Is it still illegal for US citizens to install a pirated copy of Windows XP or Vista on their machines, considering those windows have reached end of life? Could one get arrested for that? Thanks for any feedback.

  • 3
    I think this question is off topic on Super User. Generally speaking, yes, it is illegal until the copyright expires (this is a long time away) or Microsoft relinquishes the copyright. The support life cycle is entirely unrelated.
    – Worthwelle
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 20:27
  • It is even illegal to install windows 95 without a license. I wanted to say Windows 3.11, but I then remembered that they didn't use license keys back then. You owned the software or not.
    – LPChip
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 20:28
  • I would recommend to get a valid licence, for example on ebay, the cost almost nothing and you will be on the save side.
    – Albin
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


Yes. Microsoft holds the copyright and they have not relented on this issue. Is it illegal to pirate a 1979 movie, even though it's old? Yes.

  • I would've referenced to Windows 95, not an old movie, but yeah... same thing.
    – LPChip
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 20:29
  • maybe yes, maybe no, it depends... for who ever is interested in reading up on it, here's a start
    – Albin
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 20:56
  • Your point is taken so the answer is amended.
    – K7AAY
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 21:04
  • 1
    @K7AAY, I know that you have the best of intentions, but it may be wise to avoid posting answers to a question that is rather obviously off-topic.
    – Run5k
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 21:10
  • superuser.com/help/on-topic suggests it's in bounds. "Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users. If you have a question about ... computer software, and and it is not about … programming and software development, video games or consoles, websites or web services like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress, electronic devices, media players, cell phones or smart phones, except insofar as they interface with your computer, issues specific to corporate IT support and networks, asking for a product, service or learning material recommendation,
    – K7AAY
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 21:18

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