One of the pioneers of e-waste recycling has received a 15-month federal prison sentence for giving away Windows restore disks. This happened because the disks in question did not have a license, so the man was giving away system programs for free. The US Customs accused him of counterfeiting goods, so they took legal measures against him.
The recycler was giving away Windows restore disks for free
Eric Lundgren, 33, is the first to organize a fully hybrid recycling point in the US. This facility was specialized in electronic equipment, and took pieces from computers, mobile phones, and other devices to create new ones. Now, this highly acclaimed activity turned against him.
The man started giving away Windows restore disks for free, which also didn’t have a license. These disks are incredibly useful if your system gets corrupted and you cannot fix it through classical methods. However, you first need a license for the operating system in question.
Usually, manufacturers give Windows restore disks for free whenever you purchase a computer with a license. People often regard this disk as unimportant, as they often throw it away or forget about it. As a result, whenever they need to restore their Windows, they prefer buying a new computer.
Lundgren knew this activity wasn’t eco-friendly, as it produced a lot of electronic waste. He decided to give away Windows restore disks for free or for incredibly small prices. These could help people fix their computers instead of replacing them with new ones.
The man received a prison sentence even though his activity wasn’t technically illegal
However, the authorities weren’t happy. The US Customs accused Lundgren of copyright infringement, as well as organizing a counterfeiting conspiracy. However, there was a misunderstanding. Users need a license if they want Windows restore disks to work. Therefore, there was no illegal activity involved.
No matter how much Lundgren tried to explain, the authorities continued to blame him. They said this activity would be detrimental to Microsoft’s profits, so they set a higher price for them. This price was equal to a fully operating system with a license. Moreover, they sentenced Lundgren to 15 months in prison.
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