Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Feb 2018 21:30 UTC
Legal

Eric Lundgren is obsessed with recycling electronics.

He built an electric car out of recycled parts that far outdistanced a Tesla in a test. He launched what he thinks is the first "electronic hybrid recycling" facility in the United States, which turns discarded cellphones and other electronics into functional devices, slowing the stream of harmful chemicals and metals into landfills and the environment. His California-based company processes more than 41 million pounds of e-waste each year and counts IBM, Motorola and Sprint among its clients.

But an idea Lundgren had to prolong the life of personal computers could land him in prison.

One of those cases that fills any decent human being with rage.

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Should've used Linux
by tidux on Mon 19th Feb 2018 21:37 UTC
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

This sort of license dickery is exactly why Freegeek and other computer refurbishers typically put a Linux distro on secondhand machines rather than trying to recreate the OEM Windows install.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 20th Feb 2018 02:56 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

The prison time is heavy handed, but:

The discs had labels nearly identical to the discs provided by Dell for its computers and had the Windows and Dell logos.


I mean, come on. That's obviously fishy.

And,

“I thought it was freeware,” Lundgren said of the restore discs. “If it’s free, then I’m just going to duplicate the free repair tool and give it away, and that’ll be fine,”


In what universe did he think Windows is freeware? I really feel like this story less "environmentally conscience entrepreneur punished unfairly," and more "software pirate successful at positive spin"

Reply Score: 8

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Ressev on Tue 20th Feb 2018 03:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Ressev Member since:
2005-07-18

In what universe did he think Windows is freeware? I really feel like this story less "environmentally conscience entrepreneur punished unfairly," and more "software pirate successful at positive spin"


His freeware comment refers to the restore discs, not the Operating systems themselves. Since Microsoft loves to reiterate that the License is tied to the physical hardware, the argument that the license travels with the re-purposed hardware and so a restore disc to recover the system the license relies on would appear to be legal.

Of course this cuts into Microsofts profit since the license is seeing use again and was not tossed into the trash. But seriously, given Microsoft is sun-setting updates for older versions of Windows, it would make better sense to repurpose older hardware with an OS that is kinder and gentler on older machines.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Alfman on Tue 20th Feb 2018 04:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Ressev,

His freeware comment refers to the restore discs, not the Operating systems themselves. Since Microsoft loves to reiterate that the License is tied to the physical hardware, the argument that the license travels with the re-purposed hardware and so a restore disc to recover the system the license relies on would appear to be legal.


You are right, microsoft IS double selling licenses here. Recyclers SHOULD be allowed to reuse the existing license. However microsoft is in their right to control the reproduction of copyrighted windows reinstall disks, which recyclers will have to obtain through authorized means, even if they make it difficult and/or impossible.


I'm not a "recycler", however I've found myself in the exact same boat after having to replace a dead drive. The OEM opted not to include any recovery disk.

Incidentally microsoft used to freely offer official OEM installation images through digitalriver, which anyone could download, but only worked with machines that were activated in the bios by the OEM. Unfortunately this is no longer the case and if the OEM doesn't give you the media, you may have to pay to restore your OS under your existing license.

The law would need to be amended to correct this, however this seems rather unlikely given the extremely corporate slant in the (US) government.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Lennie on Tue 20th Feb 2018 10:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

given the extremely corporate slant in the (US) government.


This part made me think for a moment about that too:

"Microsoft wants your head on a platter and I’m going to give it to them."

I hope that was not what I meant and it was just a his speaking style.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Wed 21st Feb 2018 06:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Incidentally microsoft used to freely offer official OEM installation images through digitalriver, which anyone could download, but only worked with machines that were activated in the bios by the OEM. Unfortunately this is no longer the case and if the OEM doesn't give you the media, you may have to pay to restore your OS under your existing license.


Incidentally, Microsoft still offers Windows 7 ISOs
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows7

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Alfman on Wed 21st Feb 2018 07:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Drumhellar,

Incidentally, Microsoft still offers Windows 7 ISOs
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows7


Yeah, that's in my notes, and I wish it worked. I tried it again but unfortunately it won't allow me to download anything for my OEM systems. I get an error saying to check the FAQ, which leads to the following explanation as to why we cannot download.

(If you can actually download anything using an OEM license, let me know the manufacturer.)

The most common issue is the use of a product key for a product not currently supported by the site such as an Upgrade key, an MSDN key, product keys for pre-installed media or an Enterprise edition key. For access to MSDN products or Enterprise edition visit the MSDN Portal or the Volume Licensing Service Center. Upgrades and pre-installed media are not currently supported by the tools on the site.


Simply put, microsoft expects OEM users to get support from the manufacturers. I imagine most/all of them will provide media, but all the one's I've encountered charge for the reinstall media that restores to factory condition.

Should someone manage to get a hold of microsoft's official image somehow (like a copy from microsoft's old download site) then I can confirm that it will install and activate just fine on an OEM PC. It works great, but the problem is microsoft doesn't give us a way to obtain the install disks.

