guest-x> "Cheerleader-happy RISC OS scene" - thank god no one in Linux-land behaves like that eh
On a more serious note (ahem), if Richard wishes to use a product for which he has paid he should abide by the license terms and do the product activation (after all he already has done this at least once unbeknownst to himself when he bought the laptop whose Windows XP is intrincally tied to it - yep another form of product activation).
If he has *not* used the product then he should get a refund from VA.
The sad part is given the *small* size of the RISC OS market techniques like product activation are used precisely because even a single or at most a few products used without paying represents a loss that hampers the software producers (to MS it wouldn't really matter as they're worth billions). Personally I am not in favour of product activation - but I believe software vendors should take into account individuals ability to pay and thus reduce the temptation for individuals to "purloin" software by either discounting to pensioners, unemployed, students etc., Getting *some* money is better than getting *no* money - and (in addition) it creates a lot better feeling towards the vendor than schemes that create such a negative response as product activation.