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Tinker @tinker

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."


· Web · 220 · 139

Seriously. Fuck Microsoft. Fuck the justice system that allowed this.

The man was actually (and hopefully will continue) making a difference as it relates to ewaste, built-in obsolescence, et al.

@tinker it's pretty brazen of MS. The judge disregarding expert testimony is a whole new dimension of hell though.

“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.

@tinker What's more depressing is that I'd wager that more people understand tech than even basic Chemistry.

We're really feeling the cutbacks to education budgets from the 1990s and it's only going to hurt worse as kids we've failed grow up.

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 Actually we need laws that protect the user, not the corporation, and make such legal traps, well, illegal.

@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.

@tinker hmm that's not the impression i got from the article. granted i'm not a lawyer (i just know too many)

im actually really curious about the legal details of this case. i plan to pick some brains and can keep you updated if you want

@jackiebailz - Do so! I'm going off the article so I might be wrong. Let me know what you find!

@tinker @jackiebailz You may find that the 2600.com Radio show "Off the Hook" will get a lawyer's comments on this on the show tomorrow It should appear here after the show on WBAI has aired 2600.com/offthehook/2018/0418.

@jackiebailz @tinker

> 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?

@tinker while there are some good examples of open source software (Linux, Apache, et al), there really isn’t anything of the sort (at that scale or maturity) in the hardware realm. Even the raspberry pi has a proprietary CPU.

@jerry - Yeah. Beagleboards, HiFive, and some others, but not many.

I might have some german references from easterhegg 2k18:
Libre Silicon, focusing on producing the chips:

And a general call for #FOSH, based on some examples:

About translations I am not sure, so sorry if there are no :S


"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.


@thunder - Love the first quote! Interesting insight on copyright! Thanks!

@tinker jefferson was a smart man. if more people had read this particular letter of his, patent and copyright would arguably not be such a tremendous clusterfuck.

@thunder @tinker Maybe they did, and that's why it's such a clusterfuck.

@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.

@uniporn @tinker My partial solution is not to recommend “Linux” to newcomers (besides it helps to avoid the Linux v GNU/Linux argument). Instead I recommend particular “distros” as “operating systems” with their default desktops.

@alcinnz @tinker
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

@uniporn @tinker True. It depends on who we’re talking to whether the system’s defaults, repos, and/or package managers speaks most to them. Or if they don’t like defaults, Debian’s a good choice.

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.

@alcinnz @tinker
> P.S.
Maybe I know / can try when you tell me what flaw / app exactly?

@uniporn @tinker It’s across all their apps (Noise, Epiphany, GNOME Maps, Audience, etc).

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.

@alcinnz @tinker
As of cheese these UI elements don't exist, neither does the toolbar :s (might be cheese has none, will try something rather light right away)

@uniporn @tinker Weird, but I guess I can see that. To achieve this programmatically GNOME & Pantheon’s toolbar/titlebar’s are added entirely separately from everything else.

This definitely needs to be figured between them.

@alcinnz @tinker
I might have started to type that text as an answere to the msg before the one I pasted it to. so sorry if I fucked up the context with that.

@uniporn @alcinnz - No, ya’ll’re fine. I’ll listen in!

@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.

@uniporn @tinker At the same time it’s worth looking at our strengths.

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).

@alcinnz @tinker
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.

@alcinnz @tinker
Which explains the usecase for standards :)

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 :)))

@uniporn @tinker Hmmm, I didn’t notice that lack of configurability.

I’ll look into qutebrowser, but personally I’ve been enjoying developing my own browser. It’s easier, given a preexisting rendering engine, then I expected.

@uniporn @tinker Interesting perspective. My argument used to be that volunteer effort is not a zero sum game. Of we don’t work on this new distro that doesn’t mean we will be working on your favorite project instead. More likely, we’d do something else entirely.

@kensanata @tinker
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.

@kensanata @tinker
Well there are quite some areas of life where the typical scales are insufficent. However I have not found a way to propagate my usual sulotion (more dimensions) or developing a new model in favor of people developing broken s*** scales.

