[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)
(Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday August 05 2019, @11:30PM (3 children)
When 'prostitution' == 'actions for the sake of money', I gotta say it's not illegal, otherwise MS would be in very hot waters.
And I have no problem with him whinging, unfair is unfair even when is legal.
I was hoping he'll learn how to recycle those computers by installing a Linux. That would be ideal, but any solution that reduces waste and increases reusing is a good thing for me.
(Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Monday August 05 2019, @11:44PM (2 children)
If he really wanted to focus on ewaste recycling, and if he really wanted to benefit low income people, he would give free classes at the Goodwill 1x per month on the topic: "With linux you can do most of what you can do on Windows, but for free on cheap hardware. It's easy!"
Aside from impoverished gamers, people really could get by on linux just fine. They don't know it though.
(Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday August 06 2019, @12:18AM (1 child)
There is a learning curve to climb, though. Other desktop UI, maybe an occasional WiFi network that stops without explanation (to the uninitiated), how to exchange Word documents that look the same when opened in MSWord on a Windows missing the Liberation Sans font.
True, it's not impossible, but if you work two jobs in gig-economy just to stay afloat, the amount of energy you can dedicate to learning is very low.
Now, mate, my bottom line is:
1. as a result of their action, MS didn't earn a cent but the society experienced a loss
2. as imperfect human being as Eric may be, it is preferable for the society to have someone who carries the work of computer recycling than to have him imprisoned (i.e. don't let perfect be the enemy of good, you may end with nothing better and waiting forever for a perfection that never comes).
Finally, if I was the judge, I would have sentenced him to install Linux on the recycled computers for the period of his sentence; be it only for the sake of seeing the face of the MS lawyers at the moment of reading the sentence. What do you reckon, would MS have appealed?
(Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday August 06 2019, @03:04AM
MS' lawyers would have insisted that he only install gentoo, from source.