Another reason to hate M$
This verdict is so wrong by common sense, if not by the crocked standards of our apparently broken legal system. R J Campbell apparently operated a simple business model dating back centuries - buying goods somewhere cheap, shipping them someplace where there is demand for those goods, and selling them at a profit. A legal system that finds fault with that is a broken legal system - the law is an ass!
What should be happening here is that the European Commission should be extending its investigations into M$ to include price fixing. The fact R J Campbell could buy M$ products in the USA, probably at retail price, ship them to the UK, cover his day-to-day business costs, and still sell at a profit for less than regular UK channels, clearly illustrates that something is badly wrong with UK channel pricing in the UK; that's common sense, but sadly our sold-out-to-big-business government and legal system has become detached for that and many other aspects of common sense.
It's not like he sold some kind of proscribe product like guns or medication, that are illegal to sell or require some kind of license.
Grey imports have been a problem for a long time. I have a motorbike that was a new grey import in 1998. It was imported from Germany, and so is a completely legal grey import under EU law. However, the manufacturer still gave me the run-around and tried to (illegally) not honour the warranty. If a grey import comes from outside the EU then by EU law the manufacturer does not have to honour the warranty, and probably a number of other disclaimers apply. In the case of M$ software this could mean no update downloads working, if M$ can tell from the license key which region the software should be in and where it actually is (I suspect this is not the case, as people travelling would not be able to update on the road). Even if that was the case, the gripe with the seller would be from the people who bought the software and found they could not get updates, not from M$.
There, I feel better.
Assuming that Mr Campbell was doing nothing more wrong than buying legit software in USA and selling here, is there a fund to which we can contribute to help out with the fine?