back to article The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

A California electronics recycler is fighting to stay out of jail after he admitted copying thousands of Windows reinstallation discs for use with refurbished PCs. As an e-waste warrior, Eric Lundgren wished to see discarded computers fixed up and reused rather than crammed into holes in the ground. To encourage people to …

  1. pip25
    Unhappy

    Oh, come on

    If the PCs in question did have valid licenses, what the heck are we even talking about? Who lost money because of what Eric Lundgren did? Well, mostly he himself, since blank disks are still not free.

    What happened to common sense in courts...?

    1. MrDamage

      Re: Oh, come on

      > "What happened to common sense in courts...?"

      Lawyers happened. Instead of arguing over what the framework of the law contains, they'd rather argue over what colour the framework is.

      1. Kane Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Oh, come on

        "Lawyers happened. Instead of arguing over what the framework of the law contains, they'd rather argue over what colour the framework is."

        Alright, Mr. Wiseguy, if you're so clever, you tell us what colour it should be!

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Oh, come on

          Alright, Mr. Wiseguy, if you're so clever, you tell us what colour it should be!

          Go stick it up your nose!

        2. Indolent Wretch

          Re: Oh, come on

          Don't quote frameworks to me.

          I chaired the sub-committee that convened to decide whether or not we should change the colour of the folder that framework is held in.

          WE KEPT IT GREY.

        3. Dr. Ellen
          Devil

          Re: Oh, come on

          In my early days with frameworks, they were hammertone grey. Later, they became beige. These days, legal frameworks are indisputably green.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Oh, come on

      This isn't about "common sense".. MS has deep pockets and for some reason, Lundgren's lawyers either didn't bring all this up about the licenses, etc. or failed to clearly explain it to the judge/jury at the first trial. And, let's not forget that it's about "law" and "lawyers" and not about common sense. If it were that simple, there never would have been any lawsuits for people falling off ladders or spilling a hot cup coffee from McDonald's on their lap as they drive off from the drive through.

      1. taz-nz

        The hot coffee story you know is basically a smear campaign by McDonald's legal team.

        You should watch this if you want the true story.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAzMMKIspPQ

    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @pip25 ... Re: Oh, come on

      Wow.

      The defense raises an interesting argument. I mean really compelling.

      With respect to your comment, the judges are regular people and understand the law but will often make stupid decisions. (I know from first hand experience.) There is nothing magical and mystical about a judge.

      In addition, its also who makes the more compelling argument in court. Keep in mind the guy pleaded guilty to copyright infringement. This was probably done to avoid the expense of a long trial.

      At the same time... the appellate judge may still say no, depending on the argument raised by the prosecution, and then it would have to then be appealed at the state supreme court to hear these arguments.

      Common sense is still common sense. To be fair, look around you. How many people do you see who make mistakes and ignore common sense?

      I hope this guy gets off. But I'm sure there's more to the case than the compelling argument.

      1. Kabukiwookie
        FAIL

        Re: @pip25 ... Oh, come on

        the guy pleaded guilty to copyright infringement.

        He probably pleaded guilty, because otherwise he would probably run afoul of a whole bunch more allegations that, even if only a few stick, may have put him in jail for the rest of his life, this is the 'normal' plea bargaining strategy that prosecutors use in the US to secure a guilty plea.

        Has nothing to do with justice. Everything to do with a completely corrupted legal system and some prosecutors who are happy to destroy anyone's life if it furthers there career.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @pip25 ... Oh, come on

          Watch Molly's game. Based on a true story and they go into the games the prosecution will play. In this case they didn't even want to prosecutor her. They just wanted to know who were in here poker games.

          It is a slow movie but the points raised are interesting.

          http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4209788/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

        2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: @pip25 ... Oh, come on

          Did you not read the next sentence?

          This was probably done to avoid the expense of a long trial.

          Yest M$ will sue you in to submission.

          How many people have a spare 25-30K (USD) lying around to make a frivolous lawsuit go away?

          That's just for starters.

          If he went to court and was found guilty of copyright infringement, he could end up owing $$$$$$$$$$$$

          Remember those cases where a woman pirated a bunch of music a few years back? (Maybe a decade ago? )

          The legal system is what it is. Like I said in my post, I've seen bad judges, lousy lawyers where I ended up having to write $$$ to get the issue resolved. Heck, I'm still involved in a case where I'm going to lose money even if I win and I have little recourse to recoup those losses because it will cost me more than its worse and its a gamble.

          Its not corruption. Its the system.

          BTW, a neat trick... Lawyers will say whatever they want, even if its a lie. They'll merely say that they misspoke. Its only when its under oath that they won't lie if they suspect that they'll get caught.

        3. Boo Radley

          Re: @pip25 ... Oh, come on

          Prosecutors have great discretion as to what charges the file for any particular crime. So one offender might get say a year in jail for a given crime, and another identical crime might be charged differently, and a lengthy sentence, in some cases, be mandatory.

          As 90% of people that go to trial in US Federal courts are found guilty, one is almost forced to plead to something to avoid at least some prison time, even if not guilty. The government also has unlimited resources while defendants have to pay for an attorney with real money. Oh yeah, "if you can't afford an attorney, one will be provided for you." You get exactly what you pay for.

    4. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Oh, come on

      The prosecutor was quite open about this, he said that "Microsoft wants his head on a platter".

      Money makes the US legal system go round....there is a good chance he'll prevail on appeal, though.

      1. Johan Bastiaansen

        Re: Oh, come on

        "The prosecutor was quite open about this, he said that "Microsoft wants his head on a platter"."

        That's an admission of guilt right there. The prosecutor is not working for Microsoft, he's working for the state.

        If he's taking orders from Microsoft, he should be fired and prosecuted.

    5. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: Oh, come on

      You need a license to distribute windows with hardware.Microsoft does offers a cheap license for people who recycle PC. Most people have never seen a MS recycled PC COA but they do exist . They also sell discounted refurbished COA for PC that that have a previous COA sticker.

      1. Joe Werner

        Re: Oh, come on

        You need a license to distribute windows with hardware.

        But that software had been paid for already? So if I would sell you my old laptop that has a valid Windows license key you cannot use that key? Not with the new versions, because those you merely rent.... Still, the key is tied to the machine (and has never been activated, I use Linux). I'm really interested in that, because I think that this would be ok under German law, judging from the 2nd hand software cases we had.