@uniporn @tinker speaking from the corporate mindset: we want one company we can call on when things go wrong. One desktop so our support team knows where things are on every computer.

@tinker The apathetic (almost self-congratulatory) attitude towards tech illiteracy isn't just a harmless quip from your local soccer mom whose win7 install is crippled with malware

Apparently its for Judges, Lawyers now too. Move over knee-jerk policy makers.

@tinker it's not the first time Microsoft was given a pass in court

@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 remember when he originally got incarcerated. Poor guy.

@thatbrickster - It's fucked up. He was actually trying, and being successful at, addressing many negative issues in today's society. And, sure enough, was cut down.

@tinker Arguments over Microsoft licenses. Its things like this which motivated me to move to GNU/Linux in the 2000s. Fortunately these days there's no reason to run a MS operating system, except perhaps for games.

@bob - And even then, go take a look at Steam's Linux platform and games that work on it. Can play many games on Linux.

For me, the only thing that keeps many of my family on Windows (or a Windows VM) is MS Office. That's why I support LibreOffice so much!

@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.

@tinker Ok, makes sense. Glad it’s not a major deficit.

I vaguely recall a few UX issues when I switched to Calc that took getting used to. But eventually I got used to LibreOffice so the problem is on the other hand.


@Shufei - Oh yeah! I'm over to LibreOffice myself. And it's really close. Big reason why I support them. They're almost there for most mainstream folks!

@tinker @Shufei Second this. Unfortunately there’s also a boatload of Excel specific functionality baked into countless spreadsheets powering business

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

@cypnk @tinker @Shufei It's depressing that THIS is what FLOSS software is supposed to be aspiring to.

FLOSS should aspire to be so compelling that businesses are willing to put in the effort to switch.

@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

@seanl @tinker @Shufei Oops, that's "Microsoft Office Specialist". It's like Cisco for word

@cypnk @seanl @tinker @Shufei to be fair I wouldn't want children using Linux...I'm not sure adults should be using it either

@cypnk @seanl @tinker @Shufei some rubidium chloride, I hope, that stuff is hard to get hold of

@cypnk @seanl @tinker @Shufei (I mean, my position here only gets clearer the more I use Linux: it and its relatives are the only option to clawing back some control of my tools, but I loathe Linux with the fire of a thousand Suns and one day I hope to be powerful enough to destroy it utterly)

@amphetamine @cypnk @seanl @tinker @Shufei I bet if you include guys who never actually saw any play

@cypnk @seanl @tinker @Shufei @trwnh it escaped from the lab where it should have died a merciful death, succumbing to the multiple ailments it inherited from the foetid UNIX gene pool

@trwnh @kara Please don't leave me out, I wanna hear this explanation

Like syringes and stuff were involved or was it compiler issues?

@tinker @Shufei and yet, when i load ms excel into obs, it doesn't render at all, but libreoffice calc works perfectly fine

@tinker Yes. Increasingly there's really not much which Windows has to offer other than being installed by default in most cases. Gaming on GNU/Linux has improved a lot in the last five years.

@tinker That's fucking mental. I can't believe that he's actually got done for that.

@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 This guy should have installed FreeDOS if he didn't want to install/support Linux or BSD.

@starbreaker - Yeah. But who would've guessed that MS and the US Govt would have reacted like this?

Moving forward, that's what we will all do. Install Ubuntu or ElementaryOS on all refurbished systems.

@tinker I would have. Hell, I'm shocked that Microsoft and OEMs haven't lobbied to make it illegal to refurbish old devices, because people who can make do with a refurb don't buy new equipment, thus cutting into OEM profits.

@starbreaker - Yeah, but you and I share a deep pessimism and cynicism as it relates to Corporate Oligarchies.

And yeah, I'm seeing plenty of "You dont own your device. You can't flash it and install your own software." everywhere.

@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.

Case in point John Deer: motherboard.vice.com/en_us/art

@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?

