Let's Sue Red Hat!
Column written by on Wednesday, November 21, 2001
Microsoft has just innovated its own death warrant. Earlier this week, the Redmond monopoly attempted to settle several pending lawsuits by promising to give $1 billion to poor school districts so they can purchase shiny new computers to run the latest version of Microsoft Windows XP Indoctrination Edition.
What a brilliant strategy! If the court agrees to the terms, then Microsoft will be punished for anti-competitive tactics with a sentence requiring the company to engage in even more anti-competitive tactics.
However, this legal maneuver could easily backfire, especially when a world-renowed lawyer such as myself steps to the plate. I say we pursue a similar strategy within the Linux community... Let's sue Red Hat!
The plan is simple:
- We round up a bunch of consumers willing to testify (in exchange for a small stipend, of course) that they've been harmed by the Red Hat hegemony. For instance, the "proprietary, anti-competitive" RPM package format forced them into using Red Hat against their will because most websites carry RPMs but not Slackware tarballs. (The arguments don't have to make sense, they just need to sound slick while containing oodles of technical gibberish. The sooner the judge's eyes glaze over, the better.)
- We file a class-action lawsuit against Red Hat.
- We win the case. Now, you might think this step is easier said than done, but let's not forget about the sheer genius of yours truly. I haven't lost a case yet... well, not if you don't count that charge of wreckless driving while chasing an ambulance ten years ago. Of course, that legal defeat and the resulting three-week jail term provided valuable life experience. So there! I can guarantee that we will win this case.
- We present a settlement package to the court. If Red Hat provides $1 billion worth of software (actual value: $129.95 in blank CDs) for schools, non-profits organizations, and government agencies, then we will drop the case. This provides the perfect opportunity for Linux to spread into more and more places. Government offices will be required to install Red Hat Linux because they must accept the lowest bid... and a price of zero is guaranteed to be the lowest bid. Linux World Domination(tm) will continue unabated.
- I will collect a sizable amount of scratch from legal fees, enabling me to buy another luxury yacht. It's a win-win situation!
If you wish to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn the tables on Microsoft, please contact me at nomorals [at] i-want-a-website [dot] com. Your first consultation is free. Void where prohibited. This advertisement should not be construed as to endorse ambulance chasing, plotting world domination, or brow-beating Microsoft employees. Guarantee of winning lawsuit not valid in most states. Results may vary. This solicitation does not apply to citizens of those states (AL, CT, FL, IA, IL, MN, NV, OR, WY) for which Mr. Noah Morals' law license has been permanently revoked. Linux rules.