Monday, August 27, 2007

That'll Teach Them

Here's a nice way to straighten out criminals (also known as Linux users): lock them up and force them to use Windows. It's bound to work.


Chalk up another new-found power to the Motion Picture Association of America: the ability to force someone to change operating systems. Scott McCausland, who pleaded guilty last September in 2006 to the crime of uploading Star Wars: Episode III to the site, was charged with "conspiracy to commit copyright infringement" and "criminal copyright infringement" by the FBI. This charge carried a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release. He wound up serving five months in prison and is now on probation. The probation, however, has now taken a strange turn into forced platform advocacy.

"I had a meeting with my probation officer today and he told me that he has to install monitoring software onto my PC. No big deal to me; that is part of my sentence," he wrote on his Lost and Alone blog. "However, their software doesn't support GNU/Linux (Which is what I use). So, he told me that if I want to use a computer, I would have to use an OS that the software can be installed on." The monitoring software in question is only available for Microsoft Windows. Neither Linux nor a Macintosh running OS X would be an acceptable platform.