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MS Calls On Kids to Stop Thought Thieves

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the borg-is-your-friend,-citizen dept.

Microsoft 709

theodp writes "Microsoft is calling all UK kids aged 14-17 to enter its Thought Thieves Competition. Remember kids, finalists must agree to formally license all intellectual property rights in their film on terms acceptable to Microsoft. And don't forget to download your free Thought Thieves Poster!"

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709 comments

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Don't bash them on this one (1, Insightful)

MPHellwig (847067) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527882)

They have full experience in the complete spectrum of this matter although the balance is a bit thin on the creative side. So I think they make a perfect judge perhaps not the most unbiased but who cares about that anyway, just go with the current-flow.

Re:Don't bash them on this one (5, Insightful)

cwebb1977 (650175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527893)

don't bash them? They're asking kids about their thoughts on thought thieves just to get the rights to all those thoughts for a meager prize?
Maybe you're right, those kids will learn the most from their own mistakes.

Screw a PDF (4, Insightful)

caryw (131578) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527926)

JPEG of the "Thought Thieves Poster" [nyud.net]

Microsoft Thought Thieves? Aren't they the ones usually stealing ideas from other companies? I can't think of one innovative and original piece of software from Microsoft.
--
Fairfax Underground [fairfaxunderground.com] : Fairfax County, VA public message board

Re:Screw a PDF (3, Informative)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527980)

Hehehe yea, ask Stack how they feel about MS's thought theft :) (for those of you who don't remember, stack they made a HD compression program which MS ripped off 100%, drove them out of business, and then eventually lost a lawsuit to). Im sure someone else could mention at least 100 other companies they've done that to.

Re:Screw a PDF (2, Interesting)

pomo monster (873962) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528034)

Not to troll or anything, but I wonder if Stack could have used a software patent to prevent that?

Maybe there's something to this whole idea of patenting software after all. Sure, the way software patents are being used now is ridiculous, but that doesn't mean the entire concept is rotten.

Screw another PDF (the first one) (2, Informative)

caryw (131578) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527991)

HTML link for "finalists must agree to formally license all intellectual property rights in their film" [nyud.net]

sorry to respond to my own post
but yeah, I really hate pdf for tiny stuff like this
--
Fairfax Underground [fairfaxunderground.com] : Fairfax County, VA public message board

In other news.. (5, Funny)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528012)

Tony Blair announces that 1000 teenage thought criminals have been rounded up for thought crimes. They will be re-educated at the Ministry of Love and given a chance to repent for their crimes through death.

In further other news, Bill Gates has announced that Linux is unexist. Purge all memory of "Linux" from your brains now to prevent being labelled a thought criminal!

Re:In other news.. (5, Funny)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528033)

Mod parent double plus good!

Please kids don't steal (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527886)

That's Microsoft's job.

Re:Please kids don't steal (4, Insightful)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527949)

I wonder if an entry with some of Microsoft's own deeds would win.

Of course, now that I've come up with the idea, no one else can do it, lest they defeat the spirit of the Thought Thieves competition.

MOD STORY +5 Iron (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528022)


MOD STORY +5 Ironic.

It's not just Microsoft (2, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527954)

Apple has a similar campaign, but it's much less high profile.

Basically, they'll be including stickers on their new products that say "Don't Steal Thoughts."

Ya know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12528028)

That could be a hilarious entry. An abridged version of El Mariachi where instead of a guitar player it's a programmer who has his job outsourced to India, his Sourceforge project stolen by his former employers unscrupulous lawyers, and decides to go Falling Down to the corporate headquarters where his CEO, and BROTHER has some exposition before John Woo breaks out.

Use Microsoft logo font with a similar name, and print up stuff for the faux office for a new product caled Panes at Kinkos.

Oh get to the youth. (5, Informative)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527887)

No it's not the hitler youth, it's the Thought Police Youth.

Just took 20 years longer than 1984.

Re:Oh get to the youth. (0, Redundant)

unapersson (38207) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527933)

Don't forget that in 1984 everything is subject to doctoring, that includes the year. In fact in a society where information provision is key and resources are low, a ten year cycle might well be preferable, you can keep recycling earlier information then. So the year after 1989 is always 1980.

Re:Oh get to the youth. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527939)

Yep, first thing I thought of when I saw this were 1984's thought crimes... I only wish this was some sort of joke.