        1. kain preacher Silver badge

          Re: Oh, come on

          But that software had been paid for already? So if I would sell you my old laptop that has a valid Windows license key you cannot use that

          Accord to MS not with out permission. It's fucked up. it's thing I thought should of been straighten out by the courts. looks like the courts agree with MS You can down vote me all you want I'm just saying what MS says. MS will make exceptions for charities but you have to ask permission first.

          1. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: Oh, come on

            The courts never had a chance to weigh in on this... he pled guilty. That means there was no trial, no evidence presented, none of it. The question would be why he did this... what tricks the prosecutor used to badger an innocent victim into pleading guilty. They typically throw a fusillade of charges against the accused, then plead it down to just the one they wanted him on anyway, as if that were a concession to the accused.

            Ever wonder why the US has the highest incarceration rate of any liberal western democracy? I don't. Land of the free, indeed.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Oh, come on

          >But that software had been paid for already?

          You are getting confused between what is actually on the PC and the Recovery media.

          As a private individual you can legitimately sell your old laptop complete with its pre-existing Windows install, attached OEM COA along with the master set of recovery media either supplied with the system by the OEM or created by you from the Recovery partition for your own use, these rights have been granted to you by Microsoft under the EULA.

          Whilst real information about this case is hard to come by, it seems the real issue is the reproduction and distribution rights for the Recovery Media. From what we know they burnt 28,000 copies of Windows recovery discs with the intent of distributing them with refurbished PCs. By burning 28,000 disks it is clear this isn't for "personal usage", this is for business/gain; particularly as their stated intent was to distribute the disks with refurbished PCs.

          As an OEM or Small Systems Builder, I get to purchase Windows licences at a discount on the basis that I provide certain services and to enable me to deliver these services MS grant me certain rights. One of these rights enables me to use MS branding in certain ways, another legally incorporate MS products into my own branded Recovery Media and to reproduce and distribute said media.

          So I suspect because the guys didn't have either an agreement with Dell or Microsoft, they didn't have their permission to reproduce and distribute their IP and hence they effectively produced 28,000 counterfeit disks. As is the case with say grey import/counterfeit Levi's (made in the same factory and totally identical to the real thing) this is a trading standards issue and hence all MS or anyone has to do is to inform trading standards, who will then prosecute the case, calling on you as a witness. If you have observed markets where stall holders are selling counterfeit movie DVD's, it is Trading Standards people supported by the police who did the searches and initiated prosecutions.

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      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Oh, come on

        Microsoft does offers a cheap license for people who recycle PC.

        That's if the original licence key isn't available. In this case it is, it's in the BIOS.

        1. Peter2 Silver badge

          Re: Oh, come on

          In addition, its also who makes the more compelling argument in court.

          Actually, it's not. Very common misconception though, it's whomever persuades the majority of the Jury to find innocent or guilty.

          And the jury can do whatever it damn well pleases, ignoring actual guilt or any arguments presented. This was firmly established in 1670 (Bushel's Case) where the jury refused to convict somebody who broke a law because they thought the law was unjust, and has been done repeatedly since.

        2. kain preacher Silver badge

          Re: Oh, come on

          "That's if the original licence key isn't available. In this case it is, it's in the BIOS." According to MS that does not count as you need the actual COA sticker.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Oh, come on

            According to MS that does not count as you need the actual COA sticker.

            There's no COA sticker on Dells from Windows 8 onwards. You can go from 8 to 7 (I'm not using the word downgrade on purpose).

      4. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Oh, come on @kain preacher

        >You need a license to distribute windows with hardware.

        The article seems to imply he was only selling the Recovery media and hence wasn't himself directly recycling systems - just providing the Recovery media to allow end users to recycle a system. Hence why MS seem to have taken a back seat in this case.

        So this guys mistake seems to be the reproduction of OEM Recovery media without having appropriate agreements with OEMs and thus infringe the OEM copyright over their Recovery media.

        Having had to deal with systems with Recycler COAs, I like what the guy was doing, as technically because systems with Recycler COAs no longer carry the OEM COA, you can't use the OEM Recovery media to restore the system, but as Recyclers don't usually supply recovery media...

      5. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Oh, come on

        Hang on. Microsoft will sell you a "discounted" COA for a PC that already has a COA ????

        Why do you need to buy a second license for a machine that already has one!

        1. Solo Owl

          Re: Oh, come on

          Why do you need to buy a second license for a machine that already has one?

          You cannot re-activate Windows Vista or older; Windows 7 is dicey. In these cases, you must buy a Windows 10 license.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Oh, come on

            >You cannot re-activate Windows Vista or older; Windows 7 is dicey.

            Provided you can access the activation files you can transfer the activation from the old system to the rebuilt system, you don't need to reactivate. However, you do need to use both the correct version (Home/Pro/Enterprise) and licence variant (OEM/Retail/Volume) of Windows media.

            I seem to remember the instructions I've used for an XP and W7 malware recovery came from a MS KB/Technet article. But it is much easier to simply drop in the relevant OEM's recovery media which not only handles the pre-activation for you but also instals the relevant (albeit old) drivers in the OEM's recommended sequence.

            1. razorfishsl

              Re: Oh, come on

              No you CANNOT.

              lets say for example you have a machine with win 7 that is fully licensed.

              Then as PART OF A DISCOUNTED UPGRADE you get a win 10 license from that win 7

              Then your company dumps/sells the OLD win7 machines to a recycler.

              Then that re-cycler RE ENABLES the win 7 license.

              YOU ARE in breach of the license terms, technically speaking when you upgrade software you are NOT supposed to sell the old version to someone else.

      6. Solo Owl

        Re: Oh, come on

        To amplify Kain Preacher's remark:

        Microsoft Refurbishers do indeed get a discount on the COA. However, there are restrictions. You must buy a minimum number at a time. You must buy a mnimum number each year. There is a maximum number you can use each month. These numbers, and the price of the stickers, vary from one type of refurbisher to another. There are standards: All the hardware must be in good working order; no missing drivers; the case must be cleaned up inside and out, etc.

        The minimums are intended to rule out hobbyists who might do 1 machine every month or so. I suppose that means Lundgren's retail customers.

      7. Roopee
        Facepalm

        Re: Oh, come on

        You have managed to completely miss the point, so presumably you have little experience of installing Windows, just like the court. Clearly the poor guy's lawyer did a very poor job.

