Man wins right to sell Windows 7 party pack on eBay

Whilst we don't agree with people picking up party packs and then selling them, this story is rather unique.

Neowin member Matthew Elder decided to list his Windows 7 party pack on eBay and profit from a freeby by selling it on. Initially his auction was taken down after a claim by Microsoft for "unauthorized distribution of Microsoft Software". Elder wasn't happy with the decision and fired off a reply to the rights holder, Microsoft's NetSafe team - he received the following reply:

"It appears that this auction was reported to eBay because the software that was being offered is not licensed for retail distribution. Microsoft distributes software in a variety of formats, each of which are licensed for specific uses and have specific transfer requirements. Many software components are limited from redistribution through "Not For Resale" or "Not For Retail Or OEM Distribution" licensing. These components are generally distributed for promotional purposes, and are licensed for demonstration, testing, or evaluation only. They are not complete, retail software packages, and are therefore not authorized for retail transactions such as eBay auctions."

Still unhappy with the response, Elder sent the following:

"Your company's stance on that seems to go against the ruling that was issued by a federal judge last year in a case about resale of promo CD's ( http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/umg_v_au...V03106SJO-O.pdf ). Surely there would be no legal difference between a promo CD and promo software? And are you telling me that there is some difference (other than the special packaging) between the copies of Windows 7 Ultimate that were given to the House Party hosts and the copies that will be sold at retail? Your company has already had to settle a lawsuit when you tried to sue someone reselling Academic copies of Windows XP and Office (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Corp_v._Zamos). How many more times does this type of thing have to go to court before your company understands the concept of the First Sale Doctrine? You CANNOT restrict someone from reselling something that they legally obtained from you. End of story. While Microsoft may be the "800lb. gorilla" of the software industry, you cannot and DO NOT make the law, nor are you entitled to bully consumers by trying to impose non-existent laws on them.

I'd really like to hear your thoughts on the court cases I mentioned above, and why your company feels that they are still in a legal position to request the end of auctions for NFR copies of software."

Clearly the folks at Microsoft's NetSafe team took notice as they replied, allowing Elder to list his auction once again:

"Hello Mr. Elder,

We are in receipt of the additional information you provided regarding eBay auction #160368269963, in which you were offering Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition Party Pack. We have contacted eBay and notified them that Microsoft does not object to the reinstatement of your auction pending its further review of this matter.

Sincerely,
MS NetSafe Team"

The listing of free copies of Windows 7 from party packs wasn't the original intention of Microsoft's marketing team nor is it in the spirit of the concept of the parties. Never fear though, Neowin, along with some other great Microsoft writers and bloggers, is holding a Windows 7 party in New York on October 22. For your chance to win a copy of Windows 7 and other goodies, check out all the information here.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Twitter begins rolling out Lists feature for select people

Next Story

TalkTalk stages file-sharing wi-fi stunt

194 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

some of you are missing the "Big" point

regardless of if he has had his party or complied with the terms and conditions
and assuming the ........"Your company's stance on that seems to go against the ruling that was issued by a federal judge last year in a case about resale of promo CD's ( http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/umg_v_au...V03106SJO-O.pdf )....is applicable

then it is Microsoft who is in the wrong and breaking the law - while they are at it
they can't impose restrictions that breach consumer laws, just because they include conditions in their "Terms and conditions"

This is really Microsoft's own fault. I thought the disc would have come after proof of there being some sort of party.

It's too bad for Microsoft as I'm sure they wanted this to go to someone who actually wanted it and would aprpeciate it. Instead they have to have an e-mail war with a jerk who just wants to sell it to make a couple bucks.

Some people just have nothing better to do than waste people's time with their ignorance.

If he was after sympathy/support then looks like his plan has well and truly backfired! If he wasn't then why bother?

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. That's what separates idiots from the rest of society. There are far more consequences from things like this than you may think.

omnicoder said,
And now Microsoft will never do this again. Good job.

Agreed. people trying to profit from a freebie. aholes like this will make Microsoft think twice about doing this again.

Foub said,
Anyone who will pay money for something that you can get for free is a fool.


But what if you ultimately cannot get it for free, are you still a fool? Esp. if you could get it cheaper on EBay?

briangw said,
But what if you ultimately cannot get it for free, are you still a fool? Esp. if you could get it cheaper on EBay?

Touche

AllMac said,
Anything that ****es off Microsoft deserves thumbs up from me.

I suppose the same applies to Apple haters, just don't complain when it happens.

i have no respect to anyone who has signed up for the "party" and got accepted, and then turn around and sell it for few quick bucks. stop beeing money hungry. some people would love to be in your shoes and win that copy of windows 7 to keep.

i got my copy of windows 7 and im keeping this. some people are just disgusting

You sound like you entered just to "win" the free copy of Windows 7. This makes it just as unethical.

Of course, you may be holding a party - why hold onto Win7? Raffle it, lucky door prize, or simply a giveaway. Don't be a scrooge!

I've looked on eBay and I am digusted that so many people are taking advantage of the scheme and just there copies of 7 on for profit. I think Microsoft should have held of posting them until they actually had evidence that the party had happened.

J400uk said,
I think Microsoft should have held of posting them until they actually had evidence that the party had happened.

How exactly is that supposed to work? The entire reason for the parties is to show off Windows 7. If the party hosts didn't have it before the party, how are they supposed to show it off to the guests?

(snipped) have you not yet worked out that people have no intention to actually host the parties now they have there copies of 7?

J400uk said,
(snipped) have you not yet worked out that people have no intention to actually host the parties now they have there copies of 7?

Unfortunately this is closer to the truth than you think!

I have never seen a bigger group of cry babies in all my life. Really, you think Microsoft is sweating over this, or that they are going to make a change to any promotional policies over someone selling a single copy of W7? Really? That's what you think?

Do you truly think that MS gave out the copies and had the whole Party thing as a "gesture" to its fans? really? that's why they did it? To be nice? to be giving? For some sort of karma?

Wow, talk about delusional.

I'll try to make this simple. It's called M-A-R-K-E-T-I-N-G
It has nothing to do with being nice, it has everything to do with getting as many eyes as possible on their product for as cheap as possible. This way they did not have to pay anyone any hourly wages to demo the product. They get it in the hands of the fanbois and let them do all the work for free. You want to talk morals? How about tricking the weak minded into doing work for free that people are normally paid to do!

