*countable infinities only

Jay Sulzberger jays at panix.com
Fri Jun 15 16:05:49 UTC 2012



On Fri, 15 Jun 2012, Mathieu Bridon <bochecha at fedoraproject.org> wrote:

> > On Thu, 2012-06-14 at 15:46 -0400, Jay Sulzberger wrote:
> > Please forgive this top posting.
> > 
> > I will not answer now your radical defense of Microsoft, except to
> > say two things:
> > 
> > 1. Your defense would apply also to the decades long fraud of
> > Microsoft saying in their EULA that, if you do not run the
> > Microsoft OS installed at point of sale of the hardware, you get
> > a refund for the OS.  But Microsoft and the hardware vendors
> > systematically refused refunds.
> 
> No they haven't. People get their OS refunded in France. It is a long
> and frustrating process, but with each victory it gets easier.

No, even in France, as you state, it is not easy to get a refund.
Even though the practice of tying software to hardware is
illegal.  What this shows is that one must be careful to
correctly estimate the size of various forces in tactical situation.

The relevance to the present case is this:

Some Fedora developers argue that it will still be possible to
install Fedora on x86 hardware which, as shipped, has only the PK
and the PK "authorized" Microsoft Hardware Key in the UEFI.  But
Microsoft has for over a decade promised to simply give a refund
when requested.  And today nowhere on Earth does Microsoft
actually simply give a refund when requested.  Now Microsoft has
promised to always allow the owner sitting before the machine to
install their own key.  But we know that Microsoft has
systematically broken its promise to give refunds.  Thus we
should not accept Microsoft's promise here.

In the case of ARM devices Microsoft's statement of its position
is different: If the ARM device is shipped with a Microsoft OS,
then Fedora will never be installed on the device.  No putting
one's own key in, no getting a special
Microsoft/Vendor/Certificate-Authority managed key for the whole
Fedora project, no nothing, just gross suppression of Fedora and
all free OSes.

> 
> There's even a step-by-step guide (in French) :
> http://non.aux.racketiciels.info/guide/index

Thank you for this pointer.

Here is a story from 1999:

   http://www.nylug.org/articles/text/article.windowsrefundday.nytimes.shtml

The story is partly inaccurate. In New York City, of all the
vendors whose machines we installed a free OS on, after careful
removal of the Microsoft OS, only Emachines gave us a refund.
Emachines was courteous in their written response to our request,
and prompt in sending us the refund.

> 
> And recently:
> """
> For the first time in a case related to the sale of hardware/software, a
> judge declares explicitly  that the sale of an OS by the OEM when the
> customer never asked for it can be considered "unfair in any
> circumstance given its aggressive characteristic". The argument, more
> direct than ever (speaking about forced sale rather than bundled sale),
> is usable in all Europe.
> """
> 
> (quick translation from me, the inner quote is a translation of the
> actual words from the judge)
> 
> http://aful.org/communiques/faire-payer-systeme-exploitation-non-demande-deloyal-en

I am glad to see the court's clear statement.

> 
> Of course this is wildly off-topic...
> 
> 
> -- 
> Mathieu

I hope that France enforces the law against tying of software to
hardware.  France for decades has not.  Of course, neither has
the United States of America, nor the UK, have enforced the laws
and regulations here.  Nor has any large European country
enforced its analogous laws and regulations, as far as I am
aware.

This is not offtopic.  This is the main topic.  Fedora proposes
to support Microsoft in Microsoft's attempt to directly control
every home computer on Earth.  The same arguments that are used
in the present UEFI case to justify truckling to Microsoft could
as well be applied to the Refund Clause question: "Why there is
really no problem.  It is just a minor inconvenience that the
hardware ships with an OS you do not want.  See the EULA says you
get a refund, so you just have to carefully remove the Microsoft
OS, careful don't start it up by accident, and then you get a
refund.".  But in fact the policy of Microsoft is not to give any
refunds, ever.  And in fact in the UEFI case, no matter what
Microsoft says, the policy of Microsoft is to make it difficult
to install Fedora on x86 hardware, and impossible on ARM
hardware.

oo--JS.


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