This is why I only use & support Free & Open Source Software in my personal life. This man is going to prison. Prison.
"A California man who built a sizable business out of recycling electronic waste is headed to federal prison for 15 months after a federal appeals court in Miami rejected his claim that the “restore disks” he made to extend the lives of computers had no financial value, instead ruling that he had infringed Microsoft’s products to the tune of $700,000."
“I don’t think anybody in that courtroom understood what a restore disk was,” Lundgren said.
This is key. Most folks don't understand tech. The whole "You wouldn't steal a car!" ad campaign is an example.
If that car was open sourced, and I could download it and print, yes... I'd "steal" a car. But that isn't stealing.
A jury of your peers means your average lay person. They think in a corporate mindset. Arbitrary "losses" equal prison time.
Another big thing...
We say that Lundgren should not have installed Windows. Perhaps he should have installed Linux....
Many of your devices, you don't own. You "lease." Even the act of wiping the original operating system and installing FOSS OS's is illegal.
Look at John Deer. Look at "rooting" cell phones.
We need FOSSH (Software & Hardware) solutions.
@tinker i agree this is bad, but isn't the entire issue that he wanted to monetize the restore disks?
he argued the value of the disks was zero, but wanted to sell them for $0.25 per, and he accepted $3,400 for 28,000
use of Windows restore disks isn't illegal (Dell ships them), creation isn't illegal (sysadmins create custom images), but how many things are marked "not for resale"?
yes FOSS is a universal answer. but the issue is exchanging copyrighted code for money (including GPLv3, etc)
@jackiebailz - He wasn't going to make money off of the price of a quarter per disk. That pays for the disk, the time to stamp the image to the disk, and shipping.
In court, they didn't argue (at least according to the article) that they were going after him for him making money off the disks.
Instead, he prevented MS from selling new software with new laptops.
> but the issue is exchanging copyrighted code for money (including GPLv3, etc)
Nope, FOSS licences, especially the GPL, allow you to charge reasonable fees (for distribution, shipping, service/support) even if someone else did write the the code.
Prohibiting "commercial" use make a license non FOSS, by definition
@tinker The GPL3 does say the software licensed under it must not be used for these user-hostile acts.
And I gather the FSF's position on free hardware is that yes there's more and more need for it. But in a world where hardware manufacturing requires super long and uber clean assembly lines will it really accomplish much?
"He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me."
Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson, 13 Aug. 1813
copyright originally comes from irish brehon law, due to a dispute between 2 saints over a religious manuscript 1 had copied from the other without permission.
@tinker I remember a really, really long time ago reading an article with an anecdote about going to Best Buy and asking to boot an Ubuntu Live CD to test before buying. The staffer said "Microsoft wouldn't allow that."
From my limited recollection, I don't think it was a policy thing, the staffer just couldn't conceive of a non-MS OS existing. This would have been before Apple's '00s revival and Microsoft's slow decline.
@tinker I think the description as a corporate mindset fits way too well:
The other day I was talking with someone about linux stuff and their opinion was that there should be only one distribution, one desktop, one solution. What they didn't get was that the #FLOSS / #FOSS movement is not a corporation trying to sell you a product but a movement trying to give you the tools to overcome the digital immaturity. (I also welcome discussion on that view.)
@uniporn @tinker Afterall there are great free desktops. From my experience I think the issue is that we're not good as a community at onboarding people. I've seen too many get stuck at which distro to use.
Personally in terms of desktops I'm very partial to elementary OS's Pantheon, and I'm sure they've outshone both Microsoft and Apple in the design department.
if you want to be left out the discussion speak up, I will keep you in otherwise.
Yeah, I see this as an interesting problem especially since the choice made with the distro has rather small impact on the userXP compared to the DE which only limits first choice when getting "exotic" like something very new or something very few people use.
So using the wording of UI patterns the decision of building "your" linux setup basically lacks consistency to be intuitiv to newbies.
sounds very reasonable, though I like to point out to people the ability to switch between various DEs and the main reason I see between major distros is the PM and the repos. Wherefor I usually recommend Manjaro since it is quite easy to install, brings sane repos and updates in one command. For the rest I myself am too happy with i3 (which apart from exceptions I know not to be very beginner-friendly) to play around with various DEs :D
Personally I find elementary’s defaults just perfect for me, but it’s the software freedom I value recommending to others.
P.S. I wonder how well the GNOME3 or Pantheon apps play with i3? Because I’m aware of a design difference there that’d need to be configured away.
