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LinuxWorld: Microsoft unleashes piracy police: Are you safe?

Dec 14, 2000, 00:14 (15 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)

"Virginia Beach, Va., was forced to pay Microsoft $129,000 for software licenses, even though the city had probably already paid for the software and did not receive due process. Some companies have suffered the same fate; others likely will. Joe Barr explains the wherefores of Redmond's scare tactics and suggests that open software is the best defense."

"Do you remember a basic principle of law that says we are presumed innocent until proven guilty? As George W. Maschke pointed out in a brief essay on the subject, the heart of that phrase is not about presumption, but the burden that presumption implies. In other words, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff, not the accused. But even that underlying principle is not written in stone. It appears that you can sign away that protection of law, and of due process, merely by signing a contract with Microsoft."

"The story of what happened in Virginia Beach is sure to strike fear and dread into many organizations. Fear and dread are happy partners with Microsoft's global "anti-piracy" campaign; the campaign is orchestrated by Redmond, but mainly conducted by the Business Software Alliance (BSA), which acts as Microsoft's private police force."

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