@Shufei @tinker

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

@starbreaker @tinker That certainly invokes the crux of many issues. “Harm” to a business and “profit” as a corporate right are increasingly paramount as global ideological mandates.

Keep head-banging your erudition, regardless!

@Shufei @tinker

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.

Not if they are “independent contractors” like the Uber model is pushing for. Capitalism is way ahead of you.

@starbreaker - That's fair. And that's a personal decision.

I don't have much faith in changing the system, either via peaceful (or even violent) methods. I don't think it will change anything and any changes will be laced with heavy unintended consequences. - But that's me.

@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.

@Shufei @starbreaker @tinker design a mobile OS that is secure and allows you to have unfettered root access.

This is a game of "choose one". You cannot have both.

@feld @Shufei @starbreaker - That's why I'm very supportive of @Ubports and similar initiatives.

@feld @starbreaker @Shufei - I lost you... Solve it?

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 @Purism @Shufei @starbreaker and with complete control of you device you erode security of:

Full disk encryption*
Secure Password keychain*
App sandboxing
Secure VPN profiles managed by your employer (the PSK or client certs should never be accessible to a human, ever)
Ability to have DRM media services (Netflix, etc)

* unless perhaps you have a Secure Enclave / HSM, but that is usually absent from most devices.
@tinker @Purism @Shufei @starbreaker so basically you're asking for a device that only 0.1% of the market cares about. So nobody will buy it, nobody will make it, nobody will use it.

@feld @Purism @Shufei @starbreaker -

Yeah, I feel we mostly have an option of:

A) Secured from malicious hackers but the corporation owns your data and use.

B) Secured from corporations but more open to individual malicious hackers.

In the end, you decide what you want to protect against.

@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.

@Shufei @starbreaker @Purism @tinker Apple doesn't do anything malicious with any of your data. That's why their products are expensive. They profit from the sale not from your data.

@feld @starbreaker @Purism @tinker Yup, that’s the rumour. So we cross our fingers, knock on wood, spin around three times, salt the shoulder, pray the icloud cubby holes are zero knowledge, and try to trust Apple. 😅

@Shufei @feld @Purism @tinker

I don't trust Apple or Google. I just don't put anything on my phones that I don't want a zealous prosecutor using as evidence against me in front of a grand jury packed with constipated old Jesus freaks who can't take a joke.

@Shufei @tinker @Purism @starbreaker so you are of the opinion that you can do a better job securing your data by self hosting cloud data / managing your own OS patches than Apple can with its teams of employees dedicated to the task at hand?

@feld @Shufei @tinker @Purism

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.

@donblanco @Purism @tinker @Shufei @starbreaker yes and? In comparison to the atrocities in the open source world that is minimal damage

@starbreaker @Shufei @tinker @Purism it's just the article about hackers who got into celebrity phones and posted their nude selfies

@donblanco @Shufei @tinker @Purism

I was on Reddit during "The Fappening", which was as close to ground zero as one could get without being involved.

@starbreaker @Purism @tinker @Shufei @donblanco they didn't get into celebrity phones, they got into their iCloud backups via bad password reset questions and no 2FA enabled on the accounts. The same lame script kiddie hacks that people have been using forever on people who don't understand security.
Not necessarily, but unlike Matthew's, Apple's current concerns for security and privacy can change at a Director's Board whim.

@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!

@Shufei @starbreaker @Purism @tinker unless you design every circuit in your computer and write every line of code you'll never be able to prove what is done with your data. You should probably avoid computers.


Yep. Security is not binary. You may be secure against certain attacks from certain attackers.

Ultimately you have to decide what and who you are protecting against, and use a solution that best fits that threat model.

@feld @tinker @Purism @Shufei

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.

@tinker @feld @starbreaker @Ubports
I asked them and they don’t have my phone yet. Sad face! And they have a cute lil robot mascot and everything.

@Shufei @feld @starbreaker - Yeah :( I know. You have the option of either porting it to your phone or buying a phone that is supported.

Alas. That's the nature of FOSS at the moment.