And the potential issue (though I might not understand things well enough) is that they’ve decided to merge the title bar and toolbar by leaving rendering of the window controls (minimise, maximise, close, etc buttons) to the app. As I understand i3 these controls could look ugly in i3.
@uniporn @tinker Also as a developer, you’re right. I can’t target my UI design to whatever Linux system the user has cobbled together. But I can target systems like elementary with a strongly defined experience.
And I can read standardised configuration files so my apps can work elsewhere. Maybe a standard like Flatpack will make this even easier for them.
For starters we have standards for our desktops, which allows our apps to work pretty well everywhere. Even if they look best on particular desktops.
And second developers for proprietary desktops tend to be more keen on furthering their own brand rather then embracing the desktop’s experience. We don’t have as much (though still see some on elementary).
yeah! I've read in some blog somewhere from an apple-user once about firefox that its UX was very "linuxy" (not the exact word but good enough) which collides with his designed OSX xp.
Where I think FOSS did some astonishing job with branding the UX of vi(m) which you find in really a ton of programms.
And damn is it user-friendly once you overcome the entrance-barrier :)
But I see that this is an issue for people used to windows, whichs UX I don't understand well at all.
@uniporn @tinker Yeah, except for me I find Chrome clashes worse than Firefox on elementary. They both seem to have decided they don’t care what constitutes as a “native” UX, though Firefox has gotten better after Quantum.
And I certainly acknowledge the importance of branding to UX, we need great icons and everything. But a UX issue I find (particularly on iOS and the Web) is that the level branding within apps leaves me needing to learn each one from scratch.
for FF I find funny how you say quantum improved it: before quantum I think you could just override shurtcuts, now you only can add them which I find very limiting as you shouldn't accidently close your entire FF instead of just a tab... (which lead me to the workaround of disabling C-q on a WM level) and it made me switch to qutebrowser (which is mainly nice when you like vim (defaults :)))
If I am getting this right this totally is a zero sum game, but it isn't a coin rather than a cube (or very much more dimensions, the concept is the relevant part here).
But maybe I am missing the point here.
But I really like the emphasis your view gives to the fact it is a fun activity the more or the less.
@uniporn @tinker Well, zero sun in that we all have only x hours per day to give, sure. But complaints are usually along the axis of “so much effort wasted” and my point is that this effort will get spent elsewhere, not on the tasks the complainers are thinking of. As such, us living life and spending our hours along “more dimensions” is exactly right.
@tinker Wow. I read that article, and I'm still kinda confused. So, as I understand it, this man was selling people a way to restore Windows on a computer, if they already had a license, right? He wasn't selling licenses at all?
Yeah, given the trouble I've had trying to restore Windows OEM licenses in the past when I've done reinstalls, I can see why they went after him. Microsoft probably makes good money each year selling new Windows licenses to people who (probably) don't need them.
@mdm - Yeah, it appears that MS was angry that he might be digging into sales of new computers and new licenses.
From the article, "Initially, federal prosecutors valued the disks at $299 each, the cost of a brand-new Windows operating system, and Lundgren’s indictment claimed he had cost Microsoft $8.3 million in lost sales."
They then lowered the cost of the "damage" to $25 per CD which is what they charged refurbishers, even though the software was still free on the MS site.
@tinker I’m curious why your loved ones would be so beholden to Office? Is there some especial capability there without a FOSS solution?
I jumped ship to OO, then LibreOffice years before going full Linux. So far, it has been vastly more utilitarian for my needs. And that included organizational office work. What am I missing?
@Shufei - Excel is powerful and smooth. So is Word.
LibreOffice Writer and Calc are very good, but they are not as good as MS Office so far as polish and functionality.
They tried LibreOffice and other "office" suites. Couldn't do it.
We keep trying it out. With LibreOffice 6 out for a bit now, it's time to revisit.
I mean that literally. Entire business, even some large corporations, make critical business decisions off Excel. Until LibreOffice has parity match in features and identical results, this probably won’t change
@seanl @tinker @Shufei Microsoft inserts its tentacles early into the chain. When I was still in school, there wasn't a single class on FOSS software for businesses in the office. Everything was Word this, Excel that (emphasis on Excel). There was even "MOS Certification" (Microsoft Office Software Certification)
So we have newer generations entering the workforce already primed to accept proprietary software as the default and virtually illiterate on the alternatives
@tinker I remember when Canonical was shipping Ubuntu CD's for free around the world. I remember the order page asking people to request batches instead of a single copy to pass around to friends. Shame he didn't decide to extend the life of the machines with Linux/BSD/Haiku/Reactos etc...
