Earlier this week, a federal appeals court sided with Microsoft in the case of e-waste recycler Eric Lundgren who monetized nearly 20,000 windows recovery CDs without Microsoft’s permission.
Lundgren will also have to pay a $50,000 fine for selling $700,000 worth of Windows-related products to U.S. refurbishers.
The man was first convicted and sent to 15 months in prison last summer by a lower court. The PC recycler appealed the decision and he managed to stay out of jail. Until now.
While giving the original sentencing, the judge acknowledged Lundgren’s worldwide efforts to combat e-waste, calling him a “remarkable person.” Lundgren has a real passion for recycling e-waste and has built a large business out of it.
He even helped Ghana and China clean up their discarded electronics and was praised by many local leaders for his work.
In the U.S., however, his business to sell Windows XP and Windows 7 restore CDs under the Dell brand landed him in hot water. The CDs have been sold for a small fee, but users who had a recycled Dell machine could download the software for free. What’s more, the machines had to have a Windows license on them.
Microsoft Unimpressed by Recycler’s Arguments
Lundgren explained that many Windows users lose or damage their restore CDs and don’t have the skills to download and build a Windows restore CD from scratch. As a result, many of them just throw out their computers when there is a problem with Windows and buy new ones. This mentality leads to more e-waste worldwide.
Microsoft, on the other hand, was not impressed by the man’s reasoning.
The company underlined that it has recycled more than 11 million kg of electronic waste in the last 12 years. But Lundgren refurbished counterfeit Windows software and sold it to refurbishers as legitimate software.
Microsoft claims that the fake software can make Windows users that buy second-hand machines easy targets for malware and hackers.
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