Electronics-Recycling Innovator Going to Prison for Extending Computers’ Lives

A renowned e-waste innovator is going to prison for producing 25-cent discs that could’ve saved thousands of computers from the landfill

Eric Lundgren built the first “electronic hybrid recycling” facility in the United States, which turns discarded cellphones and other electronics into functional devices.

Known for building an electric car out of “garbage” that outlasts a Tesla, his company processes more than 41 million pounds of e-waste a year.

Lundgren has received international praise for slowing the stream of harmful chemicals and heavy metals into the environment, and counts IBM, Motorola and Sprint among clients grateful for his cheap refurbished products.

Unfortunately, Microsoft is not such big a fan of Lundgren’s work.

When he figured out how to recycle e-waste from China into “restore discs” used to reinstall Windows software onto crashed hard drives, Microsoft took him to court, claiming he cost the company millions of dollars in lost sales.

Lundgren argues he hasn’t cost Microsoft any sales, as the company provides restore disks for free with software purchases, but many buyers lose or throw them away.

Microsoft also provide free downloads to restore the software to licensed customers online, but many customers don’t know that’s an option, and end up throwing the computer away as a result.

Lundgren made 28,000 of the discs and shipped them to a broker, who planned to sell them to computer refurbishing shops for about 25 cents each, so they could provide them to used-computer buyers.

Microsoft’s lawyers valued the discs at $25 each and said they represent $700,000 in potential sales.

Lundgren pleaded guilty but argued that the value of his discs to Microsoft was zero, as Microsoft, nor any computer manufacturers, sell them. He also explained that the discs could only be used to restore the software to computers already licensed for it. The licenses are good for the life of the computer.

The real loss to Microsoft was in the potential sale of new computers and new software licenses.

A federal appeals court sentenced Lundgren to a 15-month prison term and a $50,000 fine on April 11.

“This is a difficult sentencing,” U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley told Lundgren, “because I credit everything you are telling me. You are a very remarkable person.”

“I got in the way of their agenda,” Lundgren told the L.A. Times, “Microsoft’s profit model is way more profitable than I could ever be.”

Prosecutors told Lundgren he could have a couple of weeks to put his financial affairs in order, including plans for his company of more than 100 employees.

“But I was told if I got loud in the media, they’d come pick me up,” Lundgren said. “If you want to take my liberty, I’m going to get loud.”

“I am going to prison, and I’ve accepted it,” Lundgren said Monday. “What I’m not OK with is people not understanding why I’m going to prison. Hopefully my story can shine some light on the e-waste epidemic we have in the United States, how wasteful we are.

RELATED: Electric Car Made from “Garbage” Has a Longer Driving Range than a Tesla at a Fraction of the Cost





227 responses to “Electronics-Recycling Innovator Going to Prison for Extending Computers’ Lives”

  1. Paul Harford Avatar
    Paul Harford

    The guy recycles and allegedly steps on some toes, so off to jail he goes.
    We are just totally F’ed up.

    1. Barb Avatar

      Share this and make Microsoft so unpopular they affect their own sales figures by being A-holes!

    2. Jason Makeig Avatar
      Jason Makeig

      Agree … can’t even believe this happened .. too Orwellian FFS!!

    3. Mark Avatar

      I’m just trying to figure out if this country is actually a milatary with a government, or if it’s a bank with a military

    4. Leslie Ligon Avatar

      Yes, and yet …
      There sits Agent Orange, et al.

    5. Cris Avatar

      Yes, he had good intentions with his company. One thing you do need to remember, he was selling someone eles’s product without a license to sell it. He might as well of set up a table on a street corner selling it. At least you could run when the cops came. If he did get away with this, it would of opened the door for more scammers and crooks to steal the intellectual property of a company. Yes microsoft ia HUGE and it was a percentage of a penny of profit but if he had done that to a small company that the same number bit into thier profits then you could ruin a company.

    6. Beth Avatar

      Agreed! What an outrage,considering what has been going on at the highest levels of government! All the perps are getting away scott free and this guy goes to jail! Makes no sense! Smh

    7. Chris s. Avatar
      Chris s.

      Corporatism is just a fancy word for fascism. According to Mussolini fascism is merely the merger of the corporations and the state. Welcome to nazi america. Welcome home.


    Shame on Microsoft and Gates. Two contradictory speeches. Shame on you MS.

    1. Sean Cox Avatar

      Uhh, Bill Gates hasn’t been the head of Microsoft since 2000, and hasn’t had any role there at all since 2014.

      1. Per Bluhm Avatar
        Per Bluhm

        Right. Bill Gates doesn’t care if Microsoft perceives that they might be losing money. He’s just an altruist.


      2. RT Avatar

        But if Gates said to leave this guy alone, Microsoft would.

      3. hsen Avatar

        Then maybe he should! If you create a monster and realise it to the wild, does this mean you have no responsibility for the animals killed by this monster?

      4. John Green Avatar
        John Green

        Don’t be naive. He still wields major control through his massive stock holdings. But you are right: he doesn’t work for Microsoft, Microsoft works for him!

      5. John H Avatar
        John H

        thats exactly why microsoft 10 is such a terrible OS. I heard that his wife or whatever took over as head but I don’t remember and don’t really care enough to google right now LOL.

      6. Fed up Avatar
        Fed up

        Hey douchebag, I’m sure Mr Gates could have stepped in and stopped all of this nonsense.

      7. Rina Avatar

        Do you really think he ran the company different when he was in charge?

      8. Graham Lester George Avatar

        So, Sean Cox, your defence of multi-billionairre Bill Gates is that as he no longer has a role in Microsoft he can’t do anything. So A. why leap into the breach to defend him, and B. Are you saying that he could not have intervened publicly and got the company he founded to drop the law suit? Eric Lundgren’s conviction is immoral no matter what the law says. The world is on a precipice.

