The Pirates

Ahoy! Pirates who’ve upgraded to Windows 10 may want to take a closer look at the EULA they agreed to when the first installed the new OS. It looks like Microsoft wrote in the ability for the software to scan for and remove pirated content.

Here’s the legalese in section 7b of the updated EULA for Windows 10 as noticed by alphr.

…may automatically check your version of the software and download software update or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorised hardware peripheral devices.

Right, that’s not even simply pirated content, that’s unauthorized hardware peripherals as well.

There have been no cases of this actually happening yet, so there’s that. It’s possible for Microsoft to do this in Windows 10, and I bet that the vast majority of users just blindly accepted those terms and conditions when they upgraded.

The best solution here would be to not pirate software, at least in the simplest terms of this problem. Personally, I was guilty of this growing up. Granted, 15 years ago I don’t even think “piracy” was a term. At least not that I can remember. I stopped once I got to college and started actually thinking about the lives I was affecting with piracy.

There is, of course, the issue that older software is getting harder and harder to find in official capacities, so piracy is sometimes the only course of action. Well, other than simply not using said software.

What do you think of this new line in the end user license agreement? Bad move by Microsoft? Or, totally within reason?

Update: After chatting with a couple of other TB staffers, it seems that there’s some confusion regarding the legalize here. The EULA is for Microsoft Services, and it applies to current Windows supported tech, that includes Windows 10, Windows Phone and Xbox One.

The Microsoft Services bit of the EULA suggests that this might only apply to games and software made and sold by Microsoft. Third party games, potentially, might not be included in this piracy disabling notion.

However, there’s a lot of overlap here, and the EULA is more general than it is specific when it comes to “counterfeit games” and “unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.”

Microsoft hasn’t officially commented on any of this yet, but we’ll be sure to update you if and when they do.