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Recycling innovator Eric Lundgren loses appeal on computer restore discs, must serve 15-month prison term

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Recycling innovator Eric Lundgren loses appeal on computer restore discs, must serve 15-month prison term

Postby MrFredPFL » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:53 pm

Story : https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Recycling-innovator-Eric-Lundgren-loses-appe





Lundgren had 28,000 of the discs made and shipped to a broker in Florida. Their plan was to sell the discs to computer refurbishing shops for about 25 cents apiece, so the refurbisher could provide the discs to a used computer buyer, and the refurbisher wouldn't have to take the time to create the discs themselves. And the new user might be able to use the disc to keep their computer going the next time a problem occurred.

But in 2012, U.S. Customs officers seized a shipment and began investigating. The discs were never sold. Eventually, the Florida broker, Robert Wolff, called Lundgren and offered to buy the discs himself as part of a government sting, Lundgren said. Wolff sent Lundgren $3,400 and the conspiracy was cemented. Both were indicted on a charge of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and criminal copyright infringement. Wolff made a plea deal and received a six-month home arrest sentence.

Lundgren pleaded guilty but argued that the value of his discs was zero, so there was no harm to anyone. Neither Microsoft nor any computer manufacturers sell restore discs. They supply them free with new computers, and make the software available for free downloading, for those who have paid for the software and received a license - typically a sticker with a "Certificate of Authenticity" number on it. Lundgren said he was trying to make the discs available again for those who needed them, and that they could only be used on licensed computers.

Initially, federal prosecutors valued the discs at $299 each, or the cost of a brand new Windows operating system, and Lundgren's indictment claimed he had cost Microsoft $8.3 million in lost sales. By the time of sentencing, a Microsoft letter to Hurley and a Microsoft expert witness had reduced the value of the discs to $25, stating that was what Microsoft charged refurbishers for the discs.





reprint of a washington post story, but the post limits access so i chose this one instead.

a real SMH decision by the court, imo.

MrFredPFL
 
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