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CD Duplicator Refuses Linux Job, Citing MS Contract 491

Posted by timothy
from the bizarroworld-is-never-far-away dept.
Jonathon writes "Seems a Microsoft imposed restraint of trade agreement and concerns about the SCO suit have prevented a New Zealand company duplicating 500 CDs for our upcoming installfest. The installfest was mentioned on /. just days ago."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

CD Duplicator Refuses Linux Job, Citing MS Contract

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  • The Installfest (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zaffle (13798) * on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:19AM (#6337460) Homepage Journal
    The actual installfest site is here [linux.net.nz].

    As one of the helpers for the installfest, I can say that this is pretty much only going to help our cause. We couldn't ask for better advertising (both the NZ Herald, and Slashdot).

    We will be ready, Saturday, with plenty of CDs (we hope).

    • Re:Helping the cause (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jeffna (600646) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @03:07AM (#6337607)
      ... I can say that this is pretty much only going to help our cause

      I'd say so. I downloaded Knoppix last night after the previous installfest story piqued my interest.

      Things to note:

      I've used Micosoft software since I started using PCs.
      I'd never used any version of Linux before.
      I was very impressed with what I saw.

      Congratulations guys, you just gained a brand spanking new Linux user.
    • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @03:45AM (#6337694) Journal
      Malaysia being the world's #1 producer of PIRATED CDs, VCDs, and CD-ROMs, has more than enough talent and capacity to make ANY NUMBER of high quality CD, even in a short order.

      The cost of making CDs in Malaysia is EXTRA-ORDINARILY LOW - amount to LESS THAN USD 0.25 per CD, with quantities of 500 or more.

      No, I am NOT a CD pirate. I just know enough people who are in this line of "work" to know the cost.

      Not only the cost is low, the CDs they produce are also of high quality - rejection rate of less than 0.5 %, and turn around time can be as short as 5 days.

      And since it is NEVER ILLEGAL to make Linux CD-ROMs, legality wise there shouldn't be ANY PROBLEM.

      So, next time if you wanna make CDs, or you have a rush job and still want to have high quality CDs made, give Malaysia a call.

      You won't be disappointed !

      • by jkrise (535370) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @04:07AM (#6337740) Journal
        The problem isn't one of piracy - you can't pirate GNU / Linux - it's free. The fact is MS-SCO is spreading their FUD globally (where I live, Gartner is actively carrying the SCO FUD). Joe ServicePack's attention span and analytical-skills must not be over-estimated.

        By moving the CD copying to Malaysia, it's sort of implied that there's some pirating going on here! Newbies to Linux don't need this FUD - it could deter a few of them from joining the fest.

        Yesterday's interview, McBride stated that the case is entering a 'discovery' phase - this clearly indicates that SCO is only interested in FUD, and not a quick court action. It would help if more countries follow the example of Germany, Poland and others in exposing SCO's conduct, and seek penalties for future instances of FUD.
        • 1. Offer the binaries without a corresponding offer for the source code.

          2. Hijack the ship coming from Malaysia with all the linux cd's. Equipment you'll need: eyepatch, parrot, pegleg, makeshift plank for the crew to walk, silly accent. Say "Yarrrrrr!" a lot and complain about scurvy.

        • by Quarters (18322) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @07:30AM (#6338252)
          Yesterday's interview, McBride stated that the case is entering a 'discovery' phase - this clearly indicates that SCO is only interested in FUD, and not a quick court action.

          That 'discovery phase' that you incorrectly put into quotes isn't some made up thing that SCO is using to delay a court action. Discovery is a part of every litigation that happens. Unlike TV courtroom dramas where the defense introduces some amazing new evidence at the last minute, thus saving the day, in real court cases both sides know *everything* the other side knows *before* the trial even starts. There are no surprises and no 11th hour miracles.

          The fact that the litigation is now in discovery does not in any way, shape, or form, indicate that SCO is just interested in FUD.

          Geez, if you can't be bothered to learn even a little bit of how the court system works at least go rent a copy of, "My Cousin Vinny". Discovery is covered very well in that movie by Marisa Tomei.

      • by Heartz (562803) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @04:10AM (#6337746) Homepage
        CD Pirates are one of the primary reasons why Linux is gaining ground in Malaysia. They are cheap, and have all the latest titles. Linux enthuthiast who need the latest ISO's just needs to go to his local pirate distributor and usually in 2-3 days, you'll be able to get a copy. Especially useful for those of us who don't have Broadband internet at home.

        They are also actively promoting Linux to businesses who are looking for alternatives to microsoft during the latest software piracy crackdown.

        Pirates have brought linux to Malaysia! Pirates aren't that bad after all ;)

