Bonum Certa Men Certa

Why Are Critics of Criminal Activity Portrayed as 'Bad Guys'?

"Behind every great fortune there is a crime."

--Honor de Balzac



Summary: Analysis of a culture where those who believe in the law are being discouraged and daemonised

AT Boycott Novell we often get flak for merely pointing out the truth, such as the truth that Intel and Microsoft are criminal companies. That's a factual statement, it's nothing to be embarrassed about. There is even action in the United States now, which would seem more rare than similar actions in Korea and Europe, for example. Microsoft was found guilty twice in Korea this year [1, 2] and Intel just once (one time is enough). In Europe, Intel was found guilty this year and Microsoft is still under multiple antitrust investigations.



“Somehow the criminal receives sympathy and the justice seeker eventually daemonised...”Our reader Yuhong Bao has shown us this article where NVIDIA is described as though it decided to "Harass Intel". Spot the irony. The victim of the criminal activity is now described as an "harasser", but it is no more an "harasser" than the police harasses a murderer. Somehow the criminal receives sympathy and the justice seeker eventually daemonised (NVIDIA has its share of crimes too). That's the society we live in -- one where those who challenge authority are targeted by people who are kept separate, isolated, and hostile towards peers who merely stand up for their neighbours' rights (including protesters).

This serves as timely indication that criticising someone for crime is a bad thing to do. Here are some of Intel's crimes as NVIDIA might put them:

NVIDIA Uses Cartoons to Harass Intel



[...]

The site is especially critical of CEO Paul Otellini. A recent post features a cartoon with a cross-eyed Otellini denying using "bribery, coercion and kickback relations" to try to corner the market. The site has a rather humorous disclaimer informing readers that it "is not provided, sponsored or endorsed by Intel Corporation."


Intel has meanwhile chosen to settle with AMD, but the case should be between Intel and the people, whom Intel robbed by overcharging, limiting choice, etc. In general, Intel should be embargoed for illegal activities and several executives put in prison. Such a thing rarely happens in the society we live in, which means that those who pillage and plunder may simply be forced to give away part of their loot. Eventually, this leaves the criminal better off, sending out the message that crime pays off. It's sad, but it's still true. Are penitentiaries only for crimes whose cost to society is low, such as shoplifting?

More recently we encountered Microsoft's OOXML corruptions, for which the company was not held accountable. Microsoft showed that you can be a criminal in society and walk away freely as long you wear a suit. Here is Norbert Bollow's latest response to what happens in ISO.

Since the results of the DCOR1 (draft corrigendum 1) ballots for ISO/IEC 29500 have been distributed to the ISO/IEC member bodies last week, it has become clear that there is much confusion about what the relevant ISO/IEC rules (in this case, the JTC1 Directives) say about this kind of situation.


Microsoft -- by coercing ISO -- corrupted both ISO and itself. This is just a major loss to the IT industry as a whole and no justice was ever sought. Those who point this out will usually be described as "negative" characters, simply because they stand up for the law. What an amazing reversal. Laws were established to protect the majority from the minority of the opulent, but nowadays it feels like the opposite.

"Microsoft corrupted many members of ISO in order to win approval for its phony ‘open’ document format, OOXML. This was so governments that keep their documents in a Microsoft-only format can pretend that they are using ‘open standards.’ The government of South Africa has filed an appeal against the decision, citing the irregularities in the process."

--Richard Stallman, June 2008

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