E-waste Recycler Facing Prison for Copyright Infringement

TrailRunner

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The physical media/ISO is not intellectual property. If you have purchased a valid license, then you are entitled to a valid copy of the software the license is applied to. How you obtain the software the license applies to is irrelevant.

You're right, physical media itself is not intellectual property. However the media can contain intellectual property. An entity who is not licensed to reproduce a particular intellectual property may not place that intellectual property onto physical media, and certainly may not then proceed to distribute it.
(If you have a license to use an IP, it is of course within the bounds of fair use to make a backup copy of it for personal use. You cannot distribute that backup copy.)
This guy wasn't making a backup copy for himself, he was duplicating discs at an industrial scale with intent to distribute. Huge difference.

You are 100% correct that when you have a valid license, you are entitled to a copy of the software. In terms of recycled computers, the license is tied to the chassis / motherboard, and as long as you have those you are entitled to software. If this guy was selling recycled computers with Windows installed, everything would be 100% OK. He wasn't charged with selling computers with Windows preinstalled. He was charged because he was printing out 10s of thousands of Windows discs and was going to distribute them (presumably to people who had licenses, but it sounds like he intended to profit from this distribution). That is a violation of intellectual property law. Even if the recipients had a license to the intellectual property, a third party cannot distribute the intellectual property to them.

Is jail excessive? Probably. Should he be fined? Most definitely.
 

Iceshot

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This should come as no shock or surprise to anyone. The United States is in all but name a Plutocratic Militant Police State. Voting at the Federal level is little more than a controlled and rigged citizen "Slavers Suggestion box day" to prop up the illusion and laughably tragic false belief that "We the People" have any "real" say or influence in who or what goes on in Capital Hill . Multinational Corporations, Elite Banking Cartels, Special Interest Groups, and the Military Industrial Complex rule and control virtually every aspect of Federal government at all levels. So it should come as no surprise that Corporations can sue and get people thrown into prison for "Copyright Infringement" but Wall Street routinely gets caught engaging in MASSIVE & highly illegal wrongdoing that has vast and significant consequences to millions of average citizens and the worst that happens is a pittance of a fine that in total is a mere sliver of their theft and damages.
 

Dead Parrot

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Sounds like most of the problem was the Microsoft/Dell labels and selling the discs. Like was said in TFA, if he had labeled them "Eric's Restore Disk", probably would have been fine. Should have included the FREE restore media with the restored PCs and charged $20 more for the PCs. Basically how Dell handles the Microsoft tax anyway.

Or it could be Microsoft doing everything it can to force folks to move to new PCs with Win 10.
 

mvmiller12

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As a matter of the letter of the law, he broke it.

Microsoft could have taken the high road and come out looking like a good guy, instead, they chose the gutter path. At the end of the day, it will not make any difference to their bottomline, but today, they got to be assholes and smile about it.



The physical media/ISO is not intellectual property. If you have purchased a valid license, then you are entitled to a valid copy of the software the license is applied to. How you obtain the software the license applies to is irrelevant.

In a world of Madness, he speaks to Logic......
 

ecktt

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Did people read the articel?

The man got jammed becuse he used M$ and Dell logo but yet MS wanted to claim damages per copy of Windows?! Using a logo is not software piracy. Its something else but its not software piracy. Even so, each computer was licened....legaly! A proper pirate would know about the SLIC, certificate and OEM keys. He did not circomvent the system. He used it to do exactly what the OEMs do.
 

alamox

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M$ revenue of 90B$ in 2017, probably 5B$ on marketing, i wonder if them doing this, is counter productive, even if it was illegal what he did, the reason why he was doing it should be enough to stay away from him.
many ppl already think M$ are assholes, why enforce prove them right for so little.
 

dgz

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To those that didn't read far enough, he manufactured restore disks with the Microsoft and Dell logos on them. That's the illegal part.

A few more of those copies and he might have been sent to the chair
 

ChoGGi

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"In 2013, federal authorities intercepted shipments of 28,000 restore discs that Lundgren had manufactured in China and sent to his sales partner in Florida. The discs had labels nearly identical to the discs provided by Dell for its computers and had the Windows and Dell logos. “If I had just written ‘Eric’s Restore Disc’ on there, it would have been fine,” Lundgren said."

I am a little confused that they got him for copyright infringement and not trademark? I guess not as much money in trademark violations...
 

Iceshot

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M$ revenue of 90B$ in 2017, probably 5B$ on marketing, i wonder if them doing this, is counter productive, even if it was illegal what he did, the reason why he was doing it should be enough to stay away from him.
many ppl already think M$ are assholes, why enforce prove them right for so little.

