Microsoft Acquires Open Source (Again)

Fake News written by James Baughn on Wednesday, January 31, 2001

from the oh-the-humanity! dept.

REDMOND, WA -- In a stroke of genius that seems oddly out of character for Microsoft, the software bohemoth has found another way to claim ownership of every single piece of open source software. At the risk of flushing away any journalistic integrity we still have (yeah right), we here at Humorix blame the redesign of Freshmeat for this whole mess.

That's right. When Freshmeat II was unveiled, every software project was temporarily given an owner of "N/A" or "Not Available". Microsoft employees somehow discovered and exploited a bug in Freshmeat's new codebase that allowed them to change "N/A" to "Microsoft". Now every single project on the Freshmeat system is owned by Microsoft.

A team of Microsoft employees have spent the last 24 hours traversing the Freshmeat database and changing the license for every software project to the GPL -- Grossly Private License. They've also pointed every link to the Microsoft website (which, surprisingly, appears to be online right now).

Unfortunately, Freshmeat's webmaster has been unable to deal with the Microsoft hostile takeover because he has been inundated with flame mail from disgruntled visitors upset over the new site design.

You might be wondering, "So what? Just because Freshmeat's database is now corrupt doesn't mean that Microsoft actually owns of these software projects."

Bzzzzzzt! According to our own legal counsel, Mr. Noah Morals, Microsoft has a strong claim on open source. "Just yesterday Microsoft created a subsidiary called 'Not Available(tm)'. Since 'Not Available' is a Microsoft trademark, they can claim that Freshmeat's ownership field refers to them, thus making Microsoft the rightful (gag) owner of every piece of software listed on Freshmeat."

Well, we aren't going to argue with the fact that 'Not Available' is a Microsoft trademark. In light of their recent website outages, 'Not Available' is quite an accurate reflection of Microsoft's quality (or lack thereof).

Nevertheless, this biased reporter feels that Microsoft's argument has more holes than Windows NT security. But don't be surprised if the next version of Linux is licensed under the Grossly Private License and has the Microsoft logo plastered all over the place.

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