Windows 10 Free* Upgrade to Pirates

The following article describes Microsoft’s announcement that everyone will get a free upgrade to Windows 10, including users with pirated licences. However, upgrades from pirated licences will be deemed “non-genuine”. Although it is not clear what the implications of having a non-genuine license may be, industry experts note that there is greater risk of malware, fraud and malfunctions in pirated versions. This can be associated with the fact that pirated versions may not be able to receive updates for their copies.  The goal of Microsoft is to get everyone on a single, regularly updated platform.  Is Windows using their license agreement to punish pirates by claiming their license as “non-genuine”? While on its face it may seem fair to differentiate between users who bought previous versions of Windows against users who downloaded pirate versions, but is allowing users to upgrade from their pirated copies only to lock them out from security updates which may be vital to their privacy going too far? This relates to a previous talk we had in class about Rebecca Tushnet’s article which described how corporations used their licensing agreements to replace fair use provisions and over-leverage their positions in their agreements.

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