The ‘new’ Microsoft is more like a new Mafia, albeit with much better marketing/veneer for secret patent deals
How Microsoft announces patent deals now (covering Android and Linux), sparingly using newspeak and euphemisms (“Agreements” actually means patent settlements)
Summary: Acer is the latest large OEM to have become a victim of Microsoft’s witch-hunt against Android/Linux preloaders, whom Microsoft is coercing into becoming Microsoft’s carriers (or face litigation over software patents, with high legal fees if not injunctions or high damages upon secret settlements)
THIS article covers a subject I have been writing about for at least a decade, often in a dedicated manner (especially when it involved Novell’s patent deal with Microsoft, which put the whole of GNU/Linux in jeopardy).
“The frequently-repeated (usually by Microsoft advocacy sites) claims that “Microsoft loves Linux” are of course baloney. Everyone who has followed the news for more than a year or two surely knows this.”This article will no doubt upset some people at Microsoft, which has already been trying to silence this site in various ways (they even contacted my employer). In this article I intend not to be alarmist but merely to explain the latest embrace, extend, extinguish (E.E.E.) strategy of Microsoft, especially against the market leader (exceeding Windows in terms of market share), Android. It’s everything to do with patents, or to be even more specific, software patents. The EPO‘s dubious practices which Microsoft caused (by pressuring officials) to become the 'norm' also relate to this, but we shall leave that angle aside for another day (we already write a lot about the EPO, not only regarding software patents in Europe).
More Microsoft patent extortion has just been revealed. Microsoft is still fighting against Linux (which nowadays is mostly embodied in relatively closed systems such as Android) using patents as a weapon by which to impose spyware on everyone. Once again, software patents or monopolies on software algorithms are being used for extraordinary leverage and Microsoft puts a misleading label on patent deals, much like corporations bribe politicians but disguise the under-the-table payments as speech engagements or campaign contributions, among other semantic loopholes. The frequently-repeated (usually by Microsoft advocacy sites) claims that “Microsoft loves Linux” are of course baloney. Everyone who has followed the news for more than a year or two surely knows this. We wrote some articles about this last year, for example:
“He is basically a successor to the likes of Joachim Kempin, who not only illegally shot animals (and got arrested for it) but also famously said “I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. [...] they should do a delicate dance”.”The above discuss and link to articles about 5 large companies which Microsoft extorted (even quite explicitly) using patents in very much the same way that Microsoft now does Acer, a relatively fine supporter of GNU/Linux, even on some desktops. Is Microsoft really threatening to sue? Yes, see what it did to Samsung. It reached a settlement almost exactly one year ago, whereupon Samsung agreed to become Microsoft's vassal (this was confirmed later). It’s not hard to see what’s happening here; even a Microsoft booster like Mary Jo Foley acknowledges the role of patent blackmail, using unnamed software patents which Microsoft has been using to hunt down OEMs all around the world, even where software patents are not at all valid. The Microsoft booster wrote this just a few hours ago, citing Nick Parker (Corporate Vice President, Original Equipment Manufacturer Division, Microsoft). He is basically a successor to the likes of Joachim Kempin, who not only illegally shot animals (and got arrested for it) but also famously said “I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. [...] they should do a delicate dance”. Based on Microsoft’s current OEM Chief, in the words of Mary Jo Foley:
As of last May, there were 31 OEMs agreeing to preload Microsoft apps and services on their Android tablets and phones. Some of the other bigger names on the list include Samsung, Dell and Pegatron. As of today, there are now 74 hardware partners in 25 countries on the list. (I’ve asked Microsoft for an updated roster of those Android device makers who are part of the group.)
Though Microsoft officials don’t explicitly say that these preinstallation deals are tied to the company’s ongoing patent campaign via which Microsoft has stepped up its collection of patent royalties from Android device makers, today’s blog post does mention that “IP alignment is an important feature” of these agreements.
Last October, Microsoft’s deal with ASUS combined Office app licensing with an Android patent deal.
