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German police are chasing buyers of cheap Windows 10 licenses

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The same principle applies to piracy in gaming. You don't fight this per-case despite all the lobby you see from the entertainment industry. That whole idea never really went any further than a few edge cases in which the public outrage and just general common sense dictates this makes no sense whatsoever. I vaguely remember one from France. In the Netherlands, we have 'Brein' and their biggest achievement has been blocking some torrent IPs and mirrors, but you can still access them regardless, even without a VPN.

/thread ;)
i guess its a topic for another thread* that fortunately the RIAA doesn't get far on that side of the pond:
they go after ISPs after decades of pursuing collage kids:
got a torrent of a big budget movie (esp cam/TS) thats bombing at the box office?: better not be from a public tracker or your ISP will get a notice - from personal exp.


*maybe not considering policy,
 
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So who lives in Germany. Has anyone ever been severely punished?

The worst they can do is send you to labor camp..
 

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Dont know about German laws, but in UK buying an illegal product key is not illegal. The sellers on the other hand.
 
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The worst they can do is send you to labor camp..
I doubt it's more than a fine IF they could even enforce it... No one is being sent to a gulag over this.
 
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The worst they can do is send you to labor camp..

Nah German labour camps are notoriously deadly.

All the keys for windows i have ever used bar one ( i actually have a genuine win 10 disc/license key ) have worked across multiple motherboards with no problems. These have all been bought from the cheapo retailers.
20220531_084509.jpg
 
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So who lives in Germany. Has anyone ever been severely punished?

There are thousands of lawsuits running right now. Punnished will be only those without legal expense insurance and/or a good lawyer, or those who don't have the cash for a lawyer & just agree to the charges with the lack of knowledge to defend themselfs from these dubious charges.

The whole process pretty much goes as follows: eBay seller gets busted & charged, PC's/data confiscated, customers lists secured from the drives, then the info will be handed over to the local courts which will file the charges. Of course only if criminal activity from the eBay seller is confirmed. For the buyers it's kinda like a scam from the government, they just try to charge you with anything and if you're too dumb to defend yourself they make money from your ignorance. Doesn't matter if you thought the offer is legit or not. :mad: Charges include: software piracy, money laundering, copyright infringement, etc. & fines will be balanced out on very detailed legal nuances, actus reus & mens rea, intent oder intention, knowledge, recklessness und negligence.

If you want to dive more into, there is a famous German lawyer (Christian Solmecke) on Youtube who also did defend someone, heck he was even himself a victim of it a while ago, lol:

(try subtitles, don't know if it works in english too)

As a German I wouldn't buy any Windows key from eBay or any German shop, it's just not worth the hazzle. :kookoo: There are enough keyshops that are out of legal reach of these GOV maniacs.
 
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Hi,
Most if not all of these cheap keys come from China and resold at various places like ebay
Example TPU sponsored godeals24 and a couple others I've noticed popup recently of similar names like "keysoff" lol are posted as news articles locked of course for good measure

I've found them to be a tad misleading on the windows 10 pro keys they sell
Some if not all are likely win-8 pro keys but sold as win-10 and maybe 11 pro keys
Really depends on the install instructions they sometimes disclose

Cheap office keys are also a can of worms seeing they state msdnr retail if you run this command
1654010868787.png


 
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There are thousands of lawsuits running right now. Punnished will be only those without legal expense insurance and/or a good lawyer, or those who don't have the cash for a lawyer & just agree to the charges with the lack of knowledge to defend themselfs from these dubious charges.

The whole process pretty much goes as follows: eBay seller gets busted & charged, PC's/data confiscated, customers lists secured from the drives, then the info will be handed over to the local courts which will file the charges. Of course only if criminal activity from the eBay seller is confirmed. For the buyers it's kinda like a scam from the government, they just try to charge you with anything and if you're too dumb to defend yourself they make money from your ignorance. Doesn't matter if you thought the offer is legit or not. :mad: Charges include: software piracy, money laundering, copyright infringement, etc. & fines will be balanced out on very detailed legal nuances, actus reus & mens rea, intent oder intention, knowledge, recklessness und negligence.

If you want to dive more into, there is a famous German lawyer (Christian Solmecke) on Youtube who also did defend someone, heck he was even himself a victim of it a while ago, lol:

(try subtitles, don't know if it works in english too)

As a German I wouldn't buy any Windows key from eBay or any German shop, it's just not worth the hazzle. :kookoo: There are enough keyshops that are out of legal reach of these GOV maniacs.
Pffff its a sad state of affairs then. Totally pointless waste of taxpayer money and institutional capacity. Going after the little guys... solving nothing.

Perhaps reason for protest ? I can say that in Netherlands there is no such ridiculous witch hunt. BREIN officially states it will only go after those that release the content and torrent sites. And they always chase reality. Most recent 'victory' is they 'blocked' 1337x.to and numerous proxies. Okay... so we use 1337xxx.to now.
 
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There are thousands of lawsuits running right now. Punnished will be only those without legal expense insurance and/or a good lawyer, or those who don't have the cash for a lawyer & just agree to the charges with the lack of knowledge to defend themselfs from these dubious charges.

The whole process pretty much goes as follows: eBay seller gets busted & charged, PC's/data confiscated, customers lists secured from the drives, then the info will be handed over to the local courts which will file the charges. Of course only if criminal activity from the eBay seller is confirmed. For the buyers it's kinda like a scam from the government, they just try to charge you with anything and if you're too dumb to defend yourself they make money from your ignorance. Doesn't matter if you thought the offer is legit or not. :mad: Charges include: software piracy, money laundering, copyright infringement, etc. & fines will be balanced out on very detailed legal nuances, actus reus & mens rea, intent oder intention, knowledge, recklessness und negligence.