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Oh, come on

      "What happened to common sense in courts"

      you and I both know the answer. It was corrupted by activists, lawyers, and "the system" in general.

    7. oiseau Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Oh, come on

      "What happened to common sense in courts...?"

      It seems that in the USA common sense has been lost a very long time ago.

      El Reg has published a myriad of examples by which we have been able to chuckle, laugh, grief ...

      But make no mistake: this guy is up against MS and this weighs heavily.

      Cheers,

    8. Steve Evans

      Re: Oh, come on

      What happened to common sense in courts...?

      What we see here is letter of the law interpretation, instead of spirit of the law.

      They prosecuted for what the law said, not what the law was trying to prevent.

      I salute his efforts to reduce the landfill, I guess the restore disk will be Ubuntu next time.

    9. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Oh, come on

      MS on their own website says making copies of their software is legal. Only distributing "pirate" keys is infringement.

      Why did the prosecution succeed if the disks have no keys and rely on key on PCs?

    10. littlesmith

      Re: Oh, come on

      > What happened to common sense in courts...?

      TLDR: Nothing, never has been there...

      What is common sense? If you look at things considered common sense, you will find that they are not so common at all. There were times when it was common sense that the sun orbits earth .

      This is the oldest problem in jurisdiction: Basically laws are the way to try to codify what is considered current common sense. But common sense is mostly common only in groups, not the whole society.

      Laws will always reflect the common sense of the most powerful groups in the society. So if you do belong to other groups, having a different common sense, laws and jurisdiction can seem to be contradicting common sense, but they just contradict your own sense.

      To be clear: I also think that the guy did nothing ethically wrong. But that is only common sense among people who now something about operating systems, licenses and the technical background.

      And this group is quite small...

  2. mark l 2 Silver badge

    "Arguing that a copy of Windows is essentially useless without a product key, and that all of the recycled machines had their own valid keys.."

    Some might argue a copy of windows is essentially useless even with a product key.

    But on a serious note, i have burned copies of Windows 7 OEM DVDs for people before when i have fixed their PCs that only came with a 'recovery partition' to reinstall the OS. Which is useless if the hard drive is knackard. Without the COA and product key the disc is essentially a coaster.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. jabuzz

        If you use standard OEM Windows media, rather than the vendor-supplied media, you will need to extract the product key from either the BIOS or previous install, so the software can be activated.

        Alternatively looking at the Dell PC I am typing this on one can just read the key from the COA sticker on the case. The only Dell PC's that I have seen without a COA are either really really old or a server.

        1. usbac

          @jabuzz

          The new Dell PCs coming in with Windows 7 installed (but are actually licensed for Windows 10, yuck!), don't have COA stickers anymore. They do have the Windows 7 key in the BIOS so if you use a Dell Windows 7 CD, it will install and auto-activate. But, there is no sticker anymore.

  3. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Ubuntu

    Yup, should have been putting Ubuntu on them instead. Ran into this at years back... highers up are like "Sure you can put windows back on these machines", and we pointed out the license prohibited it (the enterprise agreement invalidated the individual licenses, and it was prohibited for us to automate the reinstall either way making it far too labor intensive at the volumes we were dealing with.) We ended up shipping them blank.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ubuntu

      I had the opposite when tasked to create a windows 8.1 unattended install for around 1200 PCs / laptops / tablets. The higher ups insisted that we needed to buy new licences for each device, the devices came with OEM licences, all Lenovo.

      It took me a good few weeks but managed to get email confirmation from M$ confirming that so long as the imaged version was the identical OS version, including language, there will be no issue with licencing, the OEM licence stood.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux Mint is free

    Avoid Microsoft.

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: Linux Mint is free

      It makes no difference unless you build your own computer or purchase it from a handful of places that sell bootable computers without the Microsoft tax. Replacing Windows with Linux is still paying for Windows.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Linux Mint is free

        "Replacing Windows with Linux is still paying for Windows"

        apparently NOT in this case, as including a 'recovery disk' was apparently a license violation. That sort of implies that the license key is no longer valid for the "junk" computer. But rather than just ship a machine that has no recovery disk, it would have been better (from a legal standpoint, especially) to put Linux on it and let people re-install windows later [using the key that's printed on the label] if they really wanted to.

        So there ya go.

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Linux Mint is free

      Linux Mint is free

      Avoid Microsoft.

      Every summer I install the latest version of Mint on an old laptop to see if its consumer ready yet. I'm not saying it isn't fast. I'm not saying it isn't stable. And I'm not saying it isn't good. But it isn't a consumer ready Windows replacement.

      My plumber wouldn't be able to use it if I took away his Win 7 lappy and handed it back to him with Mint installed - I'd be taking support calls from him for the next 4+ years.

      We find technology is usually simple and straightforward, but for the non-techies out there, it isn't. It's complicated, confusing, and difficult. And that's just email.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: t isn't a consumer ready Windows replacement.

        I'd argue that for people used to windows XP, Vista and 7, that Windows 10 isn't consumer ready unless it's only for web browsing and store apps, in which case Android is better / cheaper.

        Win 10 for traditional applications:

        "It's complicated, confusing, and difficult."

        I'm finding supporting users on Linux Mint + Mate desktop, properly setup, is less bothersome than Win7. Mostly I don't see them now.

        1. keith_w

          Re: t isn't a consumer ready Windows replacement.

          "I'd argue that for people used to windows XP, Vista and 7, that Windows 10 isn't consumer ready unless it's only for web browsing and store apps, in which case Android is better / cheaper.

          Win 10 for traditional applications:

          "It's complicated, confusing, and difficult.""

          Really? I better let the 80 year old real estate agent who uses W10 on a daily basis know that - and that the Office 365 isn't either. On the other hand, she already knows that Skype no longer is.

          1. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: t isn't a consumer ready Windows replacement.

            Really? I better let the 80 year old real estate agent who uses W10 on a daily basis know that - and that the Office 365 isn't either. On the other hand, she already knows that Skype no longer is.

            You may not have noticed this, but not every 80 year old is a doddering fool.

      2. Baldrickk Silver badge

        Re: Linux Mint is free

        As an experiment, while I was recovering his disk after Windows borked the MBR, I stuck a live disk of Mint on a USB drive in my Father's PC

        He's not a techie, but was perfectly capable of finding Firefox, browsing the sites he wanted to go to, found the office suite labeled as such in the applications menu and wrote up a document there and then.

