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Special 301: FOSS users. Now we're all Communists and Criminals

Mar 10, 2010, 07:02 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gary Richmond)

[ Thanks to steve hill for this link. ]

"There seems to be no respite from the predations of Microsoft FUD and the machinations of Big Business. Just when it seemed safe to come out of the closet and admit to being a user of free and open source software without being accused of being a Communist, it appears that we are now criminals too—even if we are not using pirated versions of proprietary software. The culprit this time is something called “Special 301”, an annual review of the status of foreign intellectual property laws carried out under the auspices of the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) which is an Executive Office of the President. It’s definition of criminal would make criminals of every single user of FOSS.

"Special 301 is not a specific attack on individuals users of GNU/Linux. It’s target is foreign governments with less restrictive copyright laws than the United States. You can bet your bottom dollar that it wouldn’t stop there. Private individuals would be next. Now, I have an unscientific notion that many FOSS users are of a liberal, not to say leftwing bent. I’m somewhat atypical here: anyone who knows me would probably describe me as being somewhere to the right of Atilla the Hun. So, being described as some pinko subversive causes me to smile — a knowing smile. I can live with that."

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