Electronics-recycling innovator is going to prison for trying to extend computers' lives

A Southern California man who built a sizable business out of recycling electronic waste is headed to federal prison for 15 months after a federal appeals court in Miami rejected his claim that the "restore discs" he made to extend computers' lives had no financial value, instead ruling that he had infringed on Microsoft Corp. to the tune of $700,000.

The appeals court upheld a federal district judge's ruling that the discs Eric Lundgren made to restore Microsoft operating systems had a value of $25 apiece, even though the software they contained could be downloaded free and the discs could only be used on computers that already had a valid Microsoft license. The U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals initially granted Lundgren an emergency stay of his prison sentence, shortly before he was to surrender, but then affirmed his original 15-month sentence and $50,000 fine without hearing oral argument in a ruling issued April 11.

Lundgren, 33, has become a renowned innovator in the field of electronic waste, or e-waste, using discarded parts to do things such as construct an electric car, which in a test far outdistanced a Tesla on a single charge. He built 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 contained in those devices into landfills and the environment. His Chatsworth company, IT Asset Partners, processes more than 41 million pounds of e-waste each year and counts IBM, Motorola and Sprint among its clients.

"This is a difficult sentencing," U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley told him last year, "because I credit everything you are telling me. You are a very remarkable person."

https://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-microsoft-copyright-20180426-story.html?fbclid=IwAR0vleOK1tcoamwPEnCfHVcH8EreaGu_KxYvyL6h6KMEzULIl2C0WaxZC2o

1 week ago*

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Anyone saw the movie "Robots"?

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Yes
No
Robin Williams rulz

Restore disc to extend the life of computers? Sounds fake to me.
Just like the electric car built from trash that was better than a Tesla.

1 week ago
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The article is trash, but reading between the lines I think the idea is:
People whose OS crashes due to HD failure or crappy windows update, or getting filled with malware have three options: use a windows restore disc, pay a technician a bunch of money, or just buy a new computer.
The first option was too hard for a lot of people, and the second costly enough that they just went with the third.
This guy created ready made restore discs, presumably with stuff microsoft owns but lets people download for free to make the first option feasible for people who are not technically proficient enough to download and burn a restore disc themselves.

Seems like a dumb lawsuit and a dumb ruling if that's all true. It's not clear what exactly was on the restore discs.

1 week ago
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Seems like that's the defense he was trying to use. You have the three options and I've supplied people with easy access to the first option, to extend computer lives and reduce e-waste. The software is free to download from Microsoft, only usable on systems with windows installed already - presumably legit purchased copies of windows.
So what's the problem!?

Well, he sold the free software on discs as "genuine Microsoft software" for personal profit.
On top of that Microsoft didn't even make the complaint, it was US customs when they seized pallets of his counterfeit software imported from China.
So.. that's a problem.
Smart guy, definitely an asset to the technology community, but also definitely knowingly running a scam for profit.
15 months and 50k fine seem like a slap on the wrist, I'm sure he made considerably more.

1 week ago
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I have never spent 15 months in jail but I wouldn't call that a slap on the wrist just going from what I picture it to be like.

1 week ago
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His biggest problem was accepting $3400. Counterfeitting CDs and shipping them. If his counterfeitting shouldnt be illegal, then the laws need to change. I wonder how much plastic CD waste was created and the amount of taxpayer money was spent to do this sting.

1 week ago
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EDIT 3:
Nevermind. The two articles are incomplete and somewhat misleading. (Assuming this post is accurate)
https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2018/04/27/the-facts-about-a-recent-counterfeiting-case-brought-by-the-u-s-government/

In total, between June 2011 and November 2013, Mr. Lundgren caused counterfeit discs to be shipped to his co-defendant, directly or indirectly, in the United States. Lundgren received $92,000 in wire transfers and PayPal payments for the counterfeits from his co-defendant.

1 week ago*
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Just realized it was a Washington Post article. All main stream media love to spin and leave out important facts.

