Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3637 mails)

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[OT] Legal Issues Type Question
  • From: "Stuart Powell" <stuart@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 20:22:26 -0500
  • Message-id: <HAEAICFGOEPNHBCFMHKPIEIADFAA.stuart@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Hello, everyone.

I just wanted to see what trouble I could stir up this evening with an
article I found this morning. I'm surprised Fred didn't send it on. If you
don't think of MS as the Evil Empire yet, this may well push you over the
edge.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/2/18589.html

This article raised many questions in my mind. Predominantly, though, is
this: Just how far can Microsoft go in its pursuit of pirates without
overstepping the mark ? How much of this power can be wielded beyond US
borders ?

Let's say that I buy a shiny new PC from Gateway, for the sake of argument.
I order it without an OS, since I intend to install a lovely fresh copy of
SuSE on it, and don't want to have to pay the MS Tax. A vigilant Gateway
employee then calls up MS and says "Stoo just bought a new machine without
an OS. Please add another point to my score, as I am trying to win my own
yacht from the MS 'Shop Your Customers for Profit' promotion". The next
thing I get is a phone call from a drone in Redmond. The call goes
something like this...

Drone - "Mr. Powell, it has come to our attention that you just bought a
whizz-bang new Gateway PC without an OS. We will be sending the PC police
(http://www.bsa.org) over to make sure you bought a valid Windows licence
for that PC."

Me - "Sod off ! It's running Linux."

Question; can they still send the PC police round to check and see if I
actually have Linux on the box ? What about the other PCs here that may or
may not be running Windows ? Can they check those just because they're here
and they feel like it ? How about my friend's PC in the corner that I will
be upgrading with a new processor in a couple of days ? I don't know if he
has a valid Windows licence or not. I certainly can't produce one for it
myself.

And finally, how long is this kind of behaviour going to be tolerated before
someone sees the light and puts a stop to this kind of thing ?

Let the battle commence...

Stuart.


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