      9. FML Avatar

        flm your bloody idiotic if you don’t think that screwball shitewad isn’t behind it. Not publically, but privately you bet your arse.

      10. Connie Avatar

        Yeah, he’s out doing a whole lot more damage than this.

      11. Janie Avatar

        Actually, he’s still a technical advisor there. “While he might not be the public face of Microsoft anymore (Satya Nadella is doing that job pretty well), he is still one of the key figures when it comes to the important decisions being made at Microsoft.”

      12. Hecter Avatar

        He’s their #1 shareholder!

      13. Stevert Motrad Avatar
        Stevert Motrad

        Hard funded his company on the the theft of software and imbedded predatory practices from day one. Giving away a fraction of your wealth didn’t make you any less rapacious in the getting of it.

      14. Jen Avatar

        He OWNS it

      15. AnitraF Avatar

        Bill Gates is still the “Face” of Microsoft. He could do a lot of good by speaking out in this man’s favor.

      16. Jen Avatar

        Microsoft is simply continuing the business model of corporate profit bullying. Gates did it with Netscape, Just because he’s not there, does not mean he is without fault. The baby grows up and behaves like the parent. No amount of charitable good, will erase the damage that kind of greed perpetuates upon its victims.

      17. ArwinPC Avatar

        Thank you

      18. ANDREW LOHBIHLER Avatar

        MAybe Bill Gate’s foundation should hear about the waste and pay for it. After all he wants to make cheap toilets, maybe he should process industrial waste from computers too.

    2. Christopher Avatar

      Gates has nothing to do with Microsoft other than remaining on the board. He has not had anything to do with the day to day operations of the company since 2014.

    3. Linda Thompson-Mills Avatar
      Linda Thompson-Mills

      Gates? Nope.

    4. Dan Avatar

      Like gates ain’t rich enough, aye?

  3. Hosanna Avatar

    This is Microsoft continuing to be the corporate bully that they are. The 1% pushing the people and environment down. And, don’t think for a minute that the Gates Foundation has anything to do with charity; it’s nothing but a front for the wrongful experiments they are conducting on people of third world countries. The elite using the poor classes as expendable subjects.

    1. Prince Avatar


    2. That Guy Avatar
      That Guy

      lol… put down the cup and step away from the Kool Aid

      1. Other guy Avatar
        Other guy

        Go back to your parents basement retard

    3. Brad Avatar

      As long as people purchase electronics. They will likely never consider the environment, much less recycling.

      1. David Avatar

        So people like you?

      2. Sarcasting Avatar

        Says the dude replying to an online article with an electronic device. ROFL

      3. Mike Avatar

        Says the person posting this using technology

      4. MC Avatar

        Oh come on Brad, this is the real world, tech is here to stay. Shall we get rid of the evil light bulb too?

    4. Leslee Avatar


    5. Tatiana Avatar

      Not very likely….but you’re funny…lol

    6. Phred Avatar

      Third world countries ? Common Core was a total failure,dumb downed an entire genertion. Right here in America with obama’s help.

    7. Linda Thompson-Mills Avatar
      Linda Thompson-Mills

      I think you are putting the blame in the wrong place here. Gate’s foundation does outstanding work internationally, and instead of greedily hanging on to all his wealth he is spreading it around. Something the top 1 percenters could take note of.

    8. Dave Avatar

      MS is a bad actor. The Gates Foundation, on the other hand, is NOTHING like you have painted them.

    9. Smwf Avatar

      Oh please stop drinking the phsyco koolaid. Microsoft is a corp and full of mba greedy asses. Gates has been hands off. Its about greed pure and simple. Gates foundation does amazing work.

  4. shots Avatar

    they used to ship the OS discs with the computer, then restore discs…. then you had to make your own then lastly they had a space on the hard drive to restore back to factory specs. half the people didn’t make back up discs or even knew how to restore…I have encountered people that threw away computers because they were so infected because the person was too lazy to even put free anti virus programs on it…

    1. PJ Tonkin Avatar
      PJ Tonkin

      Maybe these people are not lazy, just not as computer literate as you seem to be!

    2. Carol Avatar

      I used to work Microsoft OEM and we had people calling us all the time with cases of piracy and fraud. Microsoft may not have made a dime off those discs, but it also represents a copyright that was infringed upon. The value isn’t in the disc itself, but the patent. Had he just restored the computers to functionality and then released them with Linux downloaded in them for an OS, he would have never been able to be charged with anything.

    3. Victoria Papadopolis Avatar
      Victoria Papadopolis

      It’s usually not “laziness”! it’s not knowing how to do it, or even that is necessary. Once you know it’s needed then there’s a lot of confusion about which virus program to install.

    4. Linda Avatar

      Now they want you to buy a “maintenance plan” for several hundred dollars a year so they can re-image your machine instead of you doing it like you could when they sent you the disks.

    5. Joie Avatar

      A lot of people don’t know how to use computers. But they’re using them anyway.

    6. Bubba Gump Avatar
      Bubba Gump

      Some people think that you need a new computer when the old one doesn’t work as fast as it did. Apple deliberately slows down I-phones, saying it’s saving the battery. So people think a new one is faster. If you have the sticker that comes with the computer with the microsoft activation code, or write that number down, you can reload the OS. Also, the computer manufacturers usually have restore software you can download, or have shipped to you.

  5. Marie wilson Avatar
    Marie wilson

    This is the answer to a serious
    If Microsoft doest want others resycling then the responsable party to be fined for the trash and landfills and destrucion of our planet should be microsoft to fix this problem for littering amd causing these problems and jailing the genius people who are trying to only help fox these problems. I dont need a computer ill live off there grid lol thankyou for this story.

