Kernel Developer Accused Of Using Pirated Version Of Linux

Fake News written by James Baughn on Saturday, March 13, 2004

from the living-under-a-rock dept.

SILLYCON VALLEY -- One moment, Eric Hasher was getting ready to send a message to the Linux Kernel Mailing List. The next, he heard shouts of "This is a raid!" and a phalanx of armed forces wearing ASB uniforms (Authoritarian Software Bullies) stormed into his office. Before long, he found himself confined in Cellblock 3 of the local ASB Justice Center awaiting trial on 5,232 counts of software piracy.

"The ASB goons started demanding certificates of authenticity and registration keys for every piece of software on my computers," Hasher said. "I tried to explain to them that I was a Linux developer and that every single byte of software on my machines is 100% open source, but they didn't seem to understand or care."

According to an ASB spokesweasel, Hasher had 5,232 different illegal software programs installed on his office computers, including Emacs (which counts as 200). The ASB estimated that the street value for all of this software was somewhere near $23 million.

"Criminals like this make me sick," the ASB spokesweasel ranted. "This blatant disregard for intellectual property rights is costing the American economy several trillion dollars each year. Just the source code for one recent version of Microsoft Windows is worth more than all of the world's gold put together. Needless to say, we take these things very seriously."

Attempts by Hasher to beat the ASB enforcers over the head with a cluestick have so far proven futile. "Terms like open source, GPL, and Linux all mean nothing to them," he lamented.

"According to the ASB, all software is proprietary and must be properly licensed and registered -- even if you helped develop it," Hasher said. "If you have misplaced even just one license key, you're going to jail. You don't even want to know what they do to people who obtain a piece of software with a student discount and then turn around and use it for commercial work."

"On the bright side, at least I've made some friends here. My cellmate is a fellow Linux hacker who created a small open source program and was then arrested because he didn't issue a proper certificate of authenticity to himself. He's charged with one count of meta-piracy and various other frivolous charges."

As a community service (yeah, right), our own legal counsel, Mr. Noah Morals of the Lowe, Morals, and Scruples Law Firm, has graciously offered to provide his services free of charge to all users arrested by the ASB for pirating un-pirate-able software. Morals is assembling a dream team of copyright lawyers, including Mr. M. T. Scruples (junior partner), Mr. Bob "Bear" Attry, Mr. Les Honor, Mrs. Petty Fogger, and Ms. Sully Sittor.

"We're preparing to execute an energetic upward gesticulation of our lower extremities following an alignment converging on their collective posteriors," boasted Mr. Scruples. [Translation: "We're going to kick their ass."]

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