I think you all need to give your collective heads a shake and stop feeling sorry for a company that is probably loving all the free publicity they are getting from this. The fact that so many of you are on here crying about how MS has been done wrong by likely has people in their marketing department howling with laughter. Wake up people, wake up.

Talk about your proverbial mountain out of a mole hill. boo hoo hoo, MS probably won't give stuff way for free anymore, boo hoo hoo. HA HA HA, you guys are hilarious.

kenboldt said,
I have never seen a bigger group of cry babies in all my life. Really, you think Microsoft is sweating over this, or that they are going to make a change to any promotional policies over someone selling a single copy of W7? Really? That's what you think?

Do you truly think that MS gave out the copies and had the whole Party thing as a "gesture" to its fans? really? that's why they did it? To be nice? to be giving? For some sort of karma?

Wow, talk about delusional.

I'll try to make this simple. It's called M-A-R-K-E-T-I-N-G
It has nothing to do with being nice, it has everything to do with getting as many eyes as possible on their product for as cheap as possible. This way they did not have to pay anyone any hourly wages to demo the product. They get it in the hands of the fanbois and let them do all the work for free. You want to talk morals? How about tricking the weak minded into doing work for free that people are normally paid to do!

I think you all need to give your collective heads a shake and stop feeling sorry for a company that is probably loving all the free publicity they are getting from this. The fact that so many of you are on here crying about how MS has been done wrong by likely has people in their marketing department howling with laughter. Wake up people, wake up.

Talk about your proverbial mountain out of a mole hill. boo hoo hoo, MS probably won't give stuff way for free anymore, boo hoo hoo. HA HA HA, you guys are hilarious.

I guess you are late to the party because the one not understanding a thing here it's you. We obviously know Microsoft is doing some marketing to promote W7, that's why they are handing free copies.

Still, I don't see why you should be extent of doing something inmoral and probably illegal just because you can "hurt a big company" or because they won't feel the hit of one copy being sold on eBay (which, if you took your time you would have noticed it's not just one).

Get a clue.

Yes I read comment #53 above and still think whatever you and others who are selling the party pack on eBay is wrong.

Also you claim that you got Windows 7 through work? Can you tell me how you got that? MSDN? Maybe you did not read the fine print regarding what is the intended use for such software?

Anyhow we can argue about this all day and personally I don't care if you sell it , burn it or use it. As long as you think you are doing the right thing

Didn't this guy break the agreement that allowed him to receive the copy of Windows 7 in the first place? The copy of Windows 7 was not "free" as it was part of the agreement that he use the copy of Windows 7 to demonstrate it to his party guests. He obviously isn't going to demonstrate it if he's selling it on eBay, so because he's not holding up his end of the bargain, Microsoft should be able to request that he send the party pack back.

Sorry, didn't have to time read every single comment here, nor the original thread. The article never mentioned that you already have a copy of Windows 7, which left the impression that you simply didn't want Windows 7.

Oh, and I totally agree that the bags and poster and such are hideous. The only half-decent things are the napkins, streamers, ballons, and Windows 7 Ultimate - for those of us that didn't have it yet.

I've sent a PM to Tom to have him include those details in the story. It would have been nice if he had asked me for more details before he took my forum post and turned it into a front page story.

You people make it sound like this is the first time somebody's done something like this. This happens all the time. This "party pack" sounds like a collector's item, and people are willing to pay for those.

Anyways, big deal? Microsoft won't stop giving out promos because of this, because I can guarantee THAT THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME. It's nothing new.

One of the "websites" I cited is the PDF copy of the court decision that happens to be hosted on the EFF's site. A court decision is not available for the other case because it was settled out of court. The best site to quote for it was the Wikipedia entry on the case because it includes links to relevant articles about the case and the First Sale Doctrine.

I have already posted this in the thread but since I see people speculating on the issue here, I figure I need to restate it.

At no point have I ever said that I was not hosting the party, just that I wouldn't need the copy of Windows 7 that they provided (I already have it through work), and I don't plan on using the party supplies that they sent (they were hideous and tacky). No where in the agreement for House Party did it state that you had to use the supplies they provided.

When I applied for the House Party site, I didn't have the other copy of Windows 7 and didn't know that I was going to be getting it. I got the other copy after I had already been approved. As for the party supplies, House Party never showed what they were going to look like before they shipped them. If you look through some of the other threads here about the party kits, you will see what they look like. In my opinion, they are hideous. I personally hate the "artwork" (if you can call it that) that they used, which is based on some of the Windows 7 wallpapers. That is why I don't intend on using the party supplies they provided.

roadwarrior said,
I have already posted this in the thread but since I see people speculating on the issue here, I figure I need to restate it.

At no point have I ever said that I was not hosting the party, just that I wouldn't need the copy of Windows 7 that they provided (I already have it through work), and I don't plan on using the party supplies that they sent (they were hideous and tacky). No where in the agreement for House Party did it state that you had to use the supplies they provided.

When I applied for the House Party site, I didn't have the other copy of Windows 7 and didn't know that I was going to be getting it. I got the other copy after I had already been approved. As for the party supplies, House Party never showed what they were going to look like before they shipped them. If you look through some of the other threads here about the party kits, you will see what they look like. In my opinion, they are hideous. I personally hate the "artwork" (if you can call it that) that they used, which is based on some of the Windows 7 wallpapers. That is why I don't intend on using the party supplies they provided.


See, thats what I was talking about, no one knew the reasons for sure for the sale. What you put is a good example. You thought you would use the pack materials until you saw what they looked like and didn't like them and now will not use them. You already have Win7. There was nothing wrong with selling it.

Steve B said,
See, thats what I was talking about, no one knew the reasons for sure for the sale. What you put is a good example. You thought you would use the pack materials until you saw what they looked like and didn't like them and now will not use them. You already have Win7. There was nothing wrong with selling it.


I had already mentioned this in the thread about the e-mail exchange, and I also mentioned it in my Neobay thread about the item. I only ended up selling the copy of Windows 7 though. I am going to at least use the streamers and balloons, and maybe the napkins, but the poster and tote bags will probably end up in the trash.

