Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3637 mails)

< Previous Next >
[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

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
( 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

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...


< Previous Next >