Are OEM products legal?

dme September 3, 2012
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I want to buy the OEM version of Adobe After Effects from beat-buy.com. Is it legal? Because it is so cheap.

  1. dd
    November 26, 2012 at 11:41 pm
  2. Gian Singh
    September 14, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Yes

  3. fatihamzah
    September 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Well, i think its illegal if you buy not with the Hardware. I really not recommend to OEM

  4. Oron
    September 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    dme, that's an excellent question! To begin with, the term "legal" is actually a bit complicated and vague. Most OEM licences entitle
    a) vendors to install the software on equipment which they sell and
    b) the user to use it.
    If you buy OEM software from a supplier, then the supplier has broken their agreement with the manufacturer and the manufacturer could sue them for breach of contract (which is NOT a crime, but a civil matter). However, the user is still entitled to use the software, since they didn't steal the software so it's "legal" in that sense.

    Some OEM licences (Apple being the most famous case), explicitly forbid the END USER from using the software on certain hardware (non-Macs in this case), and a Hackintosh in this sense in "not legal" (again, the software's not necessarily stolen, but it's used by the user against the contractual stipulation, so the manufacturer could sue you for breach of contract).

    As for beat-buy.com, I am not familiar with the company, but it looks very dodgy to me. For one thing, the prices are far too low. For another, OEMs usually buy directly from the company (e.g. Adobe) or from a distributor, and would not buy from a company such as beat-buy. Why would manufacturers supply beat-buy, who sell onto the general public? Thirdly, most commercial software comes with various means of anti-piracy protection. This may be in the form of "Certificate of Authenticity" (Microsoft's stickers for Windows), a product number or activation code, or being tied to specific hardware. The software beat-buy sell appears to be unprotected - unlikely story (particularly with Adobe products!). Finally, NO OEM will "sell" their products simply as "ZIP files". I would suspect beat-buy of selling warez (cracked software) at best, and being total scammers (selling nothing or malware) at worst. However, you could always call Adobe Tech Support and ask them to give their seal of approval - it would be brilliant if they do!

    • Oron
      September 5, 2012 at 11:06 am

      UPDATE: I've checked with one of the distributors (Abbyy) and they said they do not supply beat-buy.com, and they suspect the site sells pirated software. They are going to check it out, but for the time being, I think it's best to keep away from it.

  5. Rajaa Chowdhury
    September 4, 2012 at 1:02 am

    OEM licenses are usually legal to use in the computer where it was originally ported. The licenses are non-transferable to other computers. Besides a OEM license is usually valid for purchase along-with a new computer and not meant for existing computers.

  6. Jhon H. Caicedo
    September 4, 2012 at 12:36 am

    The website for beat-buy.com doesn't seem to be very reliable, and the prices are too good to be true, no physical address, phone number etc. not even a logo.

    Seems like a scam, getting a discount from USD600 to USD25 is ilogical.

  7. Rob Hindle
    September 3, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    As a general rule, if you find something offered at a seriously low price there's usually something wrong. Adobe After Effects UK list price is around £1000 (inc VAT). Adobe are very aggressive in protecting their prices - their US prices are normally much lower but they don't allow US retailers to sell outside US (I got a friend who lives there to buy Adobe software for me and post the CD).

    You might manage to get some discount but deep price cuts should put you on your guard. You asked the question because the deal seemed too good to be true - so you're probably right!

  8. ha14
    September 3, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Is it legal to install an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) version of software on a computer other than the one on which the software came?
    http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/antipiracy/piracy_faq.html#oem
    No. OEM software agreements specifically cover software that is preloaded onto hardware for sale; it is a violation of the license with the software publisher to sell this software without the hardware.

    OEM product overview
    http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/policy-pricing/oem-product-overview.html
    OEM software cannot be resold or transferred

    adobe will offer no support to the end user.

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