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Your old clunker PC could make you some extra money

Technologies come and go. We’ve seen the rise and fall of floppy drives, cassette tapes, zip drives, disk drives and probably soon enough, traditional hard disk drives.

If you’re an avid tech fan, though, you may have a penchant for holding on to these relics of bygone eras, not only for nostalgic reasons but for practical purposes too – you just don’t know when you’ll need to read off an antique floppy, install a program off a CD or burn files to a DVD.

Even then, your old equipment may just be gathering dust somewhere, waiting for that chance to be called into action. But look again, see that 10-year-old PC in the corner? Check it, it might just help earn a little bit of cash.

If you bought a computer with a DVD drive between April 1, 2003, and December 31, 2008, you may be eligible for a $10 claim due to the recent settlement of a class action lawsuit against optical drive makers Sony, Panasonic, Hitachi-LG, and NEC.

This seven-year-old lawsuit accuses the said companies of colluding to keep the prices of optical drives high. These drives include the ones sold to computer manufacturers like Dell and HP and stand-alone drives. CNET reports that the defendants have submitted $124.5 million to the settlement, a quarter of that going to the lawyers, and the rest will be used to compensate the owners of around 9.3 million optical drives sold during the 2003-2008 timeframe.

How to file a claim

If you think you’re eligible for the $10 claim, you can submit your case online but there are prerequisites.

First, you must be a resident of the following states to be eligible: Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia or Wisconsin.

Second, although Panasonic optical drives are covered, Panasonic computers are not.

Third, you are required to submit your name and email address on the online claim submission website. Although the claim doesn’t require you to submit a proof of purchase at this point (just the number of DVD-equipped computers or stand-alone optical drives you own), this might change in the future.

The deadline for online claim submissions is July 1, 2017.

If you think $10 is not worth the trouble, well, we don’t blame you, but the process is quick and easy enough. Although it’s still not clear how the claimants are going to get paid, I’m sure they are going to be contacted at some point for claim instructions.

To file your claim, click on this link to be directed to the online claim form.

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