Yeah right, didn't like the artwork, don't believe a word of that. More like you thought it would be an easy way to make a quick buck. So did/are you actually holding a party or not? If yes then fine, if not then my previous comment stands.

Thunderbuck said,
Any particular reason you didn't wait until afterward?


No particular reason other than needing some money at that particular time. Any particular reson that I should have waited? I still wouldn't have needed the extra copy of Windows, and I still wouldn't have used the party supplies.

roadwarrior said,
No particular reason other than needing some money at that particular time. Any particular reson that I should have waited? I still wouldn't have needed the extra copy of Windows, and I still wouldn't have used the party supplies.


Is HouseParty going to sue to get their stuff back? Extremely unlikely, so, no, there's no practical reason for you to have waited. Personally, though, I might have at least held my party first... Again, the karma thing ;)

PS, like your site. If nothing else, you may have gained a new member out of this... lol

I don't know the full contractual obligations as why would I read a contract im not interesting in agreeing to.... but are you sure it doesn't say something including you are meant to showcase the retail version of Windows they supplied? You may be getting the other version through work but do you actually have it already?

And the reason you are selling it is because you get more money for it now. You can't need the money that bad unless you are not very good at organising your finances. As you clearly point out you have only just decided you do not need the copy now.

My first thought was.... You are now on the list where you will never get anymore freebies from Microsoft. Congrats!

Whilst we don't agree with people picking up party packs and then selling them, this story is rather unique.

FWIW, respectfully disagree with there being anything unique about it... It's not like a battle hard fought & won or anything, but the age old principle of the squeaky wheel getting the oil. It's not & wasn't worth Microsoft's time & trouble, not to mention any potential bad PR just when they're putting on their win7 blitz. Think of what would happen to the Microsoft employee's career, if they were held responsible for *any* bad press now, after Microsoft's spent & is spending millions on win7 promos.

Whether you agree or disagree with Elder's selling the party pack, Matthew was just being a smart consumer, realizing that his most powerful, & certainly most motivated advocate was himself. It's a lesson we all could learn or be reminded of -- if you have a serious complaint, make a serious complaint. Know that human nature is on your side -- many (most?) bosses will give you, the customer exactly what you want (if not more), if the matter reaches their attention, simply because they feel that they're too important to be bothered with such trivial matters. They'll also often give the employees that should have taken care of it a Very hard time -- while not certain because it's so over-used, making it clear you're willing to raise a stink with the top brass can help. [But don't take my word for it -- look at/for the recent Neowin article where someone got a party pack from Balmer himself, after complaining his locale wasn't eligible.]

My Opinion is if you were only going to sell the software you shouldnt have signed up and given those of us that actually wanted to USE the software a chance.

As a general response. No one knows why these people are selling the packs. It is most likely an attempt to make some cash but, no one knows for sure. So leave the people alone. They are free to do what they want. There is nothing wrong with it.

I seriously doubt Microsoft would start blacklisting keys. They would have to try and figure out who did sell and such. Microsoft realizes that this isn't worth their time or trouble because these things will obviously be a tax write-off and the savings alone will outweigh what few people decided to actually sell their packs. If anything Microsoft will not do such promotions anymore.

I bought one of those packs online this morning. The whole pack was there with Win7. It works out for all. The guy selling will get the money. Who knows, maybe he was in bad financial trouble, needed some money or just wanted to money to spend. No matter how you slice it, it works out for everyone. The guy gets the money he wanted, I get the pack and Win7 I wanted, the money spent gets circulated helping the economy and Microsoft will be happy that there is someone out there that still wants to use their products.

So please people, get off your high horse and leave the people alone.

God forbid people discuss something on a DISCUSSION BOARD.

Why don't you get off your high horse and stop telling people what they can and can't say.

Mega Goatlord said,
God forbid people discuss something on a DISCUSSION BOARD.

Why don't you get off your high horse and stop telling people what they can and can't say.

I'm not telling people what they can or cannot say, I'm just saying leave the people alone as we don't know what their reasoning is (for sure) for selling the packs. Is all this because you might be jealous at the fact that you didn't get one?

Steve B said,
As a general response. No one knows why these people are selling the packs...

People buy/sell/hang onto anything they think might be collectible. Human nature in some parts of the world. I mean, no offense, but Why did you buy the party pack? Did you buy it because it was cheaper than purchasing an OEM copy? Or because you wanted it?

Far as whether it's *Right* or not, it's very much a purely subjective judgment call. From a psychological standpoint, people sell military medals & all sorts of awards & heirlooms all day, every day, while others suffer financial hardship & wouldn't think of parting with personal treasures. Suspect neither sort would/could understand the mindset of the other.

I'm sure that if Microsoft finds they created a high demand collectible, someone in marketing will research the potential market. And if they find too many kits for sale [it could well balloon after the launch date], they'll realize the party promo was a bust, & never do that again.

mikiem said,
People buy/sell/hang onto anything they think might be collectible. Human nature in some parts of the world. I mean, no offense, but Why did you buy the party pack? Did you buy it because it was cheaper than purchasing an OEM copy? Or because you wanted it?

Far as whether it's *Right* or not, it's very much a purely subjective judgment call. From a psychological standpoint, people sell military medals & all sorts of awards & heirlooms all day, every day, while others suffer financial hardship & wouldn't think of parting with personal treasures. Suspect neither sort would/could understand the mindset of the other.

I'm sure that if Microsoft finds they created a high demand collectible, someone in marketing will research the potential market. And if they find too many kits for sale [it could well balloon after the launch date], they'll realize the party promo was a bust, & never do that again.


No offense taken. I bought it for a few reasons. I did want the pack. I like collecting certain things. I might even use the pack because I am getting together with a few geek friends after they buy Win7 and get together and install it and just mess around with it and such. I do obviously plan to use the OS. It being slightly cheaper did factor in. Those are my reasons.

So in essence you paid for doing what he/she was supposed to do for free with the same materials now if he/she wouldnt have signed up for the houseparty that slot would have been available for someone like yourself that wanted to do it.

By the way, the guy in this story is on this site, and has been for a while. Stop being such asses - this may be the internet, but you're not having a private conversation.

