Microsoft: "Drug-Dealing Methods"

Interview with Sérgio Amadeu da Silveira, the Brazilian government member Microsoft wanted to sue.


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Anyone else notice this?

Anonymous's picture


[Q] How do you see the Brazilian government's adoption of LINUX?

[A ... ] By adopting FREE SOFTWARE [...]

Unquote.. (Emphasis mine.)

Did he /once/ use the term Linux? Even when asked specifically about Linux, he recharacterized the question in the broader terms of "free software" (which one must in context read as software libre, oh, the vagaries of English).

This cannot /but/ be deliberate, and means a deliberate choice of inclusiveness, as opposed to limitation, in at least two aspects.

1) It's clear that he's targeting development both internally and for export, and just as a desktop front-end to Access where both are running on an MS platform wouldn't be part of "Windows", so for instance a desktop front-end to MySQL with both running on Linux wouldn't be part of "Linux". By deliberately choosing the more inclusive term, he's deliberately including software applications running on Linux that neither himself nor the application author would be presumptive enough to call part of Linux itself.

2) Perhaps more importantly, he's deliberately NOT limiting himself to Linux-platform-only solutions. In some situations, one of the BSDs, for instance, may be preferable, either tecnically, or due to license flexibility issues. (Yes, that's said as one that has personally deliberately chosen Linux and GPL over the BSDs and the ability for proprietary appropriation of my work. A BSD style license with its added flexibility does indeed have its place, as an implementation of something that one intends to be a standard for both proprietary and non-proprietary platforms, for instance,)

I'd consider this a VERY wise choice on his part, not only because it supports flexibility, but also because it supports his statements and those of others that this isn't pro or con any specific software company or implementation, but rather, addressing the ideals of the most benefit for ALL its citizens that a government is /supposed/ to strive for.

Duncan (who followed the link from LWN)

Re: Microsoft:

Anonymous's picture

Microsoft claims that software licenses are 4% of total cost are ridiculous and shows that company, even its national director, knows nothing about Brasil. US$ 1,00 is around R$ 3.00, and a professional earns here too much less than in the USA. A COMPLETE training on Conectiva linux, from basics to advanced administration is around US$ 500,00. Hum... the same price of a Windows XP + Office XP. A Unix expert can earn US$1200... Hum... 2.5 Office + windows. an Unix expert that can take care of 50 Linux Machines with Free Software.
Training? Support? i really want to see numbers in Brasil's economy.

Numbers are high.

Anonymous's picture

IT related costs are pointed out as the highest in our imports (I'm Brazilian). I heard some talking about 2 billion dollars (maybe not much to advanced economies, but Brazil is kinda of a teenager, economically speaking).

Licences are said to be almost 20% of that.

Even if they were not so costly, licences and support contracts play a major role in the purchase of hardware. They are an effective means to assure a less competitive arena. Big companies are known to make "bundles" of software and hardware, sometimes offering software for free, while keeping hardware prices bloated.

Free software is commoditized. This also means more competitors can afford to bring up offers, because the "market chain" (all things between producer and consumer) is simplified. Also, despite prices being reduced, margins get higher, because software costs are transferred to the "bazaar"-stiyle community.

This is totally reasonable, generally accepted and even desired by developers: no free software developer gets angry for not receiving royalties, that's part of the GPL game.

Private corporations, on the other hand, simply cannot afford to bear alone such costs. Either because this would risk the company survival, or due to management having to report to shareholders, who want a return on their investment.

Ironically, for a long time, proprietary software was inexpensive and there was little incentive for people to try non-charged alternatives -- but now, prices are climbing very steeply and some run from proprietary like from the plague. The superior quality of free software comes as an added bonus.

Just my opinions...

Wrong Wrong Wrong ARRRGG

Anonymous's picture

"Open-source software is in the public domain, it belongs to everybody, there is no private ownership."

