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Can I donate old software?

#1 User is offline   nedupre 

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 04:30 PM

I have numerous old versions of software such as Photoshop, PageMaker, Easy CD Creator, Claris Works, Star Office, even QuickBooks, plus others that don't work with Windows Vista. Can I donate those to non-profits? I know they won't be able to buy upgrades for them (to upgrade they'll have to buy the full version), but is there any problem with me giving them away? Will I get into trouble with the software makers and/or have trouble upgrading in the future? I hate to just throw them away, but the boxes are overwhelming my office.

Norm
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#2 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 07:04 AM

This is probably a question better asked of the individual software companies. I would look up their addresses from the contact reference on their websites and state it just the way you do. This can be a legal question, as the license of many upgrades require you to uninstall and not use the previous version you are upgrading from. If they say no, and you do not need the previous edition to install the current version, the disc should be destroyed and the boxes tossed. If they say yes, then file the letter in a permanent correspondence file and donate the old (again assuming you don't need the old disc). They may also require a letter confirming the donation. If you have six different packages, be prepared for six different answers.

For Intuit, Quicken only as I have never used Quickbooks, you generally do not need the previous disc. For Acronis you need the previous license number. For XP you need the disc from a previous version of Windows. Each varies. You don't want to give a way a disc you need to install the current version.

I usually toss the boxes, keep what passes for instructions for a while, and keep the discs in slim plastic cases. They take up a lot less room that way.
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#3 User is offline   coastie65 

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 07:35 AM

Hmmm, my my, how time changes. I remember when they weren't refered to as instructions, but "Documentation". :D
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#4 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 02 November 2008 - 08:42 PM

nedupre said:

I have numerous old versions of software such as Photoshop, PageMaker, Easy CD Creator, Claris Works, Star Office, even QuickBooks, plus others that don't work with Windows Vista. Can I donate those to non-profits? I know they won't be able to buy upgrades for them (to upgrade they'll have to buy the full version), but is there any problem with me giving them away? Will I get into trouble with the software makers and/or have trouble upgrading in the future? I hate to just throw them away, but the boxes are overwhelming my office.

Norm


The general answer is "no". An upgrade license typically requires that you have a previous version...and if you give away/donate the previous version, then you don't have it any more (duh). Thus, typically you would be vioating the EULA to donate an old version of the software to someone while keeping the current version. The exception would be if you donated ALL versions of the program...in otherwords, you are transfering ALL your rights of "ownership" of the use of that program to someone else. The point is that a upgrade is NOT a new license...it is essentially just modifying a license that you have. Thus, you do NOT have two licenses generally when you buy an upgrade...you still only have ONE license.



Now, there might be some companies that will permit such thing, but it will likely be the exception, not the rule. In the end, I would assume no, but you can always read the EULA and/or contact the software company.
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