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IBM Gets 30 Days Community Service

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the pretty-funny dept.

IBM 147

CelestialWizard writes "Linuxworld have this story regarding the IBM employee that has been ordered to perform 30 days community service for spray painting "Peace, Love and Linux" ads on Chicago sidewalks. See the older story."

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Boo.com used "Urbane Viral Marketting" too (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#209027)

boo.com [boo.com] did a similar thing in London for its relaunch, they plastered pesky little stickers all over Camden Town [guardianunlimited.co.uk] .

Fly posting is illegal under the Town and Country Act and carries fines of up to £1,000 per offending poster - or in this case, sticker... ouch, now that could really add up.

Those figures are nothing though, the old Boo.com managed to eat through a whopping £178 million ($250m, yup a quater of a billion bucks) in funding in 3-4 months. Man... what were they spending it on?

Re:Why an individual employee ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#209028)

The way I heard it was that IBM's *ADVERTISING* agency hired this guy to use some kind of chalk substance and he used paint instead... if thats true, I don't see how IBM can be held responsible...

Re:Street control (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#209029)

The first ammendment gives you the right to publish, but not the right to publish using PROPERTY YOU DON'T OWN.

Truth different (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#209032)

Yes, IBM hired an advertising firm who seem to have screwed up, but before we make this out to be an 'accident' we should look at the facts. The newsrelease concerning the IBM POWER4 supercomputer [ibm.com] was slated to come out this week, but who will pay attention now? Or to the sharp rise of IBM stock in light of the .com disaster? No, clearly this is going to hit IBM harder than a simple 18k in damages, or the lost 2.1 million paid to the advertising firm, or the 720 hours of lost time spent by IBM employees cleaning up the mess. No, this is big.

Who would mastermind such a clever plot? That's right. Bill Gates, noted mastermind behind the Microsoft phenomina. Publically available second quarter financials show that a sizable chunk of Microsoft PR money was spent last quarter, but has a new campaign come out? No! In addition, the general profit report of the firm IBM hired to do the advertising was up this quarter, but how? They were down for the last three consecutive quarters before this, and no new changes have occured in their general financial statement besides the profit boost. Suspicious? Yes! Microsoft may have been funneling money into this PR firm.

Now, why this type of attack? Well, that is clear. What is the greatest threat on the horizon for Microsoft? Not AOL, but Linux! And who is the largest corporate supporter of Linux? That's right, IBM! In addition, IBM is Microsoft's old rival from the days of OS/2 and Windows 3.1. What better way to attack Linux, but through IBM? They could portray Linux supporters as vandals, and at the same time do major damage to IBM, all while hiding behind the latest information on Windows XP. That's right, Windows XP. Microsoft needs Windows XP to go big, because Windows ME wasn't the powerball that they expected it to be, in the face of the Linux threat. Windows 2000 helped, but Microsoft desperately needs Windows XP to overcome Linux in the corporate and home user environment, even if it can't challenge it on the server just yet. We should have known all along that Microsoft was behind this!

Re:Grammar (2)

slim (1652) | more than 13 years ago | (#209033)

"At the risk of feeding the trolls, using a plural verb for a corporate entity (e.g. "Linuxworld have") is perfectly normal British/Australian English.

I fully agree. While it does not follow the classical rules of grammar, it has fallen into such common usage that it should now be considered correct. Strict grammar dictates that you should say "R.E.M. is appearing on stage"; but everyone but the worst kind of pedant says "R.E.M. are appearing on stage".
--

you've read the news now wear the shirt (3)

counsell (4057) | more than 13 years ago | (#209034)

IBM would get even more cheap publicity if they started selling "Peace, Love, Linux" T-shirts. Anyone know where I might buy one?

What? You think $18k for global publicity is waste (5)

dustpuppy (5260) | more than 13 years ago | (#209035)

You know, even here in Australia we heard about the IBM Linux advertising campaign and I'm sure it was reported in many many other countries. And it was reported not just in the IT section, but in the main news section.

For $18k, hundreds of thousands of people around the world heard about Linux and heard that the most recognised IT company in the world is backing it. So not only has the Linux 'brand' gained further publicity (and hence acceptance) around the world, but it's also gained legitimatecy (sp?) by having a blue chip IT company associated with it. That kind of publicity is worth millions and millions of dollars.

So stop thinking small, and think big picture and you will see that this $18k was a great investment in Linux.

Frightening. (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 13 years ago | (#209036)

It is really unnerving, how easy people like you are to manipulate.

Well, I guess that's why so much of the money you spend on things goes to marketing and advertising. People wouldn't be spending so much money to manipulate you if they weren't, on the average, getting more back from it.

Picture anywhere? (2)

korpiq (8532) | more than 13 years ago | (#209037)

I'd love to get a picture of these. Anyone in the area with a camera? Pictures still around?

This is a memorable laugh, a real mind-boggler.