This isn’t even Microsoft software being put on these devices. Microsoft does not really make software anymore, it just makes malware/spyware like Vista 10 (the NSA’s dream come true, an always-on keylogger) or Skype (always-on wiretapping), with inability to opt of secret ‘updates’  or even disable the mass surveillance on the desktop , based on new articles (see below).
“Microsoft’s latest strategy against Linux — as I foresaw it way back in the Novell days — is “do as we tell you or we shall sue you with patents.””Remember that Android distributors don’t include Microsoft malware by default/out of the box because they want to. Microsoft threatens to sue. Microsoft’s latest strategy against Linux — as I foresaw it way back in the Novell days — is “do as we tell you or we shall sue you with patents.”
Where’s the RICO Act when it needs to actually be enforced?
Microsoft’s love of Linux is the love of a python for a sheep. It just loves sheep. It’s delicious. It’s about devouring. When I said this in Twitter one person responded by saying “this industry has short memories; we’re at the “embrace” stage of embrace, extend, extinguish” (E.E.E.). █
Related/contextual items from the news:
After effectively giving everyone the silent treatment on changes to its operating system, Microsoft has created a webpage that briefly lists stuff inside the software updates as they are released. It’s not so much bowing to pressure from users as tossing a ball over a pier and hoping you’ll all chase after it and then the whole fuss will just go away.
“After listening to feedback regarding the level of disclosure for Windows 10 updates, we decided to implement a new system for communicating updates to the operating system,” a spokeswoman for Redmond told us earlier.
Analyst reveals that Windows 10 is amassing huge amount user data despite of user disabling the three tracking options
We all know that Windows 10 spies on users. We had reported spying issues associated with Windows 10 even as Microsoft had released the Windows 10 Technical Preview Version in August, 2014. After almost a year after when Windows 10 Final Build was released, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 spied on users in November 2015. It had added at that time that even it cant stop Windows 10’s telemetry program used for spying on users.
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“Microsoft hardly needs an SCO source license. Its license payment to SCO is simply a good-looking way to pass along a bribe…”
Summary: The SCO case is still going on and Microsoft has just signed a patent deal with GoPro over its FOSS-based software, relating to “certain file storage and other system technologies”
THE ‘new’ Microsoft is not new. It’s the same old Microsoft — the company that committed crimes to get where it is today. The SCO case makes a return to some headlines, not just in FOSS sites but also in general (but technology-centric) news sites. Groklaw is still uploading new documents
[PDF] and FOSS Force wrote: “Judge David Nuffer with the US District Court in Utah gave SCO another day in court last week and returned a judgement against the bankrupt company.”
“It’s the same old Microsoft — the company that committed crimes to get where it is today.”The Register wrote: “The SCO Group has suffered another reversal in its long-running attempt to squeeze some cash out of IBM for allegedly pinching its code and tossing it into Linux and maybe AIX too.”
Remember that this is a Microsoft-funded (in least in part) attack on Linux. It’s over a decade old. It’s nearly 13 years in the making. As Larry Goldfarb from BayStar, a key investor in SCO, once put it: “Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”
Yes, Microsoft loves to hide between or behind proxies, otherwise it might jeopardise the lie which is “Microsoft loves Linux.” It might make it harder for Microsoft to seduce fools into Azure for GNU/Linux hosting.
When it comes to patents too, there are Microsoft-connected FRAND lobbyists, as we last noted yesterday, on the same day that WIPR wrote: “Companies that own standard-essential patents (SEPs) must stick to their obligation of licensing them on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, the EU commissioner for competition has said.”
“It might make it harder for Microsoft to seduce fools into Azure for GNU/Linux hosting.”The commissioner ought to have mentioned the problems that SEPs FRAND in its own right poses. It’s incompatible with Free/Open Source software (FOSS), and not by accident. There are standard-essential patents where interoperability between file systems is required. See the Samba case (in Europe, where Microsoft fought for file sharing monopoly) and then recall the Microsoft v. TomTom case, where Microsoft fought for a software patents tax in Europe (where such patents are not even legal), impacting Linux itself. FRAND is a vehicle for pushing software patents into Europe and Microsoft loves FRAND for this reason. Remember when Microsoft did this kind of FRAND lobbying with the BSA.
Right now, after Alice, Microsoft is still utilising software patents in an effort to tax everything, exploiting its monopoly to make the tax inescapable. The ‘new’ Microsoft is extorting Android and Linux using software patents on file systems, still (probably exFAT if not FAT also, as per the TomTom case). This new article from WIPR states: “Microsoft has signed a patent licensing deal with action camera maker GoPro.
“According to statement from Microsoft on Friday, February 5, the agreement covers “certain file storage and other system technologies”.
“And some people honestly believe that Microsoft has changed…”“The terms of the deal, in which Microsoft is the licensor, have been kept confidential.
GoPro, based on its own Web site, uses a lot of FOSS, Linux included (and Android is a key target platform). So what we see here is Microsoft engaging in patent extortion against FOSS, yet again.
And some people honestly believe that Microsoft has changed… █
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Part of a broader push (lobbying) for software patents in Europe
Summary: Anti-Free/Open Source software (FOSS) talking points and FRAND (anti-FOSS) lobbying groups in Brussels as seen by proponents of FRAND, who also worked for Microsoft
THE EPO‘s Brussels lobbying activities and close connections to Microsoft, which the EPO is stressed enough to threaten bloggers about (for just mentioning it) are of much interest to us. Several months ago we uncovered a new network of Microsoft lobbyists who wish to use FRAND against FOSS. It’s just ACT by another name/mask.
Florian Müller, who had done some work for Microsoft (when he was promoting FRAND), mentioned this nymshift of ACT at the time, elaborating by saying: “The new FairStandards Alliance is based in Brussels, the de facto EU capital. Its website says: “We are friends of FRAND” [i.e. we are enemies of FOSS]” (FOSS and FRAND cannot coexist). This morning Müller wrote more about this ‘alliance’ (lobbying effort), which was mentioned a lot at the end of last year [1, 2, 3]. Suffice to say, as made evident only days ago, the EPO now openly pushed for software patents.
The push for software patents in Europe never ended or stopped. █
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Publicado en Microsoft, Patents at 5:32 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
[Corrección: resulta que nos confundimos ya que Rovi y Rovio no son la misma compañía. Rovi es actualmente un parásito de patentes. Rovio frecuentemente es enjuiciada por trolles de patentes. Por lo tanto, algunos de las declaraciones abajo estan fuera de lugar.]
Los pájaros están más molestos y malos
Sumario: Alguna vez conocido como hacedor de juegos y más tarde como vigilancia en masa en jugadores, Rovi ahora se ESTA ALIANDO CON EL MÁS GRANDE TROLL DE PATENTES
BASADO en un sitio solventado por la OEP (sí la OEP paga a los medios ahora) que también es solventado por trolles de patentes (e.g promotores de eventos para promover y/o cambiar su imagen), Rovi reciéntemente acordo ¨unir fuerzas¨ con el troll de patente de Microsoft que también es el TROLL DE PATENTES MÁS GRANDE DEL MUNDO. Para citar al solventado por la OEP sitio de ´noticias´: ¨la compañía digital de entretenimiento Rovi e Intellectual Ventures (IV) anunciaron ayer que estan combinando su respectivos portafolios de patentes sobre la parte superior tecnológica y estan dispuestos a licenciarlos como paquete simple.¨
“¿Cómo estar siendo relacionado con un troll de patentes va ser beneficioso para un desarrollador de juegos?”Resulta que los inversores no han estado felices. Como este sitio de ´noticias´ solventado por la OEP lo pone: ¨Aunque los inversores parecen haber reaccionado negativamente a las noticias de la unión, los beneficios potenciales parecen claros para Rovi. La adición de bienes complementarios del portafolio de patentes de rango medio de IV podría mejors sus ofertas a prostectivos licensiarios y darle una mano más fuerte en negociaciones.¨
Tontería completa. ¿Cómo estar siendo relacionado con un troll de patentes va ser beneficioso para un desarrollador de juegos? Esto es bazofia de parte de los maximalistas de patentes quienes incluso rechazan usar la palabra ¨trolls¨.
El sitio de ´noticias´ solventado por la OEP incidentalmente, también pone lápiz labial en el último cerdito (intentando pun, refiéndose a Angry Birds) que es la dominada pro Microsoft Nokia (actuando ahora como un gigante troll de patentes en Europa). Ayer escribimos acerca de los ataques de patentes de Nokia contra Android, que están siendo públicos sólo después que Microsoft la subyugó.
La razón de que esto exista en primer lugar (para aquellos que no lo sepan) es la guerra de patentes de Microsoft contra el Software Libre/Abierto. Esto incluye Android, que es la plataforma que compañías como Rovi tienen como objetivo. Intellectual Ventures (lease Microsoft) ha estado ATACANDO ANDROID CON PATENTES DE SOFTWARE. Es todo parte de la estrategia de acumulación de patentes por parte de Microsoft (término legal) contra Linux y el Software Libre. Ellos tratan de hacer menos efectivo e inviáble para un competidor al elevar costos asociados con el software, usando patentes de software y así controlar el mercado. █
“El principio de esta idea fue cuando estaba en Microsoft. Teníamos un problema de responsabilidad de patentes. Todas esas personas estaban viniendo a enjuiciarnos o demandarnos un pago. Y Bill (Gates) me preguntó si había una solución.” —Nathan Myhrvold, WSJ: Transcript: Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures
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Computers with Windows on them non-consensually morphed into real-time spying machines (and keyloggers) by Microsoft, so victims should rightly go ballistic
Summary: The sheer arrogance of Microsoft, which silently changes the operating system on people’s computers (without their consent), makes lawsuits imperative, not just a possibility
TECHRIGHTS isn’t interested in pursuing Microsoft for its abuses, except when they involve the company’s attacks on GNU/Linux, usually by means of entyrism/EEE, patents, or both. But Vista 10 abuses have been rather difficult to simply ignore and weeks ago we explained why Microsoft's forced 'upgrades' were not an error or an accident as Microsoft had claimed (the tune changes for the worse over time, so it seems like a gradual, phased-in introduction of the intolerable, or the unacceptable).
People now have to work pretty hard in order to prevent Microsoft from totally hijacking their PC that has Windows on it in order to change the entire operating system. Well, Microsoft appears to have just been caught lying (yet again) about what it did. These ridiculous claims of “mistake” or “error” or “accident” were just a lie all along and as IDG has just put it in its headline, “Microsoft pushes Windows 10 upgrade using tactic it once called ‘a mistake’.” To quote the article.
More than three months ago, Terry Myerson, the executive who leads the operating system and devices group, said that the Windows 10 upgrade would be pushed to users via Windows Update, the primary maintenance service for its OSes.
At the time, Myerson said that the upgrade would first appear under the “Optional” section in Windows Update, then later transit to “Recommended.” The difference is more than labeling: In Windows Update, “Optional” is supposed to be just that; customers must explicitly check the box for an item for it to automatically download and install. “Recommended” items, on the other hand, will be retrieved and installed unless the user has changed the default settings of Windows Update.
In the past, Microsoft has issued updates and upgrades in that two-step process under which bits first appeared under Optional, then after a month or more — a span Microsoft used to digest diagnostic data from affected PCs to ensure things worked as expected — the same update shifted to Recommended, and reached the majority of users.
It’s unclear whether Microsoft is following the plan it laid out in October: While several prominent bloggers who focus on Microsoft — including Paul Thurrott and ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley — said that the Windows 10 upgrade had been deployed as Recommended in Windows Update, there was no explicit evidence that that had, in fact, begun.
But the Windows 10 upgrade has appeared under Windows Update’s Optional list, according to Josh Mayfield, the creator of GWX Control Panel. The free utility made Microsoft’s Get Windows 10 (hence “GWX”) upgrade reservation app go away, purged the system of upgrade files, and blocked the automatic upgrade.