    1. BK Avatar

      When do you plan to start living “iff the grid?

    2. John Spengler Avatar
      John Spengler

      Even if off the grid, spelling and grammar matter…

    3. Angel Avatar

      He wasn’t jailed for recycling… he was jailed for making MS restore discs. If he had stuck to recycling into reusable raw materials and not trying to do anything specific in the way of MS software he wouldn’t be going to jail…

    4. Dan Avatar

      sorry Marie, You either need type better or get spell check fixed!

    5. Mh Avatar

      I agree 1000%.

    6. Mary Avatar

      Agreed! Microsoft should be taken to task, not this recycler!!

    7. Fref Avatar

      Say what?

    8. e de jong Avatar
      e de jong

      Absolutely!!!! Responsibility for their waste.

  6. Andy Avatar

    Microsoft did not take Mr. Lundgren to court. The Government did.
    Microsoft participated in the case, that’s it.

    1. Mac Avatar

      So what did the government gain. Obviously something they don’t do things for nothing

      1. Jay Avatar

        They “gained” a precedent that reenforces their power over the “little man”.

      2. Abraham Rebukenstein Avatar

        Well, 15 months in prison = about $70,000 of tax payer money so the Industrial Prison Complex can continue to grow and make a profit for the dozens of associated corporations that lobby the government for new laws and to enforce them harshly.

        Just think. To call a loved one in prison can cost anywhere from $1 a minute to $5 a minute.
        Especially with the new video phone systems.

        The corporations who run those are in bed with the prison systems and the government.

      3. Gypsy Avatar

        They gained govt monies and possibly payoff for putting another innocent in Prison. It happens all the time. Does anyone realize how much money state and federal govt get from local and federal prison? If we pumped as much into our education system as we do the prisons we wouldnt have the illiteracy we have had in the last century. We build more more prisons than schools. I once asked about this, a co-worker said the prison system makes millions of dollars and is the biggest employer in California. And Maybe the U.S.

    2. John Avatar

      The story clearly said “Microsoft took him to court”. Did you read another story that says something different?

      1. Jaykul Avatar

        Obviously if it’s a CRIMINAL counterfeiting case, it was brought by the government.

        Try clicking through to read the actual reporting on the LA Times: “in 2012, U.S. Customs officers seized a shipment of discs and began investigating…”

        1. Mark Avatar

          I saw nothing in this article about counterfeiting any disks. The disks in question seem to be genuine items issued by Microsoft but were thrown away – Hence, the connection between trash and recovery disks.

        2. Terri Avatar

          So this was Obama?

        3. Louis J. Foussard Avatar

          I’m sure Microsoft filed the initial complaint about the activity with the government.

          Nobody complaining (claiming they’ve been harmed) about something like this… the government doesn’t care!

      2. Melinda Avatar

        Microsoft can seek damages but cannot give anyone jail time. Only the government can do that.

    3. Shawn Avatar

      The government does the bidding of corporations. You better believe if the government is doing anything, theres a corporate entity behind it.

      1. Crystal Avatar


    4. JB Avatar

      The government is us.

      Would we take this guy to court ?

      Take back your government from corrupt corporate policy makers whonput profits before people and our environment.

      You dont care ?

      Congratulations, you are human cancer, youve metastasized from just being human cholesterol, clogging cteative progress.

      You actively support destruction of everything for the profit of the fewest.

    5. Millie Avatar

      Yes, I’m afraid so it is. Freedom bye bye!

    6. jim smith Avatar
      jim smith

      microsoft initiated it, if you read the story

    7. Kevin Avatar

      “Control” of the Information world. It is easier to Bully and incarcerate the admit wrong doing. Control is the big answer

    8. Chris Avatar

      The government does not want old computers restored, because they want everyone on Windows 10.
      Why? Because the NSA wants you on Windows 10.
      Get it yet?
      Even Microsoft confirms users cannot completely turn off the “telemetry”.
      Say hello to big brother.

  7. Judy Avatar

    This is ridiculous and shows how petty a multi billion dollar company can get. I can’t believe this wasn’t thrown out. The number of people who get new computers far exceeds the number of those who will go to the efforts to restore and refurbish one. This is a greedy corporation trying to quash the efforts of one innovative man. I hope he has someone to help run his company and keep his employees employed during his undeserved sentence.

    1. Sheree Avatar

      Yes, I agree with you!! This is terribly sad for our country and our world! No wonder it’s all going to hell in a hand basketb

    2. Diana Avatar

      I agree

  8. Emily Cecil RDN Avatar
    Emily Cecil RDN

    Have Trump pardon him.

    1. Clare Cotton Avatar
      Clare Cotton

      seriously? Trump is anti-little guy and super pro big companies, not to mention anti-recycling or anything that would save the earth in any way.

      1. Neo Trinity Avatar
        Neo Trinity

        Clare, get a clue. Get does care for the little guy. Stop drinking the libtard koolaid!

      2. Mark Avatar

        Clare, I have seen first hand a letter sent by Trump to a Vet that is a friend. VA was not helping with his issues, his wife sent the WH a letter addressed to Trump. A month later there was a signed letter from Trump and he made the VA jump to help my friend. He is now finally getting the care and treatment he needs. Find another president that has done that in the past 30 yrs!!

      3. Becki Avatar

        Clare Cotton, wrong

      4. Shanna Avatar

        Exactly right.

      5. Robert Avatar

        Seriously? President Trump is nothing at all as you describe. You should get out more.

      6. Joey Lambert Avatar
        Joey Lambert

        No, he’s not, you idiot. Turn off CNN!

      7. Terri Avatar

        Well it was your Obama in 2012!!!!

      8. Bob Wallace Avatar
        Bob Wallace

        Get our head out of your ass and stop listening to manufactured outrage

      9. Matt Avatar

        But he’s still your president!