They do it because they can and because Microsoft's massive legal team has to stay busy justifying / validating their salaries. Successful lawsuits like this make it easier the next time Microsoft wants to go after someone like this as they have previous case law to cite. This is all about profits and punishing anyone that is perceived as a threat to profitability. Anything not related to profit (fairness, justice, crime fitting the punishment, cost to the state taxpayer, etc) is tossed aside (if it was ever considered in the first place) as an irrelevant distraction to the matter at hand...... PROFIT and MOAR PROFIT.
 

cyclone3d

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Ok, so for those who are too lazy or too dumb to understand the article and how things work with OEM systems here goes:

The article - no matter that the writer sounds like they really don't know what they are talking about.
1. Eric Lundgren had these restore discs made in China
2. These restore discs were made to look like official restore discs from Dell (THIS RIGHT HERE IS ONE ISSUE)
3. He planned to sell these discs to computer refurbishers (THIS RIGHT HERE IS THE MAIN ISSUE). It is VERY well laid out that this is not allowed. Pay what.. 5c a disc and then resell for $25.. No profit. HAHAHAHAHA, yeah right.
4. If he had just been including them FOR FREE with refurbished OEM computers that he was selling/giving away this would probably have not been a problem except for point # 1.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is how OEM Windows install discs work.
1. Dell DOES NOT offer "restore discs" at all. They only offer Windows re-installation discs. And they DO NOT offer ANY download of the re-installation disc either. You must order it from them (pay money).
2. The Dell Windows image checks for a key that is included in the BIOS (SLIC), which has been used by pirates for modifying the BIOS of non-OEM machines so that they can use the OEM Windows and it will activate as if it was an OEM machine - pirate gets Windows for free.
3. Dell offers the Windows re-installation disc to be shipped with new systems, but usually they charge extra for it unless this has changed very recently. (This may have changed with Windows 8 - see below, but I haven't purchased or worked on any OEM machines that were sold via retail channels in quite a while. Sometimes our new computers come with the re-installation disc, sometimes not. Way back in the day, they included it for "free". but then started charging for it.
4. As of Windows 8, there isn't an OEM COE (license code sticker) included on the desktop/laptop/whatever. The only key is the one embedded in the BIOS. The only way to restore these machines if the drive is replaced is with an OEM disc or with a regular copy with a license key.
5. If the motherboard is replaced under warranty, Dell will include a Windows license for re-installation so that you can download the image from MS and use that.
 

IcePickFreak

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Everyone should know by now the only people you can screw outta money and get away with it is taxpayers.
 

James21

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M$ revenue of 90B$ in 2017, probably 5B$ on marketing, i wonder if them doing this, is counter productive, even if it was illegal what he did, the reason why he was doing it should be enough to stay away from him.
many ppl already think M$ are assholes, why enforce prove them right for so little.

Because they don't need people to like them because they have a near monopoly on desktop OS installs.
What they want is stories to scare people to be willing to pay a second or 3rd time for the same thing to avoid getting in trouble.

Pretty much they don't care about negative publicity, they just want to make sure they can strong arm people in to paying as much as possible.

They stopped allowing people to buy more legit copies of windows 7, paid off Intel & AMD to stop making drivers for Windows 7 for new chips / chipsets.
You are going to take their new ever evolving spy / pay / rip off OS and that it, and no other options except for the few that escape to Linux & those that pay even more to join Apple.
 

Burticus

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He wasn't selling the restore discs... he was including them with old machines he was selling as refurbs that ALREADY had a valid license.

I think his error was having the discs pressed with OEM logos on it. It all sounds stupid to me.

I would say just wipe the computers and throw linux on them for resale... but honestly, who is going to buy a refurb computer with Ubuntu on it? No one.

edit - oh, yeah he was going to sell the discs to other refurbishers to give away. If he just made and gave them away (except for the issue with the proprietary logos) probably wouldn't have been a problem.

"He thought that producing and selling distributing restore discs to computer refurbishers — saving them the hassle of downloading the software and burning new discs — would encourage more secondhand sales. "
 
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matt167

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Yup. His only issue was the discs having the logo and not being original... I don't see why he had his discs copied in China though.. He could easily find real ones

Also note, the SLIC does not check or interpret the original license version, so a Dell can be upgraded from say Pro to Ultimate just by using the Dell Ultimate disc and it will activate... Not that you should
 

likeman

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in the UK computers that are been resold norm have to have a new windows refurbished program at like £15-20

a lot of computer shops that sell refurbished computers have to do it or M$ fines them if they find that they are selling computers with fresh copy of windows but not a new COA key witch person is stupid when the key on the PC works fine (i think MS has something on the TOS i never looked into it as it would of cost me to pay MS for 2 things be a partner and refurbish program)

this goes back like 15 years, M$ wants more money when you resell the PC
 

RC-Heli-3D

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Let me add something here, why don't we take a step back and realize something here? Did you notice that LAWs are for us peasants? When the higher authority breaks their own laws handed down to us? Something to think about before you go postal on your brothers.
 

cyclone3d

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He wasn't selling the restore discs... he was including them with old machines he was selling as refurbs that ALREADY had a valid license.

