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posted by janrinok on Sunday April 29 2018, @10:14PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the another-life-ruined dept.

Microsoft's corporate vice president of communication Frank X. Shaw has given the company's take on the conviction of Eric Lundgren for allegedly ordering unauthorized copies of Windows:

In the last few days there have been several stories about the sentencing of Eric Lundgren in a case that began in 2012, and we have received a number of questions about this case and our role in it. Although the case was not one that we brought, the questions raised recently have caused us to carefully review the publicly available court documents. All of the information we are sharing in this blog is drawn from those documents. We are sharing this information now and responding publicly because we believe both Microsoft's role in the case and the facts themselves are being misrepresented.

  • Microsoft did not bring this case: U.S. Customs referred the case to federal prosecutors after intercepting shipments of counterfeit software imported from China by Mr. Lundgren.
  • Lundgren established an elaborate counterfeit supply chain in China: Mr. Lundgren traveled extensively in China to set up a production line and designed counterfeit molds for Microsoft software in order to unlawfully manufacture counterfeit discs in significant volumes.
  • Lundgren failed to stop after being warned: Mr. Lundgren was even warned by a customs seizure notice that his conduct was illegal and given the opportunity to stop before he was prosecuted.
  • Lundgren pleaded guilty: The counterfeit discs obtained by Mr. Lundgren were sold to refurbishers in the United States for his personal profit and Mr. Lundgren and his codefendant both pleaded guilty to federal felony crimes.
  • Lundgren went to great lengths to mislead people: His own emails submitted as evidence in the case show the lengths to which Mr. Lundgren went in an attempt to make his counterfeit software look like genuine software. They also show him directing his co-defendant to find less discerning customers who would be more easily deceived if people objected to the counterfeits.
  • Lundgren intended to profit from his actions: His own emails submitted as evidence before the court make clear that Mr. Lundgren's motivation was to sell counterfeit software to generate income for himself.
  • Microsoft has a strong program to support legitimate refurbishers and recyclers: Our program supports hundreds of legitimate recyclers, while protecting customers.

TechCrunch calls Microsoft's blog post "spin" for misrepresenting recovery discs as equivalent to entire licensed operating systems, hyping the "elaborate counterfeit supply chain", etc. Frank Shaw also defends the company in the comments for that article.

Also at The Verge.

Previously: 'E-Waste' Recycling Innovator Faces Prison for Trying to Extend Life Span of PCs


Original Submission

Related Stories

‘E-Waste’ Recycling Innovator Faces Prison for Trying to Extend Life Span of PCs 58 comments

Electronics recycler Eric Lundgren was convicted of conspiracy and copyright infringement for his efforts regarding refurbishing old PCs. His sentence would have been 15 months in prison and a $50,000 fine except that he was granted an emergency stay of the sentence by a federal appeals court. Now his appeal is pending before the 11th Circuit though it has not yet been scheduled.

[...] McGloin also testified that Microsoft charges computer refurbishers about $25 for a new license and copy of the software but didn't differentiate that from what was done by Lundgren, who was not making a new copy of the software and intended his restore discs only for computers that were already licensed.

[...] Lundgren called his own expert witness, Glenn Weadock, an author of numerous software books who testified for the government in a major antitrust case against Microsoft that was resolved in 2001. Weadock was asked, "In your opinion, without a code, either product key or COA [Certificate of Authenticity], what is the value of these reinstallation discs?"

"Zero or near zero," Weadock said.

He should have listened to the experts like Ken Starks of Reglue. However, no mention was made by The Washington Post article about whether he or the court was aware that he could have improved the situation all the way around by simply upgrading the refurbished PCs to GNU/Linux instead of using a system that is always showing new ways to cause problems. The local LUG could well host an evening event with him as guest of honor to show how to improve the users' situation while staying out of jail.

Source : Eric Lundgren, 'e-waste' recycling innovator, faces prison for trying to extend life span of PCs


Original Submission

California Man Loses Appeal in Copyright Infringement Case 30 comments

Engadget reports that Eric Lundgren, who ordered unauthorized copies of Microsoft Windows, has lost in appeals court. He had received a 15-month prison sentence and $50,000 fine.

From Engadget:

Lundgren realized that people were simply discarding old computers and buying new ones, rather than trying to restore Windows. He decided to begin manufacturing restore CDs that could be sold to computer repair shops for a quarter each.

[...] However, things began to go downhill after US Customs got ahold of a shipment of these disks in 2012. They charged Lundgren with conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, as well as criminal copyright infringement. The premise here was that Lundgren was providing users with a copy of the Windows operating system on these restore disks, but that was untrue. The users needed to have a previously purchased license, or the restore disks wouldn't work.