Let him keep developing Linux! (5)

dido (9125) | more than 13 years ago | (#209038)

Well, isn't developing for Linux a community service? ;)

Ineffective Punishment (2)

mlc (16290) | more than 13 years ago | (#209043)

So, IBM has to pay $18k, probably + the guy's salary while's he's serving the community. This is peanuts for a marketing campaign of the scale they did. (I've personally seen the stupid ads in NYC and SF, and I'm sure they got at least a few more cities).

Some sneaker company (I forget which one) did a similar thing a couple years ago where they spraypainted ~ 200 ads on the sidewalk. Of course this was found to be illegal and they were forced to pay to clean it up. However, the cost of cleanup was more than an order of magnitude less than it would have cost them to buy 200 payphone ads or whatever! They prefigured in legal penalties as simply a cost of doing the campaign, and still decided it would be cost-effective to violate the law!

Clearly, stiffer penalties are needed when corporations violate the law -- the fines that are sufficient when individuals do bad things are peanuts to large corporations such as IBM.

(And, you'll have a hard time getting me to believe that IBM is about peace or love. Please! The co-opting of '60s imagery is disgusting in and of itself.)
--
// mlc, user 16290

Facts different (5)

augustz (18082) | more than 13 years ago | (#209044)

Of course, the facts in this case are a bit different than the story and the submitter make them out to be.

He's not an IBM employee, they hired a firm, like any other large company, to do a promotional campaign.

That company obviously screwed up, campaign materials called for non-permanent medium, though that would likely have been illegal as well.

IBM did the right thing by helping with the cleanup.

Great HTML! (1)

Surak (18578) | more than 13 years ago | (#209045)

You left off a / on one of your anchors. I checked the source. Does that mean that this site is just 'dot' now? :-)

Re:Believe it or not, this is good. (4)

mattmattwa (20435) | more than 13 years ago | (#209048)

This is good?! This is the start of something very scary. You can't cross a street in my neighborhood (Upper Haight/San Francisco) without seeing this bullshit painted in the crosswalks. It pisses me off and I'm a supporter of Linux. Yes, this gets IBM publicity but at the cost of the people who live in these neighborhoods and have to look at this crap every day, most of whom couldn't care less about Linux or any other operating system for that matter. I can almost stomach this because I'm a supporter of Linux but how cool is it going to be when we start seeing ads for Camel cigarettes or McDonald's painted in the street?!

Lame.

Community service? (1)

chris.bitmead (24598) | more than 13 years ago | (#209049)

It doesn't seem right to me that the guy who did
the painting has to do the community service.
It's IBM's VP of marketing who should be out doing
the community service. The corporation has
committed this offence, not the poor slob with the
paint.

Re:Grammar (1)

maw (25860) | more than 13 years ago | (#209050)

Linuxworld 'have' this? Jesus. I hope that the submitter doesn't speak English natively, because that's a pretty grievious error. Just another example of how Slashdot's average user IQ is inversely proportional to amount of folks in the user base.

No, it's clear that you are the one who doesn't know English as it is spoken throughout the world well. To wit, in Australia, collective nouns take plural, not singular, verbs. In this case, since LinuxWorld is composed of numerous individuals, it takes a plural verb.

(Did you know that using US grammar rules, collective nouns can also take plural verbs? Yup! They can when there is some degree of disunity: "The group were unable to decide what to do.")

While it is true that many people who write on slashdot (either as editors or as posters) apparently can not or choose not to write worth a damn, it is also true that many people like to criticise it for the wrong reasons.

(Another aside: what would you say if I declared that slashdot bashing is old and has long since become tiresome? I used to do that in 1997! I even got a defensive email from Rob Malda. Bashing slashdot before bashing slashdot was cool! I like to think that I've since moved beyond that sort of thing, though. In other words, bashing slashdot, for all its faults, is no longer cool.)

My advice: go travel a bit; you might learn something. There's a big world outside of where you live, wherever that is.


--

if only... (1)

adrien (26080) | more than 13 years ago | (#209051)

If only every employee of every marketing and ad agency would be forced to do public service for every billboard, banner ad, tv commercial, etc. they churn out...

the world would be a better place.


Point and Grunt

Re:What? You think $18k for global publicity is wa (2)

PovRayMan (31900) | more than 13 years ago | (#209052)

For 18k, that'll get you about a nice one FULL page newspaper advertisement in the daily paper. I'm talking a full paper page, not just a half, but a full page for $18,000.

That's just for a daily newspaper.

The spray paint advertising from the IBM employee has allowed thousands and thousands of city people to see the ads. With /. and other news sites people around the world can see it.

$18,000. Dirt cheap advertising for international attention...

...with the minor cost of it being done illegally.

----------

Re:Fake Grass Roots (2)

Malcontent (40834) | more than 13 years ago | (#209053)

Everyone lies to themselves at least ten times a day. Most of course don't know the truth in the first place and maybe that does not make it a lie.