The above comment is soooooo wrong. I really wish the people who strongly support Open Source would get it right - it makes them look silly when they don't . If I open source software that is NOT THE SAME as putting it into the Public Domain. In fact the code does NOT belong to everybody but to me and there IS private ownership - the code is mine. The Open Source license (depending on which license is used) gives you the right to distribute, copy, and modify the program. Your modifications are still your own. This is how copyright works and why the GPL in particular is so effective. If the GPL gets overturned that doesn't mean the software reverts to Public Domain but the governing law would be Copyright. Silveira: It's great what you are doing for your country and open source in general *BUT* be accurate - Open source is not public domain.

Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong ARRRGG

Anonymous's picture

In Brasil the term "public domain" is used to one thing that anyone can ACCESS, not own.
here this term is use like in a bus, the bus is in "public domain", anyone can use, but a few group of people own the bus.
Sergio Amadeu knows the diference between the terms, the translator of this paper no.

Re: Wrong Wrong Wrong ARRRGG

Anonymous's picture

Mod Up Parent

Ignorant, ignorant, ignorant, context moron

Anonymous's picture

I'm sensing you didn't take anything covering inter-societal linguistics. The term "public domain" was not meant as the legal term "public domain," and I'm pretty sure the head of the ITI knows the difference. Please don't waste other people's time with your reactionist responses.

E. A. Zen

Re: Ignorant, ignorant, ignorant, context moron

Anonymous's picture

I'm not saying that what Silveira is doing isn't great. But I am tired of those who don't know the terms of the very license they advocate.

You said:
The term "public domain" was not meant as the legal term "public domain.

I would have agreed until he said:

"Open-source software is in the public domain, it BELONGS TO EVERBODY, there is no private ownership"

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong! .. and this has nothing to do with "inter-societal" linguistics. Silveira could have just as easily said something along the lines: Open source software allows you to distribute, copy and modify the collected works of contributors everywhere. It's not being able to articulate what Open Source properly is that allows Microsoft to pass "Shared Source" as some kind of open source license. You then say:

" I'm pretty sure the head of the IT knows the difference"

Well Genius I DONT THINK HE DOES know the difference. He gives a REALLY BAD example as follows:

" In the real world, if I buy a house, it's mine. I can knock down walls, do whatever I like with it, as long as I remain within the law. After all, I'm the owner. But I can't do any of this with proprietary software."

His example is a VERY POOR one. It's like saying if I buy a book then I own the contents of that book. I can make copies, modify it, and pass it off as my own because I paid for it. Well we both know that you can't do that. Just because you buy the book you don't own the book contents - this is COPYRIGHT and is something that most people understand. So again I applaud Silveira BUT the head of Information Technology should really read the license agreement of the software he's using whether it's Open or Closed source. I'm sure it will help in his career as IT Manager.

Re: Ignorant, ignorant, ignorant, context moron

Anonymous's picture

U moron .. keep saying people doesnt know the very license they advocate .. u dont know too .. GPL is open-source ? when where how ?
u didnt ever read anything about it huh ?
GPL is about FREE SOFTWARE and copyleft license .. wich is different from open-source. take a look at
dont just blow your criticism over anyone u hav in front of u ..
try to have some psicological control and go find something else to do ... code nice open-source or free software would be a nice idea :)

It's the right context

Anonymous's picture

Actually, I believe he qualified it quite well.
He said: " long as I remain within the law."

Now what law governs software in general? - copyright law And specifically, licences like the GPL relies very much on this law.

Hence, I feel comfortable with his statements.


Re: It's the right context

Anonymous's picture

In Brasil the GPL not have legal embasement.
The Brasilian Free Software community used her lawyers to recreate the GPL to Brasil context.
How everyone knows, the Brasilian F.S. community is the first around world that has his version of GPL accepted by the FSF. [not that means a big thing, but undoubtly is a thing to think.]

Re: Microsoft:

Anonymous's picture


The infamous

Anonymous's picture

"Although about 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don't pay for the software," he said. "Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade."

Bill Gates, Microsoft
as quoted on CNET in 1998