No piracy talk in the ##windows channels, please. We will not:
knowingly attempt to support any software instance that we know to be pirated or illegally copied.
knowingly help you to find illegal distributions of any software.
knowingly help you to circumvent the licensing terms of any software.
knowingly promote or enable piracy in any other way.
We're not the Piracy Police and we don't actually care very much about how you obtain the software you use in your private life. That's your business and we're not here to meddle in it. However, we want to avoid all piracy-related talk in our channels, for multiple reasons:
We're a channel on the freenode IRC network, which declares warez offtopic. Additionally, freenode discourages unlawful activities. We are in freenode's "house" and we believe that polite guests follow the house rules. We want to be polite guests. See Freenode.net's policies
Our channel operators actually do believe in abiding by the agreements under which any given software package is released.
Many of our users connect from workplaces or environments that may frown upon the terms used in the discussion of piracy, such as "piracy" and "warez." We do not wish to cause issues for these users or otherwise disrupt their environments.
We simply do not need the attention (from lawyers, reporters and the like) we might attract if we became a well-known pirate hangout.
Allowing discussion of piracy to take place ultimately puts the channel and freenode as a whole at some level of risk. This may be a small amount of risk, but we don't believe it's worth any risk when it's so easy to prevent.
We understand that there are many different opinions about piracy, copyrights and software licensing. We respect this diversity of opinion, but we stress that our channels are about the software, not the licensing terms. So we don't really care to have long arguments about whether piracy is right or wrong, or what you can get away with. These are questions each person must answer for himself. We'd prefer to simply not discuss it at all.
Many issues can be discussed without us ever knowing whether your software is legit or not. However, software does sometimes behave differently when it is not properly licensed. Additionally, some piracy methods modify software in ways that make it difficult to support. For these reasons, you'll sometimes see someone asking whether a particular copy of software is legit or not. This should only be done when it has technical bearing on the issue at hand.
For the purposes of the ##windows channels, we have links to legitimate ISO's from Microsoft. Links to other sources is off topic as is discussion of obtaining this software by other means than the above link.
There's another side to this: discussions of what is and is not "legit" from a licensing point of view.
We avoid this talk in channel for several reasons:
It's a complex topic.
It can be influenced by local laws. This being IRC, you don't know what laws apply to us and we don't know what laws apply to you.
Getting legal advice from un-named sources on the internet is in our minds a very bad idea.
And let's face it, there will often be some troll in here who gets his/her kicks by giving bad advice, or steering the discussion toward argument on purpose.
Technical issues are easily proven or disproven; legal ones far less so. It's a minefield.
Our advice: first, dig out and read the license terms in question yourself. Make sure you find the version of the license which applies in your country. It's usually far easier to understand than people think it will be.
If this proves difficult, then we suggest you seek local subject matter experts. Suggestions:
In a professional setting, seek out your organization's legal or purchasing experts.
In a personal setting, seek support from MS or from whomever sold you your copy of Windows.
Speak to a lawyer who practices in your legal jurisdiction.