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Re: Opinion: NVIDIA drivers are a Good Thing [tm]

On Monday 17 May 2004 02:03 pm, Rodolfo J. Paiz wrote:
> At 13:45 5/17/2004, Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:
> Use it or drop it... but the Greek lament you raised about cheating, and
> treating their customers like criminals, and forcing outrageous
> conditions? Drama. Just drama. Or hey, maybe I'm wrong, maybe you
> actually believe that they (and nearly every other software manufacturer
> out there) really is treating you like a criminal. If so, I do not claim
> to understand your radical view of contract law; but I can tell you that,
> at least in the wonderfully-horrible litigious orgy that is the United
> States (what I see as the worst case), reality is much less grim than
> what you portray.

My father, who has been in the industry since its inception,  finally threw 
out Windows when he realized that unless he allows his Windows XP computer 
to connect to the internet, it won't allow him to use the software. In 
other words, he was guilty of being a pirate until he could prove that he 

He already used up his support contacts when he had to request a new license 
number. When he went and replaced the motherboard and CD-ROM drive, Windows 
XP wouldn't allow him to use his old code. Again, a harmless hardware 
change caused Windows to believe he was an evil pirate.

Are these conditions not outrageous? Was he not treated like a pirate, 
without any evidence of foul play? He had to waste his support contacts 
that he paid for in advance for something that was unavoidable - is that 
not cheating him out of his money?

Is the BSA (Business Software Alliance) just a figment of our imaginations, 
or are they not *extorting* money out of small businesses who merely can't 
find their licenses or who don't have the resources to do a complete audit? 
Do they not  drop by, demand evidence of compliance without any evidence of 
violations, and threaten with federal prosecution if they don't comply? 
Whatever happened to the freedoms outlined in the US Consitution?

Believe what you want, but reality *is* more grim than you imagine. The 
stuff that is happening now in the US is merely a few months ahead of what 
will happen in Europe. I don't know where you are located -- I can't 
pretend to know -- but just because software licensing and patents aren't 
an issue where you live doesn't mean that it isn't an issue where I live.

Richard Stallman saw this as plain as day before it happened. He recognized 
the problems when proprietary software was still just an untested concept. 
You will learn a lot if you read his work that he publishes on his site 
(gnu.org). Is he pedantic? Yes. Is he wrong? No.

Jonathan Gardner
jgardner jonathangardner net

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