Skip to comments.Linux users march on city hall (my title: Che Guevara to be raised from the dead)
Posted on 08/15/2002 4:54:26 PM PDT by Bush2000
Linux users march on city hall
A small but enthusiastic crowd of Linux lovers hit the streets of San Francisco on Thursday, hoping to trumpet the virtues of open source to lawmakers and voters.
Led by Michael Tiemann, chief technology officer of Linux seller Red Hat, the group marched the mile-long stretch from the LinuxWorld conference to San Francisco City Hall. There Tiemann unveiled the Digital Software Security Act, a proposal that would prohibit the state from buying software that doesn't open its code. Tiemann, wearing a red fedora and clutching a map so he could find his destination, said he also wanted to point out the hypocrisy of the state, which is one of the holdouts in the antitrust battle against Microsoft even as it runs the company's software in government offices.
"While they're spending money suing the monopolist, they're also feeding the monopolist with the other hand," Tiemann told the crowd.
The march attracted the zealous, the fearful and the merely curious.
One marcher, a hotshot Linux programmer who goes by the name of Tack, said it's important that government types listen to open-source advocates before passing laws dealing with technology. He said he's already suffering from federal laws that outlaw certain types of programming that could crack copy protections. "Instead of being able to focus on developing a new technology for my client, I have to think like a lawyer, said Tack, who described himself as a "freelance tech guy." "I don't want to land in jail."
Another marcher, Tim Sullivan, said the event is a chance for programmers to actively protect their right to code.
"I think this is a good chance to stand up for our freedoms," said Sullivan, 22, a computer science student at Oregon State University. "I'm not really a policy person, but it's pretty evident that it's ridiculous to stop people from writing software."
Forming a band of two dozen bobbing red hats, the group snaked through downtown San Francisco, stopping periodically to hear Tiemann cite rights eroded. He spoke of foreign programmers afraid to travel to the United States, content companies with too much power in Washington, and governments financially strangled by their reliance on proprietary software.
Hoping to reach regular folks, marchers wound up Market Street and past rows of outdoor chess players and department store bag-laden tourists. They stopped briefly at the Metreon shopping center, at a cable car turnaround, and finally, on the steps of city hall. Occasionally they chanted "Balance the budget. Switch to Linux." Few outsiders looked up from their activities to acknowledge the crowd.
At one point, marchers came across a historical plaque that was sponsored by Microsoft. They groaned and quickly papered over the software giant's name with a bumper sticker poking fun at proprietary software that doesn't allow programmers to tinker. "Why would you buy a car with the hood welded shut?" it read.
Turnout was on the low end of the 20 to 100 people Tiemann expected. Some programmers complained of the early 10:30 a.m. start time. One said he had to drag his friend out of bed. Others cited the fast clip of the gangly Tiemann, who took off promptly from the conference hall and rushed up the street, forcing some programmers to jog breathlessly behind him.
But open-source guru Bruce Perens, who marched alongside Tiemann, lamented that most technologists simply aren't paying attention. "It's obvious only a tiny bit of people from (LinuxWorld) turned out, and that presents a problem," he said. "Either they don't understand the issues or they have a business partnership that doesn't allow them to talk about it."
City officials did not greet the marchers when they arrived at city hall. Tiemann said he picked the city hall destination--despite the fact he's pushing his proposal at the state level--because it was the closest major government landmark to the LinuxWorld show. No state legislators have expressed official support for the bill, but Tiemann said he has some meetings planned with lawmakers in the next few days. State Assemblyman Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, has met with proposal author Walt Pennington but took no position one way or the other, spokesman George Balgos said.
The move comes as several government entities across the globe are considering legislation that would require considering open-source alternatives to proprietary software such as Microsoft's.
Not surprisingly, proponents of proprietary software are acting swiftly to quash such endeavors. The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), a computer industry lobbying group that along with Microsoft has campaigned against open source, said a mandate to pick open software could drive IT companies out of business, endanger 200,000 technology jobs in the state, and restrict choice.