      • by Red Pointy Tail (127601) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @04:11AM (#6337751)
        Well, that's a bit too late, recent police and government crackdowns have more or less crippled these duplication rings. I know, I live in Malaysia where everyone is complaining about not being to buy VCDs or DVDs for less than USD2.00 anymore (at least not easily :) Yes, what you want are LEGAL duplications as opposed to the illegal pirated ones, but the point is that the cheap CD makers are the pirates and their machines have just been consfiscated, so tough.
      • rejection rate of less than 0.5 %
        So, that means in doubt they should burn 3 more CDs to have the 500 required.
        Will this help them benefit from the 501-1000-unit batch cheaper than the 1-500-unit one ?
      • by carambola5 (456983) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @09:12AM (#6338879) Homepage
        -Hi, Malaysia? Is this Malaysia?
        -Yes sir. You have reached the tourist center for Malaysia. How may I help you?
        -I need 500 CDs burned fast!
        -Excuse me sir?
        -Like I said, I need 500 CDs burned and shipped before Saturday. I read about your country's amazing capabilities to do something like this on Slashdot and I figured I'd give it a shot.
        -I'm sorry sir, this is a tourist hotline.
        -Don't get smart with me, buddy. I know for a FACT that all you guys up in Malaysia are in the CD pirating business. Don't make me turn you in.
        -I'd be happy to refer you to our Business Bureau.
        -You don't get it! I don't want a bureau. I want some CDs. Legal CDs! Linux CDs! And you guys have to make them.
        -I'm sorry sir, but I just can't help you.
        -Sheesh. What do I need to do to get your country to make some CDs for me? Do I need to bribe you?
        -Sir, you'll have to contact someone else for your needs. I can't help you.
        -Sure you can. You're from Malaysia, and Malaysia makes CDs. Now what's it gonna take? Twenty dollars? A few shiny trinkets? You Malaysians go for that kind of stuff, right?
        -<click>
    • by TopShelf (92521) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @05:41AM (#6337932) Homepage Journal
      As one of the helpers for the installfest, I can say that this is pretty much only going to help our cause. We couldn't ask for better advertising (both the NZ Herald, and Slashdot).

      I'm sure the Society told these guys, "if you turn us down, we'll become more powerful than you can possibly imagine..."
    • How much does it cost to ship 50 freshly burned Knoppix CDs to NZ by Saturday? Can you give me an address so I can price shipping?

  • Not so surprising (Score:4, Interesting)

    by McAddress (673660) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:19AM (#6337462)
    Bill Gates did not become the world's most successful business by being dumb. He is doing a very good job using the whole SCO issue to take away people's confidence in Linux. He has done a nice job putting pressure on the CD copying company. He is hoping to make the name "Linux" synonymous with phrases like "infringing copyrights" and "illegal".
    He is not stupid, and if Linux does not watch its back, the penguin might get slain, leaving the world without a reliable and secure OS.
    • Re:Not so surprising (Score:4, Informative)

      by HillBilly (120575) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:26AM (#6337482)
      It wouldn't be worth the risk of a big MS contract over 500 cd's anyway, to any cd copying company.
    • by BiggerIsBetter (682164) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:29AM (#6337493)

      Well, I don't think it'll go down like that. I mean, sure, Software Images didn't get the contract for 500 CDs, but someone else (like Stebbing Recording Ltd?) did and they probably made a buck out of it. I think it is Bill that needs to watch his back, lest the a flock of hungry penguins eat all the herring while he's busy throwing FUD into the media.

      Silly little companies like SI need to go out of business. It sounds like they're being MS-NZ's little bitch, and while that's good for the moment (if you like biting the pillow, that is), I don't expect they'll get any OSS business in the future. Is that a big thing? Yes, because that's the direction the market is moving and they've just blown themselves out of that game.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:30AM (#6337494)
      leaving the world without a reliable and secure OS

      Uh. It's not as if *BSD is dying or something. ;)
    • by Narcissus (310552)
      Leaving the world without a reliable and secure OS? I think some of the BSD coders would have something to say about that...
      • Re:Not so surprising (Score:3, Interesting)

        by quigonn (80360)
        SCO is about to attack BSD, too. Although all SCO claims are totally ungrounded, they know how to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt.
    • by RoLi (141856) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @04:06AM (#6337736)
      If you take a deep breath, take a step back and look at the facts:

      • IBM only got into trouble because they messed with proprietary software (SCO's).
      • Never was anybody successfully sued for using free software. So far nobody was even unsuccessfully sued, remember that SCO has so far only put out threats and not sued anyone. (And they won't.) In the commercial software world, suing and fining users is just normal business. Just look at how many companies are getting fined by the BSA every year.
      • When SCO has lost their case (and they will), a lot of people will see that the OSS licenses are indeed the only "no sue" and "no hassles" licenses.

      I think Microsoft made a big mistake with the whole SCO thing. The more people are aware of licenses and the more people understand the GPL, the worse Microsoft looks in comparison.

      The SCO case does hurt Linux in the short term, that's for sure. But in the long term, it will be just a confirmation of what many already know: That users of GPLed software are much safer from legal problems than users of commercial software.

      With the millions of shares Microsoft executives sell constantly, maybe they don't care about the long term...

      • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @06:43AM (#6338060)
        remember that SCO has so far only put out threats and not sued

        No, they have formally filed suit [sco.com]. What they haven't done is gone into court, which promises to be intensely amusing, and not in a good way for SCO.

        What they have threatened is to reveal evidence that would be damaging to IBM and give them control of Linux. Anybody who has actually looked at the details of the situation knows this is just verbal flatulence, with overtones of commercial fraud.
        • Sorry, I did not make that clear in my post: They never sued anybody for using Linux, they sued IBM for messing with their proprietary software.

          What they have threatened is to reveal evidence that would be damaging to IBM and give them control of Linux. Anybody who has actually looked at the details of the situation knows this is just verbal flatulence, with overtones of commercial fraud.

          Exactly.

        • by karlandtanya (601084) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @10:05AM (#6339242)
          Mommy's off shopping at Bloomie's, and Scooter is out playing with his new basketball...

          A new family has just moved into the neighborhood. They're a hippie bunch, they all work different jobs, and even the kids work around the house to help out. Mommy says they're kinda low-class.

