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<nettime> Re: Use Linux and you will be sued, Ballmer tells governments
Patrice Riemens on Fri, 19 Nov 2004 22:44:18 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Re: Use Linux and you will be sued, Ballmer tells governments ... yeah, in Singapore!


As usual, things must be seen in context, and this one is _very_
interesting. Ballmer apparently made his daring statements in Singapore
(aka "Disneyland with the dead penalty" in Bruce Sterling's parlance).  
Singapore has recently profiled itself as 100% IP & Copyright abiding and
enforcing country, which, if you have witnessed the riotous scenes of
dealing and wheeling played out 24/7/365 on the pavements of neighbouring
Johore Bahru (in Malaysia, within easy reach by city bus # 99 from
Singapore Center) is quite a tough proposition. The Singapore government
is also one among the few that has cut a deal with the Evil Corporation to
be privy to the M$ source code of the programmes they are purchasing
("xs4some" as we used to joke in the good old days). Apparently there was 
some told or untold quidproquo here, or at least ideological convergence.

But like all ideologies, its a bet on the future, and Singapore's one is
_extremely_ uncertain. The miniature country, despite all its glitz and
glamour and 500$ fines for masticating gum, is not really sure about what
the globalized corporate capitalist virtual future it has so ruefuelly and
ruslessy embarked in and banked upon, has in store. It is just trying to
stay ahead of the waves.  Since 'robust defense of intellectual property'
quite well squares with the 'Confucian values' of its ruling gerontocracy, 
it has embraced that. It's a bad bet as we all know. I wonder how they're 
coming out of that cleft shtick. 

Meanwhile, in Malaysia, they keep pestering them with the 5 POAs ("Points 
of Agreement", a decades long ongoing saga of bad, bad temper - for those 
upbreeds across the causeway...)


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