Hi, thank you for submitting your question to Answers.Google, I hope I
can provide the information you are seeking.
What you are doing is a violation of intellectual property laws in
some countries. It is certainly a civil contract violation for the
people selling it to you and possibly also a criminal act, depending
on a lot of details.
If you are doing this on a business computer you are placing your job
at risk and your company at risk for some serious consequences as
Microsoft and other members of the ?software police,? more accurately,
the Business Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is becoming ever more
proactive in pursuit of software pirates.
There has recently been a major crackdown on this practice and you
should be aware that when companies or individuals are caught doing
something wrong they will often plea bargain. In this instance they
may offer the real vendors of the software a list of the people who
have purchased the OEM copies without license.
Make no mistake, you are running unlicensed software which is a
On January 26, 2005, Microsoft announced that it will severely
restrict updates for pirated software, this will include restrictions
on highly-critical security updates.
Microsoft will almost certainly phase out even critical security
updates for systems running unregistered pirated software and the
company update pages will include code which queries a system to check
for pirated copies.
Regarding your question ?What does this mean?? The short answer is
that they are selling you software which can never be legally updated
or supported by the original vendor such as Microsoft. They are also
selling you software which they have no right to sell because they
don?t have a license that permits them to do so.
As for ?an OEM CD shop? there is no such thing if you are thinking of
a legitimate business. OEM software is only permitted to be sold
installed on a single, specific computer. The CDs you are getting are
the backup or re-install disks which are provided to computer buyers
so they can repair damaged software on their machines.
As for your question ?Can they be trusted?? Well, that?s a decision
for you to make but since you know they are already engaged in either
illegal or at a minimum highly unethical practices, you need to
consider whether you can really trust them to deliver clean,
malware-free, and current software.
This is somewhat similar to buying black market medicine, only for your computer.
Even if a site is reasonably legitimate today, that is, they deliver
clean, usable if pirated software, they may decide to make money
quickly as they feel the pressure from software vendors. At that time
they might sell their business to one of the operations which is
already running software scams, or simply begin to slip spyware into
the disks they are selling.
I hope I have provided you with something to think about besides the
mere fact that what you and the people you buy from are doing
something immoral and possibly illegal. There are serious fines being
levied against companies found to have unlicensed software on their
computers, and, in addition, I think I have shown that there can be
many personal consequences.
Although you didn?t specifically ask, if you are interested in
legitimate ways to purchase less expensive commercial software, the
simplest way is to purchase sealed packages containing older versions
of the program. These are perfectly legal and legitimate copies which
can normally be registered, although support may be fading if they are
too old. Since you get absolutely no support for the OEM software you
now purchase, that shouldn?t be a major concern.
To learn if an ?OEM? vendor is legitimate, you can contact Microsoft.
Even if the software isn?t from Microsoft you can bet that the seller
is also marketing Microsoft programs.
Use the Microsoft Anti-Piracy Hotline at (800) RU-LEGIT.
Google search term: OEM software piracy
For further information see:
Thank you again for turning to Answers.Google for help. I hope you can
see that there are actual dangers to you in using pirated software and
that you will consider your position carefully.
To repeat, ignoring the legal consequences, the dangers include,
risking your credit card or bank information with shady operators; not
being able to update or obtain support for the software; and risking
having spyware or viruses planted on your system.