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posted by martyb on Monday August 05 2019, @10:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the evil-is-as-evil-does dept.

[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: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday August 06 2019, @03:34AM (3 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 06 2019, @03:34AM (#876307) Journal

    No, his crime was making discs containing cracked versions of Windows and selling them as legitimate Dell OEM media. It violated Microsoft's copyright, Microsoft and Dell's Trademarks, country of origin labeling laws, and customs declaration laws.

    Illegal, yes.
    Did his action cause any damage to someone?

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   2  
  • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Tuesday August 06 2019, @06:45PM (2 children)

    by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Tuesday August 06 2019, @06:45PM (#876684)

    If you ignore the monetary damage to Microsoft (Refurb licenses not sold).
    If you ignore the cost to Dell (Phone support: "I tried to use my restore CD and the NIC driver wasn't installed")
    If you ignore the possibility that the disc contains malware.
    Then you still had damage to the end consumer when a Windows update un-cracks the distribution and the user gets the "Your software is not genuine" warning.

    This was XP, and the Windows Genuine Advantage thing was a thing.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by c0lo on Tuesday August 06 2019, @10:48PM (1 child)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday August 06 2019, @10:48PM (#876791) Journal

      Beth, you are arguing in bad faith only to paint him as "Oh, the Piiiiraaate, he solds cracked copies of Window".
      You ignore the restore CD ISO was available for download, so that anyone having a secondhand computer with the original OEM license still available, could legalaly:
      1. download the restore ISO and burn on a CD
      2. restore the system
      3. input the original OEM license
      and end with legal functional second hand computer.

      What he has done was to use the advantages of mass production to make step 1 cheaper and less wasteful (in terms of time and bandwidth).

      > If you ignore the monetary damage to Microsoft (Refurb licenses not sold).
      Unlikely that they would have been ever purchased, with an ISO available for download.
      In this case, the 'refurbisher license ' is MS way to create an artificial scarcity without delivering any advantage to the eventual purchaser.

      > If you ignore the cost to Dell (Phone support: "I tried to use my restore CD and the NIC driver wasn't installed")
      Unlikely that would have happened, refurbishing a computer does imply testing it as working. The Recover CD is for situation post-sale.
      Besides we are talking about ]second hand computers, I doubt Dell would offer warranties for equipment older than 1 year, so cal into Dell support is unlikely.

      > If you ignore the possibility that the disc contains malware.
      Oh, come on now. An exact copy of the original Dell Restore CD, right?

      > Then you still had damage to the end consumer when a Windows update un-cracks the distribution and the user gets the "Your software is not genuine" warning.
      BS - the restore only installs the system, the original OEM license is either accepted by MS after restore (and he can sell a working second-hand computer) or is not (and he can't sell it other than as ewaste).

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by ElizabethGreene on Wednesday August 07 2019, @02:37PM

        by ElizabethGreene (6748) on Wednesday August 07 2019, @02:37PM (#877081)

        I can't tell if you are ignorant of the evidence in this case or just trolling.

        The government's evidence from the case is here: https://blogs.microsoft.com/wp-content/uploads/prod/sites/5/2018/04/2LUNDGREN6.pdf [microsoft.com]
        If you don't want it from a microsoft blog then you can create a Pacer account and download it from the court directly.

        There are plenty of cases to rail against where the court gets things wrong, but do you really want to plant a flag on some back-alley shyster selling cracked copies of Windows and trying to pass them off as the real thing?