        He then got his drive back again and hasn't touched Linux since, but I'm pretty sure he would be fine.

        Most PC users, on any OS these days need the browser, email, an office suite, and maybe one or two applications suited to whatever their job is. As long as they know how to do those, day to day issues will be minimal.

        I've found that most people are capable enough to look for the settings menu when they want to change a setting. It might be called something different, and in a different place, but most people know what they are looking for, and will recognise it when they do.

        There are some users who would not be ok dealing with the change, but in my experience, these are the people who also struggle with Windows too, it's not like things have stayed exactly the same on the UI front from XP to Vista, 7, 8, 10...

        Many people might say that Windows isn't exactly consumer ready yet either, I mean why is there still a control panel and a settings screen in Windows 10? Why are some things in one, and not the other, and vice versa?

        Mint for example does have all its settings in one place. One could say from this that mint > Win 10 on being consumer ready o_O

        It's not complicated, confusing and difficult. It's just different and has less exposure to the average person off the street.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Linux Mint is free

          "I've found that most people are capable enough to look for the settings menu when they want to change a setting. It might be called something different, and in a different place, but most people know what they are looking for, and will recognise it when they do."

          Ans MS are well known for screwing with the control panel with every new release of Windows, so that;s certainly no barrier for a user switching. In fact, MS have gone one step further with Windows 10 and effectively have two control panels with similar/different/overlapping functions that may or may not change the setting the user wants to change.

        2. Updraft102 Silver badge

          Re: Linux Mint is free

          Why are some things in one, and not the other, and vice versa?

          And why has it been like this for 6.5 years, since the release of Windows 8?

          It's really pretty simple to me. Control Panel (which the settings menu in every Linux DE I have seen is modeled after) for devices with a mouse or touchpad, Settings for those with only a touchscreen. Microsoft continues to make Windows 10 less usable and less intuitive on the desktop or laptop PCs that represent nearly all of the Windows user base, in favor of the mobile market that Microsoft itself has given up on. (If it doesn't make sense to you either, welcome to the club.)

      3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Linux Mint is free

        complicated, confusing, and difficult. And that's just email

        As far as I know, the email system built into recent releases of Windows isn't complicated, confusing, and difficult. It's non-existent.

        Some Windows users may pay for a local copy of Outlook, but I suspect most simply use some kind of webmail site. And that's the same whether your browser is running on Windows, Linux, MacOS or other fine operating system.

        It's odd that people who allege Linux is difficult to use seem to have managed primitive versions of Windows without issue. And many are quite happy to use MacOS, which has far more in common with Linux than Windows.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Linux Mint is free

          @Kubla Cant raises a valid point - many people use webmail instead if an email client and more applications every year can be used through a browser, rendering the choice of host OS moot. Obviously stuff that requires a lot of IO (say video editing) doesn't lend itself to cloud-hosting, but office suites and CAD can benefit from it (ease of administration, modest local hardware requirements, team working, document control, redundant storage etc. There will always be situations that don't have good internet access, but a lot of tasks are pointless if one can't email the end results).

          If the above plumber uses Excel for his accounts, he would not appreciate a Mint PC. If he already used Google Sheets, he largely wouldn't notice the difference.

          A friend of mine cheerfully watches Netflix through a browser on her MacBook into a TV... there is an MacOS client but we haven't got around to installing it ( though we should, it would mean that we could control playback from her iPhone without having to get off the sofa) because it works well enough.

        2. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: Linux Mint is free

          It's odd that people who allege Linux is difficult to use seem to have managed primitive versions of Windows without issue. And many are quite happy to use MacOS, which has far more in common with Linux than Windows.

          When Windows 8 was being launched I attended a demonstration of the new OS which was interesting. The bloke was very clued up on the new features and eventually took questions. Someone asked why there was a desktop and a metro (as it was back then) interface. Demonstrator is initially a bit flummoxed before recovering saying it was for the two different types of apps. Next person asked why there were two different types of apps and why was he calling programs apps? Now he really didn't like that and tried to ignore the first part of the question. He said that this was just short for application and it didn't really matter what they were called did it. I then asked about the metro interface and why was their no hierarchical structure to the menu.

          He didn't understand the question and I explained that on his demonstration all the apps were displayed in the metro interface. If (as we did at the time) use several software packages with with loads of programs was there no way of putting some of them into a folder or folders? Oh yes you can group things together he came back with and showed a group he called "Documentation". It just contained a lot of stuff which was still taking up real estate on the screen. I said there was the possibility of grouping and putting programs etc. into folders since Windows 3 and this was a retrograde step. Someone else at this point said it was far too complicated to roll out and support at their company. They'd be sticking to Win 7 until extensive changes were made. Generally that was the mood of the attendees.

        3. Davegoody

          Re: Linux Mint is free

          As per Kubla Cant....... where you say that MacOS has far more in common with Linux than Windows, you would be 100% right by way of technology stack but conversely 100% wrong by way of UI and usability. There is not an OS in existence that separates out the technical stuff to such an extent that MacOS does.... Yes, it's UNIX underneath the shiny exterior, but you would be hard-pressed to find it as a "normal" user......

          1. JimboSmith Silver badge

            Re: Linux Mint is free

            you would be 100% right by way of technology stack but conversely 100% wrong by way of UI and usability.

            Even the North Koreans like the look of OSX rather than any of the new Windows versions. Red Star used to have an XP like GUI until version 3 where it switched to the Apple look instead. I can't imagine why......

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

      5. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Linux Mint is free

        We find technology is usually simple and straightforward, but for the non-techies out there, it isn't. It's complicated, confusing, and difficult. And that's just email.

        You click once on the Menu button (Start, if it were Windows), aim the mouse arrow at Internet, then at Thunderbird Mail. Click it once. Thunderbird mail appears... exactly as it looks and acts in Windows. What about that is complicated, confusing, or difficult?

        I'm in the process of moving to Linux Mint full-time, since Windows 10 is such a steaming piece of shite that I can't stand to use it even for a few minutes, and it keeps getting worse with every new "feature" update that Microsoft inflicts upon the computing public.

