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Illegal copies of Windows marketed as legal

In Kurdistan markets, some people sell Windows stickers and say that they are original copies of windows. In fact, these copies are illegal and they have come with other computers through the OEM channels.

Sellers detach these stickers from the original computers and sell the computer with a pirated copy of Windows. Then, they tell their customers to download a trial version of Windows and activate it with the activation key that is on the sticker.

Sometimes, the sellers also download the trial version and activate it for the customer at yet another cost.

They sell these stickers at a price of around $50 to $70 each, which is much lower than the price of an original copy of Windows. However, the price is also much higher than the price of a pirated copy of Windows in the market. This creates a false assumption among people that the sticker is actually an original and legal copy of Windows.

People are unaware that Microsoft considers these practices as illegal. They also don’t know that although some users get away with it, but if they get spotted, Microsoft will block the activation key and deactivate their copy of Windows.

Due to deficient and poor enforcement of copyright laws, selling pirated copies of Windows and other programs in the markets of Kurdistan and the region is a common practice.

An original copy of Windows comes through three channels:

1. Through OEM partners of Microsoft; These copies of Windows are sold to manufacturers of PCs like Lenovo, Dell, and HP.

2. On DVD; this one has original stickers, which cannot be replicated.

3. Volume licensing; Customers of such licensing schemes are typically business, governmental or educational institutions, with prices for volume licensing varying depending on the type, quantity and applicable subscription-term.