Eric Lundgren geht in den Knast, weil er freie Software, die jeder Runterladen kann, auf Discs brennt. Ein weiteres Beispiel dafür, wie sehr die Legislative des 20. Jahrhunderts mit der Realität des 21. Jahrhunderts kollidiert und massiven Schaden verursacht. Eine AI hätte möglicherweise das Gesetz geändert, aber soweit sind wir noch nicht.
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.
[update] Von Microsofts Blog:
here are some facts of the case worth noting – all of which are spelled out in detail in the court documents.
- Microsoft did not bring this case: U.S. Customs referred the case to federal prosecutors after intercepting shipments of counterfeit software imported from China by Mr. Lundgren.
- Lundgren established an elaborate counterfeit supply chain in China: Mr. Lundgren traveled extensively in China to set up a production line and designed counterfeit molds for Microsoft software in order to unlawfully manufacture counterfeit discs in significant volumes.
- Lundgren failed to stop after being warned: Mr. Lundgren was even warned by a customs seizure notice that his conduct was illegal and given the opportunity to stop before he was prosecuted.
- Lundgren pleaded guilty: The counterfeit discs obtained by Mr. Lundgren were sold to refurbishers in the United States for his personal profit and Mr. Lundgren and his codefendant both pleaded guilty to federal felony crimes.
- Lundgren went to great lengths to mislead people: His own emails submitted as evidence in the case show the lengths to which Mr. Lundgren went in an attempt to make his counterfeit software look like genuine software. They also show him directing his co-defendant to find less discerning customers who would be more easily deceived if people objected to the counterfeits.
- Lundgren intended to profit from his actions: His own emails submitted as evidence before the court make clear that Mr. Lundgren’s motivation was to sell counterfeit software to generate income for himself.
- Microsoft has a strong program to support legitimate refurbishers and recyclers: Our program supports hundreds of legitimate recyclers, while protecting customers.
[update] Techcrunch: Microsoft attempts to spin its role in counterfeiting case:
They’re discs anyone can make, and that manufacturers and refurbishers can print as many of as they like, to give to customers who already have a copy of Windows. These discs are for repairing or re-installing a copy of the OS. They did not come with licenses and Lundgren was not selling or providing licenses.
Don’t let Microsoft fool you the way they helped fool the judges. A recovery disc is something you or I or a refurbisher can make right now for free. A license to operate Windows comes from Microsoft and costs good money. They’re not the same thing and Lundgren was going to sell the former, not the latter.