          The primary purpose of the GNU organization is to create free software based on valuable commercial software.

          Translation: "Mommy, that new kid wants my spot on the team. He's picking on me."

          As long as the Linux development process remained uncoordinated and random, it posed little or no threat to SCO...

          Translation: "Hee Hee The new kid sucks."

          IBM initiated a course of conduct with the purpose and effect of using Linux to unfairly compete in the enterprise market.

          Translation: "That new kid's kicking my ass. Cheater!!!"

          It is not possible for Linux to rapidly reach UNIX performance standards for complete enterprise functionality without the misappropriation of UNIX code, methods or concepts to achieve such performance, and coordination by a larger developer, such as IBM.

          Translation: "My mommy bought me a whole home gym and personal trainer. That new kid must be using steroids."

          And, finally, this quote from IBM with which SCO takes issue in their complaint: ?IBM will put US $1 billion this year into Linux, the free operating system.

          Translation: "Hey! That new kid just got recruited by State!"

          Which makes the summary of the whole suit:

          "Mommy! Waaaa!!!"

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @05:52AM (#6337953)
      STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
      My Dear Friend IBM,

      I am highly compelled upon strict recommendation, to write you this very
      urgent and confidential letter.I do hope my letter will not embarrass you
      since I had no previous correspondence with you.I hope this mail will not
      come to you as a surprise.I am sending this proposal with due sense of
      humanity, responsibility and with few awareness that you will give it a
      sympathetic attention. I regret to the inconvenience it may cause you base on
      the condition that we have not met before.

      I wish to use this opportunity to introduce myself to you, I am Mr. Darl
      McBride,the CEO of the former proprietor of Unixware in my home city of
      Lindon, Utah, My Vice President Christopher Sontag had a synflood shot by the
      GNU rebels on his way travelling to White Plains, a city after New York, your
      headquarters along with my daughter, My daughter died on the spot while the
      HP-UX team rescued my Vice President, he was taken to hospital for medical
      treatment which he later died about three months now.

      Fortunately, My Company has Ten million and Five hundred thousand United
      States Dollars(US$10.5 million) cash, which he intended to use for investment
      purposes overseas. This money is kept with private security company in Europe
      since two years ago. It is only my son and myself that know where the money
      is kept and has the documents for it.

      Due to the current situation in the market concerning GNU's vendettas towards
      my family, we seek your assistance to transfer the ownership of this fund to
      you so that you can asisst us to claim it and used for the purpose of
      investment as intended by my Vice President.

      My family is currently being probed by this present GNU for alleged
      involvement in misappropriation of GPL code during his regime.

      Towards this effect, an embargo restricting my family members from traveling
      or carrying out financial transactions without their express permission is in
      force. Right now, my son and myself have concluded plans and decided to take
      immediate claim of this fund so that we can use it to better our lives and
      alliviate our present suffering hence this contact.

      However, I have an arrangement on how you can help us to recieve this money
      after receiving some assurances from you. The money personally belongs to my
      Vice President and he intended that it still be used for investment. No
      record ever existed concerning this money, neither is the money traceable by
      the GNU rebels because there is no documentation concerning the funds in the
      SEC reports. Bearing in mind that your assistance is needed to transfer this
      fund, we propose a commission of 20% (Twenty Percent) of the total sum to you
      for the expected services and assistance. While 5% is mapped out for
      miscellaneous expenses.

      On your positive consent, I shall expect you to contact me urgently to enable
      us discuss about this.Your urgent response is highly needed. I must use this
      opportunity to implore you to exercise utmost indulgence to keep this matter
      extraordinarily confidential, while I await your prompt response.

      Best regards,

      MR. DARL MCBRIDE, SCO LINDON UTAH
  • by TitanBL (637189) <brandon@tCOWitan ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:20AM (#6337464)
    Later, he said Microsoft's lawyers' advice was: "It's conjecture. It depends on who, what, when, the technology, and a whole bunch of things and the Herald is not a good place to get into a legal discussion." He went on to explain: Have you ever been pussy whipped by your girfriend? Well, if you have, you would understand our relationship with microsoft.
  • by McAddress (673660) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:21AM (#6337470)
    The name Yesterday Technology certainly describes the company perfectly, choosing Windows over Linux, that is so 1995.
    • but from where I sit, it's 5 hours ago tomorrow in NZ. when the programmers there put together a new build for me to test, I get 'software from the future'!

      -calyxa
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @04:26AM (#6337784) Journal
      Well, if they won't let people copy Linux CDs because of MS, send an XP cd and ask for 500 copies...
      • by Daengbo (523424) <daengbo@gmSTRAWail.com minus berry> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @05:58AM (#6337963) Homepage Journal
        What I don't understand is why (and yes I'm going to make an offtopic "Why didn't MY submission make it?" comment) this story is a big deal, when MS just hikacked tens of thousands of computers to be sold by the Thai government with Linux pre-installed by offering Windows to purchasers for 250 Baht (about US$6). There were supposed to be a hundred thousand Linux computers by December, and now there will be, like zero. Check my journal for the details.
        • According to the FAQ, if your submission was rejected by one editor, maybe another will approve it, and they also appear to cave if many people keep submitting the same story.