[...] While Lundgren argued that these disks had zero value, Microsoft claimed (through a letter and an expert witness) that these were "counterfeit operating systems" and that they had the potential to hurt Microsoft's sales. The pricing was set at $25 a piece, which was what Microsoft claimed it charged repair shops for these disks. The catch here is that this is the price for a fully licensed operating system, not Lundgren's version.

Follow-up Interview with E-Waste Recycler Eric Lundgren 45 comments

[Editor's note: We generally try to provide balanced coverage of a story. This interview is "straight from the horse's mouth" and is, therefore, going to contain the biases of the interviewee. Nonetheless, we thought the story interesting enough that we wanted to put it out to the community to discuss. --martyb]

Roy Schestowitz over at Techrights has an informal, follow-up interview with e-waste recycler Eric Lundgren about his ordeal with Microsoft. Lundgren spent time incarcerated as a result of his efforts to re-use old Wintel computers and keep them out of the landfill. He is now finally out of prison.

"The judge didn't understand the difference between a "Restore CD" and a "License"," he complained, "and Microsoft convinced the judge that the "Restore CD" was of equal value and functionality to a new MSFT OS w. new license! I was honestly dumbfounded.. I kept waiting for someone to get it in court .. Instead – The judge threw out all of my expert witness' testimony and only kept Microsoft's testimony.."

[...] Lundgren was sort of tricked if not blackmailed. It was the old trick of plea 'bargain' that was leveraged against him. "They threatened me with 47 Years in Prison," he told us. "So my only choice was to plea-bargain.. I told them I would ONLY plead guilty to "Restore CD Without License" but then Microsoft convinced the judge to value a Restore CD at the SAME VALUE as a Full Microsoft OS w. License!"

Earlier on SN:
Microsoft's Full Response to the Lundgren Counterfeiting Conviction (2018)
California Man Loses Appeal in Copyright Infringement Case (2018)
'E-Waste' Recycling Innovator Faces Prison for Trying to Extend Life Span of PCs (2018)


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @10:40PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @10:40PM (#673507)

    Data just wants to be free. And now the same can be said for Eric Lundgren.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by c0lo on Sunday April 29 2018, @10:52PM (4 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 29 2018, @10:52PM (#673511) Journal

      Data just wants to be free.

      Are you telling me Picard keeps Data locked?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @11:12PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @11:12PM (#673516)

        Are you telling me Picard keeps Data locked?

        If you saw what Data does on the holodeck you'd want someone to keep an eye on him too.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday April 29 2018, @11:45PM (1 child)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 29 2018, @11:45PM (#673523) Journal

          If you saw what Data does on the holodeck you'd want someone to keep an eye on him too.

          Then what? Make that into a certain kind of movie?

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 2) by Fluffeh on Monday April 30 2018, @02:49AM

            by Fluffeh (954) on Monday April 30 2018, @02:49AM (#673576) Journal

            No, there's no market for that. It's streaming only.

      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Monday April 30 2018, @11:55AM

        by driverless (4770) on Monday April 30 2018, @11:55AM (#673680)

        Data just wants to be free.

        Are you telling me Picard keeps Data locked?

        Only with his consent, and they use a safeword at all times.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by c0lo on Sunday April 29 2018, @10:47PM (14 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 29 2018, @10:47PM (#673510) Journal

    The comments on TechCrunch story [techcrunch.com] are worth reading. For instance:

    I don’t know if I buy the “MS didn’t prosecute” bit. I know nothing first hand about this case, but I am an IP lawyer and this is how these things usually go:. Customs stops a suspicious shipment (usually because they are notified by the trademark owner, but not always). They contact the trademark owner and give them the opportunity to inspect and confirm the goods are counterfeit. If they are, customs asks the trademark owner if they want customs to seize and prosecute. If the trademark owner says no, customs may seize the goods but normally that is the end of it since without the cooperation of the trademark owner they can’t really do much.

    Bottom line, and this is just speculation since, again, I know nothing first hand, MS knew these were just worthless recovery disks and probably still asked, or allowed, customs to prosecute this guy into prison.