@tinker Sure, the law says I don't truly own my device and thus don't have the right to flash it and install custom software. The question is, who is going to stop me from doing so?
All the law can do is punish me after the fact, and as far as I'm concerned any law that presumes to tell me what I may or may not do with equipment I purchased on the open market is beneath my contempt.
I will ignore such laws when possible, and defy them when necessary.
@starbreaker - I agree. But we all live in meatspace and threat of (and actual use of) state violence prevents most from making that stand. Civil Suits and massive fines from Corporations to their clients also stands.
@tinker I'm aware of the John Deere issue. I'm also aware of the threat and use of state violence via criminal charges and state-enforced civil suits. They are precisely what I meant by "punishment after the fact".
The idea is that highly publicized cases where people are made examples of will deter others and frighten them into obedience.
They keep forgetting that the "consent of the governed" means our willingness to obey those who would presume to govern us.
I am no longer willing to obey.
@starbreaker @tinker It’s clear that there is a line beyond which, in fact, there is a strong moral duty to disobey legal regimes. But much like the question of the date before the International Date Line was established, I’ve yet to see a cogent and comprehensive argument toward consensus made about exactly where that line is viz a viz IP, infotech, etc. A line that says, now here is where we all must break the law.
Know any I could forward to the complacent?
That's a question for legal and moral philosophers, and I'm just a long-haired metalhead with delusions of erudition who codes for a living and writes scifi on his lunch breaks.
That said, I would say that the following laws should be challenged:
* law that infringes on individual actions which do not harm other individuals or the environment as a whole
* law exists solely to protect a business' profit margin
* laws enshrining privilege
* laws legislating religious morality
I think we can cut through this bullshit with a bit of logic.
If we assume that individuals have rights, it follows that we must ask whether groups of individuals have rights as well.
I don't think that groups have rights separate from the rights held by their constituent individuals, because without individuals the group doesn't exist.
If a corporation has a right to revenues, I think it follows that this right comes from an individual right to income.
@tinker @starbreaker I was recently coerced by job necessity to get an android phone. It’s definitely not mine from any perspective of root that I can tell, no matter my efforts, but Google’s phone and my carrier’s phone.
As far as I can tell, *nix is to Android as Tolkien’s elves are to orcs... twisted by engineered mutation into malevolence and malice.
Even when it’s not spelled out in legalese, the Maginot line of ownership seems very broken for basic users.
They have a mobile OS that is Free and Open Source that allows you complete control of your device. Right now, they're focusing on a couple of "official" devices, like the Nexus line, that already comes rooted. They're partnering with @Purism with their Libre line of phones as well.
@tinker @feld @Purism @starbreaker That’s the crux of the issue for a concerned user: trust. What good is having “secure” anything if the dark OS leaks beacons to various malefactors like a rusted sieve? A device pimped with all the crypto in the world is useless if it logs keystrokes for Mr. Apple McGoogle, NSA. Unless it’s OSS, there isn’t even a basis for initial trust. I can’t vet the code, so need peer review of some kind.
No. My point is that I regard the cloud as inherently compromised. If I had truly sensitive data that I wanted to retain, I wouldn't put it on somebody else's computer. Hell, I wouldn't want to put it on one of my own computers, even if it were air-gapped, locked inside a Faraday cage, powered off unless I was sitting in front of the damn thing.
@feld @tinker @Purism @starbreaker No, and that’s not even close to the point, as you must by now understand. I don’t know WHAT they do with *my* data. Can’t. That is the point. I trust them a smidge more than, say, Google; they’ve shown some spine. But in the end, they are just another DataCorp.
And then again, after the total SNAFU show that was iOS 11.3 and all that led up to it, maybe I CAN manage my patches better than Apple!
All of this is true, but it's a choice I should be able to make for myself for any device I purchase AT MY OWN RISK WITH NO WARRANTY OR SUPPORT FROM THE MANUFACTURER.
System76 has a reasonable approach: Buy one of their computers, and as long as it's running Ubuntu and the warranty hasn't expired, they'll help you with all sorts of shit. But if you install a different OS, you're on your own.
That’s the cash info appliance companies have, isn’t it? Reliability is often the game for mass adoption. It’s frustrating to be in the middle: not a leet compy nerd but wanting more than compromised user defaults. Let’s root (haha) for Ubports.