      10. Leanne Avatar

        And your proof for that??

      11. Linda Avatar

        Clare Coton, Not true.

    2. Slugger12345 Avatar

      You really don’t know wh ok Trump is and supports do you?

    3. Jacki Avatar

      I agree. Trump should free him. Isn’t there a law against there being a monopoly . I think I said that right. That Microsoft can’t monopolize the industry.

    4. PQuinn Avatar

      Here Here

  9. Ermelinda Viel Avatar
    Ermelinda Viel

    we need judges that will do the right thing, no cower to laws paid for by big business

    1. Trpy Avatar

      No one stands up against the illuminati

    2. pierre Avatar

      Brett Kavanaugh exactly!

  10. Robert Martin Avatar
    Robert Martin


    1. Julian Bates Avatar
      Julian Bates

      it’s Insane, and will not be forgotten!

    2. Sct Avatar

      criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods

    3. Andy Avatar

      Illegal reproduction of Microsoft’s digital and physical property and attempted to distribute it.
      Also, Microsoft profits from people assuming the computer is perminently defective. So since he intended to make thousands of computers operable again, that’s thousands of sales thwarted.

      While it’s beneficial to the environment and HIS employees, it’s detremental to the COMPANY and THEIR employees.

    4. Ben Moore Avatar
      Ben Moore

      Customs intercepted a package of the restore disks, they suspected them to be counterfeit, and M$ said “Of course they are”. Government prosecuted for counterfeiting the product.

  11. Smith Avatar

    Shame on Microsoft for putting profit ahead of environment. Shame for distorting the truth for the benefit of profits.

  12. gimmel yod Avatar
    gimmel yod

    Ah … the real problem he needed to solve was WHO to BRIBE. Hint: It’s the same as Microsoft did…
    “This is a difficult sentencing,” U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley told Lundgren, “because I credit everything you are telling me. You are a very remarkable person…(It’s just that Microsoft paid me this enormous bribe that overrides any sense of justice I may have had…)”

    1. Jason Makeig Avatar
      Jason Makeig

      Lol, seriously … ?? I can’t even see the crime FFS ?!?!?!

    2. Amanda Avatar


    3. Kevin Avatar

      Controlling the information world.

  13. Gerald Roberts Avatar
    Gerald Roberts

    They conveniently leave off the fact that Mr. Lungdren had the disc professionally printed in China WITH both Dell and Microsofts official logo on the disks, with this statement “For distribution only with new Dell PC”

    The prosecution also presented evidence of a statement he had emailed this statement “you would have to be an expert with a magnifying glass to know and/or see such differences” in the discs when comparing the copies to legit restore media.

    Additionally, “Redmond (Microsoft) also sells the discs to resellers for $25 each. This is also key to understanding why Lundgren had the book thrown at him: Microsoft wasn’t being paid for those 28,000 discs. Normal end-users are allowed to download and use the recovery images for free. Resellers aren’t allowed to download and redistribute them for free.”

    The judges sided with the government’s case, noting that the defense did not show that the discs weren’t intended to be passed off as genuine Microsoft products.


    1. Sarah Avatar

      “The judges sided with the government’s case, noting that the defense did not show that the discs weren’t intended to be passed off as genuine Microsoft products.”

      You can’t prove a negative. Nice try Microsoft Spokesperson.

      1. GR Avatar

        How is selling something with a Microsoft logo not intending to pass it off as a genuine product? Try and prove that.

      2. Mike Avatar

        Lol. He plead
        He knew he was in the wrong. Even if he was trying to do something good.

      3. Shannon Mitchell Avatar
        Shannon Mitchell

        Yeah you can. Mathematicians do it all the time.

      4. Ben Moore Avatar
        Ben Moore

        Sarah, importing an infringing item, with counterfeit Logos (these were not Microsoft original discs, these were discs that he’d had pressed and labelled), en masse, to be distributed to resellers, you’d need to be able to show that they can’t be mistaken for genuine products, and won’t be distributed as such.

    2. Jsz Avatar

      Yes, great that the guy refurbished, but he’s just as “greedy” and as everyone calls the big corporations.

    3. Kim Avatar

      Thanks for posting complete facts. The article did not make sense.

    4. Vladimir Avatar

      “The disks can be used only on a computer that already has a license for the Windows Operating System, and the license transfers with the computer for its full lifespan”

      Microsoft wasn’t being paid because they already were. He wasn’t distributing Windows but rather a tool to recover it. Unless you’re stating that Microsoft is charging twice for the same license key.

    5. Nick Avatar

      Thank you for digging a little deeper.

  14. DRIFER Avatar

    Shame on you Bill Gates, I use to trust you but no longer.

    1. C Armour Avatar
      C Armour

      Please read earlier comment. Nothing to do with Bill Gates.

    2. Angela Avatar

      Get with it, do you really think Gates would allow something this if he was still in charge of Microsoft? Check out when he actually signed out of Microsoft before blaming him for this

  15. Kamil Avatar

    That’s outrageous how corrupt so called “objective” state courts may be with their obviously paid sentences.
    Microsoft policy is no surprising. It’s their self-interest, but their means are things that must be morally questioned.
    If not for the state power, the corporations would have to play fair on the unlimited free market on which their every move would be carefully watched by the public who would could overturn their position at any time.

  16. SalParadise Avatar

    When your society puts profit before justice and the environment, you know you are in deep trouble.

  17. Heather Avatar

    Shame on Microsoft and our Government!!! I will NEVER purchase Microsoft products now. This guy was doing the right thing. Our planet is so much more important then Microsoft making more money! These people already paid Microsoft for the software. He isn’t doing anything wrong. He should be praised for doing something to save our PLANET! Also, shame on this judge! We just let a RAPIST get probation but send a good guy to 15 months in prison??!!! Our government is broken! Clearly our courts have judges that have POOR JUDGMENT!