    So, while the statement that the case was brought by customs and not MS may be literally true, I think MS is severely understating it’s involvement in the case.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @11:01PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @11:01PM (#673513)

      MS knew these were just worthless recovery disks

      On the other hand, a license code or a keygen are also worthless without the recovery disk...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @03:44AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @03:44AM (#673592)

        So you're saying a Windows license is worthless.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @06:41AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @06:41AM (#673616)

          Bingo! And not just worthless, less than worthless, since it ties you to a master who will rape you, fuck you over, stab you in the back, and give you blue screens of death. And all that before NT. And after, the involuntary colonscopy, the sharing of you contacts and friends and people you have shared biological matter with. . . Oh, dear. Well, fuck Bill Gates, and I hope his herpes flare ups are as bad as mine. I hope the rat-lung-worm infection that is Microsoft code produces the same ringing in the head, the inability to thing logically, the tendency to vote Republican, . . . OH, wait a minute! It all makes sense now. Kanye West is Microsoft Bob. How could I not have seen that before . . . . . .

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Monday April 30 2018, @02:22AM (10 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 30 2018, @02:22AM (#673571) Homepage Journal

      Where Lundgren went "wrong", IMO, is that he was selling these discs, for profit. He went all the way to China, to find a cheap labor supply, to produce discs of pretty high quality, to fool people into believing that they were genuine.

      Had Lundgren produced these discs on his own computer, and used standard quality printed labels, then GIVEN THEM AWAY, his actions would have been moral, if not legal.

      Even the GPL doesn't allow you to produce their discs, then sell them at a profit. You may only recover production costs for the discs you produce. So - what, 50 cents per disk?

      Lundgren could have "sold" recovery disks for half a buck, then offered "support" at any price, and he would still be operating in a moral and ethical manner. Doing so, in rather limited quantities, would have avoided coming to the attention of Customs, so the law would probably never have taken notice of him.

      --
      Let's go Brandon!
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Monday April 30 2018, @03:34AM (8 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 30 2018, @03:34AM (#673590) Journal

        Had Lundgren produced these discs on his own computer, and used standard quality printed labels, then GIVEN THEM AWAY, his actions would have been moral, if not legal.

        I don't see the morality in imposing, even for a non-for-profit organization, not to cover their operating cost.
        As for the legality part, IMHO, the only thing that Lundgren got absolutely wrong was the infringement on Dell trademark (even then, would Microsoft have no standing, it has not been affected by anything real).

        Even the GPL doesn't allow you to produce their discs, then sell them at a profit. You may only recover production costs for the discs you produce. So - what, 50 cents per disk?

        You are absolutely wrong on this one. The immediate example to spring into mind is RedHat - it is allow to charge $349 for the "self-support" license of RedHat Enterprise Linux [soylentnews.org]. Self-support license [redhat.com] implies:
        - run it on max 2 CPU sockets
        - access to updates
        - open support tickets

        If you want the GNU org position on selling Open source software in general, here it is [gnu.org]. The TL;DR version is absolutely simple, no ifs and no buts:

        Actually, we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If a license does not permit users to make copies and sell them, it is a nonfree license. If this seems surprising to you, please read on.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday April 30 2018, @07:03AM (7 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 30 2018, @07:03AM (#673619) Homepage Journal

          Uhhhh, wow. That is certainly not the position that I read when I started using Linux, long ago. You could charge a "reasonable fee" for making copies, but you couldn't "sell" GPL'd software. Apparently, this stuff has been "evolving", and I've not kept up.

          Yes, support has always been reasonably charged for. That's how Redhat got it's start, after all. And, "reasonable" has always been open to negotiation.

          Thanks for the links.

          --
          Let's go Brandon!
          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @07:48AM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @07:48AM (#673629)

            You've always been wrong. At least since the GPLv2, which has always[1] been the license for the Linux kernel.

            If you have read the GPL, there is the possibility that you simply misunderstood - it actually does have a part about only charging for cost, but that applies only when people ask for the source code. You can sell the software for a million dollars and as long as you include the source code, that part doesn't apply to you.

            [1] There may have been a different license back when it was called "Freax".

            • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @08:54AM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @08:54AM (#673651)

              Runaway1956 has always been wrong. I will have to ponder this for a bit. I already knew it, but to have it pointed out so directly, in regard to the GPL, it just makes me realize, Runaway has always been wrong. Remember that population of China snafu? Runaway was wrong. Remember the "forced conversion under Islam" thing? Runaway has always been wrong. Remember the "steel-toed boots" affair? Yet again Runaway was wrong, but at least he kept his toes. And remember all the other times Runaway has been wrong. One wonders, with his level of ignorance and error, why he persists in posting.

              • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @10:17AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @10:17AM (#673658)

                One wonders, ... , why he persists in posting.

                Perverse pleasure of being proved wrong?
                A saint-hearth trying to suck all the wrong in this world so that all the other people will be right?
                Who knows?

              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday April 30 2018, @10:35AM

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 30 2018, @10:35AM (#673660) Journal

                Oh, come on, there are others always-wronger than him.

