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There are several programs that have a universal serial key to register. Now lets say I downloaded a trial for one of these (in this case Visual Studio 2012) from the developer (microsoft) and registered it with a backdoor product key. Is that illegal or not (and can I please have a response from someone who knows what there talking about....)

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closed as not constructive by Canadian Luke, Simon Sheehan, Xavierjazz, Sirex, LawrenceC Dec 4 '12 at 1:16

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1) Use proper English when asking a question. 2) Answers on legalities typically don't get answered from the vendors because many will be different – Canadian Luke Dec 4 '12 at 0:29
I promise you that Visual Studio 2012 doesn't have a "backdoor product key" to it. If you have a need for VS2012 I suggest you buy it. – Ramhound Dec 4 '12 at 0:32
why are you talking about VS2012, but tagging VS2010? – mcalex Dec 4 '12 at 0:37
It is illegal... – Xavierjazz Dec 4 '12 at 0:39

By "backdoor key" I assume you mean one of the following:

  • A key generated by the software owners for use by its development team for testing, that has been leaked (or you sneaked).
  • A key intended to be hidden within the install process of an "unlocked" copy of the software, such as copies issued to site licensees.

It's illegal. What you have done is no different legally than "borrowing" your company's MSDN/TechNet copy of VS2012, or finding a cracked key on a Warez resource.

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Except in many cases its perfectly legal to use a companies MSDN/TechNet subscription. – Ramhound Dec 4 '12 at 0:55
While you work for the company, and with their knowledge that you have a copy. Sometimes "site licenses" are exactly that. – KeithS Dec 4 '12 at 1:48

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