RE: Why won't eBay let you sell NT?

Larry Masinter (
Mon, 6 Dec 1999 08:43:09 PST

OEM licenses aren't transferable, but go along with the
machine they were bought for. If you purchase software
with a license, you can sell it.

As for whether this makes sense, here's one way of thinking
about it:

The software is almost free. What you are mainly buying is the right
to expect support. With OEM licenses, the hardware manufacturer provides
the support, so you can't transfer that right without transferring
the hardware too.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rohit Khare []
> Sent: Sunday, December 05, 1999 3:14 PM
> To:
> Subject: Why won't eBay let you sell NT?
> [Explanations? Anyone?? --RK]
> >>Date: Fri, 03 Dec 1999 17:33:11 -0700
> >>To:
> >>From: "David M. Rose" <>
> >>Subject: Microsoft and eBay--partners in intimidation?
> >>
> >>Hello Dave,
> >>
> >>Recently, I bought 3 Compaq Professional Workstations, which came with
> >>Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Workstation on 3 CD-ROMs and were
> accompanied by 3
> >>engraved hologram-bedizened Certificates of Authenticity.
> >>
> >>Since I plan on running these units under Linux and never using
> Win NT on
> >>them, I put the Win NT OSs up for auction on eBay.
> >>
> >>After a couple of days, eBay cancelled the auction, citing Microsoft's
> >>instructions to them to disallow all "fraudulent" auctions.
> eBay, further,
> >>cancelled all of my other auctions for computer parts. Note that I run
> >>these auctions as a hobby: I'd imagine that those whose
> families depended
> >>on eBay for their livelihoods would be infinitely more discomfited.
> >>
> >>Who is, in your opinion, in the right? If you pay for a license, I guess
> >>that it can never be transferred, per MS and eBay. This POV, in
> my opinion,
> >>would come as a great shock to restaurateurs, whose liquor
> licenses form,
> >>in many cases, a significant part of their assets. Ditto with NYC cab
> >>drivers, where the licenses to pick up passengers (AKA medallions) have
> >>bankable worth.
> >>
> >>I would welcome all thoughts, pro and con, as to whether a
> bought and paid
> >>for license is worth what was paid for it or, in fact, has been declared
> >>worthless due to a corporate decree and a weak-kneed response from a
> >>leading auction house. What I was taught at the Harvard
> B-School tells me
> >>that my rights are inviolate, however, I'm not an intellectual
> property guru.
> >>
> >>Finally, hasn't billg realized that his bullying tactics have run their
> >>course--heh, good while they lasted.
> >>
> >>Thanks,
> >>
> >>David M. Rose
> >>