Most of us know he's a member here. So? I think he has the morality of a rock. Not trying to insult the rock mind you.

There may be a legal precedence, but he also broke a legal binding agreement with Microsoft in order to follow that "letter of the law". Breaking one to be able to comply with another...well, it's that rock thing again.

I know he's considered insignificant to Microsoft in the scheme of things, but imo, I would like to see them take up legal matters with him and ban the key for the copy he was given.

Kirkburn said,
By the way, the guy in this story is on this site, and has been for a while. Stop being such asses - this may be the internet, but you're not having a private conversation.

Who cares if he's on this site... He needs to know what a jerk thing he did.

THAT WOULD BE GREAT if they blacklisted his key! Wonder what kind of feedback he would get? :)

BLACKLIST SO_UNREAL's key as well. Sell your cat! There is a buck to be made there as well. Since you are all about selling anything for a buck. Sell yourself while you are at it - well okay maybe not for a dollar but spare change counts.

Party on people. :)

if I was MS, I'd say send it back to us... he OBVIOUSLY did not do what the contract from MS required him to do to keep the software... because that says to hold a release day party invide at least x number of people and show them features of windows 7 that you installed with the included copy....

To So_Unreal and all the others that are justifying "making a buck" or sticking it to Microsoft, there was an electronic agreeement between House Party/Microsoft that the person in this story hold a "launch party" and in return he got all the stuff in the Party Pack. There's no difference between this and any NDA that you agree to when you beta test products for various companies. His quoting of legal precedence regarding selling promotional CD's doesn't even apply since he wasn't given Windows 7 for nothing, it was in exchange for a service he agreed to provide.

So-Unreal said,
I am gonna have a party... just for you. Its gonna be just me and my cat. You happy now?


still not in compliance has to be a group of people

VoodooHellfire said,
To So_Unreal and all the others that are justifying "making a buck" or sticking it to Microsoft, there was an electronic agreeement between House Party/Microsoft that the person in this story hold a "launch party" and in return he got all the stuff in the Party Pack. There's no difference between this and any NDA that you agree to when you beta test products for various companies. His quoting of legal precedence regarding selling promotional CD's doesn't even apply since he wasn't given Windows 7 for nothing, it was in exchange for a service he agreed to provide.

Agreement or not, what if something comes up....trip to hospital, death in the family, etc. Maybe school. Point is, nobody knows why he decided no party. We need to quit speculating and assuming his reasons and leave the guy alone.

VoodooHellfire said,
... there was an electronic agreeement between House Party/Microsoft that the person in this story hold a launch party...

Personally I agree, & while it sounds corny, it is dishonest to lie, which is why I think selling the complete kit upsets so many Neowin readers. I'd guess that many like myself never applied because we had no intention &/or possibility of ever throwing a launch party, & chose not to lie about it. Others probably had every intention but were not chosen, which in a way makes it worse... it's one thing to lie to get a free download or copy of software, but somehow crosses a line when your lie takes it away from somebody else.

Again with apologies for maybe sounding corny, I chose not to lie & I choose not to worry about judging Elder or anyone else... I have enough to worry about keeping me on the [somewhat] straight & narrow. ;-) 'Sides, I believe in Karma.

Well I got $225 for my Windows 7 party pack. And I only sold the CDs not the rest of that BS. And I dont care if I got something for free or not. If its money to be made im gonna make it.

I am not impressed with anyone selling on these Party Packs but I really doubt MS cares so much that they'll never ever do a promotion again.. think about it, this whole thing was for promotion and marketing. Even people who sell the stuff on are generating attention from all the fuss everyone is making about it. Far worse is the people who received the Party Packs and just dumped them in a cupboard never to be seen or heard about ever again.

Laura said,
I really doubt MS cares so much that they'll never ever do a promotion again..

Well, if enough complete kits show up on the market it'll be obvious that people were just after the free stuff, with no intention at all of hosting a party like MS intended. If they don't feel a promo was a success, why in the world would they (or any company) do it again?

The guy is a PUTZ!. He profited from what was a generous gift from Microsoft. Do not tell me about how much money they have because if that is the case then all of you that make more money than your friends should buy them everything since they have less than you! The reason Microsoft backed down or let it go is because its too small a issue to deal with. They would stand to lose more than gain. It is the case with most lawsuits towards big companies. It's not worth the legal battle.

The Ebayer researched this before he put it up on ebay and knew exactly his intentions when he applied for the Windows 7 Party Pack. What a LOSER.

Anyone want to buy my Party Pack? HAHA J/K

mrmomoman said,
The guy is a PUTZ!. He profited from what was a generous gift from Microsoft. Do not tell me about how much money they have because if that is the case then all of you that make more money than your friends should buy them everything since they have less than you! The reason Microsoft backed down or let it go is because its too small a issue to deal with. They would stand to lose more than gain. It is the case with most lawsuits towards big companies. It's not worth the legal battle.

The Ebayer researched this before he put it up on ebay and knew exactly his intentions when he applied for the Windows 7 Party Pack. What a LOSER.

Anyone want to buy my Party Pack? HAHA J/K


I bought one of the party packs that were on EBay. Seller didn't have any dings against him, pic of the stuff were good.

RealFduch said,
I think that selling "not for resell" goods that you got for free is morally wrong.

...its the American way. Have something and make a little money off of it....that is the American way.

This is wrong, and it could hurt everyone else. If promotional material stops being effective because its ineffective (if this set a precedent for example) as marketing material and misses its targeted audience, companies will just stop doing it.

While legally he MAY have been OK to sell it, to me it stinks because these "promos" in the party packs were only available to those who registered to have a party and even then were in limited release. Not everyone who registered to have a party in hopes of getting a party pack got one. So as far as I am concerned, he *EARMUFFS* someone out of one who maybe really wanted one. Our company got 4 of these from our MS rep of which 3 are being put up in a draw (yes a FREE draw before someone asks) and the 4th is actually going to be given away at a PC User Group meeting lecture I am giving on Windows 7 on behalf of our company...I would love to have had a copy of the promo but alas I did not but people like this Matthew Elder have more than likely made someone rethink how they give promos at MS now.

I'm sorry I have the party pack and the CDs are clearly marked as NOT FOR RESALE... that should give you a clue...

You could compare it to multipack Coke cans that say "not for resale". They're still around and sold for profit, so I don't see promotions like this going away.

The difference being that you bought the Coke.

This doosh is arguing on a technicality because it was given to him.

What "Not for Resale" means, is that they are not meant for retail distribution.

Microsoft has been engaging in stuff like this for years, and I'm not ashamed to say I've taken my own share of advantage. For instance, for the introduction of Windows 2000 and Office 2000, MS offered special "Hands On Training" kits that included full NFR copies. I think they each cost about $100.

I bought them both, used them until XP and Office 03 came out (at which point I bought my first MSDN sub ), and then sold them on eBay. I was able to do this, because under the EULA I was allowed to do this as an individual, and as long as I sold the COMPLETE set (the Win2000 kit had all versions, including Datacenter Server).

PureLegend said,
You could compare it to multipack Coke cans that say "not for resale". They're still around and sold for profit, so I don't see promotions like this going away.


The coke cans say not for resale because they lack the labeling that is legally required for them to be sold. For instance, the nutritional label is usually on the box, but not the individual cans in the pack.

Frazell Thomas said,
The coke cans say not for resale because they lack the labeling that is legally required for them to be sold. For instance, the nutritional label is usually on the box, but not the individual cans in the pack.

Hmm here the nutrition label is on back of every soda can.

I think this is a very empty victory as I predict companies will cutback on these types of promotions or insert some kind of draconian DRM that is tied specifically to the person who it was sent to.

Just found your statement in this thread about only selling the discs. You lied about that, so I'm inclined to believe you're lying about the rest of it. Your only motivation was greed.

I had already mentioned this in the thread about the e-mail exchange, and I also mentioned it in my Neobay thread about the item. I only ended up selling the copy of Windows 7 though. I am going to at least use the streamers and balloons, and maybe the napkins, but the poster and tote bags will probably end up in the trash.

My first gut reaction was that I am ****ed because I took place in the party pack and I also attended one of the launch events so I basically got 2 free copies of Windows 7. I also paid for a TechNet subscription, so I basically have access to everything I need. I was ****ed because I think that it is pretty crappy to take advantage of a free offer that Microsoft was freely putting out there. I personally have given my copies away to people that can not afford Windows or have a need for it, but I could have easily sold them as well. I wouldn't have used Ebay because that is just asking for trouble, but thinking about it now, if he wants to sell his copy then more power to him. Would Microsoft yell at me for giving it away? Then why should they yell if I sell it?

Dont think for a second that Microsoft is losing money from this. The "house party" site bought those copies of Windows through a sponsorship. The launch event copies were bought by advertisers and promoters that get you to sign up for stuff from the events. All that advertising pays for those copies. And then Microsoft also gets their name out there for free. Its really win-win for Microsoft. Even this Ebay controversy is a win for Microsoft. Negative publicity is still publicity.

To clarify, HouseParty didn't "buy" anything from Microsoft.

MS contracted with HouseParty (and doubtless paid them handsomely) to do this promotion. If you look around the HouseParty site you'll see that this is what they do: get "ordinary people" to throw themed parties based around products, in an attempt to build buzz.

I already tried selling a shirt on eBay, and giving away a couple other "FREE" gifts ("7", flash drive, and other misc stuff) along with purchase. Listing was removed SAME day due to complaint from the BIG APE!!!!

Stealth111 said,
I already tried selling a shirt on eBay, and giving away a couple other "FREE" gifts ("7", flash drive, and other misc stuff) along with purchase. Listing was removed SAME day due to complaint from the BIG APE!!!!

Send MS a copy of the email above

Did Matthew buy Windows Vista?

If he did, I'd say he's well within his rights to "claim a little compensation" over that one ;-)

xiphi said,
How so?

Well if he paid 500 euros for say the Ultimate version, he might be a little.. miffed about the extras or you know, the lack of such :-)

If they bought Ultimate just for the extras, then that's their fault. I happened to have bough it so I could have Remote desktop, Media Center, and Previous Versions, among a few other things.

I wonder if as many people would have complained against this if the Party Pack was posted on eBay after the launch date of Windows 7. Even if there is a slightest degree of exclusivity to an item or a service people would want to get their hands on it. And if there's a demand, there's a market opportunity. I wouldn't have minded if he put it on that tat bazaar after the 22nd. As it currently stands, it's not cool.

I agree with Jme621 by selling the pack now he must be breaking his agreement to host a party, so therefore the organisers should ask for the pack to be returned.

tbh it has nothing to do with M$ and is still illegeal because it violates the terms of the contest that he entered to win it. he agreed to host a party using the provided supplies if he won, now he cant so he entered under a false pretense and should have to return it, kinda like forfeiting a trophy and winnings type deal. just my opinion.

I think well done to the member selling it. It's nice to see the average joe bloggs not letting Micro$oft bully them down with legal jargon!

mammix2 said,
I think well done to the member selling it. It's nice to see the average joe bloggs not letting Micro$oft bully them down with legal jargon!

Seconded!

At the end of the day what did Microsoft expect when they gave away copies of Win 7 Ultimate?
I accept that it is not 'in the spirit' of things as MS intended, but that is just tough titty really, and who can blame the guy for wanting to make a few quid in a harsh economic climate?

I would consider doing exactly the same thing in his position, if I didn't want to install the software myself.

Too bad because of him, future events may not be as fruitful if they at all, occur again.

The most important in life is not the law, is good faith. There is no law to be loving to family members or to be respectful strangers. There are many instances in life where one could take advantage of one's kindness, and certainly on the money side it may be worth it. But almost all times, we won't do it. The law tells us what we can't do, the law says that he is allowed. But being a person, we should know the things we should do.

If he really is cash-strapped, then you can't blame him. But most other circumstance, is just bad ethics.

A lot of the defence seems to stem from hate of Microsoft. If we throw away the corporate giant and their past with a start up enterprising company. Do away with "legal jargon" but say the same thing. Are you people really going to defend this man? I mean, these guys haven't made a penny of profit at all probably but are giving away stuff to really push it and put their life and soul on it. I cannot see how you can not consider this to be wrong. But really, so what if it just a few bucks dent to MS in the end? It wasn't the rightful thing to do, to whomever.

