This is wasteful and unnecessary. Dell is fine with this because uninformed consumers will unnecessarily buy a new PC. Microsoft likes it because they will unnecessarily buy a new copy of Windows, unaware that they already have a valid license.
This seems to be the basis of their claim to “lost profits”. They said that these restore discs, allowing consumers to use a product to which they are already entitled, “displaces potential sales”. Shameful.
The guy being thrown in jail was not selling counterfeit discs in any meaningful sense. He was printing restore discs, without the license, and distributing them for roughly the cost of shipping (25 cents each).
His copies were useless to anybody who didn’t already own them. He did not sell licenses. You could not install the software without buying Windows. Having these does not even make it easier to pirate Windows.
The prosecution apparently originally claimed that each disc was worth $299, showing their total ignorance of how software licenses work.
Also, Microsoft did not have the value reduced, nor did they help him at all.
Is it overreach by Microsoft - yes. But did he download the product with his license key and distribute it?
There is a lot of closed source software that you can get for free but you aren't allowed to distribute. The first time I encountered the issue was back in 1996. I downloaded a bunch of internet tools and placed them on a public folder for customers to use of an ISP I did Mac support for (Netscape, MacTCP, etc.). I was told I couldn't do that.
Distributing the discs is copyright infringement, but the penalty is proportional to lost revenue. MS didn't really lose any money from this but they claimed that they did.
Users potentially have. End users were deprived of genuine restore cds.
If there were a profit component to this, using their trademark looks damning. In context, though, it’s clear that the intention is convenience for the customer to identify the correct tool. That doesn’t grant an exemption to violating trademarks, but the penalty should be proportional.
For 28,000 discs at 25 cents each, after shipping and printing costs, this guy is not making money.
Throwing him in jail for helping confused old people get their PC back up and running is a travesty.
>Lundgren objected to the PSR infringement amount. He argued that the Sentencing Guidelines required the court to use an infringement amount of about $4 per disk, which was the price for which Lundgren and Wolff were selling their copies.