    1. Blessing Avatar

      Oh my God, you sound so angry and bad

    2. kev Avatar

      Just install linux, plenty of decent distributions now and dont need the newest fastest machine to run it either.

  18. Bob Avatar

    There is absolutely nothing to be gained by society to send this man to prison. Microsoft made there point in this case but I quarantine Eric’s point of view will have a greater impact.The planet earth is a changing.

  19. Sam Avatar

    Switch to LINUX like I did – f@@k Microsoft and all the other Money Grubbing criminals.

    1. Lisa Avatar

      That is still a Microsoft product.

  20. JOEL OLESON Avatar

    This article needs to be updated with facts rather than a few isolated quotes that have twisted the story.

    US Government Case Against Counterfeiter is a very different story and more accurate.


    1. Mark Avatar

      “This case involves our program to partner with businesses that refurbish PCs. These businesses typically purchase used PCs, wipe them clean of all software, install a fresh version of Windows and sell the refurbished PCs with new software to new customers. When a refurbisher installs a fresh version of Windows on a refurbished PC, we charge a discounted rate of $25 for the software and a new license – it is not free. Thousands of refurbishers participate in this program legally without confusion, and the program works.

      Mr. Lundgren’s scheme was simple. He was counterfeiting Windows software in China and importing it to the United States. Mr. Lundgren intended the software to be sold to the refurbisher community as if it was a legitimate, licensed copy of Windows. It was not. The evidence in the case shows Mr. Lundgren used his knowledge of the PC recycling community to scam the very community he claimed to champion and to evade the law. Had he simply wanted to help this community, why did he set up an entire counterfeit production operation in China to make the CDs appear legitimate? And why did he charge for his counterfeit product and try to make a profit at the expense of the community he was ostensibly trying to help?”

      1. Duh Avatar

        He has employees….

      2. Jim Avatar

        Um, no… The software is not the license. What no one is mentioning is there are two things going on here; 1: refurbisher’s can get a copy of the CD from microshaft which comes WITH a new windows key for $25 to on sell in an effectively new machine, to a new customer.
        2: An end user can download it for free and USE THEY’RE EXISTING WINDOWS LICENSE KEY as they own the license, they are the SAME user, and it is being installed on the SAME machine.

        I’ve been following this story through Louis Rossmann’s Youtube channel since the beginning. Either this guy is legit and was offering only what tinyshaft offer for free, or he was offering the cd’s with license keys he had gained from old machines. Something about this story is odd, either we’re not being told the whole truth by the media (shock horror) or this is a obvious miscarriage of justice and if so, the appeal courts need to answer to it.

  21. mr uknown Avatar
    mr uknown

    dam good thing i didnt go thru with selling restore disc myself lol, the software is free on microsoft website n they buyer would need a product key already ( unless they just install without one it still works ) n just charge for the disc + time to install for people. 2 years ago i was going to sell them for $5 each after multiple people having issues trying to make the disc or download them off website… really good thing i didnt …

  22. Lindsey Avatar

    We can print a minimal of 20 shirts to 10,000+.

  23. Paula Avatar

    Corporate bullies trying to get what is not their’s. If they had any conscience at all they would hire him to clean up the waste that impacts everyone.

  24. Cheri Avatar

    I think it’s time the world protested and boycott Microsoft.

    1. X Avatar

      Don’t worry — Apple, Inc is worse. They’ll send the ATF after you to confiscate your parts and deport your employees, even if they are legal US citizens.

  25. Mike vermette Avatar
    Mike vermette

    Maybe if all the people around the world protested this, it would make a difference. But the big companies have the power and they are bullies and don’t count on trump to help you or pardon you cause is probably part of it.
    Keep going, I am just a man but I am on your side, somebody try to do something good and they bounce.

    That is not right! Mike

  26. Eddie McMillion Avatar
    Eddie McMillion

    Bill Gates is supposed to be so generous and so kind so how is it that he cannot see the grave injustice that this is? Respect lost…

    1. Jim Avatar

      why would you respect someone who has built their entire legacy by stealing other peoples work and selling it claiming it to be tinyshaft’s own IP?

      The “man” is the world’s most glorified thief! Not only that, winblows is the scourge of the computer industry and owes the globe collectively untold sums of money in lost and down time. Not to mention the number of times they released a new version knowing full well it was full of bugs.

      Yet this same “man” (I’d like ten minutes in a room with this “man”) has the audacity to pen a book with the title “Business at the speed of thought”

      He’s nothing more than a weasel with a limp wrist, and if not for the fortunes he has stolen along the way, he would die a loner, as he always was as a kid.

    2. Mja Avatar

      Bill Gates has been gone from Microsoft since 2014.

    3. Wendy Noble Avatar
      Wendy Noble

      Gates hasn’t been the head of Microsoft since 2000 and has had no further involvement since 2014.

    4. ghostwriter Avatar

      Bill Gates hasn’t been with Microsft for years. Try to keep up.

  27. Char Avatar

    I wonder how much money Microsoft is going to lose with this bad PR, I can tell you they just lost me as a customer! Small thinking Microsoft.

    1. ghostwriter Avatar

      Have you bothered to look into this any deeper beyond what this article says? The guy was making and selling conuterfeit software and passing it off as licensed MS software. His claims that he was doing it for the environment was a lie. He was selling counterfeits. He committed a crime.

  28. Ben Avatar

    Where can I find your sources for this article,?

