Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3378 mails)

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Re: <OT> Stay legal - Stay Free (software)
This post has been an eye opener. I sent it through our Lug's post, in
edited form, and got the following response from one of our
members. Re: [SLE] <OT>Stay Legal - Stay Free (Software)
Date: 08 Apr 2002 00:35:27 -0500

> > Hi All,
> > Anyone hear of any of this in Jacksonville area?
[B's response] I'll try to comment on what I know and don't know.

> > The following is a thread (some of it) from the SuSE post I get. If
> > you are an IT, you probably will be interested in this.
> > To fill you in, the person who started the thread had his office
> > visited by the Microsoft software cops - actually attorneys armed
> > Microsoft software for snooping hard drives.
[ B's response] Let me guess, Holland & Knight? Yeah, they and
Microsoft have been going around and sending threatening "follow-up"
letters withOUT a "first letter." Hundreds of innocent companies
caught them in that lie, including one of my former employers. The
reason? As exposed in the DOJ case, Microsoft itself has
_poor_records_ internally. So they are using audits to update their
_own_records_! At your cost, of course. ;-P

[ B's response] So we got an "appology letter" from Microsoft
overnighted shortly thereafter. But with the same arrogant attitude,
"we still expect a voluntary audit to be done within 30 days and sent to
us 'or else, blah, blah, blah'."
> > The software cops were already at his desk trying to access his
> > computer, but unable to because of the BIOS password request.
> Under what law? Depending the jurisdiction, you have the _right_ to
> refuse them access unless they follow local due process.
> > They demanded that he unlock his computer and let them run their
> > software. The tech said they couldn't run their software unless he
> > was allowed to scan it for virus infections. They refused to allow
> > that, so the tech handed the software cops a writen form that stated
> > that they would be responsible for any damage to files or hardwear
> > request that the software cops sign the form.
[ B's response] _Very_smart_! He has _every_right_ to ask for this.
Unless you are in an UCITA state like Virgina or Maryland, you have
_every_right_ to ask for such a "no non-sense" contract for 3rd party
access of your systems. In fact, to do such *IS* to act in the best
interests of your employer.

[ B's response] Anytime a consultant or other organization wants such
access of systems, _regardless_ of any "license" you have, they _must_
negotiate such access. IANAL, but this is pretty much "direct." Even
the IRS canNOT get away with such "blank check"-type access to a company
> > They refused to sign, and the tech refused to allow them access to
> > his computer.
[ B's response] Again, that's a very good move.
> > The software cops went to his boss, who came back and told him to
> > the software cops access his computer or he was no longer employed.
[ B's response] And that's when you tell your boss "either you respect
my professional judgement in protecting our company and its well being
or you talk talk to my attorney." He *IS* acting in the best interests
of his employer.
> > Now that I have brought you up to speed, here's the rest of the
> > as Paul Harvey would say:
> > ** So I unlocked the machine, and lo, it booted into SuSE 7.3....
> > ** DEMANDED that it be booted into Windows, which I refused as I
> > ** run it at the time (I run certain non-Linux apps under VMWARE)...
> > ** They threatened that I HAD to have a Windows licence on the PC,
> > ** it is an IBM - at which point I powered off the machine and
> > ** politely told them to piss off.
> > ** So much for Microsoft's "honesty".
[ B's response] Okay, this is where it gets interesting.
[ B's response] 1) With VMWare, you _still_ run Windows so you still
need a Windows license.

[ B's response] 2) Microsoft says OEM licenses of Windows are,
retroactively (in the case of older systems with license agreements on
the media that say otherwise), _only_good_ for the original install" of
the system -- _except_ for "Enterprise" license customers. That means
that if you reload them from anything _but_ the original OEM disk, it is
NOT a "valid" license. As such, most OEM versions won't install under
VMWare so even though the license may be "valid" for the installer,
Microsoft says no it isn't.

[ B's response] 3) Microsoft has gone as far to say Windows canNOT be
installed under a virtual hardware implementation (among various other
"restrictions") -- _except_ for Enterprise" license customers. Again,
those with money have "clout," everyone else is Microsoft's "bitch."

[ B's response] [ Personally, I think #2 and #3 are _violations_ of
"fair use," but Microsoft has got the money and the lawyers to say
otherwise. ;-P ]

> > Honesty has nothing to doW? it. They have launched a series of "Hit
> > Squads" ( their own nomenclature) To basically bully anyone who
> > attempts to use linux in a commercial situation to use Windows only.

[ B's response] Yes, I know. Holland & Knight came after one of my
former employers too. We actually had _extra_licenses_ but it didn't
matter. They didn't like our "lack" of CAL (client access licenses)
even though we were connecting to UNIX/Samba servers.
> > And if the client couldn't be convinced by the usual sales rep the
> > rep was to call on one of the hit squads to come in and, well,
> > basically intimidate the company back into using windows, after
> > the sales rep would come buy and explain the *benefits* of going
> > and preventing such *problems* in future.
[ B's response] It's at times like that I have a tape recorder on me.
You present the "reps" a form to sign acknowledging that all
conversation may be tape recorded to prevent, in a nutshell, allegations
of "heresy". This makes it legal to record them -- as long as you
_notify_ them they are going to do so. You make it _conditional_ upon
your meeting with them.
> These "scare tactics" are nothing new. It's when they apply them in a
> fashion that is a "threat" or borders on "extortion" that you have
> by the balls if they are recorded.
> > Someone leaked the memo and it was available on the net for a while.
> > I figure they start by going past the IT dept to a friendly lunch
> > round of golf w/ teh heaviest guy they can get to in the company and
> > *explain* to him/her that it will be imposible for the comany and by
> > extention the spouse of Mr.Big to get their email or websurf if they
> > do NOT get into .net imediately ! There will then be a general panic
> > in the board room as most companies curretnly rely at a minimum on
> > email to do much of their day to day business. If this rep than adds
> > that the company website wont run and that source of orders "just
> > work" at all.... well, I think the brighter ones among you have
> > already figured out where this is going <G>
[ B's response] Scare tactics are nothing new. Again, tape comes in
> > Have you heard of this going on in Jacksonville?
[ B's response] I have personally dealt with Microsoft and Microsoft c/o
Holland & Knight. I could _never_ get anyone on the phone with either.
It seems they fucked up badly, and that previous employer laid off half
its employees (including myself) shortly after we received the letter
so I never saw it through.
[ B's response] Again, it's Microsoft's own record keeping -- which is
_almost_entirely_ "paper-based" (so much for the "paperless office"
bullshit) -- in action. Profits are down and they figure they can
"bully" companies around at the same time as update their
_quite_incomplete_ records.
P.S. Excuse my unprofessional language in the above, but we are
dealing with a very_UNprofessional_ company. God I canNOT believe
people tolerate such a company!
Would you trust a vendor who doesn't rely on its own products?
Ask Microsoft why it uses mainly UNIX servers and Linux providers!

This message originated from a Unix computer using Open Source software:
SuSE Linux 7.2, Galeon 1.2 Browser, AbiWord 0.99.3 Word Processor,
Ximian Gnome, Red-Carpet 1.3.1 and Evolution 1.0.3 Groupware
Suite. Have a lot of fun!!! (Unix is like a wigwam -- no Gates, no
Windows, and an Apache inside.)

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