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Hosting a PE to run over the internet - legal?


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#1 MedEvil

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:21 PM

Have a question.
If we would be hosting a complete PE, not for download, but to boot straight into it, via something like iPXE.

Would that still fall under illegal ditribution? Since we wouldn't distribute anything?


:cheers:
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#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:28 PM

Have a question.
If we would be hosting a complete PE, not for download, but to boot straight into it, via something like iPXE.

Would that still fall under illegal ditribution? Since we wouldn't distribute anything?


You must be joking. :buehehe:

:cheers:
Wonko

#3 MedEvil

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:58 PM

No why?
It's illegal to bring a camera into the cinema, because it would allow me to make a copy of the movie, i can carry away and even make more copies from.

It is not illegal to bring my eyes and brain into the cinema, because i can't make a copy from my memory.

Following that logic. Allowing you to download a PE that you can store locally and maybe even make more copies is illegal. Allowing you to use a PE without being able to keep it / carry it away. Shouldn't be.

btw. A similar system is already in place. People ae allowed to listen to CD before they buy them, without the shop paying off the music company, something a radio station has to do.
What's the difference? A shop owner can make it clear, that the person listening, is not making a copy he or she can carry away. Something no radio station can.

:cheers:

#4 steve6375

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 09:55 PM

Well, you can download a Windows 7 ISO now and that contains PE and an (unactivated) copy of Win7.
So WinPE v3 is probably strictly speaking illegal but it is not a full OS and cannot be run for more than 72 hrs without it rebooting.
I was thinking more about linux - why, for instance, aren't some linux distributions available via iPXE (if they will fit in ram) as well as FreeDOS say?

#5 saddlejib

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:02 PM

i was already interested in this idea but open source after reading plop moreso after reading steve6375's recent post
http://reboot.pro/16272/
and
http://www.plop.at/e...linux.html#pxel
and
http://www.plop.at/e...linux.html#pxew
and
http://forum.plop.at...hp?topic=1070.0
although the last one concerns writing plop to the lan card eeprom
but such a resource of booting an os with tools hosted by say reeboot.pro could be usefull to say the least ??

#6 steve6375

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:05 PM

I have written up what I tried here http://www.rmprepusb.../tutorials/ipxe - quite fun to boot wirelessly from a tiny USB drive and load another OS via the internet with no wires (WiFi)!

#7 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:53 AM

btw. A similar system is already in place. People ae allowed to listen to CD before they buy them, without the shop paying off the music company, something a radio station has to do.
What's the difference? A shop owner can make it clear, that the person listening, is not making a copy he or she can carry away. Something no radio station can.

At first sight, and in my semplicity, I find more similarities between a radio broadcast and remote iPXE booting than between a walk-in music CD/record shop and the latter. :whistling:
So, why are Radio stations required to pay music companies?
Because they are broadcasting copyrighted material. (no matter if the end users records the broadcast or not)
What they pay are broadcasting fees.
Why would the iPXE servers pay the copyright holders?
Because they are broadcasting distributing copyrighted software.(no matter if the end users records the broadcast or not)
What they would pay are re-distribution fees.

Of course this does NOT apply to re-distributable software.

:cheers:
Wonko

#8 Nuno Brito

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:10 AM

but such a resource of booting an os with tools hosted by say reeboot.pro could be usefull to say the least ??

If this is legal, reboot.pro would be available to support this feature.

#9 steve6375

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:45 AM

Well FreeDOS and most linux SKUs would be legal to host... DSL might be a good one to try first...
It would certainly raise the profile of reboot.pro if it hosted a selection of these iPXE images (though it may cause excessive load???)

#10 Nuno Brito

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:51 AM

Well FreeDOS and most linux SKUs would be legal to host... DSL might be a good one to try first...
It would certainly raise the profile of reboot.pro if it hosted a selection of these iPXE images (though it may cause excessive load???)

We already have good server conditions and can upgrade when deemed necessary. The idea of starting with boot images that raise no doubts is a good approach.

How can we get started?

:)

#11 saddlejib

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:20 AM

I was thinking to keep within the spirit of reboot.pro a small linux with tools and tutorials to fix booting issues from novice to advanced.
Gparted, fixmbr,plop if Elmar agrees etc.
From acorns (and the old pc) grow oaks.

