Thursday, December 28, 2006

Microsoft: Copyright law is for other people?

Unsurprising, sad, but still amusing: this guy photographed talks given at a computer conference and released them under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution license. A Microsoft senior program manager copied his work as part of an advertisement, without attribution.

Try violating Microsoft's copyrights and they'll bury you under lawyers and moral outrage. But catch them violating yours and it's laughed off as no big deal (some of the huffy responses from Softies on the blog post I referenced are pretty funny).

Of course, in a real sense, it isn't a big deal: "might makes right" is a dreadful moral principle but a largely accurate summary of how the world actually works. But exposing the hypocrisy of the powerful at least forces them stop pretending that they are anything but overgrown, sanctified, self-righteous bullies. (this doesn't actually make anything better (even if you get rid of one bully, he'll just be replaced by another one), but at least it means you don't have to gag on hypocrisy every time they open their mouth)