It's just that Microsoft was nice enough to let people try out Windows 7. This guy is just total stupid. I hope he gets banned from Neowin for a failed moral compass or perhaps sued by Microsoft and having to return the party pack + pay extra fines for being retarded.

It's business. Morality should not be a concern.

People should not forget MS is not here to save the world and feed the poor.

It's a company. It sells products.

MS will continue to give away things because it's a good and innexpensive way to promote their products. Site like neowin publish news about promotional events like this all around the world for free.

In fact MS is probably even happy this story is on Neowin frontpage. It's good free marketing for Windows 7.

MS knows some people will sell the promotional stuff given. It's business. Thet's the way north america capitalist society works. For the best and the worst ...

Cool story, definitely interesting to read, but disappointing that it happened in the first place.

Whatever the law says, I do have objections when people sell stuff obtained for free on ebay. But the fault is also on whoever buys something knowing that it was free for the seller.

How would the new buyer be at fault? Moreover, why would the buyer care? The only thing the buyer will care about is getting the product in hand that he or she paid for.

I just hope this doesn't force Microsoft to change its stance toward the community, the party pack was a great gesture by a company who could of easily made a few thousand bucks more from not doing this promotion.

Although Matt is legally safe, it goes against the very spirit of the whole promotion.

I remember when a winner from Neowin won the HP "31 Days of the Dragon" competitions top prize laptop, and on receiving it posted it directly to eBay, needless to say Buzzcorps (the organizer) and HP were none too pleased they gave away an expensive prize to someone who didn't even want it, that again went against the spirit of the competition.

This is even a bit different from the HP contest scenario, though. Generally, a contest prize is awarded without conditions, and the recipient is free to dispose of their prize as they wish.

Here, the party goodies weren't a prize so much as compensation for the recipient's holding a Win7 party. In that sense, it's a contract, and Elder is breaking it by selling the party pack.

If he waited until AFTER he'd held his party--in that Oct 22 to 29 window as per HouseParty's terms--he would have had a better defense. In that case, he could have claimed "well, I had my party, I just never used any of the materials".

And, in point of fact, he doesn't actually HAVE to use the materials. I just wish he'd had the decency to wait until later.

MS has been giving away software at launch parties, promotional gatherings and to those who attend sponsored events for years. That same software has been sold, traded or given away year after year. They know it. Why should they care ... The tax write off is worth 100 times more than the retail cost of the software.

I'm sure MS will stop to promote their softwares only because one dude sold a party pack over eBay.

That would make a lot of sentence ... wait ... no it would not.

I cannot verify for certainty as I did not sign up for nor read the terms of the Party Pack. However ... assuming there is a court ruling stating you have the right to "do with as you wish" items which you obtain in a legal fashion I would say he can do as he wishes. I have a problem with the analagy that you cannot give away, sell or pass on something you own.
You enter a raffle for a $500000 new home. Pay $500 for the ticket. Amazingly you win... but cannot afford the taxes. What... you cannot sell it, pay the taxes and keep the remaining balance. Come on ... get real. What next, are you going to ban resellers from reselling unopened copies of software to make a profit ? Or Johnny do Good when he purchases a game from Walmart and resells it on craigslist. How is any of that different ?


Ownership of the house would not be transferred to you until you paid the taxes, and if you can't then they keep the house. You can't sell it before you own it, and you can't sell it with a tax lien against it.

Generally when you win an House the taxes are already paid.

If they ask you to pay taxes beware it's probably a scam and you'll probably lose the money you gave them ;)

The "not for resale" sentence on a disk has no legal value. As long as he did not sign any paper contract or non disclosure thing written by someone you have the right to do such a thing then he can do want he wants with the disc.

Sorry I should clear that up... the taxes are not the property taxes or the sales taxes... I am in reference to the income taxes. As the value must be claimed as income on your federal income tax forms. Those gains are then taxed. A $500000 windfall on your income would bankrupt you if you are living on a $100000 a year income. Total income for the year. $600000.
%45 luxury/income tax would be somewhere around $250,000 owed for that 1 year. And no.... not all prizes awarded include the income taxes paid up front.

If he wants to sell it, let him sell it. It's not like him selling it for $500 is going to make a dent in Microsoft's wallet anyway... Hell i'd take the actual Windows 7 DVD and burn the rest personally, as it's useless to me. As I said before, if he wants to sell it, let him. MS allready said its fine for him to do so, so I really don't see what the big fuss over this is.

Actually, they said they are withdrawing their objection to the auction PENDING FURTHER REVIEW. They've likely referred it to their legal department.

I really don't think Neowin should be giving this guy front page coverage for, basically, being a crook.

It's not even certain that what he's doing is legal. If he doesn't actually hold a launch party, he'll be in breach of contract under which he obtained the software in the first place. That would be false representation, and actionable under the law.

Didn't you know Neowin is all about the clicks. They don't care about they legality of a "story" or it's validity or even if it's genuine. All they care about is the clicks.

I hope they sue him for breach of contract. Win ? Really ? He just ripped off Microsoft. Way to go glorifying a crook Neowin !

He shouldn't have been allowed to sell it. A promotion was setup in good faith by Microsoft with an incentive for both parties, and he abused it and tried to profit from it. Wrong. Lame.

Frank Fontaine said,
Do you have any evidence of that? For all you know he could have held the party as per the conditions

Er... all of the stuff in the party pack was still sealed? Must have been a pretty pointless party...

Frank Fontaine said,
Do you have any evidence of that? For all you know he could have held the party as per the conditions

The party's suppose to be held on the 22nd, so that's impossible

Frank Fontaine said,
Do you have any evidence of that? For all you know he could have held the party as per the conditions

yeah, he read the article. did you?

I would of just passed it on to Neowin as a prize or something, but in saying that, hes right. There is nothing stopping him from legally selling it on ebay. If people want to buy it, good luck to them.

Just ****ing great. Microsoft reward people with free stuff and idiots start selling them off for profit. This kind of thing could stop companies releasing promotional gear.

Maybe he just doesn't really care too much for the party pack and wants to flog it to someone who may actually give a damn?