  29. Jimmy Plenderleith Avatar
    Jimmy Plenderleith

    Heres the thing. Its crap that this happened to the guy over what amounts to pocket change for Microsoft. Even if the guy was doing a nice service, he was profiting. If Microsoft or Govt didnt do something that could lead to many others doing thr same things, costing MS more and more. And if the courts didnt find him guilty you’d have a precedent set for anyone to do it going forward and possibly bend the rules further for what they can sell that isnt their property. Its shitty He has to go to jail for it, but business wise I get it from Microsofts side.

    1. Jim Avatar


      You honestly believe that Microsoft have a moral footing here?

      Or are you referring to companies in general and Tinyshaft just happen to be the example?

  30. Adele Avatar

    Recycling impresses me. Less landfill impresses me. Less plastic in land fill impresses me more. Making things to last and not treating it like dissposable garbage is awesome. Microsoft has made a positive impact but also a negative one. Sell sell sell. There was life before this. It included not making so much stuff that pollutes the earth. There seems to be no going back.The damage is already done. Igenuity use to be a positive quality.Lets sell sell our souls some more. Until there is no earth left and no going back. In the book of Revelation it talks about the God of the bible bringing to ruin those ruining his earth. Get it…….. mans greatest achievement of living is ruining the earth. By our sell sell sell. And no consequences or responsibility.

  31. Zed Avatar

    I don’t agree but whatever

  32. Rhonda Avatar

    I have been fed up with Microsoft for years and I switched to Apple. I despise MS because I recognized long ago that they force customers to either spend money repairing their computers or buying new ones. Their computers are programmed to fail at some point, driving customers to buy new products. Apple computers are not designed this way. Apple products last and last and last. Used Apple computers work very well; MS not so much. This attack on Eric Lundgren is another example of why MS needs to be brought down. Yes, Apple is more expensive but up front; but over time the cost of repairs, replacements, lost records, days spent troublshooting and the frustration of it all when using MS is far more expensive than Apple. I will be sharing this article about Eric and I will share it many times because his story needs to be told. People need to know how low MS really is.

    1. JimmyZ Avatar

      Apple , MS same garbage…how about Linux…it is 100% free and can download the OS online.

    2. Nick Avatar

      I have said this for years

      I used to be anti apple until I bought an iPod touch for my gf at the time wife now
      And realized it’s just worked and continued to work as it should much longer than I expected it too.
      Now I still use pc for a computer mainly because I can’t afford a Mac and because my iPhone can do pretty much everything a PC can and then some

    3. palmeira Avatar

      because Apple products aren’t built to fail as well. omfg, you’re so naive Rhonda.

      besides, in case you have failed to grasp it, Microsoft is at core a SOFTWARE COMPANY (read it twice if you need to) it just started building/selling hardware a few years ago (and their products are claimed to be as good, if not better, than the bitten fruit counterpart).

    4. Shannon Avatar

      MS does not make hardware. They are a software company.

    5. Les Draper Avatar
      Les Draper

      Let me refer you to the law suit against Apple for slowing down the operating system performance with the age of the battery.

    6. Adam Avatar

      The article is severely misleading.

      Microsoft didn’t attack this guy, US Customs agents found multiple shipment of counterfeit Microsoft and Dell restore discs, and they brought the charges.

      He’s trying to spin it like he’s the good guy, but hes not, and his emails show he knew what he was doing was illegal, but didn’t care because he was selling thousands of dollars worth of discs.

    7. Josh Avatar

      I’ve tried reinstalling Mac computers and had nothing but grief. Something about not having the PC registered with the account of the person it belongs to or some crap like that… I don’t like paying more for something that is going to dictate whether I can use it, so Apple are full of shizzle themselves.

      Only way out of the pair of them is Linux, but then a lot of software is not compatible with it, so the big guys win again.

    8. PJ Carmody Avatar
      PJ Carmody

      Hold on there a minute – there’s some KEY facts missing in this article – see this:


    9. Chris Avatar

      Lol micosoft does not make computers except their crappy surface lappies.

    10. Seymore Butts Avatar
      Seymore Butts

      First of which, Apple is shit too (A shit company, and a shit developer or snobby and overpriced tech)

      Secondly, this guy should have ran his operation through a lawyer before producing ANYTHING from one of these big companies.

      “Wah wah wah, I’m doing charity and the big bag government/corporation is big and bad”

      That just doesn’t cut it in the real world. The guy messed around with proprietary software, and got busted. The end, case closed

  33. Carlos Avatar

    What a dumbass. Why did he plead guilty? If this was recommended by his lawyer maybe he has grounds for a mistrial.

    1. Bdes Avatar

      Because he was guilty of copying not his software without authorisation. It is all in small print in your license agreement. And he (beeing so clever and all) should know that.If he would install his own software on it, then it wouldn’t be a problem (but who would need it?). If he’d seek the authorisation from MS, they would most likely approve (just for publicity of course). If he would install some nice windows-looking built of linux, it would be ok too. But he had to go rougue. Besides if somebody throws away a computer it is most likely because it is seriously outdated or broken. If somebody throws it away because he don’t know how to remove the virus or call a service company for help, then he probably shouldn’t have the computer in the first place. Otherwise he will become one of these idiots who thinks that this article is credible in its assumptions.

    2. Adam Avatar

      He plead guilty because he was guilty.

      He had a shop in China pumping out counterfeit CDs labeled to look exactly like Dell or Microsoft discs.

      The recycling part is only a cover.

    3. Gordon Avatar

      He pled guilty because there was never any doubt that he was guilty of counterfeiting official Microsoft software and wishing to sell it as official Microsoft software. The fact that the owner of the computer can legally download and burn a reinstall disc is immaterial.

    4. David Mark Greaves Avatar
      David Mark Greaves

      Sometimes a defendant gets coerces by prosecutors into pleading guilty, especially if they are after bigger fish as is frequently the case in a corruption probe.