        I use Linux almost all of the time now... I'm using it now to write this, for example. Lately, I've only booted Windows for one game, but that one was the last one I will buy that isn't Linux ready off the bat (if it runs perfectly in WINE, that's good enough too). I've shrunk my Windows partitions and embiggened my Linux ones several times now as my need for Linux space exceeds anything for Windows going forward.

        I'm aware of some of the things that aren't quite "there" yet in Linux Mint compared to Windows. None of this has been a problem for me, even though I've been using Windows for 27 years and Linux for about one year now. Even so, experience with computers is experience with computers; it's like how a musician who knows one instrument well can pick up a second one very quickly compared to learning the first one.

        I also assumed that it would be like you said if I put Mint on a computer belonging to some "regular" user out there, and I made a comment to that effect on this or another site. I got a bunch of replies from people who said they'd done just that, and they get few or no support calls for Linux, but they used to get them all the time for Windows. Having seen how badly Windows can get screwed up, I certainly do not have any problem believing the latter!

        I really don't see what would be so hard about using Mint if I were a regular user. Yes, a lot of administrative tasks that can be done using the GUI in Windows are done using the command line in Linux, but those same administrative tasks, even with the GUI, are beyond the scope of the hypothetical "regular" user I am thinking about. For day to day use, it's pretty dang simple... the Cinnamon start menu is very similar to Windows 7's. Point at the thing you want to run and click the mouse button. If you remember what it's called, hit the super (Windows) key and type the first few letters of the name and it will pop up the matches. You minimize it the same way, and it's there in the panel (taskbar) the same way, with the notification icons in the tray the same way. In ordinary day to day use, it is more like classic Windows in a lot of ways than either of the last two attempts Microsoft has made at Windows.

        One difference, though, is that if you put it on a bunch of recycled computers, a huge megacorporation won't emerge from the shadows and try to strongarm a prosecutor into destroying you. So, there's that.

      6. Fihart

        Re: Linux Mint is free @LucreLout

        For years I would have agreed with you that Linux was not consumer-ready -- usually hardware issues. Then a couple of years back I tried Peppermint Linux (Ubuntu based I believe) and found it simple to install and that it worked with most hardware, automatically.

        Granted Linux lacks the polished apps we've become used to with Windows or Mac, but for basic tasks (email, letter writing, internet browsing, watching DVDs) it worked fine for a complete technophobe when I lent her the machine.

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Linux Mint is free

      >Linux Mint is free

      Only because of the reproduction and distribution rights granted in its licence.

      However, I am at liberty to charge whatever I deem fit for supplying a disk containing a Linux Mint distribution.

  5. Oh Homer
    Mushroom

    "counterfeit goods"?

    What bullshit law is this?

    Copyright infringement, yes, but "counterfeit goods"?

    Copying software is not like copying a pair of Jeans and fraudulently claiming they're Levi's. The copy is the genuine product, otherwise it wouldn't be copyright infringement. It doesn't magically become something other than Microsoft Windows just because it's distributed without authorisation.

    "IP" lunacy.

    1. Someone

      Counterfeit packaging

      If you were caught with 28,000 counterfeit perfume boxes, stating that they were all empty and you were intending to sell them on at cost wouldn’t be a very good defence.

      Having a pressed CD or DVD with screen printed logos on it will add to the appearance of legitimacy where Windows has been activated without a valid licence. So, the discs definitely have a value over and above the software on them, just like empty counterfeit boxes.

      What was this guy truly thinking? I have to wonder if he saw the efficient recycling of hardware as more important than worrying about what others were doing with installs of Windows. In the great scheme of things, maybe it is. Illegal, but morally justifiable.

      Of course, the sentencing doesn’t fit. The American courts must have ample case law for valuing small counterfeit parts of a much larger whole. This also appears to be crazy American mandatory sentencing preventing any discretion. One would hope in England it would be: Good character; single instance of bad judgement; slap on wrist; don’t do it again.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @Someone Re: Counterfeit packaging

        His defense argued in the appeal that the license was real.

        Imagine if you bought in bulk a purfume. Call it brand X.

        You then got a bunch of empty brand C perfume bottles, cleaned them up and then refilled them with brand X perfume you bought in bulk.

        Its the real product, in the real package only you recycled it.

        Did you break the law?

        The perfume is real. The product is in a real albeit recycled bottle / box. Or missing the box, and you sell it at a discount to the stuff in the factory box at a retail store. So what laws did you break?

        And the sentencing does fit. There's a lot of leeway on what the judge can do here.

        Welcome to the US legal system.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Someone Counterfeit packaging

          You then got a bunch of empty brand C perfume bottles, cleaned them up and then refilled them with brand X perfume you bought in bulk.

          ...

          Did you break the law?

          Probably, although which law you broke depends on whether you sell it as Brand C or Brand X.

          Selling it as Brand C is "passing off", lots of jail time. Selling it as "Brand X" is trickier, it likely depends on whether you got the Brand C bottles legitimately from Brand C, and under what terms.

          Either way it isn't very relevant to this case.

      2. Oh Homer
        Headmaster

        Re: Counterfeit packaging

        Well the packaging is only counterfeit if the content turns out to not actually be Windows but something else, for example a Linux distro with a Windows themed WM. However the content in this case absolutely is Microsoft Windows, distributed in some manner that Microsoft claims infringes their copyright, but nonetheless a very real copy of Windows.

        The "counterfeit" claim is utter bullshit, and just sounds like hyperbole slapped on to stigmatise the defendant, like using the word "piracy" (a violent physical assault and robbery) to describe the very peaceful "crime" of, what is essentially, intellectual trespass.

        1. kain preacher Silver badge

          Re: Counterfeit packaging

          Well the packaging is only counterfeit if the content turns out to not actually be Windows but something else

          Not according to the law. If have a license to build Cisco kit and that license is revoked any cisco kit I afterwards build is a counterfeit.

          You folks keep on wanting to change the definition. Even if it's a perfect replica it's still a fake

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark_Counterfeiting_Act_of_1984

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Re: "counterfeit goods"?

      The argument is that regardless of the fact that he just restored the existing license on the PC with a clean new install, is he a licensed MS distributor?

      So does he have the legal right to refurbish and sell a clean system with MS on it?

      That's their argument... and his defense in the appeal is that he didn't counterfeit the license key but used a software tool to fix the existing machine and the legitimate software that was already there. Or so the argument goes.