I think his error was having the discs pressed with OEM logos on it. It all sounds stupid to me.

I would say just wipe the computers and throw linux on them for resale... but honestly, who is going to buy a refurb computer with Ubuntu on it? No one.

edit - oh, yeah he was going to sell the discs to other refurbishers to give away. If he just made and gave them away (except for the issue with the proprietary logos) probably wouldn't have been a problem.

"He thought that producing and selling distributing restore discs to computer refurbishers — saving them the hassle of downloading the software and burning new discs — would encourage more secondhand sales. "

The article specifically stated that he was planning on selling the recovery discs to computer refurbishers.
 

thesmokingman

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There's a lot of stupid on both sides but this guy knew the rules and ignored them. Just because you have a different viewpoint doesn't mean you can ignore the laws. Am I right?
 

RC-Heli-3D

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There's a lot of stupid on both sides but this guy knew the rules and ignored them. Just because you have a different viewpoint doesn't mean you can ignore the laws. Am I right?

No one is saying you are wrong. Just look at the so call public servants breaking the laws themselves with no consequences.
 

thesmokingman

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No one is saying you are wrong. Just look at the so call public servants breaking the laws themselves with no consequences.

You can't go around rationalizing one thing because another may or may not be doing it the wrong way. You'd be no different from this guy. He's printed 28,000 copies, that's a long effing ways from an accident.
 

RC-Heli-3D

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You can't go around rationalizing one thing because another may or may not be doing it the wrong way. You'd be no different from this guy. He's printed 28,000 copies, that's a long effing ways from an accident.

Wait, I didn't say anything that justifies the guy's 28k copies. I am only referring to our internal corruption.
 

Tweak42

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Ahem. It really sounds like when duplicating 28,000 discs of non open source software, you should consult a IP lawyer first just to be safe.....
 

parawing742

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Since the discs were intercepted before he sold any of them, it's hard to know if he was intending to make a profit on the sales of the discs or if he was just planning to include them along with refurbished computers.
 

gunbust3r

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He's in California and touching old computer components without gloves and a hazmat suit. He got off easy, probably breaking 16 lead related nanny state laws right there.
 

lostin3d

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I had a class years ago that at one point explained there can be differences between what's right and what's ethical. This seems to be one of those. I believe him to be ethical but wrong in including the logos and MS trying to be right in greed, profits, protecting whatever but totally unethical in their lack meeting halfway for an obvious issue that could have better resolution for him and the planet.

On another note, this shows our judicial system and many other federal entities, tend to be truly oblivious to the laws they try to enforce on the general public while protecting corporate entities.
 

Trepidati0n

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As horrible as the sentence was ... he was doing something incredibly stupid. There was a complete lack of common sense here.

My guess is he told MS to fuck off in some way shape or form which made it worse. MS is usually pretty good about say "stop this shit now or we send in the lawyers".
 

lcpiper

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Did people read the articel?

The man got jammed becuse he used M$ and Dell logo but yet MS wanted to claim damages per copy of Windows?! Using a logo is not software piracy. Its something else but its not software piracy. Even so, each computer was licened....legaly! A proper pirate would know about the SLIC, certificate and OEM keys. He did not circomvent the system. He used it to do exactly what the OEMs do.


Ahh you are correct, it's not software piracy, but he wasn't convicted of software piracy so what does it matter.

Prosecutors said the 33-year-old ripped off Microsoft by manufacturing 28,000 counterfeit discs with the company’s Windows operating system on them. He was convicted of conspiracy and copyright infringement, which brought a 15-month prison sentence and a $50,000 fine.
 

lcpiper

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M$ revenue of 90B$ in 2017, probably 5B$ on marketing, i wonder if them doing this, is counter productive, even if it was illegal what he did, the reason why he was doing it should be enough to stay away from him.
many ppl already think M$ are assholes, why enforce prove them right for so little.


MS isn't being assholes about this. The asshole was the guy counterfeiting their product and it's media that's trying to make MS look like assholes.
 

lcpiper

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He wasn't selling the restore discs... he was including them with old machines he was selling as refurbs that ALREADY had a valid license.

