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February 15, 2005
The One Where Richard Stallman Calls Bill Gates a Communist
Richard Stallman at CNET, on Bill Gates' dirty little secret:
Here's what Bill Gates told Microsoft employees in 1991:
"If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today...A future start-up with no patents of its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose."
Mr. Gates' secret is out now--he too was a "communist;" he, too, recognized that software patents were harmful--until Microsoft became one of these giants. Now Microsoft aims to use software patents to impose whatever price it chooses on you and me. And if we object, Mr. Gates will call us "communists."
Groklaw, meanwhile, shares an article translated from Danish
describing what Bill told Denmark he'll do if it opposes the European software patents directive: pack up and go home, taking 800 IT jobs with him:
"If I am to keep my development center in Denmark, I must have clearity on the rights issue. Otherwise I will move to the US, where I can protect my rights," said Gates according to to Microsoft chief attorney Marianne Wier, who also attended the meeting with Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
I'm betting today will be a good press day for the FFII
(Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure) -- just in time for the planned protest march
Update: Microsoft : "Contrary to reports in the Danish media today, Microsoft stated that there are no plans to close the Microsoft Development Center at Vedbaek, Denmark."
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