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posted by Fnord666 on Monday February 19 2018, @08:15AM   Printer-friendly
from the don't-stand-in-the-way-of-profits dept.

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

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by EvilSS on Monday February 19 2018, @03:46PM (2 children)

    by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 19 2018, @03:46PM (#640120)
    Cool, but nothing you posted changes the fact that he manufactured tens of thousands of the CDs with some else's copyrighted content on them and attempted to sell them. That is illegal under US law, like it or not. The fact is he tried to setup a nice little side business doing this. He could have just sent out instructions for the resellers on how to legally and freely obtain the same ISO images themselves, but he didn't do that. You would assume someone refurbishing and reselling old computer equipment would be competent enough to be able to do that if given instructions and links to the various ISOs from the mfg websites, yes? Instead he thought "hey, this is a niche, untapped market and I could make a few bucks!" and he got his ball caught in the wringer over it.

    This whole altruistic crap is just his spin to make himself look like a victim of the big, mean companies trying to stop his charitable reselling of their OS. I mean if his intentions were so pure, why not GIVE the CDs away?
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  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday February 19 2018, @10:10PM (1 child)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 19 2018, @10:10PM (#640302) Journal

    I mean if his intentions were so pure, why not GIVE the CDs away?

    Yeah, right! S/N must be evil.
    How does the Soylentnews non-for-profit dare to ask for membership fees?

    • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Tuesday February 20 2018, @07:42PM

      by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 20 2018, @07:42PM (#640794)
      The difference is this guy did it for profit, not just to cover his costs. A 29% profit according to the financial disclosure he provided the courts.