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

“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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