[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]
[school-discuss] Shocking news about Microsoft's ability to kill Open Source
I'm scheduled to speak at the Desktop Linux Consortium on November 10th
at Boston University. My subject relates to Linux in State and Local
Government, a subject about which I have some knowledge.
This morning I discovered from a reliable source that we will not be
invited back because Microsoft offered BU a Gold Partnership agreement
and marketing money to never "do this again".
Jsut slightly infuriated, I inquired anonymously about the situation. I
contacted the Department of Justice and spoke to an attorney. Imagine my
surprise to discover Microsoft didn't do anything wrong. What they did
doesn't violate the law. I couldn't believe it.
Imagine, all the time spent trying to stop them from restraining trade
and it means nothing. They can pay companies to "not sell" Linux. They
can provide "marketing money" to make sure their products are put ahead
of others, make sure certain products don't get shelf space, advertise
on every page featuring Linux or Open Source Software and they don't
break the law. Basically, they're not considered criminals as far as I
Now, if they threaten you with bodily harm, that's different. But what
does one get other than maybe a settlement if they do? That's something
else I found out.
I've followed Microsoft's antics for years now and seen some amazing
things. Some of those include what I thought were "kickbacks". But in
reality, they must not be kickbacks. I guess if they won a contract and
paid the procurement officer, that would be a kickback. But, no one has
accused them of that - at least not in any way about which I know. Price
cutting, sure they do that. Lobbying, they do that too. Whining, I hear
they whine and spin. Evidenttly, nothing is wrong with that either.
So, all I can conclude is that we shouldn't call them crooks. We might
wind up the subject of a defamation suit.
I wonder if we could suggest a boycott?
Would doing that be a violation of law?