Corporate initiatives allow for mass adoption, but you lose out on owning the device.

@tinker @feld @starbreaker I did look into the porting. But way above my initiation level. I still sweat to mod my Linux lappy kernel at this point. 👩🏽‍💻💦

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.

@Shufei @feld @starbreaker - That's where I'm at.

I have the skill, but not the time to do a lot of this. So I pitch $5 bucks over to a patreon here and there. Use the software and promote the software.

You do what you can.

@feld @starbreaker @tinker “Unfettered” isn’t the issue. I’d put the root key in a box and bury it. Someone has the keys to root, and it isn’t me, and they aren’t talking.

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.

@Shufei @tinker @starbreaker you are greatly simplifying the situation to fit your narrative.

@feld @tinker @starbreaker I don’t know what that is supposed to mean, but ok.

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

Proprietary software strikes again.
People shouldn’t go in jail because of this. https://loadaverage.org/attachment/4105746

@tinker The critical mistake was to assume that software that is available free of charge on the internet is automatically OK to redistribute.

People need to read licenses and understand the implications.

@cult - Yeah. Hindsight and all that.

Moving forward, it's best just to flash the hardware and install FOSS OSes like ElementaryOS and others.

@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.

Ah: I skimmed the article, and the "sold at cost" and "didn't even cheat MS out of a free 'sale'" bits didn't jump out at me. Thanks!

@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.

@tinker I read that story a while back, wasn't he selling the disks. Atleast thats what the story I read said.

@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.

@tinker I wonder if someone has an .iso of that restore disk…

@tinker Oh, I thought they created their own software or something…

@phryk - Nope. Just downloaded the official restore disk (that requires a separately purchased and valid MS license) and put it on a CD to ship with refurbished laptops.

Sold it for a quarter (25 cents, US) to pay for labor, CD cost, and shipping.

@tinker @phryk

Prison? Woah. Someone is being made into an example.

@RussSharek @tinker @phryk the show "Continuum" described the future merger of megacorps with government as "the Corporate Congress."

I felt the show was a bit light to be dropping bombs like that.

@tinker When I first read that summary paragraph, I made a flash assumption about who the villain was -- but the actual article completely reversed my opinion, and now I understand your point.

Wow. o.0

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 nearest Best Buy is about 640 miles :(

I'm retired I.T. so pretty familiar w/ Win. I'm more concerned about giving money to MS than using the product, but you're right - have to pick my battles. Unfortunately I pick *all* of them! lol

@donblanco - Lol! Well then try ElementaryOS or Mint Linux. Let me know what you think.

@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?

@donblanco - That’s ElementaryOS! Placing focus in the GUI, including updates! - Not sure when you last tried them out. - elementary.io/

Anything besides them that is like OSX? Ubuntu with the bar on the bottom? 😜

Dunno. Will have to look around.

@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...

@decademic - You can download it free off of the microsoft website.

@tinker heck, just because the guy did the job Microsoft stopped doing of providing proper install media? bleh

@tinker Remember this the next time Microsoft says they love Linux.

@tinker Yet another reason to avoid microcrap… It's not like there's already many reasons to show them the finger… 🖕😡 🤢


@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)



According to Microsoft all unlicensed (or unofficially licensed?) Distributions of Windows are "counterfeit". I _am_ basing this off their poorly worded " license me!" Reminder, but they do seem to use "counterfeit" to mean "pirated"

@Cybertrash @tinker That would make sense, they’re probably just conflating this redistribution with piracy to confuse the matter

@cbowdon @Cybertrash

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 Holy shit. I refurbish any PCs I come across and give them away. This makes me rethink that. I install Linux, but still. This ruling says to me it's illegal to not add to a corporation's profits.

@tinker "I see you got a used book instead of giving more money to Amazon. You'll have to come with me sir."

@tinker I have a dream that some next generation of legislators, people who are now in their 30s, will abolish copyright as a clearly anti human aberration of society.

@isagalaev - I know plenty in the current 30s generation who love the current state of copyright. I don’t have much faith in the “the younger generation will prevail” mentality. Have to work with and change what we have right now.

