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Before reading on I would advise putting on your troll armor, as well as your “smack the idiot” protection.

“…observed one of my students with a group of other children gathered around his laptop. Upon looking at his computer, I saw he was giving a demonstration of some sort. The student was showing the ability of the laptop and handing out Linux disks. After confiscating the disks I called a confrence with the student and that is how I came to discover you and your organization. Mr. Starks, I am sure you strongly believe in what you are doing but I cannot either support your efforts or allow them to happen in my classroom. At this point, I am not sure what you are doing is legal. No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful. These children look up to adults for guidance and discipline. I will research this as time allows and I want to assure you, if you are doing anything illegal, I will pursue charges as the law allows. Mr. Starks, I along with many others tried Linux during college and I assure you, the claims you make are grossly over-stated and hinge on falsehoods. I admire your attempts in getting computers in the hands of disadvantaged people but putting linux on these machines is holding our kids back.

This is a world where Windows runs on virtually every computer and putting on a carnival show for an operating system is not helping these children at all. I am sure if you contacted Microsoft, they would be more than happy to supply you with copies of an older verison of Windows and that way, your computers would actually be of service to those receiving them…”

It appears as if she thinks Linux is some sort of drug (“I […] tried Linux during college…”), and clearly she doesn’t understand copyright law (“At this point, I am not sure what you are doing is legal.”).

I think there are two misconceptions going on: 1. She thinks Linux is a proprietary product distributed similarly to Windows, and 2. She thinks the HeliOS people are providing free illegal copies of Linux to her students.

The question is, how do we efficiently spread the truth about Linux’s legality: it is OPEN SOURCE and thus complete and perfectly legal versions can be downloaded for no cost? It’s already hard enough fighting the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that Microsoft and others of the ignoramus spread related to Linux itself!

In any case it made me chuckle, so I share.


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