Re:Why an individual employee ? (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 13 years ago | (#209055)

I think that it'll depend on whether or not IBM pays him for his 30 days of public service. If they do, then he really gets of scott free (his 'work' is just a little bit unusual, but he probably gets a lot of choice as to what he does). For IBM, it just adds a couple thousand dollars to the advertising bill ($cheap).

In 1993, 800 people got arrested for blocking a logging road to protest the provinces logging decisions. Some of them were sentenced to community service -- and spent that time doing volunteer work for environmental organizations.

It's entirely possible that this guy could end up doing his 'community service' for an IBM-sponsored "community project".
--

Re:Ineffective Punishment (2)

darkonc (47285) | more than 13 years ago | (#209056)

In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada [umontreal.ca] decided that fines are a tax-deductible expense [umontreal.ca] . Dunno about the US.

"The legal system is about rules, not justice."
-- retired lawyer

--

Re:Grammar (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#209058)

Where exactly do people get this antiquated concept of grammar from? Prescriptive grammar went out in the 18th century. Some of the most prominent self-appointed "experts" being:
  • John Wallace, Grammatica Linguae Anglicanae, 1653
  • Dean Swift, Proposal for correcting, improving, and ascertaining the English Tongue, 1712
  • Bishop Lowth, Short Introduction to English Grammar, 1762

Perhaps if you are a linguist, you can make a descriptive argument about what is "common place grammar" but a linguist is only concerned with deviations from the norm when it results in a failure to communicate (and leads to the creation of a new dialect, which is not necessarily a bad thing).

As for your comments on the story, I tend to think that perhaps you know as much about the situation IBM and its employees are in as you do about grammar.

Re:$18k (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#209059)

err.. you mean other than the fact that they said they were?

Re:Jews (was RE: Grammar) (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#209060)

dont feed the trolls.

Re:trolls (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#209061)

don't feed the troll-feeder-feed-oh fuck it.

Re:$18k (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#209062)

You certainly could do with some understanding [umich.edu] of language. Why not read something about language that wasn't written for 8th grade students before you go shooting your mouth off?

$18k (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#209065)

Hands up anyone working on open source who could of done with $18k. Thanks IBM. You're spendin' that billion well.

Re:$18k (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#209066)

Microsoft and IBM are both controlled by aliens of the New World Order.

Re:What? You think $18k for global publicity is wa (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#209067)

or everyone around the world heard Linux associated with vandalism.

What if I spray paint .... (1)

chrysalis (50680) | more than 13 years ago | (#209068)

"Peace, love and Cindy Crawford" ?
Will I be forced to make love with Cindy during 30 days ?

Re:$18k (1)

mjhans (55639) | more than 13 years ago | (#209070)

Because they said so [slashdot.org] ?

And haven't you been paying attention to the SF news, too?

Re:$18k (1)

mjhans (55639) | more than 13 years ago | (#209071)

"There's no such thing as bad publicity"

Re:What I fail to understand is (2)

radja (58949) | more than 13 years ago | (#209072)

If MS did this, I'd have a problem with this. There are some very good reasons why there are rules for commercial speech. Those rules have come into existence after much deliberation with advertising agencies, and they agreed to it. This time, it's linux ads in front of your house. Next time could be cigarettes at the entrance to kindergarten, or hustler at the YWCA. The fact that it's a nice picture in the commercial doesn't matter to me. I would be more of a hypocrite if I supported it. I wouldn't support it for MS, McDonald's or Disney. I don't support it for linux, even though I quite like the picture itself.

//rdj

Re:What I fail to understand is (3)

radja (58949) | more than 13 years ago | (#209073)

If your company tells you to kill someone, you'll get arrested. The fact that your job is in danger is a VERY bad reason to break the law. You do the painting, you do the time. The guy should have known better and IBM got off too easy.

//rdj

Re:This *IS* a rather different form of advertisin (1)

ghoti (60903) | more than 13 years ago | (#209075)

I don't think they even *wanted* permission to do this. The publicity generated by this thing being illegal has a much greater benefit than the campaign itself (these graffitis were seen only by a few people compared to how many read about them).
I guess they had planned this whole thing including fines or community service all along - because easily removable or not, this is against the law.

Re:Let him keep developing Linux! (1)

vrt3 (62368) | more than 13 years ago | (#209076)

Well, isn't developing for Linux a community service? ;)

Mod this up!!

Re:$18k (1)

BrianHV (63256) | more than 13 years ago | (#209077)

However, `could of' for `could have' is hardly something made up for this thread.

I believe the spelling you're looking for is "could've." Sort of like "I've" or "you've." That way, it still sounds colloquial, but it actually makes grammatical sense.

BLAME CANADA BLAME CANADA (2)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#209078)


Ok so don't blame Canada, but don't blame Big Blue either, it wasn't them who set out to have someone commit this crime, it was a publicist/marketers fault for this stupid action, and it was someone else's stupidity for not drawing the line regarding morals, and money.

