E-waste Recycler Facing Prison for Copyright Infringement

DooKey

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Eric Lundgren, a dedicated recycler of e-waste, has been sentenced to 15 months in the pen for infringing on a Microsoft copyright. The rest of the story is Mr. Lundgren processes more than 41M pounds of e-waste each year and he hated what he saw as planned obsolescence and wanted to extend the life of old computers. He rebuilt/restored the old OEM computers and then planned to include the old OEM restore disk as part of the package. These are OEM computers after all and each one came with a non-transferable license so he figured it wasn't a big deal to reprint the disks and sell them with the used systems. However, he was wrong and Microsoft wanted a piece of the action. There's more to this and it's well worth a read of the original story. Thanks cageymaru.

The government, and Microsoft, did not see it that way. Federal prosecutors in Florida obtained a 21-count indictment against Lundgren and his business partner, and Microsoft filed a letter seeking $420,000 in restitution for lost sales. Lundgren claims that the assistant U.S. attorney on the case told him, “Microsoft wants your head on a platter and I’m going to give it to them.”
 

vegeta535

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That is some bs right there. My brother better look out then. He take computer that a hospital he works for throws out and fixes/restores them. He then gives them out to friends and family. They are typically Core2 stuff he finds something modern from time to time. He Found a Surface book 2 a couple years ago that had zero issues.
 

Mugato

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The fact that he's getting prison time for this is complete utter bullshit.

On the one hand, he did not physically hurt anyone, so yes, seems like they went way overboard to include him in with violent offenders. On the other, he did break the law, however stupid it is.
 

lcpiper

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On the one hand, he did not physically hurt anyone, so yes, seems like they went way overboard to include him in with violent offenders. On the other, he did break the law, however stupid it is.

Where do you guys get this idea that going to prison is something we should only do with violent offenders?

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?
 
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lcpiper

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Welp, that's very confidence inspiring on the part of copyright law.
15 months for keeping electronic trash out of landfills.


It's really got nothing at all to do with the computers themselves, it's the software the guy was selling without cutting MS in for their slice.
 

nutzo

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You can reinstall the OEM Windows on the systems, or even resell the original restore CD's (although years ago EBay was banning even that).

Creating new copies of the restore CD's and selling them is where he went wrong. Still prison time is also wrong.
 

Kardonxt

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I don't think this is the full story. I worked for a shady company that re-sold used computers with less than legal OS and Office copies.

Microsoft would send numerous warnings and as long as you went legit for a few months they would forget about it. Eventually we joined the microsoft refurbisher partnership program that cost about $20 per PC to get a fresh refurb coa and legit recovery media.

Edit: NVM, I actually read the article and he's not in trouble for refurbishing the PCS and giving away the media. He was trying to resell the recovery media.

The problem with this is that HP, Dell, etc sell the recovery media on their websites for people who lost it. He claims it was to help refurbishers but this is clearly BS. Refurbishers don't need factory recovery media because they know how to computer. He was clearly pirating recovery CDs and was selling them to anyone who wanted to buy one (ie consumers like grandma because pros don't need them). He is just trying to put a nice spin on it.
 

ecmaster76

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You can reinstall the OEM Windows on the systems, or even resell the original restore CD's (although years ago EBay was banning even that).

Creating new copies of the restore CD's and selling them is where he went wrong. Still prison time is also wrong.
Agreed. Possibly he could have included instructions with the refurbished PCs so the user's could make their own. I've burned plenty of Windows CD's myself but I've never tried to sell one
 

Zarathustra[H]

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This is ridiculous. OEM licenses are tied to the OEM machine they came on. If they are sold again, this is perfectly legal.

The physical disc has no copyright associated with it. All the the legal rights follow the key, which is stuck to and tied to the OEM machine.

I hope he appeals this bullshit ruling. Can't let these bastards get away with this bullshit.
 

SomeoneElse

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MS lets you download recovery disks all the time because they are needed but selling the crap to someone is very illegal. I don't really feel for this guy to be honest. It was trying to keep stuff out of the trash that a honorable quest but it was less than honorable to try and resell recovery discs to people.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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MS lets you download recovery disks all the time because they are needed but selling the crap to someone is very illegal. I don't really feel for this guy to be honest. It was trying to keep stuff out of the trash that a honorable quest but it was less than honorable to try and resell recovery discs to people.

Couldn't disagree more.