OMG! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527888)

Call the thought police!!!
Sorry, it just had to be said :)

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527889)

what a lame attempt at teaching IP rights to youngins

First grade classroom, two years from now (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527892)

"Ms. PEEAAABODDDYYY!! Bobby is stealing my THOUGHTS!!"

Re:First grade classroom, two years from now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527901)

Shut Up Sherman!

Who gave you permission to have thoughts?

Now go lay by your dish.

Re:First grade classroom, two years from now (1)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527922)

Is that M. Night Shyamalan's new movie?

Embrace and extend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527896)

This competition is supposedly about "people stealing the ideas in your head".

I'm going to make a film and enter it, it will be called "Embrace, Extend and Extinguish".

I'm speechless. (5, Insightful)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527897)

I tried to think of some witty comments here but there is nothing I can say funnier, darker, or more ironic than the story itself. This is even richer than when the MS Front Page license including a clause forbidding the use of Front Page to make web pages critical of Microsoft. The gall of these people! This is a new low, though, even for them. "Thought thieves"?! Someone up at MS is having a huge laugh over this.

Re:I'm speechless. (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527917)

Agreed.

Waking up to stories like this just kind of make you want to roll over and accept the corporate/government ass-fuck and submit yourself to becoming a mind-numbed consumer. Shiny things and pop-culture aren't all that bad, right? I mean, most of society takes what they're given without questioning it and seem quite happy in their blissful ignorance. Why not join them?

Re:I'm speechless. (4, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528053)


Why not join them?

(a) Because there are pleasures to be had even in making their lives difficult. You can't always stop people treading on you, but you can hurt their foot.

(b) Sometimes the impossible can happen. Look at the Ghandis of the world. The will to rebel is latent in all the "mind-numbed" consumers - it just needs some ignition. If you wake up one person with your resistance, then there are two people resisting. And between you, you might encourage another two. And so on, and so forth. You don't have to destroy your opponent - you just have to make them give up.

Re:I'm speechless. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527940)

spot on. An anti M$ linux zealot could not make this up. Truth is still stranger than fiction.

Re:I'm speechless. (2, Insightful)

nkh (750837) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527970)

Someone up at MS is having a huge laugh over this.

I'm laughing so hard my stomach hurts. This joke is SO BAD I can't believe someone at Microsoft had the balls to do such a stupid thing. Instead of focusing on writing better software and OS, they waste their time with "education" which has never been their purpose.

I'd like to know why Microsoft is targeting the kids like this instead of speaking directly to the parents. I would be pissed off as a parent if my child was brainwashed by such Nazi propaganda. Yes, I said Nazi and I meant it, it reminds me of the good ol' "Tell us where your Jews are and we'll give you free Microsoft Windows XP copies!"

Anyway, I hope the parents understand what this thing really is...

Re:I'm speechless. (2, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528016)

This joke is SO BAD I can't believe someone at Microsoft had the balls to do such a stupid thing.

its really sad, to be frank. it belies a condition in society where extremely degraded values have become 'the norm'.

whatever marketing genius came up with this idea, clearly doesn't read enough literature .. doubleplusungood.

Re:I'm speechless. (2, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528058)

It's a logical progression. MS have already made progress pushing the idea of ideas as property. Now they just want to take it further and establish the notion that thinking about their ideas (presumably in an unlicenced manner) is theft.

The technology to tell what someone is thinking may never exist. All the same, the notion could prove useful to MS. Just let a generation grow up that will accept the notion of thoughts as property. You could "own" the ideas that constitute an operating system, say, and licence how people could and could not think them. And since discussion could be argued as proof of thought, they could make it a criminal offence to say unkind things about windows. Hey presto, no more bad reviews. Even private conversations would be actionable. Better yet, this being "theft", it would be a criminal case rather than a legal one.

Of course, we could expect this to require a certain amount of testing the courts, and probably some bespoke legislation. That shouldn't pose an insurmountable problem: imagine if politicians and political parties could licence ideas in their campaigns and dictate how they could be discussed.

All this is impossible at the moment: any such case would be laughed out of court. So the first step to changing that would be to raise a generation of kids that wouldn't laugh their socks off at the idea.

Obviously this is all IMHO. I am not privy to Microsoft long range strategy sessions, and, consistent as it would be with their usual business practices, it's entirely possible that they have never considered any such scenario.