That’s the issue for all of us who aren’t in the techie magisterium. Megacorp Foo has my phone’s root, so why should I do anything critical on it? The entire system militates to us users either being cattle or paranoid. It’s an acidic situation, socially and technically.
These info appliances are black boxes to people like me. Alls I know is I can’t peek past the event horizon of my own phone to learn to use it in an intelligent way. Never mind a more secure way. That’s a problem, and I’m not the only one with that “narrative”.
copyright nonsense, uspol, what the hell Show more
@tinker "Initially, federal prosecutors valued the disks at $299 each, the cost of a brand-new Windows operating system,"
the price of a new license for windows 10 home edition is 120 US dollars.
what the actual fuck.
they don't even pretend they aren't just being malicious.
@tinker this is so fucked up. *if* there was a genuine case of not being compliant with a distribution license, the good move for MS would’ve been to say ‘hey, we can’t let you keep doing this or our lawyers will throw fits. but let’s work on a solution because what you’re doing is rad.’ instead they complained that they won’t sell more shit that way. boo.
i’m so glad i brought both my parents (super noobs) on the linux train.
I am against prison for nonviolent crime, as well as excessive punishment for petty crime. But this guy isn't the poster-boy we want for FLOSS (he was selling Windows discs instead of Linux), or for copyright reform (under most proposed fixes, it would still be illegal to *re-sell* other people's work without permission). He doesn't deserve prison or big punishment, but IMO he also doesn't deserve martyr/hero-status, either.
@cathal - Perhaps, but I'm not going to cut him down either.
He was selling the disks for $.25 cents. The disks required the users to have already purchased a valid license.
It was basically a convenience thing. The users could have downloaded the same software free from MS.
MS was angry that users didn't throw away old then buy new computers.
This edges so far into egregious, that there's no reason to say "well he should have known." No. He shouldn't have. What he was doing was just fine.
@tinker "The appeals court upheld a federal district judge’s ruling that the disks made by Eric Lundgren to restore Microsoft operating systems had a value of $25 apiece, even though they could be downloaded free and could be used only on computers with a valid Microsoft license."
I'm not sure using open source is enough. One needs to be actively seeking to destroy any system where such an outcome is even conceivable.
@Siedge - He was selling them for 25 cents. Basically the cost of the CD and shipping.
He wasn't seeking to make money off of it. He was seeking to make it easy and convenient for folks to refresh their Windows install.
Note: The software was free to download from MS and it required the user to have purchased a valid MS key separately.
@phryk - Yep. Available free from Microsoft's website: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO
I mean, this clearly isn't any form of justice that I would recognize. But at the same time, what did he think was going to happen? Talk about poking the bear. MS licensing is incredibly anal, if you are going to run a business you should probably at least understand what you are selling. My guess is that he did, but thought he could get away with it.
@saltorito - Yeah, I agree. I think he figured since the user still needed to purchase their own licenses that he wasn't preventing the user from buying a license.
And sense it was downloadable for free, that he was only providing a small convenience to folks who didn't know how to burn a CD.
I've done this for individuals as a courtesy. He tried it at scale.
@tinker FML - I've been trying to 'simplify' my life, mainly trying to keep everything super-simple for the wife if I were to stroke out or get run over by a rogue burro (actually possible here) - current plan is mainly Apple-centric. But we have two laptops and two desktops on Windoze, and yet this pisses me off so much how can I do anything less than deleting them? *sigh*
@donblanco - Decide whats most important. For many, Windows works most of the time. If it doesn’t you can take it into Best Buy and get it fixed. Same with Apple.
I like ElemenaryOS Linux. Very simple! Easier for lay folks than even Windows. But it doesnt have support.
We all gotta live. We can’t live in a utopian. So we pick our battles where we can and live as best as we can elsewhere.
@tinker I've tried both at different points. I *wanted* to like Elementary more, but still tend to gravitate to Ubuntu. One thing the 'major' OS' have spoiled me with (perhaps not a good thing) is easy and/or automatic updates. I'd prefer to spend less time on the command line. Is there a distro w/ the UI/UX feel of OS X?
@tinker I need one of those disks, actually! those restore disks are literally lost to the ages almost as soon as you get them, and little old ladies that don't know how to type in their email would benefit greatly from this! why doesn't windows sell them?
oh right, because greed drives injustice. poor guy...