@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.

@isagalaev - I'd agree with you on all points.

@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.

@tinker I want to laugh at the reasoning for damages, but I want to cry that it turns on a fundamental misunderstanding of licenses vs hardware (the cds). A most grievous error.

@PinkCathodeCat @tinker We're not helping this situation at all by dividing our efforts among hundreds of competing, overlapping OSes/distros that all do approximately the same thing.

@tinker @seanl I don't think that's relevant though, as a man is in prison because the highest court in the USA failed to understand a relatively simple distinction.

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.

@tinker @seanl courts can make errors of law. Unfortunately this one is at the highest level so we need to wait for some other case to overrule it. Or statutory intervention.

@tinker @seanl I do think, in the wake of this, that there needs to be a sustained effort in copyright education. From a very basic level.

@PinkCathodeCat @tinker You mean educating people that copyright is terrible?

I think the best way to do that is to have a bunch of apps that make pirating easier than subscribing to a legal streaming service. Popcorn Time with built-in anonymization or something.

@PinkCathodeCat @tinker Kids who grow up breaking the law every single day aren't likely to be convinced that the law is necessary.

@tinker @seanl I don't know if this discussion is going down a productive path so let's just leave it there, shall we?

@tinker @seanl Applied to software, I agree, copyright is terrible.

@seanl @tinker @PinkCathodeCat

I know I've said this before, but I love the way you think.

Couple what you've said here with a push for more DIY/Punk media, and I think you've got something pretty great.

@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.

@seanl @tinker

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.

@ajroach42 @tinker @PinkCathodeCat I'm super disappointed that LBRY has chosen to go the pay-per-view route. Would have been way better to just stick donate buttons on everything, along with a way to take down anything where the donate button goes to someone other than the author.

@seanl @tinker @ajroach42 open licenses presume the existence of copyright law. The alternative, public domain ('the commons'), does not.

A slight distinction :)

@tinker @seanl and the other thing, more lawyers need to be involved in FOSS so as to be available for pro bono advice if necessary. If this man had of not plead guilty in first instance, we'd be potentially looking at a different defence.

@PinkCathodeCat @tinker My guess is that they did the typical thing of dishonestly threatening him with much bigger charges/penalties than he was likely to get had he gone to trial. Plea bargains are themselves a huge problem.

off topic website gripe Show more

@Vann - HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Ahh... that's great :D Hehehe :)

@tinker it gets even better
when I hit back to return to the article it opened to where I left off.

then politely scrolled itself back up to the title.

@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.

@Nixfreak @tinker haha! I'll stick with Debian Xfce, lol! Still have a softspot for Xubuntu, though. Working on learning Bash, too. My goal is to learn enough to help others bridge the digital divide.

@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.

Hello @tinker !
Do you remember this post?
Apparently Eric Lundgren had lied to the public about his actions:
Case 9:16-cr-80090-DTKH Document 134 Entered on FLSD Docket 05/26/2017
Case No. 16-80090-CR-Hurley/IIopkins

Here's Microsoft's side of the court case:

Here's a copy of the court case:

Please share if you can.

@benis - Thanks for the new info!

Microsoft has released a statement concerning the 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!


@tinker @benis I'm no fan of MS, like, at all. But, #Lundgren was in the wrong there.

If he truly was trying to refurb machines, Ubuntu ISOs are free to press, as long as you don't pretend they are from Canonical.

@tinker @benis

sheesh that's nasty. but i'm really glad it wasn't just M$ maliciously stomping on people's right to repair

@jackiebailz as much as I despise M$, M$ hasn't sued anyone for `right to repair`. Note it was US DC FLSD suing Robert J. Ivolff & Clifford Eric Lundgren, 2 people in on the counterfeiting, and Clifford omitting his legal first name.

I'm still personally waiting on the media, and hopefully fediverse people to catch on [and perhaps revise their earlier statements?].

My most technical opinion about everything:
[love your avatar btw!]

@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.