          I want to believe that this can't be completely legal. Does Thailand have any "illegal dumping" laws like (IIRC) the U.S.? Also, if this deal goes through, it might make interesting ammunition the next time Microsoft tries to "estimate" costs of illegal copying. Wait, how much is Windows really worth again? Retail, OEM, or $6? Al
  • Either one would be a valid, LEGAL reason for not doing the work, even if it was unhelpful. With the apearant backpeadaling, I'm likely to suspect that someone waffled after hearing about SCO's lawsuit.
  • by panurge (573432) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:22AM (#6337472)
    They can sell to whosoever they like. The situation would presumably be different if they had a monopoly (I say presumably because I don't know about New Zealand law) but that can't be said of CD duplication. It's essential that companies do have the right to refuse orders without giving reasons, because every order taken on involves some degree of commercial risk ranging from nonpayment to public liability. Were this not so, it would make for some interesting scams by dishonest buyers. The best protection for buyers is that salesmen as a breed want to be able to sell to anybody with money, and that provides a certain counterweighting to the caution of the legal and finance departments.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:45AM (#6337539)
      It's not a story because 'some company isn't duplicating Linux CDs,' mind you. It's a story because 'some company is allowing MS monopolistic tactics to compromise various business deals, including, but probably not limited to, the Linux OS.'

      This is more or less what happens with monopolies. They tell people who do good business with them that they can't do business with their competitors.

      Now, I'm not saying that this is right or wrong (monopolies have to do something to stay in business, since they're so big and normal practices stop working), but it's something worth discussing.
    • Depending on the jurisdiction they MAY have the right to refuse business without stating a reason, but that doesn't make it moral.

      Yes a business should have a right to refuse business, but they do have an obligation to give a reason. Otherwise the customer has no way to even know WHY they are being refused, and that pretty much voids all of those laws forbidding some reasons. If it was because they were unsure the LUG had the right to reproduce the material they should say they need proof of their repro
    • Coke and Pepsi (Score:3, Insightful)

      by eMartin (210973)
      "It's very much a Coke/Pepsi situation. If you are an ad agency dealing with Pepsi you don't pick up business with Coke."

      BS. This is more like telling some local kids with a lemonade stand that you can't help them because Pepsi doesn't like the competition.
  • Who cares (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hobsonchoice (680456)
    Great publicity for the event, but apart from that, who cares?

    I don't know about NZ, but where I live there (and it ain't silicon valley) there must be a dozen or more businesses in very easy distance which do CD mass duplication. So here's a tip: just ask somebody else.
  • YRO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by node 3 (115640) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:25AM (#6337481)

    Since this is under YRO, I figured I'd ask: whose rights are being violated here? (I can't see any rights violations)

    This seems more like a story about how evil Microsoft is. And evil they are, which is why I neither purchase nor support their software.

  • by speedfreak_5 (546044) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:26AM (#6337483) Homepage Journal
    Looks like they can't do anything for any of Microsoft's competitors ... but would linux itself really qualify as a competitor? I know there are many people who package distributions, but what if it was a non-commercial distro such as slackware they were trying to burn?

    And as long as they mentioned SCO, I would love to see them driven into the ground for what they're doing.
    • Slackware (Score:2, Informative)

      by A1miras (595087)
      Slackware IS a commercial distro and in fact one of the oldest commercial distros.

      However, your point is well taken. Just replace "Slackware" with Debian.
  • by evilviper (135110) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:27AM (#6337487) Journal
    Now you have ample ammo for suing SCO for libel, slander, defamation, etc...
    • by Dante_J (226787) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:49AM (#6337557) Homepage
      Now you have ample ammo for suing SCO for libel, slander, defamation, etc...

      The trouble is Who will do the suing?

      IBM? Redhat? Knoppix??? certainly not Knoppix.

      Lets face it, even though this is in NZ, it sets a very nasty precedent internationally.

      And although IBM have been playing it cool, as they should, with the rabid SCO flinging mud everywhere the concerning thing is that some of that mud might stick.

      Feature for feature, tech for tech and even on usability grounds Linux is beginning to really become a desktop option with mountains more flexibility than Windows - any flavour of windows.

      MS have played very very dirty in the past, and it would not surprise me in the slightest if it's their intention to do so again, and this case is testing the waters. Anyone remember Stacker?

      However this is a delicate time for Linux in the hearts and minds of the general uninformed masses.

      For the criminally insane at SCO to get some of their allegations to stick is a significant blow in Linux Marketing in the short term.

      It would help significantly if IBM made an big, loud, international, and official statement about the Damage SCO is doing to their market and reputation, and threaten serious legal action.

      A response form IBM like this would strengthen, not damage the reputation of Linux and Open Source software.

      Rusty, Tridge, Martin, have you fellows had smoco with some IBM lawyers recently?
      • by jkrise (535370) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @04:19AM (#6337771) Journal
        "The trouble is Who will do the suing?"

        Huh.. why not some "Association for Open Source in New Zealand", like Linux Tag in Germany? After all, the Duplicator does mention the SCO case as a ground for refusal to honor a contract.

        "Lets face it, even though this is in NZ, it sets a very nasty precedent internationally."

        True, but when LinuxTag successfully asked SCO to shut up, and even got a penalty of 1000s of Marks if SCO spoke rotten things, did that not set an international precedent? In the US, the so called protests ended as a farce. Poland and Australia, I believe, have got restraint orders against SCO as well.

        Let New Zealanders show which side they are on: The SCO-MS FUD GNUterrorists, or against. This is a good opportunity for them.
  • by Schlemphfer (556732) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:27AM (#6337488) Homepage
    Is this specific 500-CD deal a big thing? Of course not. But a few people in New Zealand have been measurably inconvenienced by the FUD [astrian.net] spread by SCO.