Nevertheless, I'm not laughing.

Re:I'm speechless. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12528056)

Actually I think it's quite ingenious: They ask what you would do if your creative ideas where "stolen" in the sense that someone else declared them his idea. That's subtly different from what the BSA, RIAA and MPAA are fighting. Nobody tries to pass MS Office as his own creation. But most people would agree that doing so would not be right. Even the most hardcore warez guys take attribution very seriously. So there, "intellectual property" intermingled with a topic that most people can agree on.

Copyrights, patents and other non-tangible goods are a complicated topic, but if you can dictate the terms which are used in the discussion, you've almost won, as far as the general public is concerned.

Oh, I hope you got the memo: It's "Thieves" now. "Pirates" have too much of a romantic connotation (thanks MPAA!).

Lame. (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527898)

Thought Theives? So if I have an idea, never share it with anyone and never act on it or put it into any real tangible form and someone else has the same idea and acts on it, they're a thief and I'm a victim?

Talk about poorly labeled.

Oh well. Nothing surprises me anymore. I just hope kids remain indifferent enough that they don't buy into this. What's unfortunate is that I think - if they get to these kids early enough - they'll change their attitudes for life. Kind of like those school programs that convince second graders that their parents are evil if they smoke and that they're alcoholics if they have a glass of wine.

Re:Lame. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527920)

Kind of like those school programs that convince second graders that their parents are evil if they smoke and that they're alcoholics if they have a glass of wine.

Never worked like that in my school. Don't worry about it!

Re:Lame. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527948)

My brother, who has Asperger's syndrome, has been fully convinced by the well-meaning middle school videos that our parents are alcoholics because they have a glass of wine.

It's very sad, but it happens.

This just in... (2, Funny)

deminisma (703135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527899)

No-one wants to steal Microsoft's idea for a "Thought Thieves" competition.

Contest over (2, Funny)

hyrdra (260687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527900)

Didn't Bill steal most of his ideas from other people?

I don't know, this whole thing is just bizzare.

there is no may fool's day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527902)

...april the first has padded already!
as my friend just said.. "that's just sick"

conclusion to every kid's entry (2, Interesting)

Demoknight (66150) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527905)

should include "unless you're like microsoft or something and you just basically steal other people's ideas and profit exponentially from them... then i wouldn't mind if one or two people below poverty level stole my IP." ;)

Hoax? (1, Insightful)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527907)

I have a feeling this is a hoax. But it'll make people think...

Re:Hoax? (5, Informative)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527990)

I have a feeling it's not [msn.co.uk]

Looks like Microsoft are the thieves here (1)

snester (225283) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527910)

The terms and conditions are a great bit of legalese - that no 14-17 year old would read let alone understand - If anything interesting comes out of this competition Microsoft may use it free of even the Moral Assertion of the author...

The only way to prevent thought theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527916)

Is a hat made of foil, nicely shaped like an eggbeater bowl but also maybe an elephant midget to prevent brain spillage on the daisies. Maybe, too, some contact lenses, as thoughts can be stolen from retina scans by Nazi biometric technology funded by Howard Hughes.

Some advice (5, Insightful)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527918)

Start earlier, Microsoft. You won't be able to make somebody aged 14-17 think something that he would not naturally think. Especially when your method has indoctrination so obviously written all over it.

So start earlier. I recommend early childhood, age 4-6. I recommend showing movies to those kids where "thought thieves" are evil, dark figures that, preferably, linger under kids' beds. You'll make very powerful subconscious fears your ally that way.

Alternatively, start later. Most teenagers and students will really like the idea of sharing thoughts, and software, and music, and they will only part with it when they enter business life and get a chance to make money themselves by stopping to share. I recommend offering every potential free software/open source developer a large amount of money if they license their stuff to you, exclusively. If that doesn't work, offer them a job at Microsoft, and pay them well. Very well. You might be able to stem the tide that way.

But seriously, I don't think you will. There have always been developments in history that were so natural and unstoppable that it made those who tried to stop them extremely funny to look at. You're in the process of becoming such a comic figure, Microsoft.

Re:Some advice (5, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527928)

I don't know... in America, a shocking percentage of highschool students think free speech goes too far and that the government should have to "okay" everything that is reported in the press and that people have too much free speech.

I would say the school system has already done half of the job for Microsoft.