If Sig Sauer had paid someone to promote their guns, and some idiot decided to do something like shoot up a crowd, it would be wrong to place blame on Sig Sauer for the actions of any other than themselves. (poor example I know but I was reading Guns and Ammo earlier so sue me)

Listen there is nothing wrong with advocacy, so don't think this is a bash Linux post, it's nothing more than a reality check. You don't commit a crime (vandalism) because someone pays you to do it, that'll make you as guilty as the one who conspired the crime. The guy should have known what he was doing was wrong and opted not to do it. As for the punishment, he should do the community service for it, and be given a swift kick in the ass for being dumb.

What is Deviation v.1 [antioffline.com] ?

gotta love it (1)

TomL (63825) | more than 13 years ago | (#209079)

i'd love to work for such a high-profile company that gives their employees a can of spray paint and tells them to go deface public facilities and infrastructure with advertisements and propaganda.

Boggle... (5)

ryarger (69279) | more than 13 years ago | (#209081)

International Business Machines Performs Act of Civil Disobedience to Promote Open Source Operating System....

In other news:
Ariel Sharon plans pilgrimage to Mecca
George Bush honored at Mensa ceremony
Tempratures in Hell drop sharply

trolls (1)

paranoid.android (71379) | more than 13 years ago | (#209083)

don't feed the troll-feeders.

Re:$18k (1)

Glint (74289) | more than 13 years ago | (#209084)

OK, I'll bite. I can't resist a grammar flame war.

Simply because language is defined by usage does not give you the right to simply make up a "convention" that only you understand. I read the original post some four or five times before I understood what he was saying. Saying "could of" instead of "could have" inhibits understanding. It's wrong and deserves to be made fun of.

N.B.: Yes, I'm sure if you tried you could come up with something wrong with my post. But it can be understood, and is therefore valid. That's the whole point of your (stupid) article.

Re:What? You think $18k for global publicity is wa (1)

RobNich (85522) | more than 13 years ago | (#209087)

Just to prove your point a little further, $18K will get a full page ad in ONE daily newspaper. Depending on the paper, that would mean ONE city or region.

Contrast (1)

Nicopa (87617) | more than 13 years ago | (#209089)

And what will IBM get for bribing people in Argentina's goverment to get the contract to computerize the national bank? Nothing, the US goverment covered up the IBM execs.

Re:$18k (1)

krmt (91422) | more than 13 years ago | (#209090)

And how do you know IBM was even responsible for this?

"I may not have morals, but I have standards."

Re:Grammar (2)

jpatokal (96361) | more than 13 years ago | (#209091)

Linuxworld 'have' this? Jesus. I hope that the submitter doesn't speak English natively, because that's a pretty grievious error.

At the risk of feeding the trolls, using a plural verb for a corporate entity (e.g. "Linuxworld have") is perfectly normal British/Australian English. The reasoning is that it's not a Linuxworld which has an article, it's all those happy folks at Linuxworld who have an article.

Cheers,
-j.

What does he have to do? (1)

bommels (98271) | more than 13 years ago | (#209094)

maybe 30 days of hard programming for the open-source community ;-?

How long is 30 days? (3)

cperciva (102828) | more than 13 years ago | (#209095)

It's a small point, but how long is 30 days of community service?

Whenever I've heard about people being ordered to perform community service it has always been a number of hours -- 50 hours, 100 hours, 250 hours, whatever. That way it is easy for people to keep track of how much service the person has done.

Does 30 days mean 30 x [mean number of hours worked per day] hours of community service? Does it mean that whenever he would be at work for the next 30 days he has to be doing community service instead? Or does it literally mean 30 *days*, ie 720 hours?

Community service is what got them into this (1)

Builder (103701) | more than 13 years ago | (#209097)

Community service as punishment for doing community service? Cute :)

How could luring people away from Windows be considered as anything other than community service :)


/* Wayne Pascoe

Time served... (1)

FroMan (111520) | more than 13 years ago | (#209099)

Because IBM is helping the world, getting linux knowledge out, do they consider that public service?

This *IS* a rather different form of advertising.. (1)

eyez (119632) | more than 13 years ago | (#209104)

What if IBM would have gotten permission from the cities they wanted to deface, though? I can't help but think that they would have been able to get permission in some places, which scares me.

Had that happened, then 5 years from now, we might be seeing ads on EVERY sidewalk. It's even scarier to think that this is probably going to happen anyway.

Criminal Record? (1)

Wojina (125814) | more than 13 years ago | (#209108)

This might be a stupid question, but does any know if the guy that has to do community service will have this on his criminal record?

Re:$18k (1)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 13 years ago | (#209111)

Hands up if you can find any other way to fund a national advertising campaign for a mere $18k.

Spray your message in latex glue or similar substance onto the dress of a white house intern.

Paint it onto the roof of a sports personality who wants to kill their wife.
_O_

Re:trolls (1)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 13 years ago | (#209112)

don't feed the troll-feeder-feed-oh fuck it.