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by pendorbound on Monday April 30 2018, @02:45PM

            by pendorbound (2688) on Monday April 30 2018, @02:45PM (#673748) Homepage

            You're thinking a "shareware" type license. Those tend to limit your charging a "reasonable fee" for the physical duplication & distribution. GPL has always been about access to the source more than the physical media. If I sell or give you a copy of GPL software at any price, I must also make the source code available to you. By extension, if I charge an exorbitant price for the binary, I need only provide source to those who pay me my exorbitant price. (But I can't do anything to prevent them from in turn giving it away for free.)

            The only place where reasonable fee enters into GPL is a throwback to when source might be distributed separately from object code, IE because it wouldn't all fit on the same floppy disk. In that case, charging "a price no more than your reasonable cost of physically performing this conveying of source" was tacitly acceptable to get the rest of the disks, though I never saw a case of it being used. A link to web server was plenty, even when web access wasn't necessarily ubiquitous.

          • (Score: 2) by letssee on Monday April 30 2018, @04:56PM (1 child)

            by letssee (2537) on Monday April 30 2018, @04:56PM (#673806)

            Ehm, this has been the FSF's stance since forever. At least since *I* started using linux (september 1994).

            You can charge whatever you want. However, you can't charge more than a reasonable fee for the *source code* of the distributed software if someone wants it (and even then, you only *have* to give it to them if you also distributed the software itself to them). And you can't prevent others from selling the same software for less or even giving it away.

            • (Score: 1) by steveg on Monday April 30 2018, @09:03PM

              by steveg (778) on Monday April 30 2018, @09:03PM (#673922)

              You're right, and even longer. I first saw this discussion in a GNU manual of some sort (EMACS maybe) from 1989, so well predating Linux.

      • (Score: 2) by stormwyrm on Monday April 30 2018, @10:45AM

        by stormwyrm (717) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 30 2018, @10:45AM (#673662) Journal

        Even the GPL doesn't allow you to produce their discs, then sell them at a profit. You may only recover production costs for the discs you produce.

        This is absolute bollocks, outright contradicted by the FSF itself: [gnu.org]

        Many people believe that the spirit of the GNU Project is that you should not charge money for distributing copies of software, or that you should charge as little as possible—just enough to cover the cost. This is a misunderstanding.

        Actually, we encourage people who redistribute free software to charge as much as they wish or can. If a license does not permit users to make copies and sell them, it is a nonfree license. If this seems surprising to you, please read on.

        (emphasis added)

        --
        Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @10:56PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 29 2018, @10:56PM (#673512)

    A recovery disc is something you or I or a refurbisher can make right now for free.

    Microsoft is evil and all, of course, but they are right here. It's their software. The availability of downloads is limited to licensed owners. He bypassed that check. Availability of downloads will tell the judge that the defendant was not fulfilling an important social need. He also styled his DVD to mimic Dell; his explanation (likely not advised by a lawyer) dug him deeper, as now he is redistributing a customized Dell image, and Dell asks another click for that license - there are Dell's utilities and other s/w licensed to Dell. A clear violation of copyright on the artwork as well. Finally, /selling/ someone's software without permission is really bad - as soon as the jury hears about monetary gain, the trial is over. My prediction is that he will be convicted on all counts.

    His case will not get much approval from FOSS, as there are perfectly good Linux distros for refurb PCs. Likely he will be remembered as a clumsy counterfeiter who failed even to make good money on it.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Monday April 30 2018, @12:10AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 30 2018, @12:10AM (#673524) Journal

      Availability of downloads will tell the judge that the defendant was not fulfilling an important social need

      What good is the download if you don't have a functional computer?
      If you have a functional computer, why do you need a recovery risk?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @12:34AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @12:34AM (#673531)

      If I get a disk that M$ made, obtain it whatever legal way, I can resell it.
      That's the first sale doctrine. Can't make a new artifact though like this misguided person was doing.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday April 30 2018, @01:00AM (1 child)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 30 2018, @01:00AM (#673547) Journal

      What a bunch of bulshit.

      He bypassed that check.

      No, he didn't. Any OS installed from those recovery disk will not function for long without the activation, which requires a valid license.

      Availability of downloads will tell the judge that the defendant was not fulfilling an important social need.

      Addressed above [soylentnews.org]. Yes, there is a valid need for those disks (as in "software stored on a material support rather than available only as download").

      as now he is redistributing a customized Dell image, and Dell asks another click for that license - there are Dell's utilities and other s/w licensed to Dell.

      If it's not Microsoft's trademark that has been infringed, what standing had Microsoft in the entire bruhaha?

