on it. I had a customer with a Compaq that the motherboard went out on. I used his OEM key to install XP Home. XP let me use the key to install. It would not, however, let me activate over the Internet. I spent 30 minutes on the phone talking to various MS representatives explaining exactly what happened, including the fact that I had used a regular OEM version instead of the Compaq Quickrestore CDs, which would have refused to install on a machine that Compaq would no longer consider to be a Compaq. MS issued me a new product key and emailed a copy of it to the customer directly.

    Again the easiest way to verify would be for you to contact the OEM builder division and ask since you joined today. Which was very hard to notice since the post you put the information into had already been read and processed before you added it to the end.

    Edited for stupidity.
    Last edited by Sick Willie; 12-02-2004 at 12:33 AM.

  12. #12
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    In fact, reading a little further at http://www.salesintl.com/product.asp?0=277&1=278&3=63 it says:

    Microsoft Windows 2000 OEM Master License Pak Only
    Software is not included - This is the OEM License Pak

    This is the license that allows you to install one copy of Windows 2000 Pro Legally. You may purchase 1 copy of Windows 2000 Pro and one additional license for every computer you would like to install it on. (EX: Your office has 10 computers. You want all 10 computers to have Windows 2000 Pro. Rather than purchasing all 10 copies of the full software and licensing, you may purchase one copy of the software HERE and 9 licenses from this page.) This is fully legal and will save you money if you are installing on more than one computer.
    They don't repeat this on every page the way they should, but they are aware of their obligations.

  13. #13
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    I should have shown that I edited the post to include the info, after realizing that it wouldn't give access to the oem builders page. The site that I showed ,has a licenses section on the left, that includes an XP coa only, for sale, as well as several other sites that claim to be MS partners.I have also replaced several motherboards, and have reactivated over the phone, but, all except 1 time, it was completely automated. as an OEM builder, AND end user, you are not looking for support of a PC that was manufactured by someone else.My cd keys have all passed the anti piracy test. The one time I got a warm body, was quite a while ago,and all I did was explain that I was a novice DIY builder, and that the MB crapped out. No problem, they generated a new 50 digit number, and then reactivated. According to MS, once you change a motherboard, it is considered a "new pc" that requires a new coa/cd pkg, UNLESS, you are replacing a "defective board". we all know that there are TONS of defective boards that need to be replaced Even the new XP w/sp2 cd can be used to repair older XP installs.They do hit a dead end eventually, and you get a crc error and that's it. the disc is junk.If they didn't want us DIYs to use OEM software, we wouldn't be able to buy it, without a business tax number. If this is the way they want it, as far as the coa only thing is concerned ,they should stop the sales of them, from ANY site that advertises them, and thats a considerable amount of vendors. The ones I purchased, all came with everything that a cd/coa pkg would, EXCEPT a cd.All those machines are long gone. Since the price has come down to just $65 complete, less sp2, it will be complete pkg from now on, to avoid troubles later. I've even seen just the cd only, without a coa, advertised for sale, on pricewatch.Lindows 5.0 is on the way. and FIREFOX 1.0 works great,too.edit: PS, I joined a month ago BD51
    Last edited by BIGDADDY51; 12-02-2004 at 04:21 AM.
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  14. #14
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    here's a pretty good read dated only 2 days ago. http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/f...4/11-30COA.asp It looks like MS is really gonna start cracking down. BD51
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  15. #15
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    Re: FYI about Windows COA stickers

    Yes, they are definitely supporting their authorized distributors.

    Dear US System Builder:


    <snip>

    * Easy credit terms * Licensing expertise
    * Technical support and training * And more!

    And now Microsoft is giving you one more reason to purchase through
    one
    of our 13 authorized distributors.

    For a limited time, when you order Windows XP Professional (SP2)
    we'll
    give you a complimentary Windows Excitement Kit containing posters,
    project guides, and more. Plus, you'll receive a genuine Microsoft
    polo
    shirt when you order a 3-pack and receive 5 shirts when you order a
    30-pack from any one of our authorized distributors
    <http://oem.microsoft.com/script/DistributorPage.aspx> .

    If you haven't already, just register on the Microsoft OEM System
    Builder Web site <http://www.microsoft.com/oem/default.mspx> *, then
    fill out this online form
    <http://oem.microsoft.com/script/contentPage.aspx?pageid=553742> ,
    and
    purchase Windows XP Professional SP2 to receive your free Windows
    Excitement Kit and genuine Microsoft polo shirt.

    This is a limited time offer so don't wait.
    I'm excited.

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