Don't fuck the trolls (the offspring often run for office).
_O_

Re:Street control (1)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 13 years ago | (#209113)

And I'm not talking graffiti taggers, these were serious artists with no other way to reach the public except directly.

Er, you go and ask the person who owns the wall, then you paint. End of problem. If it's any good businesses will jump at it (there's nothing a business wants more than to attract attention).

If you think this stuff is so great and needs to be seen, let them paint on your wall. Or your car or whatever.
_O_

Re:$18k (1)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 13 years ago | (#209114)

Simply because language is defined by usage does not give you the right to simply make up a "convention" that only you understand.

This would imply language should never change. Someone has to be the first to use a enw construction.

However, `could of' for `could have' is hardly something made up for this thread. It's perfectly normal in some dialects (including the one I grew up with).
_O_

Re:$18k (2)

ibpooks (127372) | more than 13 years ago | (#209116)

Hands up if you can find any other way to fund a national advertising campaign for a mere $18k.

Re:Fake Grass Roots (2)

istartedi (132515) | more than 13 years ago | (#209117)

I'm simply saying that every organization lies, which makes everyone I know a liar.

I have a hard time believing you.

haha (2)

blowhole (155935) | more than 13 years ago | (#209120)

Sucks to be that guy. I'm wondering what kind of compensation this guy is getting from Big Blue. Or if that non-compete clause is gonna keep him from picking up garbage for 6 months after he leaves the company.

still there (2)

vsync64 (155958) | more than 13 years ago | (#209121)

I live in San Francisco, and when wandering about the city last week these icons were still rather boldly painted onto the sidewalks. Guess they don't wash off so well, eh? :-P

--

T-shirts? (1)

InfiniteVoid (156157) | more than 13 years ago | (#209122)

Ok, I saw the ad/graffiti. None of those symbols are trademarked, right?

So, when is someone (ThinkGeek, are you reading?) going to start printing this on t-shirts? That's some graffiti I wouldn't mind wearing. :)

It had to be said... (1)

ErikTheRed (162431) | more than 13 years ago | (#209123)

Chalk up another embarrasing moment in this ad campaign...

You don't see the FreeBSD folk.... (4)

imagineer_bob (163708) | more than 13 years ago | (#209124)

...vandalizing sidewalks. I guess they don't have anything to prove!

well ... (1)

SnapperHead (178050) | more than 13 years ago | (#209126)

This is more then people just seeing this on the side walk. I have heard about it on TV, /. and other news sites. So, IMO they got what they wanted. Do something crazy like this, get everyone to talk about it ... Its like the "make 7up yours" I still laugh everytime I think of that it. I am sure they got in some kind of trouble for that stunt. It shocked people and got the job done. Same thing Howard Stern does every single morning.


until (succeed) try { again(); }

Re:How about... (1)

AaronStJ (182845) | more than 13 years ago | (#209128)

Does coding for an open-source project, say Linux, count as Community Service? They don't really gain any benefit from it now do they...

If IBM didn't gain any benifit, I'm sure they wouldn't need to advertise. After all, IBM isn't in business just to try and be nice.

Re:So funny. (1)

AaronStJ (182845) | more than 13 years ago | (#209129)

Does this set a precedent that you are responsible for what you do as in individual while employed by a company, doing you job?

I believe that precendent was already set, in the Nuremburg trials.

Punishment fits crime?! (1)

tester13 (186772) | more than 13 years ago | (#209130)

Is it just me or does the punishment seem overly severe? Assuming that the thirty days of work are the standard eight hours, it would seem to me that this is a lot to impose for some removable graffiti. I would think that the court would be more punitive with the IBM and the advertising agency as opposed to going after some guy who I assume was just following orders. 30 days labor and a 18k fine seems very harsh for a minor nuisance IMO.

Publicity of course (2)

cbr372 (193706) | more than 13 years ago | (#209133)

This guy didn't do it on his own. IBM is using this as a publicity stunt to push their Linux campaign. They want to be viewed as a company whose employees are passionate about Linux

How about... (1)

Arthropoid (194003) | more than 13 years ago | (#209134)

Does coding for an open-source project, say Linux, count as Community Service? They don't really gain any benefit from it now do they...

IBM's campaign is being duplicated like crazy (2)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 13 years ago | (#209135)

Along I-40 (Westbound, approx. exit 14) there's a billboard that completely rips off IBM's campaign. It's for a wireless company - Cingular I think - and it says, "Peace. Love. Wireless." It has three icons, the first two being a peace symbol and a heart. The last, if I remember right, is the Cingular logo.

Not only is IBM getting a lot of publicity off this, so are the copycats. If you ask me, anyone who's copied their campaign (whether on sidewalks or on billboards) ought to be just as liable as IBM. I hate people who can't come up with their own ideas.