If you want to dive more into, there is a famous German lawyer (Christian Solmecke) on Youtube who also did defend someone, heck he was even himself a victim of it a while ago, lol:

(try subtitles, don't know if it works in english too)

As a German I wouldn't buy any Windows key from eBay or any German shop, it's just not worth the hazzle. :kookoo: There are enough keyshops that are out of legal reach of these GOV maniacs.
That is seriously messed up! Seems like history might be repeating itself after all..
 
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Why are Microsoft cheap licenses from Lizengo (for example) illegal?
It is obvious to everyone that software offers at ridiculous prices, which one can stumble across on the pages of opaque Internet providers from the Far East, should be treated with caution. However, hardly any buyer worries about the fact that something he can get in any supermarket might be illegal. However, this is exactly the case here, since the Asian license keys, which were distributed by Lizengo on the European market at a tenth of the original price, allow the activation of the respective Windows software, but not its unrestricted use.

From this the public prosecutor's office now derives the charges of copyright infringement, data theft and money laundering.


What do the accusations leveled against Lizengo purchasers mean?
Copyright infringement under Section 106 of the German Copyright Act (UrhG) is the reproduction or distribution of a work without the consent of the author. In this case, it is the illegal distribution of software.
Data theft pursuant to Section 202d of the German Criminal Code (StGB) occurs when data that is not generally accessible and that has been obtained illegally is procured for oneself or someone else, given to another, disseminated or otherwise made accessible in order to enrich oneself or a third party or to harm another.
Money laundering (in the present case, reckless money laundering is assumed) occurs under Section 261 of the Criminal Code if someone conceals an object derived from an unlawful act, conceals its origin, or frustrates or endangers the determination of the origin, the location, the confiscation, or the seizure of such an object.

What are the penalties for copyright infringement, data theft or money laundering?
Data theft and copyright infringement, as defined above, are punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to 3 years. Those guilty of reckless money laundering are also usually subject to fines, and according to the letter of the law, imprisonment for up to 2 years. So the matter is no joke. The public prosecutor's office does not shy away from showing up at the front doors of Lizengo buyers with a search warrant, and seizing whatever data carriers they find. It is certainly worth discussing whether and to what extent the above-mentioned accusations can be made against buyers of cheap licenses at all.


What is problematic about the accusations made against buyers of the Lizengo licenses?
That a copyright infringement according to § 106 UrhG exists in the case of mass sales of software at a fraction of the original price by Lizengo can be confidently affirmed. However, the extent to which the purchasers should be guilty of distribution and/or duplication may not be clear.

It is similar with the accusation of data theft: It is doubtful whether the accusation of illegally obtaining data for one's own enrichment or to harm others can be made against someone who has purchased and paid for something freely available at the supermarket checkout. The accusation of money laundering only makes sense if one assumes that every customer should have suspected an illegal origin of the license keys offered by Lizengo in view of the ridiculous price. In fact, this cannot be assumed for a freely sellable item. Especially not since neither Microsoft nor the German courts had made a clear statement in 2019 about whether the cheap licenses were legal or not.
 
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There are numerous websites where relatively inexpensive license keys can be purchased for, for example, Microsoft Windows 10.
For a fraction of the suggested retail price, you can obtain a valid license. However, the source of the keys is often dubious or illegal.

According to sources, the German police will actively approach buyers of cheap license keys in hopes of accusing them of money laundering and copyright infringement.
Although the German authorities have not provided confirmation, several users have reportedly confirmed that they received similar subpoenas from the police after purchasing cheap Windows 10 product keys online from various websites. Some say the keys were bought many years ago, so it's not clear yet what the police will do with this new campaign.

For now, however, it's important to deal with this information with a fair amount of skepticism, especially since it's all based on reporting with no official statement about it.


A couple of months ago I've bought a key; so far it is working well and it is activated online. after reading this thread I am afraid and skeptical. :confused:
 
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A couple of months ago I've bought a key; so far it is working well and it is activated online. after reading this thread I am afraid and skeptical. :confused:
Fear not. No one is going to bang down your door for buying that product key. It's been some time since the event of the OP took place and I believe that German authorities have been clued in to the fact that such is not unlawful in the EU and is, in fact, a protected right and thus lawful in Germany. Use your PC with a clear conscience.

And BTW, welcome to TPU!
 
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Unless Microsoft going broke after all their keys being leaked as it wouldn't surprise me one bit, people selling keys are making quick money as prison itself is overcrowded not enough to cover the population of whole world at any given moment
 
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Unless Microsoft going broke after all their keys being leaked as it wouldn't surprise me one bit, people selling keys are making quick money as prison itself is overcrowded not enough to cover the population of whole world at any given moment
Not to worry - Microsoft (and it's monopoly) will NOT go broke.

Microsoft said it had $49.4 billion in sales in the first three months of the year, up 18 percent from a year earlier. Profit rose 8 percent to $16.7 billion. Microsoft, like many tech companies, enjoyed a surge in demand from the pandemic, but unlike Netflix and others, it has seen its growth continue.Apr 26, 2022
 

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Not to worry - Microsoft (and it's monopoly) will NOT go broke.

Microsoft said it had $49.4 billion in sales in the first three months of the year, up 18 percent from a year earlier. Profit rose 8 percent to $16.7 billion. Microsoft, like many tech companies, enjoyed a surge in demand from the pandemic, but unlike Netflix and others, it has seen its growth continue.Apr 26, 2022
Clearly, these evil, pirated keys are blowing a hole in Microsoft's finances, tsk.

Chuck anyone who peddles or buys them in jail and throw away the key!
 
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If Microsoft sold a genius key one time use for €/£/$25 for the 100,000 people that already totalled to €/£/$2.5 million gained or lost to pirated
 
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