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[twuug] Microsoft defending us from "excesses of freedom"

Jerry Kincade <kincadej at> writes:

>   I am about 80% through reading "Free Culture" by Lawrence Lessig, so
> when I saw a link on Groklaw[1] that mentioned Lessig I had to follow
> it[2] and see what's up. Seems Microsoft does not like Sergio Amadeu, a
> Brazillian government official, criticizing them. 

Sure.  I saw both Lessig and Amadeu speak at the FISL conference in
Brazil just 2 weeks ago.  :)

> So they are filing a criminal defamation action against him to put a
> stop to what they see as ?excess in freedom of speech and freedom
> of thought.?[3] Sure glad I have Big Bill to protect me from
> horrible things like that!  What did Amadeu say in his criminal excess
> of freedom? He accused Microsoft[4] of being "...the company of a
> ?drug-dealer practice?" for giving away free software components
> to establish lock-in to their products. Amadeu also accused Microsoft
> of engagin in FUD.

"Although about three million computers get sold every year in China,
people don't pay for the software. Someday they will, though. And as
long as they're going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll
get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect
sometime in the next decade."  --Bill Gates

> Gee, who would ever believe Microsoft was capable of such behavior?
> I'm sorry, this just pegs the sarcasm-meter. According to Microsoft in
> their complaint[4], "The offensive expressions launched by the
> Defendant at the interview violate the rule of Article 12 of the Press
> Law, which leads to the application of the aforementioned especial
> statute whenever there is an excess in freedom of speech and freedom
> of thought, by means of the dissemination of information." If this is
> an accurate portrayal of Brazillian law, it must truly suck to be a
> Brazillian with a thought in your head.

I'm not familiar with Brazilian law at all so I can't comment on that.
However, I was very impressed with the direction the Brazilian
government is taking regarding free software.  How many free software
conferences have you been to in the States at which high ranking
government officials speak about the virtues of free software and
receive a rousing standing ovation?

You win again, gravity!

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