Re:Some advice (1)

Absentminded-Artist (560582) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528059)

Who are you quoting? And if you can name a source for your "statistic" who funded the poll and for what purpose? I am skeptical of most polls because their objective isn't always stated up front, their samples of the population are too small, and the questions can sometimes be misleading.

For example, how often have we laughed here when one study (funded by the RIAA) proclaims filesharing down and then another study claims that filesharing is up? Who do you believe? Often, people side with the poll numbers that back up their own opinion and ignore the other poll numbers that are contrary. That's been my experience, anyway...

Sorry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12528002)

You're going to have to go back a little further than that. On the order of millions of years. Chimpanzees even have notions of fair play that are best respected should one wish to avoid a mauling. Giving unfairly to a wolf in the sight of other wolves may well get it attacked and killed. They're at war with something buried deep with in us, the most vicious, stealthy, killing machine 3.5 billion years of a massively parallel experiment could produce.

Their talents for abstract reasoning aren't able to see over the piles of money. Which if they had any cleverness left would be going into up-armoring their Humvees.

The Thought Police! (5, Funny)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527919)

Microsoft brings us Orwell's grand vision of 1984, but 21 years late. Slipped deadlines, that is so typical of Microsoft.

Re:The Thought Police! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527976)

I don't know . . . what makes you think this won't be double plus good?

Re:The Thought Police! (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528041)

Now we need to call on that athalete woman to throw a javalin through bill gates blown up big scale TV head.

Adaptation (2, Insightful)

imbezol (588268) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527927)

What would I do?

I certainly wouldn't set up a competition involving the most imaginitive age group of 14-17, get them to give all their ideas to me, and then steal their rights to them.

AWESOME 7p (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527930)

And/or distribute v1olated. In the Baby...don't fear That has grown up

The Plan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527932)

Here's the plan:

1. Make a video
2. Get copyrights, etc
3. Put FBI warning at the beginning, explaining that the video is for private use only
4. Win contest
5. Sue the pants off of Microsoft for publicly showing your copyrighted material
6. Profits!!!

Patronizing Poster (1)

fullcircleflight (883189) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527935)

"Thought thieves is about people stealing the ideas in your head. It sounds like science fiction but it really happens, and it happens all the time." Anyone find this poster a bit partronizing, even for 14-17 year olds?

Ah, to be a 14-17 year old British boy (4, Funny)

AEton (654737) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527936)

(And not just for the 14-17 year old British girls).

I wonder if they'd like my entry "GPL Wars: Revenge of the Linksyth".

"Anakin, don't use that code! It's a trap!"

Re:Ah, to be a 14-17 year old British boy (3, Informative)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527959)

Actually there's an 18 and older category [msn.co.uk] as well.

Re:Ah, to be a 14-17 year old British boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12528031)

OK, I'll have a go then:

Student A: Fuck, I need to look at this Microsoft Word(tm) document for my coursework, but I don't have it installed.

Student B: Don't worry, I'll burn you a CD of Office 2003.

Student A: Thanks!

(Student B puts his Office CD in one CD drive, and a blank in the other. The door is begining to close when..)

MS ThoughtPolice: What the FUCK are you doing, DIPSHIT? You know those are Microsoft's thoughts you're copying, right?!

Student A/B: I....

(More MS ThoughtPolice appear and proceed to beat the living fuck out of Student A and Student B).

Later, in a prison cell..

Bubba: Hey there, sweetheart. Looks like your shoelaces are untied.

Re:Ah, to be a 14-17 year old British boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12528073)

No no no, you got that all wrong. It goes like this:

Student A: Fuck, I need to look at this Microsoft Word(tm) document for my coursework, but I don't have it installed.

Student B: Don't worry, I'll burn you a CD.

Student A: Thanks!

(Student B puts his Office CD in one CD drive, and a blank in the other. The door is begining to close when..)

MS ThoughtPolice: What the FUCK are you doing, DIPSHIT? You know those are Microsoft's thoughts you're copying, right?!

Student A/B: Hell no! It's Open Office. How are those supposed to be Microsoft's thoughts?

MS ThoughtPolice remembers Bill's instructions: Oh, terribly sorry. To make up for your inconvenience, here is a free copy of MS Office 2003 for each of you. Remember to register.

Re:Ah, to be a 14-17 year old British boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12528062)

Let's see, we've got the old Star Wars standbys mixed with Slashdot necessities and tinged with an all-purpose fark-meme... Yep, that's a good post.