He wasn't selling recovery disks. He was selling the OEM machines and including a copy of the recovery disks they came with...

If you own the OEM machine the license came with you are entitled to a copy of it.
 

James21

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Microsoft likes to double and triple dip on their "licencing costs"
Basically the original OEM paid Microsoft for a licence that supposedly is good forever on that particular PC
Microsoft wanted to be paid a second time for the same software license on the same computer.
Microsoft got pissed when he wouldn't paid them a second time for what they got paid for the first time.

This is why Linux needs to rule and people need to just get used to it on the desktop
 

SomeoneElse

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Couldn't disagree more.

He wasn't selling recovery disks. He was selling the OEM machines and including a copy of the recovery disks they came with...

If you own the OEM machine the license came with you are entitled to a copy of it.
"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. In his view, the new owners were entitled to the software, and this just made it easier." - Direct quote from the article

These are not OEM disc they are recovery and OEM which makes it illegal because he's giving them both the OS and the licensed software and they both have the original Logo's from the companies. I.E. Dell and Microsoft. He reproduced them without permission which is direct copyright infringement.
 

Chebsy

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Prolly if he was using the disks that came from the OEM, they might not have been able to do anything. But because he was printing new disks, they flipped about that.

Im with you on this, it feels like morally and environmentally, he is doing the right thing, but if that is at the cost of MS losing out on some income .......
 

Kardonxt

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Couldn't disagree more.

He wasn't selling recovery disks. He was selling the OEM machines and including a copy of the recovery disks they came with...

If you own the OEM machine the license came with you are entitled to a copy of it.

That's what I thought too before reading the article. This is not about selling oem machines with recovery disks. He is pirating dell / hp recovery disks and reselling them without computers to people who are trying to reload their own PCs. These disks are available from the manufacturer. He isn't doing good, he is pirating software and trying to put a good spin on it.
 
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BB Gun

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I understand all the issues, I would understand fines, but prison time.... really? It's not like he was selling the same disks over and over and over again. Yes, he fucked up, fine him. but prison?

BB
 

Drakeniir

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oh please. you can download most recent software from microsoft's evaluation site and if you have a code and a little know-how you can activate the software as if it was a full version. if anything dude is saving them bandwidth costs.
 

TrailRunner

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oh please. you can download most recent software from microsoft's evaluation site and if you have a code and a little know-how you can activate the software as if it was a full version. if anything dude is saving them bandwidth costs.

It's Microsoft's intellectual property, and so it's their right to control it as they see fit. They are completely in the right to allow users to download ISOs from their site for free while also not wanting this dude to sell pirated discs of the same software.



Also, I find it ironic that this guy is touting his desire to keep stuff out of landfills, while he prints out a bunch of packaging for his little pirating enterprise to make his discs look legit, and most of of that packaging would end up in the landfill.
 

BSmith

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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.

It's Microsoft's intellectual property, and so it's their right to control it as they see fit. They are completely in the right to allow users to download ISOs from their site for free while also not wanting this dude to sell pirated discs of the same software.



Also, I find it ironic that this guy is touting his desire to keep stuff out of landfills, while he prints out a bunch of packaging for his little pirating enterprise to make his discs look legit, and most of of that packaging would end up in the landfill.

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.
 
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face2palm

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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.

So Microsoft was right but they are still wrong? Sound logic, Lou.
 

Ur_Mom

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Where do you guys get this idea that going to prison is something we should only do with violent offenders?

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?

I don't care about the violent/non-violent. This seems more like a business matter or civil lawsuit rather than a criminal one. I'm not a lawyer, but it seems a bit much. Sure, the guy did it. He should pay the fines and move on. Like with pirating shit. Pay the fine, but no prison time (as far as I know).
 

MDboyz

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LOL ... it was only B.S. if he gave them away for free, and MS went after him. He sold them to gain money just for his own.
 

BSmith

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So Microsoft was right but they are still wrong? Sound logic, Lou.

They have the law in thier corner. They did not have to press charges. There is more than one way to solve a problem.

Since when did "law" have a foot-hold in logic? Just saying.
 

PantherBlitz

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Don't these disks still require activation? With a different code and hardware SNs they should fail activation.
I once had had Windows de-activate itself because I removed a PCI WiFi card and MS thought I was installing on multiple machines. I had to call them and prove that the mobo and CPU were the same before they would re-activate it.
 
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