selling on ebay: legal question about software

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by yojitani, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    An octopus's garden
    #1
    So.. I'm probably going to sell my PowerMac on ebay soon and have been researching prices. One thing I've noticed on ebay is the number of sellers who say they are leaving 3rd party software on their computers 'for testing purposes.' This isn't legal, is it? I ask because I've noticed that those computers sell for significantly more than lesser spec'd but honestly sold models. I'm not saying that I would add software for a bit of additional cash, but I am wondering what would fetch a similar price. I recently sold a mac mini on ebay and got a above average price for it by offering to install neo-office and iLife (which came with the computer)...so basically offering a perfectly legal service. At any rate, leaving software on your computer 'for testing purposes' seems pretty shady...

    cheers!
    yt
     
  2. Maxiseller macrumors 6502a

    Maxiseller

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    #2
    Of course it is entirely illegal - but they think by adding the words "strictly for testing purposes" eliminates the legal responsibility on them.

    They know that if it's installed for testing purposes then most people will simply keep it on there and use it or certainly make a backup of it. The situation is also that the software is 99% illegal from the outset as no right-minded adult would leave their legal software on the compuer if they intended to use it themselves later on.

    You will have to make up your own mind which camp you follow and what your morals are. I have used illegal software in the past as most of the honest people out there have but I've always purchased it if I liked it - literally trying it out before purchasing a licience. Whether that's wrong or not I'm not sure - but it's a good thing for the software companies; if I hadn't have tried it, I'd probably have purchased something else.
     
  3. x86isslow macrumors 6502a

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    USA
    #3
    I offer to include the media, not pre-install the software.
     
  4. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Los Angeles
    #4
    People have tried to sell Macs with software claimed to be "for testing" in our own Marketplace forum, but we never permit that. We even added explicit mention of that to our Marketplace Rules:
    1. You may not offer to buy/sell/trade any computer, hard disk, iPod, or other device containing music, video, unlicensed commercial software, or other software/files/data that is sold commercially.

    2. You may not avoid this rule by claiming that software or music is to be erased by the other party or that it is for "testing purposes only".
     
  5. jamesi macrumors 6502a

    jamesi

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  6. yojitani thread starter macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    Apr 28, 2005
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    #6
    I definitely know about that! In fact, in part it's because I know of the rules here that promted me to ask.

    At any rate, thanks! Ebay does not have such an explicit policy, especially in regard to what sellers are actually doing. Not many actually say that they will include software w/out the disks. They all use that weak get out clause and ebay makes out as if that is a grey area. However, I have actually reported some sales that didn't even include a system disk. While I was't sure about 3rd Part software, I was sure about that... I didn't want a buyer to get burned (as I did on my first ever computer purchase many moons ago).
     
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    Nov 3, 2005
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    UK
    #7
    Surely it is legal to include software if you give the buyer the disks for it with the computer, it is a pretty grey area and their is little eBay can do. You could also claim to have "lost" the disks when selling I suppose, how do you know if that is legit or not?

    Though ++ to MR for being less slimy than eBay it's a good thing.
     
  8. topgunn macrumors 65816

    topgunn

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    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    Many times, even including the original install disks does not make it legal.

    As a side note, eBay ended an auction of mine for a Mac mini twice. Each time they said I was selling unauthorized software. All the auction listed software wise was that it included Tiger and iLife '06. I even mentioned that the original install CD's were included. I suspect someone else who was selling a similar package reported me so that my auction would be removed. After that incident, anytime I am selling a computer and there are a few others geared towards the same buyers, I will check out those auctions to see if they are legal or not. If they aren't, I report them and often times they get shut down.
     
  9. yojitani thread starter macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    #9
    Yes, I think this is a good strategy. I've reported some in the past mainly because the seller was being so slimy (like one a few days ago had this tiny note at the bottom to say that they "reserve the right not to ship computers with install disks for the OS and other software). It annoys me a lot because, as I mentioned, my first computer (a windows machine) I bought from a guy advertising all this software on the computer. Days later, the machine crashed and I had nothing!

    yt
     
  10. yojitani thread starter macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    Apr 28, 2005
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    An octopus's garden
    #10
    If the disks are there and the programs are removed from other computers, usually its ok.

    As I said in my original post, I prefer to provide free software and installation help since it seems a lot of people buying computers on ebay don't seem to know what they are doing...
     

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