1 week ago
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Companies definitely do misuse copyright to protect market share. And it's a problem.

But I don't think this is one of those cases. :/

1 week ago
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nowhere near as much as non-main stream media, which is usually hyperpartisan and trying to prove a point without any semblance of impartiality

1 week ago
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I'd argue that the ones you're talking about aren't displaying themselves as "news"
Much easier to consume and form your own opinions when people give their views and tell you that they are, in fact, their views.. right or left.
When main-stream outlets are giving opinions and gushing emotion leaning 90% in one way, while portraying what they're saying as irrefutable facts and "news" then that's a problem.

Wouldn't it be nice if journalists and reporters would just report the facts without spin, letting viewers form their own opinions?

1 week ago
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Seems not all is true

Most people accusing of Microsoft of ‘going after’ Lundgren to ‘protect its wasteful corporate agenda’ are ignoring the fact that Microsoft did not bring this case in the first place. The US Customs referred the case to federal prosecutors in 2012 after intercepting shipments of counterfeit software imported by Lundgren from China.
In China, Lundgren had established an elaborate counterfeit supply chain to unlawfully manufacture counterfeit discs in significant volumes. These counterfeit discs were sold to refurbishers in the US as ‘genuine software’ for personal profit, as his emails submitted as evidence before the court indicate, even though he claimed in his defense that his goal was to help the e-recycling community.
Microsoft has a strong program to support legitimate refurbishers and recyclers, while protecting customers. Lundgren failed to stop his activity even after being warned by a customs seizure notice, and it is unfair to hit at Microsoft for the man’s intentional unlawful activity.

Source

1 week ago
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Also reducing e-waste is not distributing "cheap" CD's... from China

Also
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urPMZwW52Z8

1 week ago*
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That video is pretty depressing.

1 week ago
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No, no, you do not get it. The important part is:
"Hurr-durr, a guy was prisoned and Microsoft was involved in the lawsuit, they must be behind all his misery, because they are the evilest thing ever, hurr-durr."
Actually reading upon the case and digesting the information mentally is unimportant. The only important thing in this day and age is to find a target on the internet you can hate for that day. Then next day, find another one. Corporations are preferred, large ones even more so.

1 week ago
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Oh I 'member many people here on SG hating Steam and still using their products/services

View attached image.
1 week ago
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All corporations have their flaws, some of them were condemned by actual courts for actual misbehavings (when caught seldomly). I dislike many corporations as well, Valve very highly among them. (Granted, I try to diversify my games and clients since 2008, so they are just one, albeit some games are still fully in their grasp on PC, so no real choice sometimes. :/)
But still, blindly running into a thing like that is, well…

1 week ago
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Some people just accept that all big corporations are evil by default and don't want to live in a self built hut in the woods so have to use their services in some way or another. Steam has always been crap, but they are less hassle and give free stuff so most don't care.

1 week ago
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the pros outweigh the cons

1 week ago
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Interesting.

1 week ago
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Microsoft didn't even do this. Also he's not even apparently innocent.

1 week ago
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Deleted

This comment was deleted 1 week ago.

1 week ago
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So, no. The headline should read "electronics-recycling innovator goes to jail because of committing fraud".
Also, this is from April 2018, almost a year old news.

If you're going to try and generate outrage, at least use some new material to work with.

1 week ago
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Thanks for having a small bit of common sense.

1 week ago
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The title of your thread is misleading. Please change or delete.

1 week ago
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View attached image.
1 week ago
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This would be shocking news... if it wasn't from April 26 2018.
So it's not news at all...

1 week ago
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Somewhat older case, yes, but since some seem to present "rumours" as facts about it, there are also other articles, such as this one:
https://mashable.com/2018/06/07/microsoft-right-to-repair-eric-lundgren-pr-nightmare/
saying e.g.:

  • In 2012 U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted a shipment of the discs. Microsoft accused Lundgren of profiting from an "elaborate counterfeit supply chain." -
1 week ago
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