Shaun

Re:What? You think $18k for global publicity is wa (1)

ColdGrits (204506) | more than 13 years ago | (#209136)

Startlearning about attention spans.

Give it a few weeks and everyone will have forgotten about the whole thing. That's why, when they advertise, companies run more than just a one-off ad, for example.

Why an individual employee ? (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 13 years ago | (#209137)

How come the artist got convicted for the offence ? shouldn't IBM take the blame for this ? the poor guy must hate his boss with a passion.

"A door is what a dog is perpetually the wrong side of" - Ogden Nash

Re:What I fail to understand is (1)

_ph1ux_ (216706) | more than 13 years ago | (#209138)

first I agree with you - that "If your company tells you to kill someone, you'll get arrested"

but drop the droid act.

I would LOVE to see this painted on my sidewalk.

I cant beleive that anyone would condemn this. WHO CARES. its not like im gunna be walking down the street and see this and think "GOSH DARNIT!!!! THOSE BASTARDS PAINTED MY SIDEWALK AGAIN!!! GET THEM! VANDALS BE DARNED!!"

who thinks like this - only people who want to impose their rules on others in a manner and through a medium that is not appropriate.

For example - I own a townhome in silicon valley - and the president of the homeowners assoc. has a rather large garden on her back deck - with rose bushes that grow overthe fence into the common area (yes this relates).

I had a bush (bugenvalia - but dont know how to spell it) that also grew a little over the fence. I loved this bush it looked great - then Iget a letter from the president that stated that my bush grew over the fence and that if I didnt cut it - i would be subject to a fine. (WTF - I thought) so I cut it .... and the *whole* bush died. I was so pissed off.

anyway - the point is that this lame president had nothing better to do in her free time (being retired) than to criticize and make rules. and I suffered for her unwillingness to go with the flow and let things be.

HONESTLY - who was hurt by those statements on the sidewalk - or my bush! - I cant beleive that you would even consider your statement and supposrt the notion that "IBM SHOULD PAY - dammit!"

in fact you should support this!

also - i have seen a lot of fantastic tagging art in and around SF - most of it more interesting than i see in the galleries of los gatos and saratoga. :P

Re:What I fail to understand is (1)

_ph1ux_ (216706) | more than 13 years ago | (#209139)

that is a semi good point.

I would like it if someone sprayed M$ marketing material on my sidewalk - then I could personally spay over it and deface it. in fact I will go out and spray the following on my sidewalk tonight (provided I have spray paint in the garage)

"linux == good, M$ ==bad"

I dont care that you are saying that you wouldnt support linux, disney, M$ or whatever - what I was pointing out was that I thought that it was lame for you to equate a company telling you to kill someone - with a company hiring someone to spray paint a sidewalk.

you do the painting you do the time (or something) nazi... does that really impede your life so much.

and I know you will try to take it to the Nth degree and say - what if *every* company were spraying stuff all over the sidewalk.

well - they are not - and if they did - it would be like every other add to me - invisible.

as long as they all must use water soluable paint - then I am fine with it.

Cheap advertising (1)

excesspwr (218183) | more than 13 years ago | (#209140)

In the grand scheme of it all....that was some cheap advertising.

Re:It had to be said... (1)

sfe_software (220870) | more than 13 years ago | (#209141)

Totally irrelevant and off-topic, but:
  • #define name erik %13%10 name@planetname.com
I have to wonder what is meant by %13%10. If you mean this to be a URL-encoded CRLF, this doesn't work -- it would need to be %0D%0A (hex). However, %13%10 evaluates to 19 and 16 in decimal, which is CTRL+S and CTRL+P, or "save" and "print" (at least in Notepad). Interesting either way... :)

- J-Man

This is Retarded (1)

TechnoNiggah (222471) | more than 13 years ago | (#209142)

The article isn't too detailed. If the employee decided to do this on his own, I don't think IBM should be responsible for damages. Then again, how would you feel if someone had painted a IBM-blue Nike Swoosh? Do Community Service!

Re:So funny. (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 13 years ago | (#209143)

"We're incorporated, don't you know what that
means"
----
Apparently he didn't. Incorporation does not
protect employees from the consequences of
illegal behavior. It protects INVESTORS, and
only then when they don't participate in the
illegal behavior.

C//

Re:This is Retarded (2)

hillct (230132) | more than 13 years ago | (#209145)

Comment, Version 2:
If I knew I could get free advertising by defacing public property, I'd be a billonaire right now.
--

Re:This is Retarded (3)

hillct (230132) | more than 13 years ago | (#209146)

If I knew I could get gree advertising by defacing public property, I'd be a billonaire right now.

--

Re:What? You think $18k for global publicity is wa (1)

FreeMath (230584) | more than 13 years ago | (#209147)

I'm not so sure it always works out. (IIRC) Fox news got confused about the story (or didn't care) and claimed that IBM was promoting it's Linux OS.

Installing Linux on Public schools/libraries (1)

Codeala (235477) | more than 13 years ago | (#209148)

30 days community service, eh? I hope he will spend his time installing Linux for public schools & libraries. That is what I'd call doing something good for the "community", ours and theris. ;-)

Peace, Love, Linux.

====

Re:Ineffective Punishment (1)

ahkitj (237143) | more than 13 years ago | (#209149)

First, I'd better apologise, I'm feeling I'm a little pedantic here.

Is it also a case of the penalties having been written into law x+50 years ago before the inflation of the present day took hold?

Like everyone else and as said above, I've heard of time and time again of companies flouting the law because the fine was peanuts. I hate using examples from my area, but case in point would have been garden centres and the NZ Holidays Act 1991 [knowledge-basket.co.nz] . NZD$1,000 for opening on Easter Sunday was worth it for almost the whole bunch. (Part of the reasoning was before the passing of the 1991 amendments they were allowed to open, but Department of Labour [dol.govt.nz] inspectors still showed up.)

(Postscript: the lucky people got away with it this year - the garden centres sponsored a one-off (IIRC) amendment to legally open this year.)

What I fail to understand is (2)

irc(addict) (239487) | more than 13 years ago | (#209151)

I fail to understand the goal which Chicgo is trying to acheive by giving an IBM employee 30 days community service. Giving the corporation as a whole a fine is logical, and worth while, but a singular employee makes no sense. Even if this employee spray painted all of the ads, which I doubt, he would only be following orders, especially if he thought his job would be in danger.(How ever, that would make one hell of a lawsuit) If anyone should be getting community service, it should be the marketing team or perhaps the people who authorized the ads or maybe, just maybe, the lawyers who said it would be legal (If they were consulted in the first place).
By the looks of it, this poor person has been suckered into doing something which he does not deserve.
irc addict.

Re:Grammar (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 13 years ago | (#209154)

Linuxworld 'have' this? Jesus. I hope that the submitter doesn't speak English natively, because that's a pretty grievious error.

It is spelled "grievous", not "grevious."

Just another example of how Slashdot's average user IQ is inversely proportional to amount of folks in the user base.

Proper grammar would dictate that one refer to the "the number of folks" rather than "amount of folks".

What kind of person would think it legal to do such a thing? And if IBM did tell him that it was legal, it seems a little unfair to subject him to community service, because he was doing so under false pretenses.

Ignorance of the law, like ignorance of grammar, is no excuse.

Re:Why an individual employee ? (1)

geomcbay (263540) | more than 13 years ago | (#209156)

If you murder someone on your bosses orders, should you be held accountable? Of course. I'm not saying this is anything close to murder, but just using an absurd example to show that just because your boss tells you to do something doesn't mean you can break the law, which is what this guy did. All in all, I think Chicago and some of the other cities did overreact quite a bit, but clearly IBM and certain employees did break laws, whether we agree with them (the laws) or not.

Re:Why an individual employee ? (1)

trifixion (318304) | more than 13 years ago | (#209157)

What do you know about community service? It's not like he has to go pick up weeds for 8 hours a day for 30 days or anything. The guy is probably going to sit in a library teaching little kids about the evils of corporate infrastructure and how his act of civil disobedience was only one fight in the cause of Free LIscensing and Open Source software..

Back to work!

Believe it or not, this is good. (1)

catpyss (321548) | more than 13 years ago | (#209158)

I am a Linux enthusiast. When I learned that IBM was investing such a substantial sum of capitol in Linux, I was pleased.

Though running Linux for the lesser duration of its existence (1997), in that time I have seen it grow. Where once ignored and labeled as a hobby, now the largest software company is calling it their number 1 threat and petitioning United States lawmakers to take measures against its development model. This is a large difference from the times when we would petition hardware and software manufacturers for just documentation, let alone drivers and ports.

Another poster mentioned this but it is worth repeating: $18,000 is well worth the advertising this incident has caused. Many news sites have covered it and IBM is well known for having done it. lwn.net [lwn.net] previously reported that Sun Microsystems had offered to 'help IBM remove' the paint. Granted, the publicity for such a reason is somewhat embarrasing but more people now know of this wonderful operating system, and the more than significant investment one company has made.
-catpyss, yes an unusual name but you will remeber it.

Re:Boggle... (1)

cosmo7 (325616) | more than 13 years ago | (#209159)

i vote that there really ought to be some government office to determine which acts of civil disobedience are allowed.

Grammar (1)

Treylis (411682) | more than 13 years ago | (#209160)

Linuxworld 'have' this? Jesus. I hope that the submitter doesn't speak English natively, because that's a pretty grievious error. Just another example of how Slashdot's average user IQ is inversely proportional to amount of folks in the user base.

Now, onto the article. I'm glad that the spirit of 'just following orders' carries on into the present. What kind of person would think it legal to do such a thing? And if IBM did tell him that it was legal, it seems a little unfair to subject him to community service, because he was doing so under false pretenses.

