[TriLUG] rdesktop any good?

Justis Peters jtrilug at indythinker.com
Wed Mar 19 15:37:08 EDT 2008

Tim Jowers wrote:
>   I suspect that license is not enforceable and a clear example of bait and
> switch as Circuit City and other vendors did not advertise nor state this
> arrangement upon selling a machine with Windows XP. This would probably be a
> hugely profitable class action for a lawyer. At least a potential payoff in
> the 100's of millions. Of course, if nobody opposes and illegal activity
> then a major company will continue it.

I suspect that OEM bundled licenses are very enforceable.  The OEM
bought a license that gives them the right to use this as the operating
system for a single piece of hardware.  They sold you that piece of
hardware but did not necessarily sell you a license to install that
software anywhere else.  They also provided you with back up media, in
case your hard drive goes wonky.  That's back up media, mind you, not
install media.  The wording is important.

Circuit City did not do any sort of bait-and-switch.  They just said
that your machine comes with Windows XP installed.  They didn't claim
they were selling you Windows XP, with a computer being the packaging
medium.  It's fair.  It might not be the way I want it to be, but it's
fair and is probably very legal.

There is almost certainly precedent somewhere that shows that this
licensing stands up in court.  Hasn't Microsoft sued a time or two over
OEM license violations?  I doubt they'd bother going after individuals,
but they've at least got written precedent to substantiate their case.
If anybody tried to bring a class action suit about this, it would
probably get shot down very quickly.

The easier solution to the problem at hand is to make freely
distributable software a more viable candidate for use at an average
desk.  Solve it from the grassroots, not in the state and federal
courts.  Only fight at those levels when there's a battle that can be won.

Besides, the new frontier is the migration of applications from your
desktop to the web.  We should be paying far more attention to trends in
user rights at that level.

Kind regards,
Justis Peters

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