    5. nivatius Avatar

      because the story is fake as the CD. he tried to trick people into thinking the CD’s were real

  34. Hank Avatar

    He owns MiningSky, a commercial BitCoin mining rig supplier. That is the tech equivalent of fracking. Dont fall for this conman.

  35. Cliff Avatar

    This column does not make sense. First, nobody goes to jail in civil lawsuits. So the Justice Dept “took him to court”, not Microsoft. Second in criminal cases, the appeals court does not sentence, only the trial judge. Third, Judge Hurley is in South Florida, not California as implied. What else is misstated?

  36. Patrick Perry Avatar
    Patrick Perry

    Maybe he should have just installed Linux?

  37. J Avatar

    Microsoft uses Arrow Electronics IT asset disposal for all of its recycling needs.

  38. JimmyZ Avatar

    Well,you are all guilty because you feed into all this network computer and mobile device scam of the century crap.
    Here is what is going on…first,most of you are lazy and unwilling to take time for a anything.Buy , use , throw away.
    Manufacturers HATE people that recycle perfectly good electronics and even automobiles.
    Back in the day a TV set was repaired by a guy that came to your house,swapped out a tube and back working like new again.Car were easy to fix too and made to last forever.Some countries still drive 55 Chevy`s around but USA government decided since they have to bail out auto companies,we will help them sell cars by creating the phony CASH FOR CLUNKERS or KIDNEY CARS scam.Well,that year the junk yard was full of absolute EXCELLENT cars and all you dummies gave them away.Now look at the crap your driving now.Everything now is based on this concept,made as throw away…pretty soon you will be too.

  39. JimmyZ Avatar

    By the way…100% of everything you use on this earth came from this earth…putting it back into the earth is not so bad when you really open your minds to reality.There are only few things that are made from earth and never go back to it and that is deep space satellites…because even the earth orbiting birds fall back to earth and return to the soil.
    Use it,fix it or bury it and move on with life.

  40. doug Avatar

    The mistake he made is not using Linux! MS sucks anyway. Why promote bad SW. Linux and Libre Ofice – FREE!

  41. Linda Stone Avatar
    Linda Stone

    Microsoft should just buy his company and make use of their own e-waste. This is shameful

  42. Philip Strait Avatar
    Philip Strait

    Microsoft over-valued the worth of their recovery discs by 1000% and lost a potential of $700,000? Boo hoo. This is the same company that changes my computer settings to Bing Internet Explorer (from Google) without my permission. How much is that worth in court? It’s like we pay for their products, but we don’t own them. We should all visit this guy in prison. the judge couldn’t even morally agree with her own decision. How sad.

  43. Colin Robb Avatar
    Colin Robb

    Why’d did Microsoft do this ?

  44. Sabrina Avatar

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention, but you’ve given us no solutions. Where will he be kept? How do we contact him? Are there protests being held for his immediate/early release? Do you have an update to this story?

  45. Martin Avatar

    Dodgiest behaviour by MS. Obviously their business model survives on litigation. Not a good role model for a world on the brink of ecological disaster

  46. Duh Avatar

    He is not going to jail for recycling.

    He is going to jail for copyright infringement.

    The end.

  47. Howard Gibson Avatar

    Why not install GNU/Linux on these things. Use one of the smaller window managers like XFCE or LXDE. Voila! Working computer. No copyright violation. The Free Software (http://gnu.org) community supports copyrights.

  48. A. Mende Avatar
    A. Mende

    Forget Microsoft Operation System
    Take a Linux System.
    Don’t waste money for MS.

  49. Dan Avatar

    I will again reiterate, I will never again buy windows. Linux much nicer now anyways.

  50. Lance A. Pope Avatar
    Lance A. Pope

    I will NEVER buy another Microsoft product.

  51. John Avatar

    Lol! Do you have an extra foil hat I can borrow?

  52. J Avatar

    Surely a hefty fine would have sufficed.

  53. Jay Avatar

    Just ship the pc’s with linux. Messing with anything microsoft has created is stupid he should know better.

  54. Tahlia Avatar

    “What a wonderful world “

  55. A Avatar

    Rapists get less time than this guy. Shows what we care about and who we care about. We are in a sad state

  56. Jacky Pop Avatar
    Jacky Pop

    He could easily have installed Linux.
    The whole situation would never have happened.

  57. John Avatar

    Dude sexually assaults a passed out girl behind a dumpster and gets 3 months in jail. This guy extends the lives of computers and gets a year + 3 months. Looks like we know where our priorities lie. He wasn’t harming MS even a tiny bit.

  58. Ryan B Avatar
    Ryan B

    This is the correct ruling. Imagine if these restore discs, assumed to be legitimate (as they look identical), are infected with malware or are corrupt restore copies. This would have a severe negative impact on the companies like Microsoft or Dell, and could result in litigation against them.

  59. Jeff Avatar

    Seem like a major cash penalty vs prison time. This was more being ignorant of the law vs intent to break the law. No harm was done to Microsoft. He was made a example of . He did no harm to others , should have been a lot less jail time in my opinion. The company should have been held at penalty for licensing violation.

  60. Jon Clifton Avatar
    Jon Clifton

    The Golden Rule; “He who has the gold makes the rule”.

  61. Casey Avatar

    You know people go all out of their way to take care of their home that they live in, the Earth is your home first and foremost, people should put just as much effort into taking care of it as they do their own house. Shame on them for condemning someone who is trying to make a difference.

  62. Satan Avatar

    This is why i pirate all microsoft software. It’s all about greed.