#12 saddlejib

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:21 AM

I was thinking to keep within the spirit of reboot.pro a small linux with tools and tutorials to fix booting issues from novice to advanced.
Gparted, fixmbr,plop if Elmar agrees etc.
From acorns (and the old pc) grow oaks.

#13 steve6375

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:29 AM

As a first step, I guess you could try hosting a small ISO ??
Then maybe build or ask people to supply builds for you to host.

If you put this on the server, I could see if I can iPXE boot to it if you give us the URL?

Their demo URL is http://boot.ipxe.org/demo/boot.php

this page displays
#!ipxe

kernel vmlinuz-2.6.17-14mdv bootfile=http://boot.ipxe.org/demo/boot.php fastboot

initrd initrd.img

boot

so I guess that these files need to be in the same folder too??
This has instructions on how to set up a server - http://ipxe.org/howto/msdhcp or http://ipxe.org/howto/dhcpd- not sure quite what is required...?

#14 Nuno Brito

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:44 AM

So, from our side on the server we only need to host the images?

I'm reading the documentation and that seems to be all that is needed.

:cheers:

#15 steve6375

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:39 PM

HDT might be a useful one to try - very small. http://hdt-project.org/ I think it is free to distribute???
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#16 Nuno Brito

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:26 PM

Very good suggestion.

This can be improved by using a Java PC emulator to see these OS's working on the browser window before booting, not much effort to implement and good addon: http://jpc.sourcefor...ome_status.html and http://jpc.sourcefor.../home_home.html

#17 sambul61

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 02:10 PM

Any way to boot OS from Reboot.pro via iPXE from a public PC? :)

#18 Tripredacus

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 05:34 PM

I can do some more research, but I am fairly certain that hosting the WinPE on a webserver is going to be a legal problem. I see there is a $1.50 (USD) royalty fee per unit if a WinPE is used without being accompanied by a Windows COA. It is already known that the 72 hour limitation is put in place to prevent the WinPE from "being used as a pirated operating system" and that it isn't licensed to be used as a thin client. Moreso, if it were legal to use a remote boot with WinPE that anyone could use, Microsoft would likely consider each boot attempt as the "unit" that the royalty is applied to. So it could become quite costly. Just doing it altogether without containing Microsoft Partner Support could be even worse... they could send the lawyers after you!

WinPE is licensed for installation, recovery and troubleshooting. As far as the troubleshooting aspect, this falls within the Enterprise scope of licensing. Such as you can definately use this technology within a company or private location, for example using WinPE via PXE that runs a burn-in program.

#19 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:02 PM

I see there is a $1.50 (USD) royalty fee per unit if a WinPE is used without being accompanied by a Windows COA.

You see where? :unsure:
Anyway this is about "use", what about re-distribution fees?

The guys over at neosmart (after having distributed WInPE's for years without a redistribution agreeement with MS) are now charging::
http://neosmart.net/...ted-reinstated/
http://neosmart.net/...m-repair-discs/
US $9.00 per download, it would be interesting to know how much of these 9 bucks go to MS and how much goes to cover hosting costs and bandwidth, and how much (if any) goes *elsewhere*:

The bad news is that there will now be a nine dollar download charge for each CD. There was no way for us to avoid charging this, as we now pay a licensing fee to Microsoft in exchange for making these CDs available, and also pay per download to outsource the high-speed web hosting for these large CD images (150 to 200 MiB, each) to an outside service.


:cheers:
Wonko

#20 MedEvil

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:03 PM

I can do some more research, but I am fairly certain that hosting the WinPE on a webserver is going to be a legal problem. I see there is a $1.50 (USD) royalty fee per unit if a WinPE is used without being accompanied by a Windows COA.

Since WinPE is included with every Windows7 DVD and actually used as bootenvironment for the install, every costumer would need to pay a fee per install.
Sounds wrong to me.

It is already known that the 72 hour limitation is put in place to prevent the WinPE from "being used as a pirated operating system" and that it isn't licensed to be used as a thin client.

Nobody said our WinPE would be available for anything more than what is allowed.

Moreso, if it were legal to use a remote boot with WinPE that anyone could use, Microsoft would likely consider each boot attempt as the "unit" that the royalty is applied to. So it could become quite costly.