      A clear violation of copyright on the artwork as well.

      You mean trademark, methinks.
      I don't see how the Dell's visual work on the disk can qualify as creative work... you know?... the "literary, artistic, or musical material" kind of stuff that copyright requires.

      Finally, /selling/ someone's software without permission is really bad

      Except that is not the software that was sold, it was the service of putting that (otherwise freely available) software on a material support.

      Likely he will be remembered as a clumsy counterfeiter who failed even to make good money on it.

      You (perhaps sincere) opinion, time will tell.

      His case will not get much approval from FOSS

      While true, this is irrelevant for the context in which the thing took place.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by darkfeline on Tuesday May 01 2018, @03:30AM

        by darkfeline (1030) on Tuesday May 01 2018, @03:30AM (#674024) Homepage

        No, the problem is simpler than that.

        You need a license to do anything with software, including copying it and distributing it.

        Just because Microsoft made the software available to download and use for free does not mean Microsoft provided a license to allow others to copy the software or distribute it.

        There's a difference between someone hiring another person to download software and burn it onto a disc on their behalf, and someone distributing copies of the software on disc. You cannot wave your hands and and claim the latter is kind of like the former if you squint. Lundgren was quite clearly in the business of distributing software outside of the terms of the license and not offering a CD burning service, and good luck trying to find a jury that disagrees when all of the evidence is brought to court.

        This is also why GPL is a better license than MIT in the spirit of software freedom, because guaranteeing distribution rights is important. (Of course, if you're looking to lock down software and make it proprietary, MIT is a lot better.)

        --
        Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Wootery on Monday April 30 2018, @09:31AM (5 children)

      by Wootery (2341) on Monday April 30 2018, @09:31AM (#673656)

      I appreciate a dissenting post. I don't think you're trolling, so have a +1 Interesting.

      If I understand correctly, he didn't subvert Microsoft's DRM, so why are Microsoft concerned? People can already go ahead and download the ISO (or proprietary-format equivalent) for Windows 10. MS allow this because they trust Win10's DRM to enforce licensing requirements, so they don't bother trying to control distribution of the binary blob.

      What precedent are they trying to avoid? They want to prevent shady characters tricking people into paying for what they're already making available for free? Is that all?

      I agree that technically, this guy infringed Microsoft's copyrights, but I don't see why they care.

      For comparison, these guys [bf-games.net] might technically be infringing EA's copyrights by mirroring their dedicated-server software, but that software was made freely available by EA in the first place, and EA don't care. Knowing EA, they probably no longer host it themselves, but they're not looking to erase it from the web.

      • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Monday April 30 2018, @04:42PM (2 children)

        by meustrus (4961) on Monday April 30 2018, @04:42PM (#673799)

        Most likely Microsoft is concerned about people distributing potentially modified copies of their software in a way that looks genuine. Without the agreements they have with their own licensed redistributors, there is very little means for Microsoft to detect or prevent somebody from silently adding malware to the recovery disks.

        Which ultimately comes down to a trademark position: Microsoft needs to proactively protect itself from nefarious counterfeiters by preventing anybody but itself from producing products that look genuine.

        --
        If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
        • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Tuesday May 01 2018, @04:20PM (1 child)

          by Wootery (2341) on Tuesday May 01 2018, @04:20PM (#674189)

          So, to protect non-technical users? But they're still vulnerable from malicious technicians. Competent technicians will just download+burn their own discs. I suppose that's what they're going for though.

          • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Tuesday May 01 2018, @05:50PM

            by meustrus (4961) on Tuesday May 01 2018, @05:50PM (#674227)

            No, to protect themselves. It doesn't necessarily matter to Microsoft whether the non-technical users get scammed. But it definitely matters to Microsoft who the users blame for them getting scammed. Not just because of potential liability, but because of the loss of trust in Microsoft itself.

            --
            If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by choose another one on Monday April 30 2018, @05:55PM (1 child)

        by choose another one (515) on Monday April 30 2018, @05:55PM (#673834)

        > If I understand correctly, he didn't subvert Microsoft's DRM, so why are Microsoft concerned?
        > People can already go ahead and download the ISO (or proprietary-format equivalent) for Windows 10.
        > MS allow this because they trust Win10's DRM to enforce licensing requirements, so they don't bother trying to control distribution of the binary blob.

        From reading the evidence emails he wasn't dealing in Win10 at all - it was XP / 7. Those have much older and more cracked DRM, and are now more difficult to find (legit) downloads of, I certainly don't think you can go get it straight from MS unless you have MSDN or similar subscription access.