  63. Christopher G. Griswold Avatar
    Christopher G. Griswold

    The guy was helping people out, and it’s Christmas time to top it all off. Some sticklers just always have to be statistically correct. You could respect what this man did. He probably poured a lot of time into it. He needs to eat and pay the bills like anyone else. The people that put him away are just trying to create an example. I don’t recommend cheering when people get locked up. Would you want that to happen to you? Probably not. If you cheer when people go to prison, I don’t understand how you’re of any faith. If you are in the US government and reading this, and you are cheering on the prison sentence, maybe you need a lesson in kindness and equality. Reverse your rolls for once. Are you compartmentalized? Have you ever heard of breadth of knowledge? This man was helping people. Do you not understand that?

  64. Robert Avatar

    that is why I went to Linnux it is free

  65. Tim Avatar


  66. Susan Avatar

    Apparently, his real crime was “building an electric car out of “garbage” that outlasts a Tesla”. This is a travesty!

  67. TrekJunky Avatar

    RBE – Resource Based Economy is the best hope for a fair future for all of the world’s citizens.

  68. David Avatar

    Clickbait title.

    He was manufacturing counterfeit install disks in China and in volume and reselling them in the US. By counterfeiting I mean the disks were manufactured by his Chinese partners to looks exactly like the original MS product, trademarks, graphics, packaging etc…

    He wasn’t just copying a few CD’s and selling them, he literally made multiple trips to China to set up a production and supply chain for his counterfeit disks.

    MS did not bring a case against him, US Customs did. He was even warned by US Customs that what he was doing was illegal counterfeiting and he should stop. He didn’t and he is going to jail for it.

    I’ve got no sympathy for him.

  69. Lau Avatar

    Ultimately it is the legal system that let the people down. Money talks forget about freedom America.

  70. Elon Avatar

    What i don’t understand is that why do WE allow this to happen when it makes it to news?Yes i understand that we are powerless against the corporate run government but isn’t it us who put them in power? Then why don’t we have the power to take it back?There has to be more we can do than just comment about it! It is shameful that we have not evolved as a race even with all the technology we boast.

  71. Luann Avatar

    We should post a go fund me for him.

  72. Dennis Lane Avatar
    Dennis Lane

    Microsoft is a corporation that is worth boycotting for just this issue alone.

  73. Skeeter Sanders Avatar
    Skeeter Sanders

    If there was EVER a reason to hit Microsoft with an ANTI-TRUST LAWSUIT, this is it!!!

  74. Joseph Spiezio Avatar
    Joseph Spiezio

    I agree! Microsoft products a junk! They are designed to break down, and require constant patches in order to function properly. I have used Apple
    since the beginning of the computer age and would never ever buy a Microsoft product. My son-in-law worked for Microsoft and told me about how shoddy their software is, and it was his job to constantly de-bug their junk products. He finally quit in disgust!

  75. geoff Avatar

    you are all missing the point. he broke the law simple as and he got caught. doesn’t matter which side you are on he has been convicted of committing a crime which he pleaded guilty to so he is now a criminal. Microsoft is a business and it’s aim is to make money now and well into the future. it is not a charity. all businesses are the same so why are you surprised if they stop someone eating into there profits as well as giving others precedent to seriously impinge on there profits in future. how about you all live in the real world.

  76. John Gilbert Avatar
    John Gilbert

    It all boils down to the love of money. It’s the root of all evil ya’ know.

  77. Scott Avatar

    You know, I actually shared this link, and a number of people I know clued me in to some deeper truth behind this that unfortunately shows how this article really spun up some bullshit to make this guy seem like a martyr…. He’s not… Check this counter-information provided by Microsoft in the wake of this, which actually provides the full details (including emails sent back and forth by the two defendants in this case)… As it turns out, Microsoft didn’t even press charges against this guy, US Customs did, because of the illegality of how these guys weren’t just “refurbishing computers”, they had actually set up operations in China to mass-produce copies of the software on discs, marked to fool people into thinking they had been produced by Microsoft, to sell at a profit to other refurbishers…


    After reading through the article above (and of course discounting any spin that may be involved because it was an article created by Microsoft to defend itself in the midst of this scrutiny),…regardless of any spin, the emails of the defendants themselves seem pretty damning from a standpoint of their attempted deception… If it was just an issue of them wanting to refurbish old computers for a profit with essentially free software, it wouldn’t have been much of an issue… But because they were apparently trying desperately to make the software look like it was manufactured BY Microsoft while still making a profit for themselves, suddenly turns their supposed altruism on its side in a big way…

    Microsoft does indeed offer re-installation versions of their software free to those that have already bought it for their systems… And Microsoft already has a program where they offer their re-installation software at a heavily-reduced rate to refurbishers who resell computers for a profit to others… These guys (specifically the guy from the original article), wanted to cut in on that profit through deception and counterfeiting…

  78. Brad Avatar

    He needs to appeal and get people to start a petition. This is pure capitalism at its finest. They’re trying to make an example of him so no one else dare try this in future. Everyone knows we call bullshit. We need people like this to help recycle ♻️ save what’s left of our planet!

  79. Foxpro Avatar

    Apple computer makes it almost impossible to sell your old computer. If you are not the original owner you will no longer be able to install software updates.

    Talk about contributing to waste….

  80. Robert Avatar

    That’s why I am HAPPY with UBUNTU
    FREE Operating system
    Not many hackers are writing code against it; hence less chance of getting a virus.
    And in the unfortunate instance if it dies on you; Restores in :10 minutes by disk compared to 10 hours on DOS based machines

  81. Tony P Avatar
    Tony P

    I bet the same court has given probation to rapists and child molesters..

  82. Andy Linnevers Avatar
    Andy Linnevers

    go here

    start a converstaion with microsoft, then cut and paste Eric’s name 1,000 times. Let’s overload these idiots with spam. Most companies seem hard to send a message to, until you start using the feedback platforms. Use these platforms to your advantage to send these rich penises a message.

  83. Dietu Avatar

    Ganz einfach: Arschlöcher wohin ich schau…