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[News] Microsoft (Mis)Uses Copyrights to Become Abusive Monopolist

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What makes Microsoft a monopoly? 

,----[ Quote ]
| It's that their entire product line rests upon state enforcement of legal 
| monopolies of duplication called "copyrights" (that's what a copyright is: a 
| monopoly on the duplication of an intangible such as software). And the most 
| outrageous thing is that they outsource their costs of enforcement to you, 
| the taxpayer.    
| Let's go with an example here. Imagine you want to enter the potato business. 
| You buy one potato, and you plant it. You invest time and energy of your own 
| into multiplying said potato and making a huge-ass farm, and when time comes 
| for harvest, you can pick them up and sell them in direct competition with 
| the guy who sold you the first potato.    
| Now imagine you wanted to sell Windows instead of potatoes: you buy a copy of 
| Windows, duplicate it N times (certainly a cheaper investment, but an 
| investment in time and money nonetheless), and start selling it. Exactly like 
| in the potato example above. What happens here is that armed dudes show up at 
| your doorstep and yank you into a cell, and your assets are taken away from 
| you, whether they were involved in the commission of this act, or not. Now 
| you are poor and possibly the shameful owner of a two-inch-wide gaping anus.      



Patent brainwashing in elementary schools (???)

,----[ Quote ]
| Alas! The terrible things they're teaching my children in schools these days,
| probably funded by Microsoft's OnMyWay program!
| I went to visit my son's class today, and discovered that they had been
| submitting proposals for patents, their teachers clearly no fans of
| innovation.... :-)


Can Microsoft teach tots digital-age virtue?

,----[ Quote ]
| The basis of Redmond's pitch was a small survey they sponsored where nearly
| half of the kids polled said they were unfamiliar with the rules and
| guidelines of using copyrighted media. Microsoft figured tots would be less
| inclined to steal someone's IP if they knew about the alleged consequences.  
| A lot of digital ink was used to slam Microsoft's scheme. People need Redmond
| telling them about IP rules like they need Pavorotti schooling them about a
| well-balanced diet.  


Threat Of Jail Time Increases Respect For Copyright, Microsoft Says

,----[ Quote ]
| It's not clear whether Microsoft's statement to teen respondents -- "When you
| do not follow these rules you are open to significant fines and possibly jail
| time" -- is entirely accurate, particularly when teens under the age of 18
| are involved. Emily Berger, an intellectual property fellow at the Electronic
| Frontier Foundation, is skeptical. "I think it's being used as a scare
| tactic," she said. "It's a real stretch of the law to say it's theoretically
| possible."      


Microsoft training youth to love intellectual property

,----[ Quote ]
| Take, for example, its commitment to help teenagers understand the importance
| of respecting intellectual property (read: giving Microsoft more money). It
| just put out a survey showing that when kids understand the rules of
| copyright, they're "less likely to download illegally."  
| [...]
| The one thing it didn't explain to teens is why they should retrofit
| 20th-century copyright laws onto 21st-century realities. Digitization is a
| fact. The web is a fact. Intellectual property is not the same as real,
| tangible property, and should be treated and monetized differently.  

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