      Its not lunacy. Welcome to the US legal system.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "counterfeit goods"?

        "So does he have the legal right to refurbish and sell a clean system with MS on it?" yes, the system came with windows installed and a valid license, thus the hardware vendor remains the distributor and since the same binaries are also freely availible via microsoft themselves then he was merely saving the people who wanted the media the cost of download.

    3. Cameron Colley

      Re: "counterfeit goods"?

      See the article linked below, the issue was that he made them look like genuine Dell, Microsoft approved, restore discs. That was very silly.

      Imagine if he distributed them only to find that, for example, they contained malware of some kind. This may result in a class action suit against Dell as well as loss of reputation.

      Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly no Microsoft (or Dell for that matter) apologist but what he did was counterfeiting even if the product he was counterfeiting has zero value.

      http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-microsoft-restore-disc-20180215-story.html

    4. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: "counterfeit goods"?

      The copy is the genuine product, otherwise it wouldn't be copyright infringement. It doesn't magically become something other than Microsoft Windows just because it's distributed without authorisation.

      actually no. Copyright infringement happens if you sell product is when you calla a some thing the Apple Iphone that is not apple product. Sure it could be a cheap phone that does not look any thing like the iphone. Counterfeiting is making a reproduction of some thing you do not have the rights to make.

      Counterfeit products are fakes or unauthorized replicas of the real product.

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: "counterfeit goods"?

        actually no. Copyright infringement happens if you sell product is when you calla a some thing the Apple Iphone that is not apple product. Sure it could be a cheap phone that does not look any thing like the iphone. Counterfeiting is making a reproduction of some thing you do not have the rights to make.

        What you are describing in the first case (calling something an Apple iPhone when it's not) is trademark infringement. Copyright is copying an original work without authorisation (text from a book, a piece of music, compiled or source computer code). The typically short words used for most products are not sufficient to deserve copyright protection. I can say iPhone and Apple can't sue me for copyright infringement.

        iPhone

        iPhone

        iPhone

        Counterfeiting is a general term for making fakes that pretend to be other things you can (shouldn't...) do it with money, goods, stock certificates, signatures and lots of other things. These tend to be dealt with under laws relating to the type of thing you're counterfeiting; copying money generally wont get you arrested for trademark infringement. For goods it tend to be trademarks or sometimes design patents that are being infringed. If I sell something that calls itself an iPhone, IPhone or IFone, then I'll be guilty of trademark infringement, it it is the shape of an iphone I'll be guilty of infringing their design patent (those rounded corners...), if it runs an unauthorised copy of Apple's iOS then I'll be guilty of copyright infringement.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When big business gets to write their own laws

    Anyone remember the mammoth effort for the EU to get Microsoft to offer Browser choice on PC's? We should have a 1-time choice of OS on new PC's: Win10, Win7, Linux etc. But all you get is Win10. Of course MS does this for Ad revenue because like Facebook - 'we're the product'! I've only seen one case where users could get Windows off a new machine or get a refund, that was in Italy. WTF, monopolies & collusion with OEM's is great!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft’s business models require stealing and reselling personal data.

      ....."When we talk about why we're upgrading the Windows 10 install base, why is that upgrade free? MS CFO asked during a meeting with Wall Street analysts. These are all new monetization opportunities once a PC is sold. Microsoft's strategy is to go low on consumer Windows licenses, hoping that that will boost device sales, which will in turn add to the pool of potential customers for 'Advertising'".....

      ....."CEO Nadella has referred to the customer revenue potential as 'lifetime value' in the past -- and did so again last week during the same meeting with Wall Street -- hinting at Microsoft's strategy to make more on the back end of the PC acquisition process. The more customers, the more money those customers will bring in as they view 'Ads'".....

      https://www.computerworld.com/article/2917799/microsoft-windows/microsoft-fleshes-out-windows-as-a-service-revenue-strategy.html

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Instead of going after real bad guys...

    The government with its flawed legal interpretation strikes a win again for 'corporate overlords'! Meantime the world urgently needs more recycling. So lets stop that! The biggest mistake was not putting Linux Mint on there...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    While Microsoft gives O/S's to many OEM's free !

    I had a IBM Net Vista, It had an OEM install partition, it wiped the hard drive and installed the O/S Windows Millennium (Win98.3), on the hard drive after install was an options directory, in this directory was a setup and cab files for another version of Win98.3 ME that had a completely different serial number to the one of the first, . Both were useless however as the cover was mis-replaced by the shop that I had bought it from , when I got more memory at purchase , the outside sticker had a different serial number on it.

    Laughing yet, there's more, well the PC had an OEM CD with it, that was exactly like the install partition, but with yet different serial numbers in it also.

    Then there was a DELL 1.8 Dimensions that had an OEM partition with one serial number on it and the re-install CD had another serial number on it. and on the case, well I gave up by then and didn't check it.

    So as far as serial numbers and OEMs I think the real value of any Microsoft Operating system is the value Microsoft charges the most customers for it and that is via OEMs at Zero$ $0 .00 under what were often deemed anti-competitive circumstances.

    Microsoft also offered to provide to every school in the US with Microsoft software when it was taken to court over Microsoft Office.

    Let the guy go, he's doing good, Microsoft should consider he is spreading their gospel !

  9. martinusher Silver badge

    Microsoft is only interested in money

    I inherited an old laptop -- actually, it wasn't that old, it was Windows Vista vintage, so it was still perfectly usable. It had a legal copy of Windows 7 installed on it at some time but after a repair Microsoft declared that it was illegal. Attempts to contact them and sort this out were futile so I looked into putting Windows 10 on it. This appears not to be supported on "old" hardware so now I'm faced with throwing away a perfectly good computer just because I can't get OS support for it. In fact its exactly the problem that Eric was trying to fix -- why junk perfectly usable systems? Well, we all know the answer; without this there would be a glut of PCs and corporate profits would tank. So Eric needs to be shown his lesson, "pour encourager les autres".

    Needless to say the laptop now runs Linux. One of its uses is to rapidly boot up and find out why the latest 'upgrade' to Win10 has borked something or another on the official system; typically I can get the system running and figure this out while good 'ole Wnidows is still trying to index the universe.

    1. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft is only interested in money

      It had a legal copy of Windows 7 installed on it at some time but after a repair Microsoft declared that it was illegal.

