Mike Leone on Wed, 17 Oct 2001 20:30:14 +0200

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Re: [PLUG] BSA offering a grace period

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fred K Ollinger" <follinge@sas.upenn.edu>
To: <plug@lists.phillylinux.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 17, 2001 1:44 PM
Subject: Re: [PLUG] BSA offering a grace period

> I know that this is silly, but what rights do they have to come in on your
> business? What proof do they have to have? Do they really get a warrant
> and make everyone, 'step away from the machines?'

They get that right from YOU ... as part of the legal punishment for
breaking the license agreement, and illegally copying software, you
(usually) have to agree to let them come do an audit. Remember, this is a
legal proceeding  - they sue you in court. And part of our settlement, at
any rate, was allowing audits. If not, we could have gone to trial before a
judge. If we lost, it would have cost us MUCH more than the final fine

AFAIK, tho, they don't just show up at your door unannounced one day - it's
a scheduled audit.

> I don't own a business, but if I did and I had a warning, I'd back up data
> then low-level every last computer before an audit. "No sir, no violations
> here." I guess this type of behavior would get me thrown in jail for
> contempt or something. Wonder if I did a fresh, tiny linux install over
> the low-level? "Sure, stick the cd in there. See if you can run your
> crappy violation software." This sw does exist. There's a 'mac' and a 'pc'
> version. I should try the pc version under WINE. :)

Wouldn't surprise me if others had tried it before you. Bet it won't stand
up in court, tho. And it's a non-viable solution for most - I have 80 PCs;
am I supposed to make the whole company stand around for the time it takes
me to re-format everything; wait out the BSA; then re-install everything?
That's not a viable option.

> Finally, what hope do we have of starting our counter BSA? The GSA? Can we
> get a warrant and audit MS and Adobe? IMHO, the GPL should be as legally
> binding as the other shrink-wrap 'contracts' especially b/c we never sign
> them nor even click through them as MS comes pre-installed. I wonder if
> this stuff would hold up in court. I guess not as using the sw, IMHO, is
> the same as agreeing to licencse.
> I guess it's time to start opening up that closet where we piled up all
> those shiny holograms and start stacking them up.

Annoying, ain't it?

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