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LinuxPlanet: Editor's Note: Waiting for the Black Helicopters

Dec 14, 2000, 17:21 (26 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Reichard)

"I'm speaking of Joe Barr's piece of tripe in LinuxWorld, where he takes Microsoft to task -- calling them the "piracy police" -- for asking Virginia Beach, Va., to verify that no unauthorized copies of Microsoft products were in use. (I'm not even going to dignify the article with pointing you toward a URL and a cheap page view.) Let's just say that Barr isn't a lawyer: he throws a lot of stuff against a wall to see what sticks. He throws out legal concepts like the presumption of innocence (which pertains only in criminal law, not in civil law) and the role that anti-trust plays in this case (Barr seems genuinely confused by the notion that anti-trust laws exist to protect the consumer, not competitors) -- neither of which have a thing to do with basic contract law."

"The story in Virginia Beach is simple. Microsoft had a contract that it wanted to enforce. It sent a letter to the municipality, asking for verification that the terms of the contract were being met -- a verification process that Virginia Beach agreed to when it purchased the software. Nothing evil in this -- it happens in the corporate world every day...."

"Bashing Microsoft does not elevate Linux. And bashing Microsoft for enforcing a legal contract -- the type of contract, by the way, that many other firms in the Linux community use -- doesn't even rise to the level of flamebait. We in the Linux community should be better than that."

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