A second reason this kind of sucks is that some users would prefer to install from a clean install of windows rather than from the bloat filled OEM version. I suspect I'm not alone in having to spend even more time after an install to uninstall annoying crap that the OEM got paid to pre-install.

Edited 2018-02-21 07:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 20th Feb 2018 08:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

I don't buy it. To me, it sounds like trying to rationalize it after the fact.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Moonbuzz on Tue 20th Feb 2018 08:33 UTC in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Moonbuzz Member since:
2005-07-09

My thoughts exactly.

I read the quoted part and immediately went to the linked article thinking "this can't be correct". And he even says there:

If I had just written ‘Eric’s Restore Disc’ on there, it would have been fine

And immediately after the article continues:

As a result of violating the copyright of Windows and Dell

The entire article, therefore, is a guy convicted in copyright violation in a criminal court and trying to raise public sympathy by disguising his actions with his environmental and social actions.

While I'm personally not in favor of a person going to prison for copyright violation, and in general not a fan of current copyright laws, as the laws stand, he has nothing to cry foul about. And definitely NOT

"One of those cases that fills any decent human being with rage."

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by kwan_e on Tue 20th Feb 2018 12:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

disguising his actions with his environmental and social actions.


Disguise?

So you're saying he has no interest in actually reusing old hardware and that it's all a scam to sell illegal copies?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Megol on Tue 20th Feb 2018 13:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

"disguising his actions with his environmental and social actions.


Disguise?

So you're saying he has no interest in actually reusing old hardware and that it's all a scam to sell illegal copies?
"

That's one interpretation.

Another is that he intended to sell and therefore earn money from copyright infringement, that the only reason he didn't sell any disc was because he was stopped before he could, and that trying to portrait this as anything but copyright infringement is an attempt to gather support.

Then I suggest to read what he said. He never claimed to make the copies from the kindness of his heart and acknowledge he intended to sell the discs.

Copyright laws doesn't require selling or otherwise gaining any advantage of copyright violation to make it illegal. But he intended to sell the discs making it a crime not of circumstances without criminal intention - but one of planned copyright infringement for gain.

Yes I agree that people should have easier access to restore discs (though most companies send them often for free if asked) but this isn't an example of how one solves that. This is a crime.

Edit: why do my posts always look ok in preview but not when posted? Irritating.

Edited 2018-02-20 13:40 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Alfman on Tue 20th Feb 2018 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Megol,

though most companies send them often for free if asked


I am curious what manufacturer gives them for free? Ever since they've stopped bundling them with new computers, I've only ever seen them sold. For example, here's the request form for acer & gateway replacement media:

https://us-store.acer.com/erecovery/rcd/
Here at Acer we know that sometimes bad things happen to good people. With viruses attack or systems crash on your PC, Acer eRecovery Media is ready to quickly get your machine back to factory setting and give you a fresh start. Based on your model, you will be supplied a CD/DVD or Thumb Drive which restores your system to original factory settings including all software, applications, drivers and Operating System.

Also available on all Gateway and eMachines PCs.

Additional Details:
Only one eRecovery media type is available per unit.
Opened software is not returnable. (Opening the mailer constitutes opening the software.)
Referenced shipping times do not include the time needed to process the order. All Recovery Media orders may take 2 business days to process prior to being shipped.
Per Microsoft regulations, requests for Windows XP Pro recovery media are no longer supported.
Upon receipt, you have 14 days to contact the Acer Store regarding any damage to the media.

To Get Started, please enter the serial number or SNID located on your Acer product and click Submit.


Apparently microsoft tells OEMs how long they're allowed to provide recovery disks. On the one hand, I understand microsoft doesn't support older operating systems, but on the other hand owners should be entitled to reinstall what they originally paid for.

Upon submission...
eRecovery CD

For laptops and desktops with an optical drive.

RCDs are generated for a specific unit.
RCDs will contain a Recovery DVD, System CD, & Language Disc (Windows 7 and Windows 8 OS)

Note: Recovering your unit, will bring your unit back to the original factory settings, including all original software, applications, drivers, and Operating System.

$19.95
ADD TO CART

(Emphasis mine).

So, taken at face value, you'd have to buy a CD for every machine you want to recover regardless of if you have several identical machines you want to restore. It's a shame for legitimate owners and repair shops, but frankly it can be easier to go a grey market route to get a system running like new than to use official channels ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by Drumhellar
by kwan_e on Tue 20th Feb 2018 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I wasn't making any point about whether his action with the disks was wrong or not.

My point is, by calling his recycling business a "disguise", you are claiming that that whole business is nothing but a ruse, because what he really wanted was to make big bucks selling illegal copies of recovery disks?

He could be doing something wrong with the disks, and yet his recycling business could also actually be a real thing doing real stuff without it being a "disguise".

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Megol on Wed 21st Feb 2018 10:41 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Megol Member since:
2011-04-11

I wasn't making any point about whether his action with the disks was wrong or not.

