Latest in Gear

Image credit: Engadget

Microsoft defends conviction of e-waste recycler over piracy

It claims Eric Lundgren knowingly set out to mislead customers.
621 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Engadget

Many were upset that e-waste recycling pioneer Eric Lundgren was going to prison for creating his unofficial Windows restore discs, and in some cases pointed the finger at Microsoft for its role in the conviction. Microsoft, however, doesn't think he's a hero... and thinks it's getting a bad rap. The software giant has posted a response to critics that characterizes Lundgren's piracy as fully intentional while simultaneously washing the company's hands.

The company noted that Lundgren received a customs seizure notice warning him that his activity wasn't legal, for starters. He appeared to have had a chance to back out and continued regardless. He told his co-defendant to "play stupid" with customs officers, for example. Lundgren also went out of his way to make the discs seem authentic, while evidence suggested that he was interested in profit, not just in reducing e-waste by helping people restore their PCs. There are already programs in place to support PC refurbishing and recycling, Microsoft said -- Lundgren's effort to supply discs was supposedly unnecessary.

Microsoft also stressed that this wasn't its own action. While the tech firm did offer an expert witness and a letter of support, it was US Customs who referred the case. Lundgren also pleaded guilty, the Windows developer said.

Of course, this is Microsoft's take on events. It didn't mention that Lundgren pleaded guilty in part because he couldn't afford to appeal the case, and glossed over the ostensible reason he was creating these discs in the first place: that people were sending their PCs to refurbishment and recycling facilities when they'd lost or thrown out their discs. Microsoft's response provides important context, but it's evident the situation is more complicated than either side would suggest.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
621 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Brave says 8.7 million people use its privacy-focused browser every month

Brave says 8.7 million people use its privacy-focused browser every month

View
The legal battle over 3D-printed guns is far from over

The legal battle over 3D-printed guns is far from over

View
Microsoft begins rolling out its Windows 10 November update

Microsoft begins rolling out its Windows 10 November update

View
Google wants to be your new bank

Google wants to be your new bank

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr