[svlug] Boycotting adobe

Sanatan Rai sanat at stanford.edu
Sat Jul 21 10:01:01 PDT 2001

	The reason I raised the question of boycotting PDF itself was
becuase that is the reason why they are a fairly dominant company. As
everyone knows, Adobe got where it is today by distributing free readors,
so that the format was ubiquitoous, and making its profits from the write.
Most people who use LaTeX/TeX do not use either the Reader or Adobe's
document preparation tools. So for them boycotting Adobe, is rather a moot
question, since they don't use anything from Adobe, except for the
document formats.

	This leaves the more pressing question of what to do about the
current lawsuit. The problem here is not just one company rattling its
sabre, but a general attitude prevalent in American business and among
lawmakers. The behaviour one sees now is quite the same as that of the
robber barons 100 years ago. Which means that nothing has been achieved in
the intervening period. A stupid law got into the statute books. Clearly,
no academics, or experts from industry were involved. How did this happen?

	This particular law suit is merely a battle, the real fight is in
ensuring that stupid laws don't get draughted, and if they do, they don't
get into the statute books. How does one ensure that when making laws
about software, or gene research or whatever, it is the objective
opinion of experts that is heeded? How does one fight this  war?

	Merely being defiant doesn't solve the larger problem.

Sanatan Rai,                      | E.-mail: sanat at stanford.edu
Dept. of Management Sc. & Engg.   | Home: 100 N. Whisman Road 4316,
Stanford University,              |       Mountain View, Ca 94043.
Stanford, Ca 94305.               | 'phone: (650) 964 0220 (R)
EMail: sanat at stanford.edu                   (650) 736 2109 (O)

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