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First off today, Owen Good at Polygon reports that Eric Lundgren, a California E-waste activist, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for selling counterfeit recovery discs for Windows.
In 2012 U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers detained a shipment of recovery discs that Lundgren had manufactured in China. The discs, which were packaged to look like official Dell recovery discs, enabled uses with legitimate licensed copies of Windows to restore their machine. Though such discs are usually shipped with new computers, they are often lost and that can often result in computers being thrown out before they are actually at the end of their lives.
Lundgren, hoping to reduce electronic waste, had sought to sell the discs for 25 cents each to repair shops. After the shipment was seized a criminal case was filed and a dispute arose over how much the discs were worth with some experts saying they were worthless and experts from Microsoft putting the value at $8.3 million. The judge ruled they had a value of $700,000, which more than qualified Lundgren for criminal punishments. Lundgren was found guilty in a 2017 trial and lost on an appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. Lundgren has said he plans no further appeals in the case.
Next up today, Qian Zhecheng at Sixth Tone reports that a Beijing court has upheld the conviction of Zhao Chunguang, a cartel ringleader who was convicted of making some 3.6 million children’s books.
In June 2016 the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications received a tip about counterfeit children’s’ books in a warehouse outside of Beijing. After raiding the warehouse and finding the books, they traced the books back to Zhao and arrested him along with five other defendants. Zhao was eventually convicted and sentenced to 6 and a half years in prison and ordered to pay a 1.5 million yuan ($240,000) fine.
Zhao’s enterprise worked by scanning in the children’s book as then having them printed at a local shop. The printed copies would be sold for a fraction of the regular price. By the time they were caught, they had amassed some 3.6 million books scattered across eight warehouses. Though the court determined that all of the men had broken the law, only Zhao received a fine and the others received lesser prison sentences.
Finally today, WTKR reports that Nansemond River High School in Suffolk, Virginia was forced to cancel their production of The Lion King after a copyright issue forced them to put a halt to the project.
On April 25, the school learned that the appropriate rights to the play had not been secured. However, it is unclear exactly how that happened and the school is investigating whether the blame falls on Disney, the intermediary that handles the licensing or the school itself.
Typically, such licenses are secured before a school begins auditioning for a work. However, Nansemond River High School had already put on five performances of the musical, two to elementary school students and three to the community, but were forced to cancel the rest of their run, which included three more performances.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.