Street control (5)

sakusha (441986) | more than 13 years ago | (#209162)

This reminds me of what happened on a film set a few years back. The filmmakers of "The Doors" wanted an authentic indian cave where they could film on location with indian petroglyphs in the background. They received permission on the explicit understanding that no indian petroglyphs were to be touched. Except an art director didn't get it, he thought the petroglyphs didn't come up clearly enough on camera so he painted over them with a water based paint. He completely covered every written character with dark paint. The petroglyphs were originally done in water based pigments, he thought he could wash off his overpainting but that would have washed off all the original petroglyph too. Now there is nothing left but the dumb art director's painting. Another wonderful cultural relic raped, pillaged, and destroyed by Hollywood greed-heads.
Anyway, the laws used to prosecute IBM are a two-edged sword. Street artists go up against fines like this all the time. I recall artists like Robbie Conal in Los Angeles plastering posters of political satire all over the city. An artist I knew did an amazing mural under a bridge in downtown LA. He painted it in reflective paint, you couldn't see it in the day, only at night by your car's headlights. And the city decided to paint over it. Another artist I knew did a series of oddly beautiful mini-murals, with the message "Justice Just Is." The city went out of its way to paint them over immediately. LA has laws to protect stupid murals from the days of the Olympics, but doesn't hesitate to paint over the street artists. And I'm not talking graffiti taggers, these were serious artists with no other way to reach the public except directly. I'm not sure I endorse the concept of the city government having total control of the public space and who can say what in public. I know advertising doesn't really enjoy the same first amendment protections, but when the same laws are used to suppress advertisers as well as artists, I sense a slippery slope ahead.

Fake Grass Roots (1)

6EQUJ5 (446008) | more than 13 years ago | (#209164)

IBM isn't the first to pretend they're about peace and love, not money and control. Fraud is the name of the game, and if you can do it legally, who cares if it's ethical right? This time they crossed the line and got a slap on the wrist. The damage they do with legal (false) advertizing is far more damaging to individuals and communities.

I don't advocate censorship, I'm simply saying that every organization lies, which makes everyone I know a liar.

Re:haha (1)

anonymous cupboard (446159) | more than 13 years ago | (#209165)

Nice point, but it should be an 'officer' of the company, at least a VP. Corporate misdemeanors ultimately are the responsibility of the board.

To be fair, shouldn't it be the marketing company that gets their wrists slapped?

Re:Contrast (1)

anonymous cupboard (446159) | more than 13 years ago | (#209166)

If you have information, send it in. US com panies are covered by the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) and contrary to popular belief is dosn't only apply to foreign companies competing with US ones.

I want a Goverment job! (1)

The_Runcible (447043) | more than 13 years ago | (#209167)

$121.43 to wash some paint off of a sidewalk?

I bet you could do at least 3 an hour, so that's $364.29 an hour, or more than most lawyers make!

So funny. (1)

Tyler-Durden255 (447448) | more than 13 years ago | (#209168)

Does this set a precedent that you are responsible for what you do as in individual while employed by a company, doing you job? My Ex Manager is going to hate to here about that. I can just remember him saying "what are you afraid if you rip this customer off like I told you that you'll be held responsible? We're incorporated, don't you know what that means" and "we've talked and come to the decision, we decided this customer is marginal, leave the machine broken and we can ride it out" I hated that job and that manager.

If not and this was a corporate crime why not have every employee of IBM do 10minutes of community service? You'd get a lot more service all around the world.

Flower Power... (1)

Dutchie (450420) | more than 13 years ago | (#209170)

HAHAHA, When reading this, I can't help thinking "What a helluf a cool company!" I know, I know, it's illegal, defacing public property 'n all, bad bad bad, and what if EVERYBODY would do stuff like this etc. I must say, I admire IBM. From nanotubes and selfthinking CPU's to flower power hippie stuff covers a pretty darned wide range. Some companies pay a couple of millions to use some old rolling stones tune and other companies... well.. do this :)

I'm not the big fan of large corporations, but IBM seems to have some responsibility and a certain flair. Perhaps their past of doing lots of business with the nazi's taught them that big companies HAVE a responsibility to society and they shouldn't think too lightly of that. Give those guys a nerd award or something ;-)

  • Imagination is more important than knowledge.

How times have changed... (2)

captaincucumber (450913) | more than 13 years ago | (#209171)

This used to be the most uptight company in the world. Now they get in trouble for grafiti.

Re:Picture anywhere? (1)

koogydelbbog (451219) | more than 13 years ago | (#209172)

there's a link to a picture at the bottom of this slashback story here [slashdot.org] . but i just got a 'not found' from the link.

saw a lot of these painted all over haight ashbury in san francisco whilst there in april. all of them had a line painted through them as if to obscure them, don't know why.

andy

Nothing (4)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 13 years ago | (#209173)

That's nothing. MS has been spraypainting the Windows logo on my monitor for years.
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