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[school-discuss] The BS Alliance

Christian Einfeldt wrote:

>The BSA demanded an audit pursuant to the
>Microsoft EULA. The audit alone would have
>cost the Portland District $100,000.00.
>Microsoft just *happened* to send out its
>sales rep at the same time and offered to
>make the whole thing go away if the school
>district would just pony up for new licenses. 

>The PPSD told Microsoft no, and it became such
>a press issue, that Microsoft backed off, and
>as a result, the PPSD increased its FOSS usage
>to the point where many schools in the PPSD
>have no Microsoft products at all.

This seems to be an appropriate time to take a
look at what Richard Stallman had to say on this
subject more than two decades ago:

"There used to be people in the US . . . they were
in the Mafia--they would go up to stores and bars,
especially bars when bars were illegal, of course.
They would go up and say: `A lot of places around
here have been burning down lately. You wouldn't
want your place to burn down, would you? Well, we
can protect you from fires; you just have to pay
us a thousand dollars a month, and we'll make sure
you don't have a fire here'. And this was called
`the protection racket'. Now we have something
where a person says `You've got a nice computer
there, and you've got some programs there that
you're using. Well, if you don't want those
programs to disappear, if you don't want the
police to come after you, you better pay me a
thousand dollars, and I'll give you a copy of
this program with a license', and this is
called `the software protection racket'. . . .

"What I hope is that when that software Mafia guy comes
up and says, `You want those programs to disappear from
your computer?', the user can say `I'm not afraid of you
anymore. I have this free GNU software, and there's
nothing you can do to me now.'"

Here's where to find the entire (rather long)
piece by Stallman:


Of course, Micro$oft has been accused of racketeering
in the past; here's just one example:


Do any of you legal beagles out there have ideas
about how RICO may apply to the BSA?


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