    I think little by little, SCO's efforts to create FUD may inconvenience substantial numbers of people. It wouldn't be a bad idea for a website to be started, for keeping track of the myriad ways that SCO's threats of copyright infringement liability have caused tangible expense and inconvenience.

    It would be a good knowledge base to have, and might come in handy for purposes of a potential class-action suit against SCO, if the company's claims of infringement are found by the courts to be without merit. In any case, this would be one way to give SCO's backers some FUD of their own.

    • OK, so this is heresy - bear with me...

      I think it might be best to do it on a totally-provably licence compliant Windows system. Arrghhh, I can't believe I said that... Never mind. The idea being that SCO can't get it shut down for copyright or IP violations. Or pick some other OS that's absolutely not related to Unix.

    • by jkrise (535370) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @03:57AM (#6337716) Journal
      "I think little by little, SCO's efforts to create FUD may inconvenience substantial numbers of people."

      Ditto. Other strategies (MS is involved with these, apparently) include Gartner going round the world promoting the SCO FUD. People need to remember that GNU and Linux took a lot of daring, creativity, powerful people etc. If they can't look browbeaters in the eye, they probably don't need the free stuff.

      Rather than keeping track of SCO and MS victims, a better approach, IMO would be to give wide coverage to the views of stalwarts like Linus, RMS, ESR etc. Groups like LinuxTag in Germany and others in Poland and Australia have done great pro-active work and have asked SCO to shut up.

      Since GNU and Linux derive from international efforts, and benefit all nations as well, (unlike SCO-MS which benefit only the US, primarily), the true facts about SCO must be beamed across mainstream media throughout the world.

      In fact, Slashdot could avoid devious SCO interviews, and focus on anti-FUD efforts. HP withdrew it's Linux PC notebook offerings in Thailand, and MS is offering XP and Office for $36!!

      SCO's case is about contract dispute, but many in the media talk about IP violations, as if they knew what that meant. Let's all adopt a healthy Dirtier-than-SCO attitude - let's have a /. article on this topic.
  • Wuss! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nucleon500 (628631) <tcfelker@example.com> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:30AM (#6337495) Homepage
    The complete and utter spinelessness of every company in existance is getting on my nerves. SCO may be evil, but at least they're doing something. Here we have a company which won't press Knoppix CDs because of either (they won't say which) baseless and and completely unsupported FUD from an insane law firm / software vendor on the other side of the world, or language that may or may not be in a contract they may or may not have with Microsoft, which may or may not be legal. Lawyers have filled every industry with complete, namby-pamby wusses.

    Besides, SCO has claimed that every single modern operating system (except Sun, they are quick to point out), is at similar risk. How could a CD company stay in business if they refused to duplicate anything McBride said was his?

  • by mikeophile (647318) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:30AM (#6337496)
    Linux Community Refuses to Give Business to CD Duplicator, Citing Questionable Ethics
  • Linux's image (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jarlsberg (643324) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:30AM (#6337497) Journal
    This is further proof that the SCO debacle is hurting the image of Linux in the marketplace and in the eyes of the consumer. SCO may not have a sound case, but they are causing a lot of confusion about the legality of Linux.

    There's also the part of the contract with Microsoft. This company is obviously not going to risc their probably very important economic ties to Microsoft for a mere 500 cd copy job -- no sane business person would -- but yet again we see evidence that the strong arm tactic Microsoft has employed since the DOS days (anyone remember DR DOS?) is still very much a part of their modus operandi.
  • IP or Microsoft (Score:5, Informative)

    by den_erpel (140080) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:31AM (#6337498) Homepage Journal
    I do not think that the SCO case made them refuse the job. When I read the article, the SCO case gives them an excuse not to do the CD duplication (of a small number, 500, of CDs).

    They lose almost nothing, while they are sucking up to M$, possibly gaining much more with the obfuscated licensing. I assume M$ will gladly pay their losses, considering the press coverage this thing will get.
    • Re:IP or Microsoft (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Jarlsberg (643324)

      I do not think that the SCO case made them refuse the job. When I read the article, the SCO case gives them an excuse not to do the CD duplication.

      Aren't you contradicting yourself? The SCO case haven't been tested yet and until it is, any action they take based upon the case is precautionary. So while the SCO case in itself can't force them to deny the job, they are denying it because there might the problems down the road. I'm guessing that there won't be, but hey, some people are more uncomfortable wi

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Give them the slashdot treatment! [swimages.co.nz]
    hehe
  • And SCO (Score:4, Informative)

    by zonix (592337) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:40AM (#6337531) Homepage Journal
    CD duplication company Software Images has refused a request to copy 500 Linux software CDs for a Linux Installfest this Saturday, because of concerns the job would breach a contract with Microsoft and infringe intellectual property rights. [...] When questioned by the Herald on Friday, Software Images chief executive Allan Morton said his company's wariness of Linux was due to legal action between SCO and Linux over intellectual property issues.

    This is of course total BS. If MS does somehow have a hand in this, maybe it's time to get SCO out of the way after all. The longer they stay around, even though their case against IBM is close to vapour, the longer MS can trick these companies into believing the FUD - they probably don't know any better, who can blame them?

    My $0.02.

    z
  • by pherris (314792) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:40AM (#6337532) Homepage Journal
    From the article:
    Software Images general manager David Hill denied there was a non-compete agreement with Microsoft.