I think his error was having the discs pressed with OEM logos on it. It all sounds stupid to me.

I would say just wipe the computers and throw linux on them for resale... but honestly, who is going to buy a refurb computer with Ubuntu on it? No one.

edit - oh, yeah he was going to sell the discs to other refurbishers to give away. If he just made and gave them away (except for the issue with the proprietary logos) probably wouldn't have been a problem.

"He thought that producing and selling distributing restore discs to computer refurbishers — saving them the hassle of downloading the software and burning new discs — would encourage more secondhand sales. "


Are you sure?

Lundgren does not deny that he made the discs, or hoped to sell them.

28,000 disks, that's an ambitious project looking forward to renovating 28,000 computers from the waste dumps?

How many man hours does that come to?

Some would see this is an entire business enterprise all to itself.

I wonder, just how many computers did he actually get around to restoring?

Do you see where I am going with this? If it only took one hour to restore a computer to working condition, and you only put a single employee on task doing it, 28,000 computers at 28,000 hours comes to 700 40 hour work weeks.

I'm thinking that any reasonable person would look at the scope of how many disks he had made and see that it far outstripped what he claims was his intention. He had the disks counterfeited, he admitted to his intention to sell them, and nobody bought his sad story that he only intended to put the computers back into use and help people out.
 
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HammerSandwich

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We've been sending people to prison for non-violent crimes since at least the civil war.

All of a sudden we have people that think it's wrong because nobody was physically hurt. Is it because you just don't think that it should be that way or is it that you think it's never been that way?
Back in 1873, I completely agreed that locking up non-violent offenders was okay. But that was before we wasted billions of our tax dollars sending minor drug offenders to private, for-profit prisons.

So I guess the answer to your question is that I changed my beliefs when I realized that the "tough on crime!" people were more crooked than the criminals they condemn.
 

thesmokingman

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Since the discs were intercepted before he sold any of them, it's hard to know if he was intending to make a profit on the sales of the discs or if he was just planning to include them along with refurbished computers.

He was selling them! That means he was trying to make a profit. He literally copied MS' images trying to pass it off as real. There's a lot of stupid going on by this guy and he's trying to act like, "hey gais, I was only trying to help? I'm not the bad guy here!"
 

Teenk9

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Microsoft hate is very strong in this thread.

Many of you really think MS wanted to go to court for this because they wanted a cut of the money from the guy? Whatever this guy was going to make is pennies to MS. They probably spent 10x on lawyers fees taking this guy to court.

This is about protecting their IP. If they let this guy knowingly infringe their copyright it will erode the strength of that same copyright. 28K copies- that's 28K instances that their copyright is infringed. That's not something a judge will ignore in another potential case if they let this one slide.
 

M76

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420,000 in lost sales? Just how many oem windows copies did this guy resale?

Aren't the oem licenses attached to the hardware? So when you sell the hardware you sell the license as well automatically.

So this ruling means if you want to sell a laptop with a pre-installed windows you have to delete windows from it, otherwise ms comes after you?
 

thesmokingman

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420,000 in lost sales? Just how many oem windows copies did this guy resale?

Aren't the oem licenses attached to the hardware? So when you sell the hardware you sell the license as well automatically.

So this ruling means if you want to sell a laptop with a pre-installed windows you have to delete windows from it, otherwise ms comes after you?

Clearly that's not how licenses transfer. You can't sell a license. On an individual basis MS doesn't give a shit. However at 28,000 copies, they will give a shit. There are ppl on the forums doing exactly this, selling licenses to users on a small scale. MS doesn't do shit about it nor really care that much. Now when someone starts printing 28k discs the outcome will be a whole lot different.
 

M76

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Clearly that's not how licenses transfer. You can't sell a license. On an individual basis MS doesn't give a shit. However at 28,000 copies, they will give a shit. There are ppl on the forums doing exactly this, selling licenses to users on a small scale. MS doesn't do shit about it nor really care that much. Now when someone starts printing 28k discs the outcome will be a whole lot different.
You're evading the question.
Can I or can I not sell my laptop with oem windows on it? I'm not talking about selling unused oem licenses which is clearly a violation of the license agreement. I'm talking about selling the original hardware the license is attached to.
 

Teenk9

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You're evading the question.
Can I or can I not sell my laptop with oem windows on it? I'm not talking about selling unused oem licenses which is clearly a violation of the license agreement. I'm talking about selling the original hardware the license is attached to.

How would you be in violation of anything when that's exactly how it's supposed to be. What the guy did was nowhere near what you just described.
 
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