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May 15, 2007
This is almost funny
I can't tell what's stupider or more boring: Microsoft's patent saber-rattling or AG Gonzales putting out an joke of a bill proposing a crime of "attempted piracy".
Microsoft is clearly conducting another of its FUD campaigns and the fact that they've gotten some name companies to go along just makes it more depressing. Don't get me wrong, I'm reasonably sure that there's a violation or twelve in open-source projects. With the state of software patents today you pretty much can't write any program without violating someone's patent on something. But as usual MSFT is blowing it out of proportion and making wild-ass claims in an attempt to scare people with real money into giving some of it - and the concurrent legitimacy - to Microsoft. This whole thing should go away, but probably won't. Considering how long and often Microsoft has been on the losing side of patent suits you'd think they'd have a little more sense about this.
I have no illusions that Gonzales has any sense, however. The man is so very clearly going down in flames over the firing scandal that anything he does now is at best a distraction. If you want to find the humor in this one, note that the draft bill requires that Homeland Security notify the RIAA. No other copyright holder - not even the MPAA - gets such special treatment. OK, pop quiz time: exactly who wrote this idiot thing? All the subtlety of a moose in snowshoes, really.
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