    But the existence of a 15-page contract with a non-compete clause was confirmed by Microsoft competitive strategy manager Brett Roberts.

    Feel free to email David at david.hill@softwareimages.com [mailto] asking him to clarify his statement. There's also a contacts [swimages.co.nz] page.
    • by NewtonsLaw (409638) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @03:29AM (#6337659)
      Oh that's smart (NOT)... encourage the lunatic fringe to send the guy offensive emails so that the stories Microsoft told him about Linux users being a bunch of childish fools gains credibility.

      Let's act like grown-ups here and realise that although the company's attitude may be somewhat lacking, they are within their legal right to do what they're doing whether others like it or not.

      Remember, they're not the only supplier in town and if they won't do the job, there will be others who will.

      Mind you, as has been stated, it's rather nice of them to turn an otherwise unnoteworthy transaction into an item of important news. Sure beats paying for advertising and you've got to admire those who use smart (spam-free) marketing tactics!
      • "Let's act like grown-ups here and realise that although the company's attitude may be somewhat lacking, they are within their legal right to do what they're doing whether others like it or not."

        Legally true, but acting like "grown-ups" is clearly more than just letting laws trample all over you, as is becoming more and more evident every day. As an open-source, anarchic "sector", we have no great recourse to legal funding, so we need other channels to influence people to the same extent as those that do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:45AM (#6337542)
    I'm reminded of the English tradition of Knighthood. Where some subject becomes a knight and is granted
    dominion over a parcel of land.

    Microsoft granted this company so many parcels of foo, so long as they upheld Microsoft's honor. And on a larger scale, Isn't dominion what was promised to the RIAA, Media Cartels, others, in exchange for their "loyalty"?

    Maybe I stretch things too far. But it seems the power of the common man has dwindled to nothing outside of a small space that's been allotted. Any attempts to reach beyond this space are met with resistance and punishment.

    All these guys wanted to do was duplicate some cd's.
    But that activity appears to be outside the domain Microsoft is willing to grant them. How have we gotten into the situation where we must beg persmission to do mundane tasks like this?

    Is the large scale duplication of information getting to be a little too risque' for the peons? Gotta keep an eye on stuff like that now?

    The box that makes up our collective free will is getting smaller and smaller as each cubic centimeter is parcelled off to the Knights of Modern Royalty.
  • Now what... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by floydman (179924) <floydman@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:46AM (#6337544)
    every linux supporter is somehow being effected by this SCO/Linux issue. Even YOU as a system admin. or programmer are. I mean i am a linux programmer where i work, and devlopers form the other side(MS dev.) keep on asking, whats up with this SCO thing, so are you planning to go back to Visual c with a wide smile.. . PERIOD..out of subject..

    what i wanted to say is, companies like IBM, SUN, Oracle, Redhat, Suse and others are losing money, credability, business, and are instead gaining lots of headache, questions, bla bla bla...

    Why the fuck dont they just group, put an end to it. They already spent billions in investments on Linux, espically IBM and Oracle(who supported Linux clustering), if they care for their business and investments, they should act, and FAST, before this thing really grows and starts to actually draw back customers who had linux on their considered solution list, knowing that Linux opened new business grounds for them, and they cant deny it, they owe linux exactly s much as linux owed them...
  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @02:48AM (#6337552) Homepage
    and not tell my electricity supply company that I use Linux at home, just in case they decide that because some of my neighbours run M$ boxes, that they can't supply me with power any more.
  • boycotts? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by buro9 (633210) <david@bu[ ].com ['ro9' in gap]> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @03:12AM (#6337617) Homepage
    i'm usually amazed how seldom people will resort to boycotts.

    whilst i would have no doubt that MS are obviously a large part of their business, it is obvious that no business survives with just one good horse in their stable.

    with a good enough word-of-mouth campaign it should be possible to inform local businesses and companies of the boycott, inform them of other options, and thus remove a chunk of their potential business.

    500 cds may not hurt their purse strings, but 100 x 500 will.

    do we forget just how much power we have?
  • Finally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tsa (15680) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @03:14AM (#6337624) Homepage
    And finally the Linux community realizes that the SCO case is to be taken seriously...
  • My few cents. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @03:16AM (#6337629)
    As a Linux user myself for many years I now see the sideeffects of Open Source myself and started to eye for alternative Operating Systems such as MorphOS (Pegasos), MacOSX, BeOS Zeta and Microsoft Windows. There are various reasons for me to do this.

    a) The Open Source community used to be a nice one, the philosophy of it was valued high in the first couple of years but meanwhile the entire situation has changed. Companies are trying to protect their IP, other companies don't work fair with the Open Source company by not backporting their changes in the original sources and so on.

    b) The audience changed totally, you need to deal with more and more complaining and ranting people every day. People that are always dis-satisfied regardless what you do. Even I as Programmer need to deal with these people. I spent my time writing the programms, fixing bugs, answering technical emails, pay for the Webspace, offer the software and yet you need to deal with dis-satisfied people all overwhere which leads into demotivation of doing something better.

    c) Many people wandered off from Linux and Open Source by using alternative Systems (preferabely MacOSX) thus they have a working, aesthetical, nice, round and standardized desktop environment with all tested tools. They can get their work done and don't care for Linux and it's Open Source that much anymore as they initially did. A lot of people started to work a lot less on Open Source because they don't see the need to do this anymore because they get all the software with better quality offered on their alternative System.