M$ can not consider anything. Eighter it is free or not.

As usual with all copyright problems, it comes down to the question, what is considered a copy.
Something, which is nowhere clearly defined and changed all the time.

In the quality conscious times before internet and filesharing, a tape copy of a song or a recording from a radio station, was not considered a copy, not even by the recording industry, as it was a low quality copy, which did not impact sales of records in a negative way.

Then, after the recoding industry pushed the lower quality CDs, as being equal to records, people changed their opinion on quality and suddenly a MP3 was good enough too!

Now the recoding industry realized, how much they shot themselfs in the foot and declared a MP3 to be a valid copy as well, to hunt down and close filesharing sites.

Just doing it altogether without containing Microsoft Partner Support could be even worse... they could send the lawyers after you!

Like i tryed to explain over and over again, anyone can sue you, no matter if you did anything or not. Behaving in a perfectly legal manner, does NOT mean, you're safe from being sued!!!

Just that your chances a slightly better at winning in court. ;)


:cheers:

#21 Tripredacus

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:06 PM

I can't speak for WinPE 1.x, but the $1.50 per unit fee is for WinPE 3.0. Information is from the MIcrosoft Partner site, so I can't post a link to it since its behind a portal. I relayed that information here awhile back:
http://www.msfn.org/...post__p__864209

Finding the location of that document seems difficult since I posted it. Some of my old bookmarks no longer work. A post on Social says that there is a EULA in the WAIK but I don't have that installed.

Since WinPE is included with every Windows7 DVD and actually used as bootenvironment for the install, every costumer would need to pay a fee per install.


Yes, that is because that WinPE license is included with the Windows 7 license. However the difference is using WinPE to boot on hardware with no OS already, potentially for a purpose other than installation, recovery or troubleshooting.

#22 MedEvil

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:22 PM

Yes, that is because that WinPE license is included with the Windows 7 license.

And Windows 7 is free to use for 30 days or so. So why should WinPE not be free to use for 30 days? :dubbio:

However the difference is using WinPE to boot on hardware with no OS already, potentially for a purpose other than installation, recovery or troubleshooting.

But our PE have no other purpose than installation, recovery or troubleshooting!

:cheers:

#23 Tripredacus

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:11 PM

I'm not here to argue about licensing, I'm just trying to provide information.

If you want to be technical, you could install Windows 7 without a product key and use it "for free" for 30 days, yes...
Or download the WAIK to make WinPE after validating the download on say a computer at the library, then use your WinPE anywhere you want, also for free.

But as far as this iPXE thing, it seems similar to my (broken) implementation of using PXELinux that will go read from the webserver to do *whatever* which is supposed to install Ubuntu but I had to shelve that project. Is it just an alternative project to that?

#24 sambul61

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:10 PM

Booting WinPE via iPXE is not equivalent to its download and local use, hence its not re-distribution. The source code is not downloaded or distributed.

As to MS suing someone for that, I never heard anyone being sued by MS without evident significant loss of revenue and prior request to Cease and Desist with explanation, if they deem such activity illegal. And that's one of possible ways to find out if any activity is deemed lawful or not by MS, when otherwise unclear.

I'd still suspect that using WinPE for any purpose outside of a licensed or trial Windows install would presume some licensing fees expected to be paid, but only if explicitly requested and demonstrated to be lawful and reasonable by the licensee, or usage otherwise explicitly prohibited. I doubt that a user can even theoretically be sued for something that was not prohibited explicitly in materials accessible to him.

Behaving in a perfectly legal manner, does NOT mean, you're safe from being sued!! Just that your chances a slightly better at winning in court. ;)

It also depends on the country and its regime, and who is suing you and with what real purpose. In some scenarios the chances of winning are non-existent no matter innocent or guilty, if such terms definitions can be generic. :)

#25 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 10:26 PM

Booting WinPE via iPXE is not equivalent to its download and local use, hence its not re-distribution.

If you steal an apple but you don't eat it you didn't stole it? :dubbio:

The source code is not downloaded or distributed.

Just for the record, most MS source code is not available (not published) , most MS binaries are not redistributable.
In iPXE booting binaries are downloaded :whistling:.

:cheers:
Wonko
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