@tinker The updated article has a comment from MS accusing Lundgren of reselling counterfeit software. Duplicity from Microsoft or something missed by the journalist? If that’s true then this is less of an outrageous judgement. (Ignoring that the copyright system as a whole is unfair)
But this barely fits that description either. He wasn’t distributing unlicensed copies of Windows.
He was distributing windows Restore disks.
The same software that is freely available to download off of the MS website right now.
The customers still needed their own purchased license for the restore disk to work.
@tinker "Damaging profits" has to be something we stop punishing in the courts. Afterall pretty much any change that happens in the world will redistribute profits from one place to another.
I certainly think everyone has a right to try and make profit off of their work, but gauranteeing that profit leads to ugly places fast.
@tinker point taken. What I failed to convey is that our society is overwhelmingly under the impression that copyright is essentially good (and not just a money-grab for right holders). In order to move legislation we need some critical mass of people who saw over their lives many examples of how bad it can go. I don't think we have that critical mass right now.
@tinker haven't read the judgement but I suspect the crux of his problems begin here:
Both were indicted on a charge of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and criminal copyright infringement. Wolff made a plea deal and received a six-month home-arrest sentence.
Lundgren pleaded guilty but argued that the value of his disks was zero, so there was no harm to anyone.
@PinkCathodeCat - Yep, that’s what he ultimately got hung on. Issue was, it wasn’t counterfeit in that it was the same software you could download for free off of Microsoft’s website and he was “selling” the CDs for a quarter (25 cents US) a piece, basically covering costs.
Core reasoning of “damages” from MS was that these customers, instead of fixing an old computer, would have thrown away their old computer and bought a new one. Lundgren’s actions thus deprived MS of new sales.
Going back from software for a moment, are there other examples where US courts have fundamentally misapplied copyright law in that they can't correctly identify the item which has been infringed or not? Because that's the error of law we are looking at. License (which was not infringed) vs disk.
@PinkCathodeCat @tinker @seanl (What I mean to say is, if we can get more media released under open licenses that allows for redistribution, and we can fund those artists through micropayments and subscriptions, then the combination of DIY media and a better piracy system could disrupt and eventually dismantle the modern media oligopoly.)
@ajroach42 @tinker @PinkCathodeCat What I would love is if we could make it so easy to discover CC stuff and to pay for it (voluntarily of course) that people wouldn't even bother pirating. Hard to compete with the huge production values of the content cartel, though, so I guess we'll need piracy for a long time.
I've written about this in the past. Basically, I think content discovery is one of the defining problems of our era. Especially when coupled with the concentration of power in our modern media oligopoly.
If we can crack that egg, we can do a lot to fight back.
Yes, it is hard to fight back against the production values of the modern media, but it's *easy* to reach the production values of late 80s/early 90s TV and special effects.
And it'll keep getting easier.
Goes into detail why the ruling is grossly off.
off topic website gripe Show more
@tinker holy fuck I hate that damn design pattern of hiding the header when I scroll down on mobile and bringing it back and covering what I just scrolled back to read if I scroll up
bonus points cause the big X on this one Fucking Closed The Article. why
/end annoyed tangent that has nothing to do with you sorry lol 🙏
@tinker The whole reason I got into linux and open source was because I was broke and needed a new computer. I found one at Free Geek, a computer non-profit recycler, which refurbishes old computers. They only put Xubuntu on them. I was worried that Linux was going to be too hard for me, but I really needed a cheap computer so I took the chance. They said they used Linux specifically so they wouldn't have to pay Microsoft! Linux wasn't too hard to learn and now I love it.
@tinker I feel sorry for the the guy. Prison! For making install disks. In my area two computer recyclers use Linux. Free Geek uses Xubuntu exclusively and PC's for People uses Linux Mint or Ubuntu. PC's for People also installs Windows, but they pay Microsoft for it and charge more.
E-waste is a huge issue. So is the digital divide. You can solve both issues at the same time. But you need FOSS to do it.
Microsoft has released a statement concerning the #Lundgren case! It’s worth a read!
We also have the original court documents and the actual emails.
Things are not always black and white. Take a look at this post for a good compilation of counter arguments and information!
Cheers @benis for the follow up!
@benis - Indeed. Good catches on all of it.
I’m leaving my initial post up and replied to it with your new information. Debated taking it down, but felt that keeping the conversation up was a better idea.
Will also help me remember not to jump on a bandwagon before fully researching something!
And thanks re:avatar! I love the character and symbolism of Tuco and love the actor Eli Wallach.