Obligatory Orwell (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527947)

This is reminiscent of the brainwashing of kids in the Youth League in Orwell's 1984.

Can minors legally sign away their rights here in the UK? Seems a bit odd.

Re:Obligatory Orwell (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527986)

France prevents minors from signing ANYTHING at all. I guess most european countries work this way.

Re:Obligatory Orwell (1)

NetNifty (796376) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528060)

IIRC here in the UK, they can't sign anything below the age of 16 and must have their parent/guardian sign it instead.

Hoorayyy!! Microsoft's finally using PDF!! (2, Interesting)

Unhappy Windows User (195003) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527951)

Now, if only they'd use PDF here [microsoft.com] , like every other company in the world, perhaps they would look more professional.

(Then again, when they can publish figures like these, who cares whether they look professional or not?)

Newton (5, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527958)

"If I have seen so far, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants" -- Isaac Newton.

Microsoft only have got where they are today by standing on the shoulders of giants - people who were free with their (highly insightful) thoughts. Don't they remember this?

I shudder to think how progress would get held back if each individual jealously guarded their thoughts from each other. This campaign sends entirely the wrong message.

That's the scary part (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12528030)

The scary thing here isn't Microsoft doesn't want children to steal thoughts

The scary thing here is Microsoft thinks they own children's thoughts

Re:Newton (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12528057)

Microsoft only have got where they are today by standing on the shoulders of giants

Microsoft have gotten where they are today by climbing over the dead bodies of giants...

Copyright Infringement Is Not Theft (3, Insightful)

AntiCopyrightRadical (690243) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527964)

The subject of the videos is supposed to be 'intellectual property theft'. But as I'm most here know, copying something or using a patented device with out a licence is not theft. It does not deprive anyone of anything.
No one can own an idea.
If you want to claim you own data, keep it private. Once you sell it to me, it is mine, to keep or to give away.
Copyright is immoral. If you tell me a story, you do not have the right to tell me that I cannot repeat it. Everyone has the right to say what is on their mind, regardless of who first thought of it. The mere act of creation does not give you any special rights to tell other people what they can do with their property.

This is part of a pattern of major IP holders brainwashing children,
there needs to be an alternative voice in the classroom.

Re:Copyright Infringement Is Not Theft (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12528032)

Copyright is immoral.

Unless it's used to enforce the GPL, of course.

Here come the thought police (5, Interesting)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527967)

Currently in my mind i am breaking a hell of alot of copyright laws.
Songs that get stuck in my head , many many ideas , Songs i remember .
I occasionaly hum a tune thats most likely copyrighted .
I have an idea that may already be patent.

When you start labeling copyright/patent infringment Thought theft then your walking on a really dodgy line. it really does sound incredibly facist .
We should be teaching children to share and help others , instead we are teaching them suspicion and greed .. Way to go microsoft ..

I really hope alot of kids send MS vidios depicting facist states Abusing its citizens in some cyber punk future where your thoughts are monitored .
as it was the first thing that came to my mind when i heard thought thieves

Re:Here come the thought police (2, Funny)

01000011011101000111 (868998) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528040)

Better than that - for sheer irony's sake I hope at least a few hundred send in badly edited cuts of the old 1984 apple adverts ;)

Re:Here come the thought police (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528051)

Or even better during the award cermony , a women in some skimpy athletics get up, will run down the middle of the hall way and chuck an onld Mac at bill gates head.

They have some fucking nerve! (2)

tobybuk (633332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527968)

All the little companies the've tried to squash should enter this. This really is the elephant man calling the ugly duckling ugly.

Wow, that's pathetic (2, Funny)

twigles (756194) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527969)

I seriously feel sorry for those guys. Oh, woops they're filthy rich, nevermind.

terms acceptable to Microsoft? (2)

alizard (107678) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527971)

Here are some good ones:
  • this may only be viewed on computers whose operating system conforms with the Free Software Foundation licenses.
  • the intellectual property embodied in the submission may be used freely by Microsoft if only if images of Bill Gates and the image formerly displayed at www.goatse.cx are displayed side by side in a prominent place.
  • Microsoft agrees to make all specifications of Office formats available to the public free of charge in usable form in perpetuity. Final determination of usability to be made by Linus Torvalds or any successor designated by him.
  • Microsoft agrees that these terms override any terms of any "click-through" EULAs accompanying this submission.
Seems fair enough to me.

