No linuxAll of you Linux fans out there are definitely going to be able to sympathize with this guy. Scott McCausland, a proud Linux user, was convicted of downloading an episode of Star Wars illegally over BitTorrent last year. He’s known as the first to be jailed for illegal BitTorrent use and was sentenced to five months in prison for it. His five months in prison are over, he served his time, and now he’s been put on probation. Part of his probation is the requirement that he must have monitoring software installed on his computer to check for illegal activity.

On his blog Lost and Alone, he writes:

“I had a meeting with my probation officer today and he told me that he has to install monitoring software onto my PC. No big deal to me; that is part of my sentence. However, the [monitoring] software doesn’t support GNU/Linux. So he told me that if I want to use a computer, I would have to use an OS that the software can be installed on.Which basically means Microsoft and monitoring software or no computer. I use Ubuntu 7.04 now, and they are trying to force me to switch.”

He made it clear that he’s not complaining about the fact that he has to be monitored because he understood that was part of his sentence. His problem, he says is that “I just think that it is totally ridiculous to force me to purchase an OS because they can’t support it.”

So now McCausland has no other choice but to purchase a copy of XP or Vista so that he can use his computer. To help pay for the cost of the operating system, he’s added an option for people to donate money via Amazon. I don’t necessarily agree that people should donate money to this guy after he was found guilty of illegal activity, not to mention that he was put in this position because of it, but there are plenty of people who know that this could have easily been them in this situation, and feel compelled to give.


There Are 8 Comments

  1. Ubuntu? Might as well be using Windows!

  2. Thats cruel and unusual punishment! ;)

    Poor guy has to use Windows over Ubuntu on his personal computer.

  3. Maybe they should have taken the computer away and prevented him from using ANY computer. Would that have been more fair?

  4. Wow!

    Please, donate some money to me.
    I’m a poor brazilian, not a ex-con like Scott McCausland. :)

    Here in Brazil, a copy of Microsoft Windows costs almost 2 minimum income. :(

    Sorry about my English: I’m learning. :)

  5. I could always run a virtual PC inside Windows. Yeah, you’d still have to deal with Windows but at least you wouldn’t have to miss it…

  6. No Problem. Use bit torrent gain and download a pirated version of MS windows xp. simple. :lol:

  7. I’d never heard of them being able to do this with your computer. I’ve heard about the fines and whatnot, but making someone use a specific operating system is ridiculous. As if he couldn’t find a way around that.

  8. The thing that gets me about illegal downloads is that “Star Wars” simply isn’t even close to worth losing a year of your life over.

    You can legally rent movies really cheaply, and realistically speaking, you are going to watch it once, or twice? Most movies I just watch a bit out of the corner of my eye and then I know the story because the stories are all the same. Fast forward to the bit where something blows up, OK seen that one, send it back.

    Why do people feel the need to collect this stuff ?

    Internet Bandwidth is the gift given to our generation, don’t throw that gift away by useless downloads.

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