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Microsoft Licensing Plan Denounced By User Group
James Love wrote:
> Microsoft Licensing Plan Denounced By User Group
> Fighting A Corporate Giant, Japanese User Group Asks Microsoft to
> Reconsider Stance On Concurrent Use Licensing
Behrman elaborates ....
Monopoly & Piracy are intimately related. They are two sides of the same
coin and no nation or trade can deal effectively with the one without
mastering the other. If we can learn that from a Japanese Computer User
Group, that is all the better than learning such lessons the hard way from
their Navy, as we have on occasion.
Monopoly & Piracy are, moreover, a large and the central problem of national
economics and international security today. However, what passes for the
old Anglo-American intelligence community, now esconced in fine, new
palaces, is busy tending its estate and retirement plans. They are asleep at
the switch and not to be heard from on these matters, damn them all.
What Jerusalem scholar Martin Van CREVELT and American journalist Robert
KAPLAN call The Transformation Of War manifests itself as piracy, slavery,
and filibustering today on a scale that approaches genocide, in some cases,
and often takes dramatic forms we call terrorism. We label them in different
jargon today. Labeling is better than analysis because it allows our
governing elite to play the real or imagined victims even when they are
instigators of such things through "blow-back" or just failed policies like
"economic sanctions" on Iraq, the "arms embargo" and "war crimes tribunals"
in the Balkans, or just Cuba, the grandaddy of anglophile intelligence
community failures in my day.
Monopoly and Piracy are what the great military and naval establishments of
the world should be coping with. Indeed, they are, but poorly and
reluctantly, having geared up for something else altogether and being taken
If there is a lot of monpoly rent in software pricing, there will be a lot
of piracy, from duplication of software to a wierd barter in smuggled
cigarettes and other drugs or arms. Piracy is not some response or counter
to monopoly as, say, a boycott or strike might be. Monopolists, pirates, and
both sides of the "anti-trust bar", like drug "cops" and "dealers", are all
rent-sharers, as much today as they were in the hey-day of "highwaymen" and
As a long-time computer user group executive and promoter of Shareware, I,
not the sheet-music lawyers of the SPA, am the Hammer Of Software Pirates.
The KeyServer group in Japan and the HAL_PC in Houston are in solidarity on
opposition to piracy. It is a threat to Shareware, it is just part of the
game to Microsoft, far preferable to market competition.
Did the Marquis de Montrose, mind the default on his loan, even a little
cattle rustling? Not at all. It was the cheapest way to get more of the
clans' land, far better than traditional Scottish tenure.
There was a lot of rent-sharing from the sixteenth through the eighteenth
century, before Common Carriage on the high seas and Zollverein in Germany
and America pretty much put and end to it in the context of corn and gold,
at least, and, finally, black slaves. Government grant of concessions in
return for a share of rents collected in any age is always a propertied or
credentialed elite's alternative to uniform excise, custom-house, property
or income taxes.
So, I say pretty much ended, because we now know from the ADM lyseine case
that the NSA and GCHQ protect what American Armies and the Royal Navy once
suppressed -- the levy and collection of indirect taxes on interstate and
international commerce. Outfits like ADM are "chosen instruments", holders
of Letters of Marque & Reprisal, from a Washington elite but not from a
legitimate government or of a recognized country.
Bill GATES is new to all this and not, in the words of John LeCarre, one of
"the worst people in the world", but I wonder about his Mom and Dad.
The problem we, as a nation and a technology trade, have in dealing with all
this is an aversion to "politics" and "authority". Those are what it takes
for user groups or plain, old governments to work. They have to squeeze the
monopoly rent component out of profits and protect commerce from all the
depradations of pirates, slavers, and filibusters. Republican and democratic
politics are the way we traditionally or, nominally, vest and exercise the
authority it takes to regulate monopoly and suppress piracy.
Those are jobs for those as keep the watch. It is not such a big job, and it
is mostly boring. In a republican democracy it is something best done by all
of us to some extent rather than by a few to the exclusion of the rest. It
is what a culture of personal honor and civic duty can do. Those virtues are
far from antithetical to a culture of ambition and enterprise.
But, they are inconsistent with the praetorian-libertarian doctrine of
left-wing and right-wing draft-dodgers, the intellectual conceit that some
nasty litlle folks, if paid on time and enough, can take care of the honor
and duty stunts, so a civilian elite can be an optimal mix of vicious,
little social predators and great, big economic celebrities.
Of course, we need naval weapons testing stations and reliable laboratories,
not the baroque defense contractors who make torpedos that never work and
hire cartoonists and special-effects artists to make it look like they do.
These are the scientists and engineers who cook forensic, food or drug data
on orders from doctors and lawyers, who make fabulous wages but do no real
work, who take no risks but demand they be accorded the prestige of military
and profits of merchant princes.
That is where we are today, in a decrepit state. It is one we have been in
before and gotten out of once or twice as a nation. I do not know how many
more chances we get to spin the revolver and pull the trigger at our own
head. But, treating Microsoft as a "national treasure" instead of a juvenile
delinquent is foolhearty. It is not very different from using ordnance or
naval reactors in power stations so that a communist nomenklature or bunch
of bond lawyers can fill up their Swiss bank accounts with tax-free carried
Whatever the DoJ "discovery plan" seems to be, that is where those as seek
to serve Justice should look: The tax-free carried interest. It is the hard
currency of pirates, slavers, and filibusters today. Like Spanish Gold, it
is their power and their weakness.
Bye & PLAYON JRBehrman sends.....