/flip side

But yeah, he is probably a douche.

if the guy never cared, he shouldn't of bothered in the first place, thats one less person getting and enjoying the party pack freebie, hes making sure of that by selling the thing ;P see my above comment

I'm pretty sure if he has agreed to host a party and doesn't, then legally Microsoft can request the product be returned or destroyed. He made a contractual agreement and breached it.

Its not a complete freebie - in the sense he offered to do something in return. If I received something which I'm billed for later, if I don't pay then I must return the item.

mmck said,
If I received something which I'm billed for later, if I don't pay then I must return the item.

Not for the Netherlands. If you got something sent to you you didn't request you are allowed to keep it and you can not be charged for it. UPC and others have tried this and they all failed miserably. It's one of the things the law does to protect consumers. Companies also have a responsibility regarding ethics and morality not just consumers.

dyn said,
If you got something sent to you you didn't request you are allowed to keep it and you can not be charged for it.

Thing is, he did request it, and he agreed to do something for Microsoft in return - throw a party, using the copy of Windows 7 to demonstrate it to his guests.

By not using the copy of Windows 7, he's obviously not demonstratig it. Therefore it's a breach of contract on his part.

He requested it and made an agreement which he failed to fulfil his end. - Microsoft would win if they took him to court. If the person who's selling it doesn't understand this they are an idiot.

In most countries receiving something you didn't ask for is seen to be a gift, so not obliged to return. But this clearly isn't a gift.

If the agreement was fulfilled and then the copy of windows was sold on afterwards - it would be perfectly legal to sell. This is the reason received promo CDs with no obligations are allowed to be sold on - all obligations have been met.

Requesting something is not sold on is basically not legally allowed as a requirement. In this instance however the person has failed to fulfil the contract - so is breaching the law.

mmck said,
He requested it and made an agreement which he failed to fulfil his end. - Microsoft would win if they took him to court.

I surely hope you don't believe that ludicrous nonsense?
If MS was stupid enough to try to sue him, the case would be thrown out at a record speed as there was already a precedent that allows the sale of promotional material.

mmck said,
In most countries receiving something you didn't ask for is seen to be a gift, so not obliged to return. But this clearly isn't a gift.

This clearly *is* a gift, and he can do with it whatever he wants.

Anyway, thanks for providing me with a good laugh with your "contract" nonsense

It wasn't a free gift with no obligations however... it is not the same as most promotional material - especially those which have set precedents, the clear difference here is Microsoft asked for something in return.

The promo material that has set precedent is where those offering the gift has requested a non sale to a 3rd party only... not an instance where they have requested something of value in return, which in this instance is effectively "some advertising".

This is not a gift... it is a contract, they can do whatever they want with it once they have fulfilled their contract I agree, but so far the person has failed on their contractual agreement.

People simplifying law down to basic rules is not how it works, it is not t he same as previous cases... Let me guess you think TPB and Google are the same too because you can search on them both? Why do so few people understand basic concepts of law?

why not give the pack to somebody else, hold a contest, something, anything instead guy wants to profit off a nice gift/freebie/gesture from MS, he might of legally obtained it but did not pay for it, which case he was using the wrong OS anyhow ;P

master2k27 said,
+1

-4. It's his pack once they gave it to him. He can do what he wants with it. Good for him if he can make a few bucks from it.

Ji@nBing said,
-4. It's his pack once they gave it to him. He can do what he wants with it. Good for him if he can make a few bucks from it.


Yup, your view is totally equivalent to four people's views.

Individualism at its best.

artfuldodga said,
why not give the pack to somebody else, hold a contest, something, anything instead guy wants to profit off a nice gift/freebie/gesture from MS, he might of legally obtained it but did not pay for it, which case he was using the wrong OS anyhow ;P

So you would never consider selling something that you got for free? Sounds like someone got knocked back for a Win 7 party pack and has a bit of a case of sour grapes TBH

artfuldodga said,
why not give the pack to somebody else, hold a contest, something, anything instead guy wants to profit off a nice gift/freebie/gesture from MS, he might of legally obtained it but did not pay for it, which case he was using the wrong OS anyhow ;P


Better than pirates profitting from stolen free content shared on the web. Atleast he isn't making people 'Donate' or throw ads or have hidden links for those nasty pay on click crap.

These packs weren't sent out "for free", they were sent out on the understanding that the recipients would use the materials to throw a party to help promote the launch of Windows 7.

This isn't the end of the world, by any stretch, but I'm still irked.

artfuldodga said,
why not give the pack to somebody else, hold a contest, something, anything instead guy wants to profit off a nice gift/freebie/gesture from MS, he might of legally obtained it but did not pay for it, which case he was using the wrong OS anyhow ;P


Couldn't agree more. I'm holding my party on the 24th and I've already told my guests that someone at the party will win the copy of Windows 7 :).

I don't need it, but I wouldn't feel right selling it when I got it for free. But at least I can use it to help make my party a bit more fun.

artfuldodga said,
why not give the pack to somebody else, hold a contest, something, anything instead guy wants to profit off a nice gift/freebie/gesture from MS, he might of legally obtained it but did not pay for it, which case he was using the wrong OS anyhow ;P


Right. The guy selling it and being a little snide twit about it is an ass.

20legend said,
So you would never consider selling something that you got for free?


Not when "Not for resale" is written on the CD. That may not constitute a legal binding agreement, but buddy has single-handedly ensured MS will not ever do this again.

20legend said,
So you would never consider selling something that you got for free? Sounds like someone got knocked back for a Win 7 party pack and has a bit of a case of sour grapes TBH :)

he got the pack for a reason. that reason was not that he could profit from it

Ji@nBing said,
-4. It's his pack once they gave it to him. He can do what he wants with it. Good for him if he can make a few bucks from it.

Agree. Another -4 from me.
He can do whatever he wants with his property.
People here are just angry that they didn't get a party pack to flog on eBay.

artfuldodga said,
why not give the pack to somebody else, hold a contest, something, anything instead guy wants to profit off a nice gift/freebie/gesture from MS, he might of legally obtained it but did not pay for it, which case he was using the wrong OS anyhow ;P

I couldn't agree more. It was a nice promotion and the parties are probably going to be awesome.