      I don't know if they changed the EULA terms somewhere, but it always used to be the case that OEM Windows licenses were valid only on the machine that they were sold with, and only *for the original buyer*. More specifically, the licenses were non-transferrable. Full retail licenses were transferrable with the machine they were installed on, but not OEM ones.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Microsoft is only interested in money

        OEM Windows licenses were valid only on the machine that they were sold with, and only *for the original buyer*. More specifically, the licenses were non-transferrable.

        MS complicated matters, an individual can sell a machine with the pre-installed OEM licence and Recovery media to another individual. Likewise a business can dispose of systems with OEM licences pre-installed, however, if my business is the resale of 'refurbished' Windows systems then I need to wipe the system and install a Recycler COA version of Windows.

  10. Piro

    How exactly is giving out a copy of the Dell restore disc for a Dell machine piracy? No piracy has taken place, the machine has a licence that is entitled to use. The restore disc simply reinstalls the OEM version of Windows, that is fully entitled.

    1. JohnMcL7

      Branding of the disc was the main issue

      As I understand it, the main problem wasn't the contents of the disc it's the fact that the disc was branded with Microsoft and Dell logos making it appear to be an official product from them when it wasn't. If the discs weren't using any brands like that and just had a copy of Windows without a license (rather than the Dell version) it likely wouldn't have been an issue.

  11. Paul 87

    It's pretty clear from the evidence that the guy is guilty of counterfitting, even though what he copied was a product freely given away. If he hadn't copied the logo's onto the disc and made it much clearer what it was, there wouldn't even be a case

    1. gotes

      It's a shame the Reg article doesn't mention this detail. It makes things a little clearer.

    2. Peter 26

      He even admitted he was stupid to put the logos on the CD. He should be convicted as he technically committed the crime, but it should be taken into account that there is zero cost to Microsoft from doing this, he copied something which can be obtained for free and he gains very little from this copyright infringement himself (there is some as people are more likely to buy the old PC if it comes with a legitimate looking restore disc)

      There shouldn't be any prison sentence, make him destroy the discs, give him a small fine at worst.

  12. Dwarf Silver badge

    The real issue

    Is probably that someone in MS equates this to new PC sales if the machines weren’t recycled.

    Saving the planet and realising that many just ignore Windows and PC’s is mere noise to those who just want your money at any cost.

  13. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    I'm not sure about the legal situation in the USA of America, but I do know that...

    ... his lawyers let him down badly.

  14. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    FAIL

    Just say no!

    A local box-builder gave folk the choice of Ubuntu for free or Windows for ~£60. Many chose Ubuntu. Now he has moved away and people are bringing me their dead boxes. Usually the faults are dead power supplies and motherboards, we get lighting strikes on the power lines. The Linux boxes are easy, although I now install Mint. The Windows boxes have OEM stickers which are useless, I cannot get Windows to activate.

    Microsoft's problem is that there are too many versions and too many types of license.

    From the article we can learn two things:

    1) Never live in the USA.

    2) Never use any Microsoft products. I don't!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was he actually recycling 28000 PCs? I see regular pointers to sites selling extremely cheap windows/office licenses (price < £10) where they say "this is a genuine licence recylced from a scrapped PC which you can legally transferr to your PC" normally with reference to some court record which they say justifies the legality of this - maybe MS were wanting tol establish a precedent against this being legal and this person just got caught in the crossfirre

    1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      It depends if it's pre-installed or not, what isn't so clear is when it's supplied as software.

      If it's pre-installed, it cannot be transferred to other hardware.

      If it's supplied as software it can be transferred to another device, or one other person, if you're the first owner.

      So if it's pre-installed, but not activated, then technically it should activate on another system, but it's still breaking the license conditions. Whether it's transferable once activated is another question - you might get away with it, but if Microsoft knows from the key that this is pre-installed software, not OEM media with bundled key they may refuse to let you.

      https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Useterms/OEM/Windows/10/UseTerms_OEM_Windows_10_English.htm

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        I'm always amused by downvoters, especially when they haven't read the linked document.

        Go read it and point out where I'm wrong.

        (Also, yes, I do have Windows licences which are resold ones that I'm assured are ok. That's because I don't fancy paying 100 quid due to Windows 10 breaking itself and claiming my graphics cards aren't working (they are, obviously)).

        I'm not saying whether you should or should not do this, but I am pointing out it contravenes the license agreement. I for one am fairly unconcerned by this as long as it's a legit license.

  16. stumpwhistle

    "Indian giving"

    MS sold the OEM a copy of the OS for that particular machine, and at a steep discount compared to the retail and "distribution channel". (more than 50%). The machine which came with the OS preinstalled was granted a license to use the OS on that particular machine. The manufacturers elected to save on the cost of the recovery media (think millions of machines - a significant add to the bottom line), by instructing the user to create their own copy of the OS on a media. If the user wanted to utilize the 'extra' space on the HDD (which they paid for) - by burning media and retasking the space on the HDD.

    In essence Ludgren was providing a service that the owner of the PC was able to do themselves.

    He should have been allowed to charge for the service (and media). What he should not have done was violate the OEM and MS trademarks by using their logos etc. and misrepresenting the origins of the 'recovery media'.

    His lawyers could have done a better job.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    American Justice is the best that money can buy!

  18. TechnicalBen Silver badge

    Wow, I think he should get more for that.

    For $/£280 worth of "theft" they should both get at least 100 years each...

    /sarcasm

  19. HmmmYes Silver badge

    Hmm,

    Look at the numbers - 28,000

    I reckon Ive brunt about 200 CDs in my life.

    10 CdS a day - 2,800 days = 7 solid years of refurbing.

    Was he doing it for free?

  20. tony2heads
    Linux

    Worth?

    How can they argue that the rescue disk was worth ANYTHING.

    I would argue that even with the key Microsoft Software isn't worth much

  21. adam payne Silver badge

    If the PCs had licenses stuck on them then who cares where the media came from.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      >If the PCs had licenses stuck on them then who cares where the media came from.

      Depends on what you intend doing with the PC's and when in relation the support lifecycle of the version of Windows you wish to install:

      If you are doing something non-commercially for your own or a friend's PCs then one set of rules apply.

      If you are working for a client to repair/refurbish their property then another set of rules applies.

      If however you intend to resell used PCs as a business then yet another set of rules apply.

      The people who care are those who benefit from the rules, namely: Microsoft and the law enforcers.

