“Give Me Liberty And Give Me Bugs” is a quote by Martin Owens, leader of Ubuntu Massachusetts and fellow BLU (Boston Linux and UNIX Group) member.  You see, it all started innocently enough with a thread on the BLU list about the iPad.  The flames hadn’t actually reached the second floor yet, so I decided to squirt some napalm on it by mentioning that (1) I just bought an iPhone to replace my dead-end Windows Mobile phone, and (2) I have given up on trying to sync music and PDA data with Linux, and am now using an old beater Windows XP laptop just for syncing and backing up my phone.  You see, I’m a PDA geek.  I track lots of metadata about my calendar events, contact data, tasks, etc.  Since the PDA as a separate device is pretty much dead at this point (s0b) I rely on finding third party software for my phone.

But back to the argument.  There were two dominant camps.

  1. Those that see any vendor lock-in techniques, DRM, planned obsolescence, and anything that prevent you from doing whatever you want with something you own, as an affront to nature, and should be illegal.  They would rather have Open Source/unencumbered products that didn’t quite work right than locked-down commercial products that work very well, but only in the One True Way as determined by the vendor.
  2. Those that see companies as entities that will generally focus on their own goals, charging as much as they can get away with for as little as they can get away with, targeting their products towards the target audience they choose.  They feel to expect otherwise is being idealistic.  One should act accordingly, and not act shocked when Apple releases a new version five months after you buy one.

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The short version: An anti-piracy group in Lithuania that was threatening to sue all the BitTorrent websites for millions of dollars, changed their name, but forgot to buy the new matching domain name, and wackyness ensued when one of the larger BitTorrent sites in Lithuania bought the domain name.  A $20 mistake they’ll never make again 😉

This article from TorrentFreak covers all the gorey details.  The best part is, there have been several cases in Lithuania of people buying domain names matching the names of large organizations who failed to do so, and in every single case where the organization tried to sue to get control of it, they lost.  As it should be.

How can a company that is totally focused on issues around the internet be so internet non-savvy?  Whether you think BitTorrents are good or bad, you gotta feel good about that aspect of the story/