    Here an example: A lot of GNOME developer moved away working on MacOSX these days and don't look back, while they still help with various fixes, coding etc. they still do this as funjob, they don't see the need to work as hard to make a good Desktop because they have a Microsoft independant OS (MacOSX) which offers them everything and more than GNOME for example. Of course they also see the points written by me here with all the ranting people, no fair play of companies and the general demotivation.

    Face it, we all like to be honoured for our work, we all like to hear 'thank you' from the people outside that we spent our time working our ass off on the tools we offer. But the reality is that we deal more with complaining people rather than people who said 'thank you'. We all like to earn some money with what we do. Look, we sit down the entire day, weeks, months working on the Tool, we pay for Webspace and more and we don't even get the money back for the Webspace we pay once per year.

    Open Source is indeed a nice thing but the times has heavily changed, complaining users, demotivation, dirty play with companies, sueing of people who wrote Open Source applications like the freecraft person. A very nice game and now it's not available anymore because he got is ass sued off.

    Think about it, is it really worth the trouble ? We should concentrate back to the old roots and try making some bucks with our work, getting the webspace paid, stop the insanity with open source. it's a good idea but the license is only a hype. Like everyone can fork the code and release his own version of the software which only ends in 20 derivates which each of them still doesn't do the work it was aimed for. Not to mention that we all are individual people who work for fame, for money for being someone in the community. You work on the software because you love it because you never think about someone comming up forking it and then one day you see a derivate of your work floating around in the community and you get heavily pissed off and stop working on it and feel disappointed and have thoughts in your head saying 'what did i do wrong, why did this person fork my software' and so on. Please don't understand me wrong, think back the time when emacs got forked to xemacs. Or think back when KDE Desktop got heavily trashed by RedHat. You are itching at the egos of people with this. It's really better to start thinking about new and better ways and search for an alternative work on an alternative System.
  • by hng_rval (631871) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @03:29AM (#6337658)
    From the article:

    Roberts said the contract with Software Images did not contain anything that prevented Software Images working with the Open Source Society or pressing Linux CDs "or anything like that".

    He said Software Images made their decision before talking to Microsoft "for their own reasons".

    "It's very much a Coke/Pepsi situation. If you are an ad agency dealing with Pepsi you don't pick up business with Coke."

    When the Herald pointed out that Open Source software was a competitor to Microsoft, Roberts said: "I guess so, but the NZ Open Source Society isn't."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @03:38AM (#6337676)
    "It's very much a Coke/Pepsi situation. If you are an ad agency dealing with Pepsi you don't pick up business with Coke."

    Um... I work for an ad agency, and our company deals with both of the above mentioned companies. We work around the possible problems by having different teams work with the individual companies. (I think this is semi-public knowledge, but I'm posting AC anyhow, to be on the safe side.)

    That said, the deal with Software Images is just a hiccup, lost business for them. I'm sure there is a long list of other companies that will duplicate for them without any trouble at all. Move on, nothing to see here.
  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @03:38AM (#6337678)
    That's right, New Zealand businesses! Software Images has helped you make a decission towards reliable outsourcing for your data duplication needs. If you need an outfit who can be trusted to handle your order, even important rush orders, Software Solutions is not your provider.

    Data duplication is an important last step to any project that requires physical media for distribution. You need to know that your order is accepted and being handled and processed quickly, efficiently, and reliably. At Software Images, your data duplication order may be green-flagged by their expert account managers... only to be refused at a later date.

    Your order may be refused because, on a "case by case basis", the data in question might be considered in competition with Microsoft. And as Microsoft continues to reach in to new sectors and attach new niches... who's to say if one is in direct competition or not? But you'll find out. After your order has been rejected and you are forced to scramble for another outsource provider.

    Your order may also be refused if an industry competitor makes unfounded alligations as to owner of the intellectual property contained in your duplication order. No need to wait for a court ruling. No need for proof of a currently valid license. Your important job will be rejected, leaving your business high and dry.

    In this tough economy, every business needs reliable outsource providers. They need to know that services will be there for that important job or rush order.

    With Software Images, you won't know.

    Software Images. They're not there for you. They're there for their major account - Microsoft.
  • With all those 436x burners that they've had seized, the Linux guys could have 500 cds in the blink of an eye!

    An eye punctured with shards of flying CD, of course. Hillary can oversee the whole operation! But only for a minute...AHHH!

    >;C MY EYES!

  • Heh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jazman (9111) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @03:42AM (#6337687)
    "Software Images' account manager Dean Baker...backtracked, saying there may be an issue due to a "replication agreement" with Microsoft."

    So they're in bed with MS, that's why they don't want to promote Linux. The SCO FUD is just an excuse; they just don't want to upset MS.

    Still, we all know what happens to companies that get in bed with MS. Eventually MS f**ks them.
  • by StandardCell (589682) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @03:50AM (#6337702)
    I remember nine years ago when I was shopping for a top of the line PC (at that time, a 486DX-2/66). I walked into a local computer superstore and told them what I wanted; however, I also wanted to save a few bucks and just have the hard drive boot to a DOS prompt, no more.

    The salesperson was very pushy and asked "well what are you going to install on there?" and I of course responded "anything - SCO Unix (note: what irony, little did I know...), Linux, BSD...why?" Well, sadly, I was informed by the salesperson there that I "would not be receiving a hardware warranty if I did not order it with Windows."