        The techcrunch article makes the same mistake, showing an image of a windows XP SP3 disc and then saying that you can "go make one yourself" at (ms.com...)download/windows10
        NO, you can't, that is very different software, and if in fact Win10 was the software on the disc shown that that is straight out misrepresentation/consumer fraud.

        However, that still doesn't invalidate your point which is that this guy has gone down for apparently merely providing physical copies of an XP ISO merely as a convenience service for folks who didn't want to do it themselves. BUT, that explanation for his actions (and emails) doesn't stack up either - it that is what you were doing then why not just have a label that says "Win XP SP3 originally downloaded from MS" in 20pt text? Pretty sure I have CDs exactly like that (that I made myself), somewhere.

        MS says: Lundgren went to great lengths to mislead people
        Techcrunch says: Printing an accurate copy of a label for a disc isn’t exactly “great lengths.”
        I says: WTF? why go to _any_ effort _at all_ to copy any label _if_ you are merely providing physical copies of an XP ISO to customers who already have a legit key???

        I think the reason is that someone further down the line was going to be conned into believing they had purchased a legit product key and copy of XP, and part of that con was providing an accurate copy of a genuine Dell XP disc. This being in the US, I suspect the guy was offered a plea bargain to sing about the operation further down the line or face trial for copying Dell CD labels, which is what they had evidence for (remember they put Capone away for tax evasion). He then chose to do the trial and the time, maybe those folks down the line were not very nice...

        • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Tuesday May 01 2018, @04:44PM

          by Wootery (2341) on Tuesday May 01 2018, @04:44PM (#674199)

          +1 Informative. That's what I get for not reading TFA. From The Register:

          Lundgren had the discs printed professionally overseas with labels that claimed they were authorized copies of the restore media – complete with Microsoft and Dell logos and "For distribution only with new Dell PC" on them

          Yup, that's going beyond 'helpful local computer technician' and into 'shady deliberate misrepresentation' alright.

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday April 30 2018, @12:37AM (1 child)

    by Gaaark (41) on Monday April 30 2018, @12:37AM (#673532) Journal

    *Microsoft has a strong program to support legitimate refurbishers and recyclers: Our program supports hundreds of legitimate recyclers, while protecting customers.

    Yeaaaah: i used to be able to buy a computer without an o/s from a local shop. Now, not possible because MS got in there and strong armed them into putting windows on every one.

    Strong program should be strong armed ("hate for something to happen to this little shop of yours")

    Now i got a certain Peter Gabriel song in my head.

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday April 30 2018, @12:43AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 30 2018, @12:43AM (#673539) Journal

      *Microsoft has a strong program to support legitimate refurbishers and recyclers: Our program supports hundreds of legitimate recyclers, while protecting customers.

      The techcrunch FA [techcrunch.com]

      The implication is that that Lundgren is not a legitimate refurbisher or recycler. He pointed out earlier, however, that his company, which handles recycling for Lenovo, Nintendo, and others, takes care of more e-waste in a year than Microsoft has in a decade.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by kai_h on Monday April 30 2018, @05:31AM (2 children)

    by kai_h (1524) on Monday April 30 2018, @05:31AM (#673605)

    Read this guy's emails, that were also linked to in the Microsoft blog post. Then make up your mind if this guy was a knight in shining armour, valiantly saving old PCs from ending up in landfill for the good of humanity, or if he was deliberately trying to deceive people into buying something that was, in fact, something quite different.

    IMHO, the key point that Microsoft make is this:
    Lundgren went to great lengths to mislead people: His own emails submitted as evidence in the case show the lengths to which Mr. Lundgren went in an attempt to make his counterfeit software look like genuine software. They also show him directing his co-defendant to find less discerning customers who would be more easily deceived if people objected to the counterfeits.

    I'll link them here for you:
    https://blogs.microsoft.com/uploads/prod/sites/5/2018/04/Email_image1.png [microsoft.com]
    https://blogs.microsoft.com/uploads/prod/sites/5/2018/04/Email_image2.png [microsoft.com]
    https://blogs.microsoft.com/uploads/prod/sites/5/2018/04/Email_image3.png [microsoft.com]
    https://blogs.microsoft.com/uploads/prod/sites/5/2018/04/Email_image4.png [microsoft.com]
    https://blogs.microsoft.com/uploads/prod/sites/5/2018/04/Email_image5.png [microsoft.com]
    https://blogs.microsoft.com/uploads/prod/sites/5/2018/04/Email_image6.png [microsoft.com]

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @07:54AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @07:54AM (#673632)

      I don't need to. I read the post the Microsoft guy made, and he confirms everything that Microsoft has been accused of.