"Such purchase decisions should be made on the basis of objective criteria without a presumption that proprietary, hybrid or open-source software would be the best solution in every case stated," Grant Mydland, CompTIA's director of state government relations and grassroots programs, said in a statement Thursday.
"The life of a single human being is worth a million times more than all the property of the richest man on earth... Far more important than a good remuneration is the pride of serving one's neighbor. Much more definitive and much more lasting than all the gold that one can accumulate is the gratitude of a people."
Where have I heard that before?!?
That pretty much says all anyone needs to know about these loons, doncha think? :)
Of course the rest of the paragraph, where he bitches about how new laws might put him in jail for writing pirateware, well, that's priceless too.
And the bit about buying a car if the hood is welded shut? I wonder if these numnuts would board an airliner if they're prohibited from opening the engine cowls?
The linuxers are more and more starting to remind me of the "coalition" of fruitcake factions that always present themselves as the Democratic Party's mainstream constituency.
Except, perhaps, for the pack of mad dog "competitors" who opted to "compete" in the courtroom rather than the showroom. BWaaaaahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa, etc.
Actually, Enron is the winner in this division: they basically existed to game the energy regulations, gave millions to politicians, might still be in business if G*r* had won and implemented the Kyoto treaty.
Tell that to the Norweigan kid whom the MPAA is trying to imprison for writing software to view DVDs (view, not copy). But the "Digital Software Security Act" is misguided; these guys should be trying to get bad laws like the DMCA repealed or struck down, rather than trying to have government forcibly impose their preferences.
Cry me a river.
Better idea: just write the software anyway. F#$% IP law, we don't need to obey such fascist drivel as that trash currently on the USC.
Technology should not be bound by such petty and pathetic ideas such as ensuring "fairness" and "compensation." Just because you invented something does not give you a right to profit from it if the only way you can profit from it is to abridge the rights of the public. I gain nothing from the DMCA and similar legislation. It does not bring me better products and services that are more versatile in how I can use them. It does not enhance my rights, it only tells me, "research this area of Computer Science and go to prison if you publish your term paper."
I hope I live to see the day that Jack Valenti and Hilary Rosen are escorted to a federal prison by US Marshalls for the corruption that their organizations force upon the public. The **AA, DVDCCA and BSA are damn good arguments for establishing a corporate death penalty statute (give the state supreme court the discressionary power to revoke the charter and force the liquidation of the assets).
As opposed to Microsoft which is looking more like it's run by the reanimated corpses of the HUAC. Calling its competition unAmerican(tm) and implying that it is communistic is pathetic. Funny thing Don, I'm running RH 7.3 right now and 2/3 candidates I've voted for are Libertarians, not Republicans. I'm typical of the Linux users I've met.
Heheheh, you're a funny guy, ya know!
If you had any idea of the measure of contempt I reserve for Libertarians... oh, my achin' sides!
And the Libertinas wonder why normal folk hold them in such contempt?
"Technology should not be bound by such petty and pathetic ideas such as ensuring 'fairness' and 'compensation.'"
Spoken like a true bolshevik, tovarish!
I see B2K's Che' reference was spot on!
"Just because you invented something does not give you a right to profit from it if the only way you can profit from it is to abridge the rights of the public."
I love it! You're possessed by the ghost of Gueverra!
My sides! Sh!t, d00d, yer killin' me!
C'mon, tell us how you really feel. Go ahead, let it rip: I know you're dyin' to blurt out something about The Glorious People's Revolution. Go ahead. You're among friends. You can trust everyone here. We would never dream of calling in the White Coat Squad for you, umm... Comrade "Che'"
(I can't take it anymore, my sides are gonna split!)
This is really hilarious, coming as it does from a spittlechin who just finished ejaculating such marxist tripe like, "F#$% IP law, we don't need to obey such fascist drivel as that trash currently on the USC," and, "Technology should not be bound by such petty and pathetic ideas such as ensuring 'fairness' and 'compensation,'" and, "because you invented something does not give you a right to profit from it" -- good grief you commies are a hoot!