David vs. Microsoft

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First posted on Mark Is Cranky:

This story is just too bizarre to pass up.

David Zamos is a student at the University of Akron. He bought copies of Microsoft Office XP Pro and Microsoft Windows from the university bookstore. Zamos discovered that he’d have to format his hard drive to do the install and decided against using the software. He then tried to get his money back but was told that this would violate an agreement between the university bookstore and Microsoft. He also tried to return the software directly to Microsoft but was ignored.

All Zamos wanted to do was to return the unopened software and get his $60 back (he bought both packages at an educational discount).

What was left to do? That’s right: eBay. Zamos sold both item on eBay for a profit of $143.50. He was then sued by Microsoft claiming, among other things, “irreparable injury to its business reputation and goodwill.”


Some of the case hinged on Microsoft’s resale policy, which Zamos could not even read because a copy of it is placed inside the package. To make a long story short, Microsoft messed with the wrong kid. Zamos, one smart and tenacious guy, buried himself in the law library and came back firing, eventually settling after costing the company much money (those attorneys had to be expensive) and embarrassment (if something has no concept of shame, can it really be embarrassed?).

Read the whole story here. It reads like a detective story filled with legalese and coffee.

David Zamos, you’re my hero.

(And thanks to Boycott-RIAA for pointing this story out.)

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