Those who don’t wish to have their computer controlled by a company of fraudsters and crooks, who help the NSA spy on everyone and everything, may wish to explore GNU/Linux, but those unfortunate enough to have been subjected to forced ‘upgrades’ have the right and the ability to unite and sue Microsoft (class action). The EULA does not permit non-consensual ‘upgrades’, just updates, and Microsoft’s claims that this was a “mistake” or an “accident” would not convince a judge. █
“This anti-trust thing will blow over. We haven’t changed our business practices at all.”
–Bill Gates, 1995
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[Correction: It turns out we got confused as Rovi and Rovio are not the same company. Rovi is actually a patent parasite. Rovio often gets sued by patent trolls. Therefore, some of the statements below are misplaced.]
The birds get even angrier and nastier
Summary: Once known as a game maker and later made notorious for mass surveillance on gamers, Rovi now liaises with the world’s largest patent troll
BASED on an EPO-funded (yes, the EPO pays the media now) Web site that’s also paid by patent trolls (e.g. sponsors of events it organises for trolls to change/improve their image), Rovi has just agreed to “join forces” with Microsoft’s patent troll which is also the world’s largest patent troll. To quote the EPO-funded ‘news’ site: “Digital entertainment company Rovi and Intellectual Ventures (IV) announced yesterday that they are combining their respective patent portfolios relevant to over-the-top content (OTT) technology and will offer them for licensing as a single package.”
“How is being connected to a patent troll going to be beneficial to a game developer?”It turns out investors have not been happy. As the EPO-funded ‘news’ site put it: “Although investors appear to have reacted badly to news of the link-up, the potential benefits look pretty clear for Rovi. The addition of complementary assets from IV’s wide-ranging patent portfolio could enhance its offering to prospective licensees and give it an even stronger hand in negotiations.”
Complete nonsense. How is being connected to a patent troll going to be beneficial to a game developer? This is hogwash from patent maximalists who refuse to even use the word “trolls”.
The EPO-funded ‘news’ site, incidentally, also puts lipstick on the latest pig (pun intended, reference to Angry Birds) which is the Microsoft-dominated Nokia (now acting more like a giant patent troll inside Europe). Yesterday we wrote about Nokia's patent attacks on Android, which are becoming public only years after Microsoft got involved.
The reason this site exists in the first place (for those who don’t know) is Microsoft’s patent war on Free/Open Source software. This includes Android, which is the platform that companies like Rovi target primarily. Intellectual Ventures has been attacking Android itself with software patents. It’s all part of Microsoft’s patent stacking (legal term) strategy against Linux and Free software. They try to make it less potent if not nonviable a competitor by artificially elevating costs associated with software, using software patents. █
“The genesis of this idea was when I was at Microsoft. We had a problem with patent liability. All these people were coming to sue us or demand payment. And Bill (Gates) asked me to think about if there was a solution.” —Nathan Myhrvold, WSJ: Transcript: Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures
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Publicado en GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 8:14 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
“Se cree que ls monopolios de patentes impulsan la innovación, pero que en realidad impiden el progreso de la ciencia e innovación, dijo Stiglitz. La “maraña de patentes,” actual en la que cualquier persona que escribe un programa de software con éxito es demandado por supuesta infracción de patentes, pone de relieve el fracaso del sistema de propiedad intelectual para fomentar la innovación, dijo.”
–IP Watch on Professor Joseph Stiglitz
Sumario: Microsoft ha convertido a Nokia en un troll de patentes que ahora ataca a Linux y Android.
Microsoft ha convertido Nokia en un anti-Adroid/Linux troll de patentes, como se esperaba. ¿Está alguién sorprendido? Preveímos esto desde el principio. Asi como otros (incluso aquellos que Microsoft pago por ´reportajes´).
Como Florian Muller lo puso esta mañana: ¨Como lo sospeché, el pacto de patentes de 2013 Nokia-Samsung esta lejos de ser comprehensivo: litigación todavía una posibilidad¨ (en aquel entonces él todavía era cercano a Microsoft).
