>Subject: SOC: Linux in China
>Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2000 18:11:50 EDT
>July 7, 2000
>Fearing Control by Microsoft , China Backs the Linux System
>By CRAIG S. SMITH
>Unlike the Windows source code, which Microsoft keeps secret, the
>Linux code is open for all to see and is freely distributed with the
>stipulation that anybody can improve it as long as any modifications
>are shared with the rest of the world. The almost communistic "from
>each according to his ability, to each according to his need"
>approach appeals to China's Marxist leaders.
>Ms. Wu and other critics say Microsoft's pricing -- a software
>program can cost as much as an average office worker's monthly salary
>-- forces users to buy pirated copies of the company's software. (The
>Business Software Alliance, a nonprofit trade group, estimates that
>as much as 95 percent of all software in China is pirated, though the
>industry hopes China's expected admission to the World Trade
>Organization will change that.)
One of the central themes in the distopia projected in Bruce Sterling's
novel "Distraction" was how the U.S. had been economically defeated by China
in the first half of the 21st century after China simply published every bit
of U.S. intellectual property they could get their hands on, thus wiping out
the U.S.'s major asset.
Of course, the U.S. had to set itself up for that fall, by taking a totally
unrealistic legal position re intellectual property.
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