What can we understand from the competition... (1)

what about (730877) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527975)

It really depends on what stealing means.

Microsoft is so rich that it can afford to buy what it cannot steal, but the border is somewhat very thin especially if we talk about ideas.

Microsoft bought the browser stealing it from Netscape idea (not even that, really, Mosaic was even before Netscape)

Microsoft "made" C# stealing the whole idea from Sun's Java (not even that, pseudocode was really available from pascal age)

Microsoft wants to "steal" market share for games and cellphones from established companies.

But the above, legally, are not stealing, but we all understand that there is something wrong. What is wrong is using the HUGE amount of money earned to force trough a market. Something that would have never been possible othervise.

So, what do we understand from the competition ?

If quite a few people go with Microsoft then we understand that quite a lot of people can be bought off with a tiny sum and they are "not smart enough" to understand that this is great marketing for Microsoft (Tecnically Microsoft is not stealing the competitors ideas).

If instead this is a flop, then possibly the level of understanding is not so low.

It is important to note that the above may not be a measure of "smartness", but on how little the average person know about the subject. In other words, if you have a chance to help a rich or a poor person who would you like to help ?

Re:What can we understand from the competition... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12528042)

But the above, legally, are not stealing, but we all understand that there is something wrong.

Who is this "we all" you're talking about?

Microsoft Propaganda Art (4, Funny)

lousyd (459028) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527978)

You think that's funny? Try this:
http://freetodd.org/MS-Poster.gif [freetodd.org]

This poster was stuck up all over my San Diego, California college campus.

Re:Microsoft Propaganda Art (2, Informative)

rpozz (249652) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528014)

Yeah, we have something similar in the UK. It's a poster of some guy saying to his friends how much he saved on Office (it 'only' costs around 100 quid).

What really happens in a UK university is that someone with broadband downloads a torrent of it and gives copies to anyone who wants one. No student in their right mind would actually buy it - it's (still) too bloody expensive. I would imagine it's similar in the US.

Re:Microsoft Propaganda Art (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528050)

In some european countries the state bought a license for a lot of microsoft products including Windows and Office for every university/college student to be used for some years. The license has to be renewed after 2-3 years. It happened for example twice in Hungary (first in a "legal software" campaign, costing millions, then in a "campus program" costing millions).

Throwing money out of the window instead of supporting free AND thus legal software didn't occur to the government.

Re:Microsoft Propaganda Art (1)

The Nipponese (875458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528024)

Seeing stock photos like that in high-budget marketing moves makes me want to smash my teeth out with a large rock.

Also, FIRED!

What would I do ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12527984)

What would I do if I saw someone passing off my ideas as their own ?

Well, I'd probably suspect it was Microsoft.

There's an idea for at least one entry ;-)

Here's a concept (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527988)

And I release the idea to the public domain so that nobody can "steal" it.

The star sees a concept for a revolutionary computer interface. He hires the people responsible for it to improve it and enhance it, and make it into a real user friendly system. It becomes something fantastic and it looks like he's going to be really succesful. He hires dozens of companies to write software using this new user interface.

Then one of the companies he had hired for making the software backs out, and refuses to release its software unless he licences the enhancements he made to the user interface to the other company.

I think it has promise.

HEY! No fair! (5, Funny)

Harker (96598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527989)

I thought of that first!

H

And the winner is... (2, Funny)

Papay-Noel (316944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527995)

Just contact the kids that did that [imdb.com] movie.

Video submissions, eh? (3, Funny)

technos (73414) | more than 9 years ago | (#12527998)

Everyone has bought a porn tape that was just too disgusting to watch. Or you know someone with a box full of hermaphrodite and scheisse-pron.

How about we steam the labels off all of those and mail em to Microsoft?

art (2, Insightful)

The Nipponese (875458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528000)

God damn, that is the weakest poster I have ever seen. With a monster budget like that, they could have at least hired a REAL graphic designer.

Just because that one in-house guy says he knows Photoshop, doesn't mean he knows good taste.

FIRED!

Haha (4, Funny)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528006)

Its funny because all the school kids will just log on to Kazaa right after this lesson...

