Sunday, 27 March 2011

MS Innovates on the "foot-gun"...

From the WTF files:
Microsoft seems to be trying to get its own personal unfair competition laws passed state by state, so it can sue US companies who get parts from overseas companies who used pirated Microsoft software anywhere in their business. The laws allow Microsoft to block the US company from selling the finished product in the state and compel them to pay damages for what the overseas supplier did.
If this law is passed:

The upshot of is that if you are a US company wanting to import anything, you'd better make sure your supplier is not using any MS product anywhere in their business process, since that exposes you to litigation.

Corollary: If you want to export to the US, you better make sure you make a point of not using MS products.

On balance, this is a good law for the FOSS community. Why? Well: if your supplier uses Apple products (say) you cannot be sure they are not using MS software. In fact, they probably are. OTOH: if they have a published commitment to software freedom, they are very unlikely to have any proprietary software of stack they are not telling you about. They are also likely to be open about their software practices. That's how it works -- once you adopt an ethical stance, it permeates your whole business structure.

SCO did not invent the foot-gun, but they did popularise it's deployment. MS seems to have come up with a subtle innovation on the concept. Maybe they'll patent it?

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