My point is, by calling his recycling business a "disguise", you are claiming that that whole business is nothing but a ruse, because what he really wanted was to make big bucks selling illegal copies of recovery disks?

He could be doing something wrong with the disks, and yet his recycling business could also actually be a real thing doing real stuff without it being a "disguise".


Yes I agree with that.
(Looks like it should in preview...)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Moonbuzz on Thu 22nd Feb 2018 07:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar"
Moonbuzz Member since:
2005-07-09

So you're saying he has no interest in actually reusing old hardware and that it's all a scam to sell illegal copies?


None at all, I am referring to the actual trial and subsequent verdict which the article revolves around, in attempt to color the actual action (copyright infringement) and reaction (the verdict) as "the corporate industry going after the environmentalists".

Reply Score: 2

Ressev
Member since:
2005-07-18

The use of the restore discs certainly does not merit fines or sentencing. It is pure laziness that they used the same labeling as the original restore discs. He should not have sold the restore discs - that is where the real trouble lies.


He would have been better off providing a disc with linux distros.

Edited 2018-02-20 03:04 UTC

Reply Score: 1

drcoldfoot Member since:
2006-08-25

Freespire/Linspire anyone?

Reply Score: 2

nicubunu Member since:
2014-01-08

Let's be honest: with Linux on them, very few people would want those recycled computers.

Reply Score: 4

moltonel Member since:
2006-02-24

The use of the restore discs certainly does not merit fines or sentencing. It is pure laziness that they used the same labeling as the original restore discs. He should not have sold the restore discs - that is where the real trouble lies.


The letter of the law enables Microsoft to forbid copying the actual bits, but Microsoft has only ever licensed the use of the software, not sold it. The spirit of the law is that if you get your money from licensing software, you shouldn't care where that software is obtained from.

Usual story about a big company being unreasonably bullish, trying to both get its cake and eat it.


He would have been better off providing a disc with linux distros.


I certainly hope Lundgren considers this option seriously. And cause actual lost sales to Microsoft instead of imaginary ones.

Nicubunu might disagree here, but my experience with recycled hardware is that users do not care to have Windows on them specifically. And getting an OS that's kept up to date and works well on old hardware is to the user's advantage.

Reply Score: 4

If the guy have been named Dolph
by Kochise on Tue 20th Feb 2018 05:54 UTC
Kochise
Member since:
2006-03-03

Nobody would have dared to bother him.

But yeah, license, patent, bada, so easy to tie things with legal action. It's all about greenwashing, but when someone actually do something about it, instead to embrace and help, bam, litigation.

Reply Score: 1

This is disgusting
by drcoldfoot on Tue 20th Feb 2018 07:24 UTC
drcoldfoot
Member since:
2006-08-25

This also appears to be a plea for ReactOS.

Reply Score: 2

Do the crime...
by Megol on Tue 20th Feb 2018 08:34 UTC
Megol
Member since:
2011-04-11

Trying to spin this as a kind soul getting crushed by "the man" is bullshit.

He copied software without having copyright on his side, he intended to sell that software without having copyright on his side.

And that's a crime.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Do the crime...
by moltonel on Tue 20th Feb 2018 10:33 UTC in reply to "Do the crime..."
moltonel Member since:
2006-02-24

He copied software without having copyright on his side, he intended to sell that software without having copyright on his side.


He's selling hardware, and making zero profits from the software part. Neither Dell nor Microsoft sell these disks, so there's no way to legally obtain them. The disks are useless without the individual product key and certificate attached to the refurbished hardware.

While Lundgren *is* legally guilty of having made copies of copyrighted material, it's Microsoft that is unequivocally the bad guy for using that legal hammer to cheat users out of the license they legally aquired.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Do the crime...
by Drumhellar on Wed 21st Feb 2018 06:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Do the crime..."
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

He's selling hardware, and making zero profits from the software part.


Is he selling more computers as a result of including Windows discs than he would if he wasn't?

Yes? Then he's profiting from the software part.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Do the crime...
by Alfman on Wed 21st Feb 2018 08:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Do the crime..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Drumhellar,

Is he selling more computers as a result of including Windows discs than he would if he wasn't?

Yes? Then he's profiting from the software part.



I get your point, but he may be in possession of a legitimate install disk, which he is legitimately allowed to use to reinstall windows on legitimate OEM PCs under their legitimate existing licenses.

The problem is likely not with the licensed computers he is selling, but rather that he is copying and reselling the install disk itself. I doubt he stands much chance in court since microsoft own the rights and he is copying without permission. Unless laws are changed, it makes sense for the government to side with microsoft here....although prison time for this would be quite excessive IMHO.

I think here is a better example of the little guy getting stepped on, one that should enrage anyone who feels that the government is supposed to be serving us rather than treating us like it's subjects.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/10/06/windmill-lands-green-ene...

Edited 2018-02-21 08:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2