      I don't care how shady the other guy is, what Microsoft is doing is charging people for a license to reinstall Windows even though they already have a Windows license.

      • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Monday April 30 2018, @12:48PM

        by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 30 2018, @12:48PM (#673692) Journal

        Exactly. I didn't have to read M$'s side to suspect they were putting a lot of spin on this story. M$ has lied, cheated, and extorted for decades. Remember file format lock in and OOXML? How about J? The Halloween documents? And most of all, the Microsoft Tax! Since the 1980s, they've been abusing their market dominance to force PC OEMs to pay for Windows and/or DOS, whether or not the PCs came with Microsoft software.

        I did read M$'s side, and wow, about the only change is that they're trying not to look so evil, seem to actually care more about their image now. Didn't use to bother protesting their innocence. Note also that they try to make Lundgren look worse by throwing around the word "counterfeit", as if he'd tried to print his own money.

        As for customs going after Lundgren on their own initiative, no, not a credible story. M$ is lying again. If it were true, then we ought to have words with customs and tell them to back off, stop being so zealous, and remind them they work for the people, not mega corporations. Might want words with them anyway. I resent our customs services being perverted to uphold monopolies. On several occasions, Big Pharma has gotten them to seize prescription drugs that seniors were bringing back from Canada. And seniors reminded everyone involved that you don't mess with the demographic that votes the most and will vote politicians out of office.

  • (Score: 2) by canopic jug on Monday April 30 2018, @05:50AM

    by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 30 2018, @05:50AM (#673609) Journal

    In addition to The Verge article linked to in the summary there was another article there, one with a phone interview with Lundgren [theverge.com] before he heads off to jail. The media is pretty good about one-sidedly representing M$ official position but few give the backstory with Lundgren. So the phone interview at The Verge is worth checking.

    However, all the articles to-date have been weak and negligent about mentioning the role FOSS could have played in keeping the computers out of the landfill while keeping him out of jail. Worse, all the distros have been weak about using exploiting this case as a marketing opportunity. I guess they're all now stocked with too many "former" M$ staff at top executive levels and/or economically beholden to M$ to speak up.

    --
    Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @07:50AM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @07:50AM (#673630)

    Microsoft admits that they are doing exactly what people have been accusing them of.

    When a refurbisher installs a fresh version of Windows on a refurbished PC, we charge a discounted rate of $25 for the software and a new license – it is not free.

    Translated: We charge $25 for a license to reinstall Windows.

    • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Monday April 30 2018, @07:30PM (3 children)

      by choose another one (515) on Monday April 30 2018, @07:30PM (#673878)

      > Translated: We charge $25 for a license to reinstall Windows.

      Um, no. They charge $25 for a new licence (new key) to install a new version of windows on a new machine, bulk discounted for "a refurbisher".

      You want to reinstall windows, same version as before on the same machine, it's free, and I know because I've done that many times on many machines over many years.

      All that remains is the "grandfather's axe / ship of Theseus" issue regarding when is a refurbished machine a "new" machine (or which machine is it if it is built franken-style from parts of several machines) - but that doesn't seem to have been at issue in this case.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @11:15PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @11:15PM (#673967)

        IIRC, MS specifically claimed to the courts that when a HDD is erased during the refurbishing process, the OS licensing for that was on the OS is no loner valid. You could argue that first sale doctrine was used when the PC was "sold" but i dont know if first doctrine would aply if the PC was just given away (unless it had a specific statment declaring its sale somehow) wtc... They also claimed part of their motivation was to prevent malware infected installs from occur, which sounds like "preventing the install of legacy OS's that are no patched and cause us bad optics"

      • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Tuesday May 01 2018, @01:46AM (1 child)

        by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Tuesday May 01 2018, @01:46AM (#673995)

        I read the appeal brief and found an interesting bit on page 29. We've assumed here that the refurbisher is using the Dell disc to install this image back on a Dell PC. That apparently is not the case. The findings in the appeal document states that the "refurbishers" are peeling the certificate of authenticity from a licensed machines and selling it with the counterfeit media Mr. L was selling and/or applying the COA to unlicensed machines.

        That raised my skeptical eyebrow, but a quick peek of eBay searching for "Windows XP Professional with COA" stomped it right back down. For the bargain price of $19.49 you can be the proud owner of an obviously peeled COA and what is most likely a counterfeit Dell CD.

        Full Disclosure: I work for Microsoft as a PFE, and have no connection to this matter other than as a consumer of interesting news stories. Therefore my opinion is invalid.

        • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Tuesday May 01 2018, @10:38AM

          by choose another one (515) on Tuesday May 01 2018, @10:38AM (#674100)

          > We've assumed here that the refurbisher is using the Dell disc to install this image back on a Dell PC.

          Some people have, not me. Again, that doesn't stack up, these people were ordering discs by the thousand - why do that when you could reinstall a thousand machines using one disc?

          The obvious answer is that the discs were being sold on.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by DannyB on Monday April 30 2018, @04:48PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 30 2018, @04:48PM (#673804) Journal

    Once upon a time, when you bought a computer, it came with floppy disks, and later CD(s) that could completely re-install the OS.

    Owners of PC's that got Blue SCREAMS of Death could be told:
    * reboot
    * oh, that didn't work, try rebooting again
    * oh, then try re-inistalling

    But then OEMs stopped delivering restore media. And Microsoft made it darn near impossible to get such media. In some cases it is possible, but only if you are very determined to jump through more hoops than it is worth for a cheap PC that could just be replaced with a new one.

    There were hidden partitions that supposedly could restore your PC. But once a machine is infected with malware, you can't trust anything on it.

    Microsoft has a strong program to support legitimate refurbishers and recyclers: Our program supports hundreds of legitimate recyclers, while protecting customers.

    If that were actually true, then how could Mr. Lundgren be selling restore media? Unless Microsoft made it virtually impossible to actually obtain this media through it's program. (And a "virtual" impossible is about as good as a "bare metal" impossible. But better because you can keep shifting the shells around while maintaining a pretense of trying to be helpful.)

    What this is, is planned obsolescence. Microsoft and OEMs want to ensure that hardware becomes land fill before its time. Even though there is nothing wrong with the hardware. They both know that a machine infected with Windows OS will fail long before its hardware actually fails.

    --
    Employers should not mandate wearing clothing. It should be a personal choice. It only affects me. Junk can't breathe!
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by ElizabethGreene on Monday April 30 2018, @06:28PM (4 children)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Monday April 30 2018, @06:28PM (#673851)

    If I make a handbag, slap the Gucci name on it, and sell it, that's illegal.
    If I make a bunch of CDs that look like OEM Red Hat media with their logo on them and sell them as Red Hat OEM software, that's illegal.
    If I make a bunch of CDs that look like OEM Microsoft media with their logo on them and sell them as Recovery disks, it should be okay?

    The emails linked by the MSFT blog post are particularly damning. He tried to make them look more authentic by requesting type and punctuation changes, intentionally shipped them by methods less likely to be inspected by customs, and instructed his distributor how to respond if/when the feds called. We're not talking about a few dozen copies either. One email talks about 16,000 in a single shipment.

    https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2018/04/27/the-facts-about-a-recent-counterfeiting-case-brought-by-the-u-s-government/ [microsoft.com]

    This sounds like a guy who would be hocking fake Rolexes, not David standing up to some evil corporate Goliath.

    Full Disclosure: I work for MIcrosoft as a PFE, and have no connection to this matter other than as a consumer of interesting news stories. Therefore my opinion is invalid.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @07:01PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @07:01PM (#673857)

      Except that you cockroaches didn't file about Trademarks but about Copyright:

      https://boingboing.net/2018/04/30/refurbing-is-not-a-crime.html [boingboing.net]

      • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Tuesday May 01 2018, @01:32AM (1 child)

        by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Tuesday May 01 2018, @01:32AM (#673987)

        The ad hominem attack is unnecessary. Quoting the TechCrunch article linked in TFA, "Lundgren had already pleaded guilty to infringing Dell’s trademark by copying the look of its discs..." So I'm not too far off the mark there.

        If you want to make it about copyright, that's fine. It isn't a hard argument to make either.
        "If I make 70,000 counterfeit Guardians of the Galaxy DVDs with Walt Disney's and Marvel's logos on them and sell them as original, that's illegal."

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01 2018, @02:51AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 01 2018, @02:51AM (#674018)

          Right. He admits to Trademark infringement. The labels are under Trademark. That has nothing to do with the contents of the discs. The contents are under Copyright. Not only that, the contents of the discs are licensed as to be freely available so he did nothing wrong except for all the malware.

          What the court should have done is busted his ass for encouraging the spread of malware. You admit to being part of making and spreading that malware. Malware on that scale leads to immense costs and suffering around the globe.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @08:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @08:36PM (#673912)

      You seem to be really confused about the difference between copyrights and trademarks. He may have violated Dell's trademark, which is NONE of Microsoft's business. He did NOT violate Microsoft's copyright or trademark.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @07:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 30 2018, @07:00PM (#673856)

    we know you are nothing but slaveware dealers. nobody cares what you say about your treachery.

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