      Remember one of the reasons for MS brought in licencing rules for refurbished PCs was to reduce the number of licences in circulation, specifically for versions of Windows going EoL. Remember a big concern of MS was it wanted people to move off XP onto 7; the last thing MS wanted was for all those EoL corporate XP machines to be refurbished and land in the consumer market...

      So whilst currently you can download from MS ISOs for 7, I expect that just like with XP after 8-Apr-2014, come 15-Jan-2020 MS will kill the relevant download links and licenced Refurbishers won't be able to supply refurbished systems running 7.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Haters gonna hate ....

    Many of the posters here are distinctly lacking a basic understanding of the law of intellectual property.

    When you are the owner of intellectual property (copyright, trademarks, patents), irrespective of whether your name is Microsoft or a tiny one-man-band sole-trader, you have a fundamental duty to protect your intellectual property.

    Failure to protect your intellectual property in a consistent and timely manner can lead to all sorts of problems when you then seek one day to rely on it when it *REALLY* matters when you're up against real "bad guys".

    Microsoft as we all know are subject to all sorts of counterfeiting and piracy. Failure to take proper action against someone making 28,000 copies during the course of their business operations (no matter how much of a "good cause" you consider the PC recycling business to be) could easily mean it would be something that would later come back to bite Microsoft in the backside and impinge on their ability to properly fight a case where "real" pirates were involved.

  23. steviebuk Silver badge

    Some murderers and robbers get less time...

    ...than that.

    Although he could of just stuck Linux Mint on them. However, as has been said, they already came with the licences on the bottom so whats the problem.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Recovery Media

    You can download the Media ISO from Microsoft themselves and install the product, without key.

    I had to do this with a random PC that I was asked to fix, that was dead - and this had a Windows licence sticker on the base which thankfully worked.

    All this man seems to have done is provide the media, pre-burned. I personally think this goes against common sense.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to Microsoft Hell

    Please leave your human rights at the door.

    You never "own" the hardware, you just rent it from us. Put Linux on it, it might work but eventually we will lock it out at uEFI level and you'll be stuffed. Note, this might happen one day without you ever knowing, and on the next rebuild it won't work any more.

    Ha ha ha ha. Yours sincerely, MOFH (BOFH who has sold his immortal soul to M$)

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could we stop jailing harmless nutters?

    Is that something everyone can agree on? Poor man seems like a bit of a good egg wirh an axe to grind. All the jailing does is create more victims, in this sort of case (friends, family, loved ones, unwitting perp), while what the perp was doing likely didn’t cost Microsoft an actual penny (before they got the scumbags involved).

  27. cs9

    "Lundgren and Wolff violated Microsoft’s intellectual property rights by illegally manufacturing the software in China and then importing the discs into the United States."

    "Sounds perfectly legal to us!" -- Register Expert Legal Team

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Even if the media had DELL recovery media printed on it

      then it should have been Dell taking him to court not microsoft, if the media is a binary image of the "dell recovery media" then the media is an exact duplicate. Selling an exact duplicate at a loss is presumably still stupidly illegal unless ofc dell supplied a printable image for the recovery media.

      However given that the media is freely availible then neither MS or Dell lost any money at all which is what he is claiming to reduce his sentence.

      The issue of branding on a free resource is open to legal stupidity but that is not the issue he is contesting.

      Now if he had just restored the original dell disk image to the machine then there would be no case

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where would Microsoft be without rampant piracy of its operating systems in the early days?

    Never forget your roots, Microsoft.

  29. Twanky

    In summary...

    Most comments seem to agree that Microsoft licence terms are too restrictive - who'd have thought?

    Don't mess with Microsoft. They can afford better lawyers than you... and judges.

  30. JJKing Bronze badge
    Unhappy

    Where is the justice?

    Has nothing to do with justice. Everything to do with a completely corrupted legal system and some prosecutors who are happy to destroy anyone's life if it furthers there career.

    RIP Aaron Swartz but the political skank who tried to use him as a career stepping stone gets to keep her life, her job and seemingly her undeserved reputation. Aaron Swartz did nothing wrong but Carmen Ortiz in effect murdered him. Where is the justice here?

    My apologies Aaron. I missed Jan 11, distracted by my own pathetic issues.

  31. JJKing Bronze badge
    Coat

    Colours? We don't need no stinking colours!

    "Lawyers happened. Instead of arguing over what the framework of the law contains, they'd rather argue over what colour the framework is."

    Alright, Mr. Wiseguy, if you're so clever, you tell us what colour it should be!

    The same colour as the Emperor’s new clothes it seems.

    My colour swatch is in my.......hey, who nicked my pockets!

  32. JJKing Bronze badge
    Facepalm

    Microsoft; Intellectual. It really is an oxymoron.

    Lundgren and Wolff violated Microsoft’s intellectual property rights

    Is there anyone left at Microsoft who actually has an intellect anymore?

  33. JJKing Bronze badge
    Alien

    @ Updraft102

    None of this has been a problem for me, even though I've been using Windows for 27 years and Linux for about one year now.

    How very fortunate that nothing has been a problem for you. I have been using Windows for a bit longer than you and I can remember much of what I learnt while studying for my Windows NT 4.0 Server MCSE.

    I remember most of what I studied when I passed my Commercial Pilot Licence theory exams 36 years ago. I do however have a problem when I go to the supermarket and can no longer find items that get periodically shuffled around by the stores in an attempt to keep it fresh. I can remember (I think) purchasing the item that I get frequently 1, 2 or 3 days ago but get extremely frustrated when I can't find it "now". I can however put together a Server 2003 AD, Exchange 2003 network. Server 2008 R2 I can still do but takes longer.

    I do have a problem with the different locations that Microsoft keep hiding various settings. Server 2012 R2 can turn out to be a disaster sometimes but Server 2016 and Windows 10 would result in no hair left if I did indeed have any left. As for Mint, that is only good for putting on some roast lamb.

    I do have a problem that I am not the only one suffering from this condition and knowing that one day my memories from 45, 50 or 55 years ago will no longer be there. So just because that none of this has been a problem for you, don't expect everyone else to not have this problem for you. I hope you don't experience this and hopefully you don't so you will maybe remember that there are others out there that do have this problem for them.

  34. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Not to make the case against, but isn't there language about not transferring the Windows license in the EULA?

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