Would this be considered stealing?

Our family bought a new laptop. We need Microsoft Office on it but we don’t want to pay for it. However, my two sisters in college get a free download of Microsoft by attending school there/paying for tuition. Would it be right to download the software?

Some questions to consider:
(a) Why do you believe you should get the benefit of someone else’s hard work totally for free? Even Buddha teaches “If it wasn’t expressly given you, it isn’t yours.”
(b) You can afford to buy a brand new laptop - but somehow forgot to budget in the needed software? Why not get a good 2nd-hand laptop and with the remaining money buy the software?
© Will your sisters be allowed to use the laptop for significant amounts of time for their College work?

I’m not sure what you mean by hard work. They have their own laptops and they have already downloaded it onto their laptops. But I guess you’re right. I just thought since they pay for their tuition.

the answer is yes, it is stealing.

If they read the fine print, it probably says that they receive ONE free download. If they have already downloaded it to their own laptops, then they have used that download.

If they aren’t limited to the number of times they down load the program. And they are the ones doing the downloading, then they aren’t stealing.

There are many benefits to being a student. Free Microsoft Office is great. But only if they are downloading only what they are allowed.

Yeah, it’s stealing to use the student download or to copy someone else’s copy of the software.

There are free word-processing and spreadsheet programs available on line that are compatible with Microsoft Office (so documents can be shared). Kim Komando’s website can recommend some trusted sources for such software.

Use Open Office or LibreOffice instead.

If you want to be sure, you can look up the terms and conditions, which are probably available at the university’s download site. The last time I looked up Microsoft’s terms for academic downloads, it said pretty clearly that it was for the use of students enrolled at the university, and faculty or staff using the software at university offices. I suspect Microsoft extends the same terms to every university. So the answer is yes, it would be stealing.

Hardwork? … you mean you didn’t even think I might be referring to the owners of Microsoft office and the 100s of programmer’s employed to make it? They get paid wages, and the sales of the MS Office CDs pays those wages.

If you get the benefits, why shouldn’t you also contribute to help pay for those wages?
Our parents/families are happy to provide the necessities of life for free. That’s a gift of love not a right. The world is “user pays” which is right and just.

If I were in your shoes, I’d purchase a copy for the new computer.

It would be stealing.

It probably works like this:
The school reimburses Microsoft for every student copy that they distribute. So Microsoft is not losing money. The school probably gets this money by including it in the tuition. So if every student obtains one copy at most, the school doesn’t lose money either.
But if your sister has already obtained one copy, and she obtains a second copy for you, that is stealing (from the school) because now the school must pay Microsoft for another copy that your sister never paid for.
Now, if your sister has not used her own copy and decides to transfer her copy to you, then it is not stealing in that regard. It is still stealing though (to a lesser degree), because doing so would break the license agreement. Microsoft sells the student license at a discount and the student license has certain restrictions such as “this software can only be licensed to students” and “you cannot transfer the software to anyone else”. The license without those restrictions costs more money. So if you use the student copy as if it were a regular copy then you are essentially defrauding Microsoft.

It would be stealing.

And why in the heck are people so opposed to paying Microsoft money for Office, when it is arguably the best value of any piece of technology in our lives? I mean, it is really sophisticated software, and it is very reasonably priced for the home user. Now, you can pay Microsoft a monthly fee of ten dollars and use Office on up to 5 home computers. That is quite a steal IMO.

Sure, if you like one of the OpenOffice pieces of software instead, use them instead. But if you want Office, and plan to use Office, there is absolutely no reason not to pay for it at the price they give.

Stealing is bad, but when it is so unjustified, it is double bad IMO.

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