    Needless to say, I walked out shortly thereafter and later learned that this was a common practice at the time and at later points in time. The moral of the story is that anything that Microsoft might have its grubby little hands, in any form, may affect the average Joe in unimaginable ways, and many imaginable ones. Just like me, and just like the folks trying to legally dupe CDs.
  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @04:00AM (#6337722)
    Of angry villagers, marching up the road with pitchforks and torches in hand.

    Er, what's the name of that street in Redmond??

  • Ha! (Score:4, Funny)

    by TheDredd (529506) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @04:45AM (#6337822)
    I bet if I walked in there with a copy of UT 2003 and asked for 500 copies of it they would say: "No problem, mr Smith"
  • by Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) <abacaxi@NoSpaM.hotmail.com> on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @05:21AM (#6337893)
    "Roberts said "like all good non-compete clauses it isn't [clear cut]. Each situation will have to be evaluated case by case"."

    Shouldn't legal contracts be clear? Or is eaving plenty of weasel-room a tactic by lawyers to leave room for the FUD to spread.

  • by jolyonr (560227) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @05:22AM (#6337895) Homepage
    The replicators are probably loving all the harsh publicity they are getting in Slashdot and around the Linux community, anything they do to upset and aggrivate the Open Source world will probably score them bonus points with Microsoft. The more we bitch about them here, the more Microsoft will love them.

    However, they'll need to be careful, dealing with Microsoft is not something I would envy - I met someone once who used to work with them, and he told me that ".. the only time M$ wouldn't piss all over you is if you were on fire."

    Jolyon
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @06:11AM (#6337990)
    This is anti-competitive behaviour.

    Raising Your Concerns by Contacting the Commission

    Readers who are aware of behaviour that appears to breach the Commerce Act can forward information to the Commission. The Commission will consider this information and, if appropriate, initiate an investigation.
    The Commission also carries out its own market monitoring and surveillance activities. An investigation that identifies a breach of the Commerce Act may lead to the Commission taking one of a range of actions, including prosecuting businesses in the High Court. Actions the Commission can take are outlined in the Commission Processes section of this publication.

    To contact the Commission with information:
    Telephone 0800 94 3600
    Write to:

    Contact Centre
    Commerce Commission
    P O Box 2351
    Wellington

    Email: contact@comcom.govt.nz

    http://www.comcom.govt.nz/publications/pdfs/anti -c ompetitive%20practices%20final.pdf

    Put Software Images out of business.
  • by Trolling4Dollars (627073) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @08:33AM (#6338617) Journal
    Just work out a user friendly way to install from the internet. Older versions of RedHat used to install via FTP. Gentoo installs over the net. What "Joe Average" needs is a happy medium:

    -They pop open IE in Windows and go to the "Install Linux" web site and start the procedure.
    -It brings down a self extracting tar.bz2 archive which expands to %TEMP%.
    -It also creates another file that stores the actual location of %TEMP% in Windowspeak.
    -It then executes a Windows based binary that will format a floppy, a bootable ZIP or Jaz disk or burn a CD-R/RW as bootable medium.
    -It also unpacks file that contains an ext2 filesystem to %TEMP%

    When the floppy, Zip, Jaz or CD-R/RW are complete, the user is instructed to reboot with the new boot disk. When they do, they are first presented with a partition manager that allows them to resize their Windows partition and set up space for the Linux installation. Then the file with the ext2 filesystem is mounted and the real GUI based installation begins pulling the distro from the internet. (Network configuration, X with framebuffer support, etc... has already completed in the background)

    Obviously this would only be suitable for people with high bandwidth, but that could be solved too... The installer should allow the user to pause the installation and shutdown so that they can do it in phases. When they reboot, the installer would see the partially installed system and allow them to continue from where the log indicates that the install left off.

    CDs need to go away as an installation medium.
  • by _iris (92554) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @09:08AM (#6338845) Homepage
    I wonder if they denied to press Microsoft's discs when Microsoft was litigating the case brought against them by Caldera or the case with the DOJ.
  • EMAIL the CEO (Score:3, Interesting)

    by oob (131174) on Tuesday July 01, 2003 @07:37PM (#6345109)
    To: chris.due@softwareimages.com
    Cc: logan.jay@softwareimages.com, cristian.giurgiu@softwareimages.com,
    rudy.clavel@softwareimages.com
    Subject: Refusal of Linux CD Order

    Dear Chris,

    I have just read with dismay the Slashdot and NZ Herald stories regarding your refusal to copy CD images of the Linux operating system for use at an
    upcoming Linux Installfest to be held in New Zealand.

    I understand that this refusal is due to a deal that your organisation has with Microsoft Corporation, your unfounded protestations of copyright infringement concerning Linux not withstanding.

    I believe that you are fully within your rights to make such a deal, sordid though I believe it to be, and to refuse work orders from your customers as you see fit.

    Like many others however, I dislike your decision and chose not to use your services or buy your products until such time as your decision is reversed and you make adequate restitution to the Open Source community.

    Further, I am in the process of contacting every person I can think of who might be in a position to do business with you to explain my decision, in the hope that they also may chose to do business with one of your competitors.

    I hope that the loss of business that results, along with the terrible press you have been getting encourages you to rethink your decision.

    Please withold any platitudes regarding the SCO Group suit against IBM, they are neither relevant to your decision or in themselves have any basis in fact.

    Regards,

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exceptions of handguns and Tequilla. -- Mitch Ratcliffe

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