Para citar el blog de Muller: ¨La realidad que muchas de las aserciones de patentes de Nokia contra HTC fallaron (aunque HTC fue forzado al final a pagar por licencias en cualquier términos) puede hacer que prospectivos licenciadores sientan que pueden probar suerte en la corte.
¨El próximo anuncio de Nokia-Samsung, cuando este sea dado, será probablemente un comunicado ¨pescado o carnada¨. No hablarán por siempre. En algún momento se pondrán de acuerdo o Nokia los enjuiciará. Por mi parte recomendaría a Samsung (si me lo preguntaran, obviamente no lo harán) que no sobrepaguen.¨
“Microsoft también pasó patentes de Nokia a trolles de patentes como MOSAID (ahora llamada Conversant).”¨Así que ¿Microsoft ama a Linux, si? Por ello destruyeron Nokia después que Nokia se ´atrevió´ a ser uno de los mayores contribuyentes de Linux (casi numero uno). Microsoft también pasó patentes de Nokia a trolles de patentes como MOSAID (ahora llamada Conversant).
El reporte que todos van a citar en los próximos dis es este. El Wall Street Journal escribió: ¨Nokia Corp espera ganar más de 1 billón de dollares en cash por su portafolio de propiedad intelectual en los próximos tres años, incluyendo las ganancias de su pacto con Samsung Electronics Co. firmado hace más de dos años.¨
Aparentemente, Nokia quiere mucho más dinero que esto. ¨NOKIA ES UN TROLL DE PATENTES ahora, extorsionó 1 Billon de dolares de Samsung,¨ escribió el presidente de la FFII (Fundación para una Infraestructura de Información Libre) esta mañana. Revisaremos esta materia más adelante (hay muchos más urgentes temas que cubrir ahora). █
“Microsoft está pidiendo a la gente a pagar por las patentes, pero no van a decir cuáles son. Si un tipo entra en su tienda y dice: “Es un barrio peligroso, ¿por qué no me pagas 20 dólares y me aseguraré de que estés bien,” eso es ilegal. eS CRIMEN ORGANIZADO.”
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“Patent monopolies are believed to drive innovation but they actually impede the pace of science and innovation, Stiglitz said. The current “patent thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure to encourage innovation, he said.”
–IP Watch on Professor Joseph Stiglitz
Summary: Microsoft has made a sort of patent troll out of Nokia and Nokia now attacks Linux and Android
Microsoft turned Nokia into an anti-Android/Linux patent troll, as expected. Is anybody surprised? We foresaw this right from the very start. So did others (even those whom Microsoft paid for ‘reports’).
As Florian Müller put it this morning: “As I suspected, the 2013 Nokia-Samsung patent deal is far from comprehensive: litigation still a possibility” (at the time he was still close to Microsoft).
To quote Müller’s blog: “The fact that most of Nokia’s patent assertions against HTC failed (though HTC ultimately felt forced to take a license on whatever terms) may also make prospective licensees feel they should take their chances in court.
“The next Nokia-Samsung announcement, whenever that one may issue, will most likely be a “fish or cut bait” statement. They won’t be talking forever. At some point they will agree or Nokia will sue. I, for my part, would recommend to Samsung (if they asked me, which they obviously don’t) not to overpay.”
“Microsoft also passed Nokia patents to patent trolls like MOSAID (now named Conversant).”So Microsoft loves Linux, right? That’s why it destroyed Nokia after Nokia had ‘dared’ to become a top Linux contributor (almost the number one contributor). Microsoft also passed Nokia patents to patent trolls like MOSAID (now named Conversant).
The report which everyone is likely to cite in the coming days is this one. The Wall Street Journal wrote: “Nokia Corp. expects to gain more than a billion dollars in cash from its intellectual-property portfolio in the next three years, including the proceeds from a patent pact with Samsung Electronics Co. signed more than two years ago.”
Apparently, Nokia wants a lot more money than this. “Nokia is a patent troll now, extorts 1 Billion USD from Samsung,” the FFII’s President wrote this morning. We shall revisit this subject some time later (there are more urgent topics to cover right now). █
“Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”
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