It's disappointing that someone can completely turn a good gesture into something entirely different. The whole thing is neither right or wrong, but it's things like these that ruin it for the rest of us. It'll start with this guy and trickle down to where everyone is trying to make a quick buck.

In the end, everyone knows what they're signing up for and if you're gonna be thrifty, don't bother. Someone else out there will enjoy the promotion like it was supposed to be.

Sets an interesting precedent for other eBay users who'd like to profit from free promotional materials in future (from software companies, that is).

Steeley said,
Sets an interesting precedent for other eBay users who'd like to profit from free promotional materials in future (from software companies, that is).


Now watch Microsoft put an end these freebies.

_dandy_ said,
Now watch Microsoft put an end these freebies.


this...

Because dude is a brokeass and is selling free stuff MS will probably stop doing this.

_dandy_ said,
Now watch Microsoft put an end these freebies.


We're all probably screwed out of them doing this again. I don't know how many people I've talked to now that got their packs and are selling them. Microsoft will probably never do this again. Therefore the rest of us who actually use the pack for what it was intended for are gonna lose in the end.

honestly... it's "Microsoft" , it aint like it's someone screwing over the little guy.

i don't really see a problem with it myself since it's legit software etc etc.

at the end of the day... it seems like anyone will do damn near anything to make a quick buck on ebay.

but i guess i can see your point about how it was FREE to him and now he's trying to sell it for a profit. so i can see how some people would not like him for selling it on ebay etc.

but i just noticed someones comment like this over in the forum this was started saying...

Well... when they know people are putting up stuff like this for sale on sites such as eBay and can get away with it, Microsoft might just say the hell with it and not give out promotional material such as this again. Which in turn ruins it for the rest of us.

which if that happens then yeah, it would be a bad thing for him selling it. but i do like how he just aint being bullied by the 'big corporation' and gives up.

Frank Fontaine said,
How is he morally wrong? He has held the party as per the T&C and no longer needs the pack. I don't see anything wrong with selling it

You do know the party is suppose to be on october 22? So he doesn't held the party, if he did, wasn't by the microsoft party terms.

XerXis said,
yeah. He may have the law on his side, morally he is wrong

Morally? You really want to bring a relative viewpoint like "morals" into this kind of discussion?

I counter your claim of morality with one of my own: Morally, Microsoft has no right to say anything about what I do with my copy of Windows 7 beyond duplication and distribution of the copy.

Tekzel said,
Morally? You really want to bring a relative viewpoint like "morals" into this kind of discussion?

I counter your claim of morality with one of my own: Morally, Microsoft has no right to say anything about what I do with my copy of Windows 7 beyond duplication and distribution of the copy.


Well, yes, by most definitions of morals, he is wrong.

He signed up to do a party, not to sell it. Microsoft sent him the pack with the intention of it being used to host a party by the person who signed up for it. I believe you also had to describe your party plans in the sign up procedure.

MS might be a faceless corporation, but it's reasonable to say he's not exactly "in the right".

In any case, I'm not condemning his actions, and he has the freedom to do such.

Frank Fontaine said,
How is he morally wrong? He has held the party as per the T&C and no longer needs the pack. I don't see anything wrong with selling it


He held the party? If he can afford a time machine, then he has no need to make a few bucks on eBay, right?

I don't know if there's a "moral" issue here, but I'm thinking there should still be a legal one, and not with Microsoft so much as HouseParty.

He received promotional materials from HouseParty with the understanding that he would use them for a Windows 7 party somewhere between October 22 and 29, 2009. If he is selling those materials now, I would think he is clearly violating the terms and conditions under which he was sent the materials.

That said, no, I don't like Microsoft killing eBay auctions for their NFR software (at least legit ones by individuals), but this looks like Elder abused process here.

There is definitely a moral issue here. Obviously reselling it was his intent from the beginning. There were a limited number of people allowed to receive the party pack, so he deprived somebody who might have actually appreciated this gift for his own greed.

Man, that's some interesting stuff. Though I do not condone or condemn the reselling of promotional software I am glad Microsoft eased up on it's stance for Matthew. I am really happy with Windows 7, Thanks HouseParty and Microsoft.

Klethron said,
Man, that's some interesting stuff. Though I do not condone or condemn the reselling of promotional software I am glad Microsoft eased up on it's stance for Matthew. I am really happy with Windows 7, Thanks HouseParty and Microsoft.

I'm pretty neutral on the topic too. I signed up and got my party pack but I'm, already running Win7 RC on all of my machines. I'll still have people over but I did entertain the idea of selling it. Before people flip out on me, my logic went as follows:

-To me it's a free copy of Win7 while to some it's a valuable collector's item
-Selling the pack including a copy of Win7 Ultimate could net me $300
-With $300 I could buy three $99 OEM copies of home premium for my HTPC, laptop, and the machine I am building my little brother.
-In the end, some collector who missed out on the party pack will have their collector's item, Microsoft will have gotten the cash, and I would have Win7 on all of my computers. I will still have given my word of mouth advertising via the house party in fulfillment of my obligation to Microsoft.

Sounds like a win-win but when I suggested as much online I was torn a new one. Anyway when I got the pack it said "not for resale" so screw it. I'll just have to wait to get my other copies and run the RC in the meantime. Ironically, Microsoft will end up getting less money from me this way.

Don't let anyone's opinion on this sway you. Its your thing, if you want to ebay it, ebay it. I would too. Home Premium is fine for my needs, and if I could sell one copy I got for free to finance the upgrade of 3 of my machines, I would do it in a heartbeat.

The only thing that was "douchebag" was Microsoft's initial reaction. Good for them that they realised they were wrong and changed their mind to allow the sale.
He does have every right to sell his property, regardless if it was promotional or not.

sanriver12 said,
Matthew Elder = neowin user "roadwarrior". also known as "the douchebag"


Hi Neowin,

Your company's stance on this comment seems to go against the ruling that was issued to me by a moderator last July in a post about Chrome OS. (http://www.neowin.net/news/main/09/07/09/chrome-os-may-push-google-ceo-off-apples-board). Surely there would be no legal difference between a flaming comment and a flaming comment?