Seriously you can't brainwash 14-17 year olds its too late by then, at this age they are already burning CDR's, smoking behind the wall and trying to use the colour laser to print fake ID's and &pound5 notes for the local off-license! Ah the good old days, when VCD's where as easy to come by as that slutty girl in your class, and everyone was discovering sharing, memories... Kids these days with their Napsters and Torrents, they have it easy!

If Microsoft seriously wants to brainwash then they're going to have to aim for the 8 year olds or lower. Do some classes where kids make macaroni and glitter pictures and then someone takes them and pretends they made them and then beats the kid to within an inch of their lives while playing Beethoven too loud, now that's brainwashing!

Poster? (1)

Zetra (745346) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528008)

They couldnt have made the poster and logo any more Disco even if they tried!

is this a Software Patents article? (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528010)

This has to be about Software Patents? Companies patenting processes which are blindingly obvious or for which prior art exists.

I can see why this could be important to Microsoft - they are not just sinners on this one, they have also been sinned against.

Describing it as Thoughtcrime is still a bit rich though.

This just in... (2, Funny)

Statecraftsman (718862) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528011)

John Cleese and Aardman productions to produce film for Microsoft's Thought Theives competition. Rumour has it the film shows clay versions of Microsoft Software Developers talking about what it would be like to code free software.

Irony (4, Interesting)

sfcat (872532) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528017)

What if someone made a film about how the very idea of this contest is "stolen" from Orwell's 1984. Then showed goose-stepping soldiers dragging Bill off to a reeducation camp.

All I can say is wow. Considering MS is the biggest stealer of ideas in history, the multiple levels of irony in this article make that Alanis Morissette song (or more precisely the fact that the song isn't ironic at all) pale in comparison. This can't be real. Would Microsoft be this dumb? Nah, I don't believe it. Good hoax though...

Here is roughly what it sounds like in german (4, Funny)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528021)

"Microsoft ruft alle BRITISCHEN kinder vom 14-17 an, um seine Gedankendiebkonkurrenz einzutragen.
Erinnern Sie sich an Zicklein, finalists muß damit einverstanden SEIN, alle Rechte am geistigen Eigentum in ihrem Film auf den Bezeichnungen formal zu genehmigen, die für Microsoft annehmbar sind.
Und vergessen Sie nicht, Ihr freies Gedankendiebplakat zu runter-laden! Microsoft in errichness 2005 JAWHOL",

Sounds alot scaryer ;)

Re:Here is roughly what it sounds like in german (3, Funny)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528077)

Erinnern Sie sich an Zicklein [...]

"Remember the little goats"?

Pirates of Silicon Valley (1)

mrak018 (736017) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528025)

should win this competition.

Turf War (2, Interesting)

Luke Psywalker (869266) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528027)

The school yard is Microsoft's patch. They have been dealing their product to minors in an attempt to get them hooked for life for some time now. They won the last turf war and things have been settled for a while now, but there are some new kids on the block and Microdick is going for the hit.

This is going to get ugly.

The real thought thieves (2, Insightful)

rollingcalf (605357) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528035)

Microsoft for stealing the kids' thoughts by having them give up their intellectual property to Microsoft.

it's *not* illegal to 'steal' thoughts (5, Interesting)

mojoNYC (595906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528037)

Ideas are most definitely *not* 'protected' (see Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture [slashdot.org] )--it's only the tangible output of those thoughts.

This is the M.O. of slimy corporations and politicians everywhere--they are basically lying to people through their gross simplification of complex issues (see 'pirates are bad'), misuse of language (this competition), and outright lying (too many examples to mention).

What's next? 'Find the hidden pirate treasure on your parent's computer? '

I guess Microsoft don't understand irony (1)

deaddrunk (443038) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528039)

Think about it: how would you feel if you saw your hard work being passed off as the property of someone else? What would you do?

Just ask a few of the companies Microsoft have ripped off over the years.

Budget (2, Insightful)

The Nipponese (875458) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528043)

Ok, can someone explain to me how "kids" are suppose to make a "film" on IP rights with legally purchased software? As a small-time film maker, I can attest to the fact that creative software is EX-FUCKING-PENSIVE (not to mention, most enteries will probably be made on a Mac). It's all a little counter-productive to me.

thought thieves ? :) no kiddin' (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 9 years ago | (#12528067)

, finalists must agree to formally license all intellectual property rights in their film ... to Microsoft

Now, what do you call that ?

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