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Re: [News] US Senator Wants to Tax FLOSS

In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Oliver Wong
on Thu, 10 Aug 2006 16:06:12 GMT
> "Roy Schestowitz" <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message 
> news:82515620.b50Z1cYmeR@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> __/ [ Roy Schestowitz ] on Thursday 10 August 2006 07:43 \__
>>> Senator calls for tax on Open Source software.
>>> ,----[ Quote ]
>>> | US senator Robert Cash wants to attack the problem of declining 
>>> revenues
>>> | due to a form of tax evasion based on the use of 'Free Software' by
>>> | instituting an Equivalence Tax - taxing free software at the same 
>>> levels
>>> | as its more expensive proprietary cousins.
>>> `----
>>>         http://www.danaquarium.com/article.php?story=20050809092207718
>> Update: this might be a hoax. People say that there is no senator that 
>> goes
>> by the name Robert Cash, but I only realised it after I had posted the OP.
>     How could this be anything other than a hoax?
> <quote>
> in this case an 8% tax of $55.92 would need be paid on each Linux install.
> [...]
> Cash denies this is a money grabbing scheme, noting the costs are still far 
> lower than paid proprietary software. "In essence we're value adding, and 
> the consumer is getting more value for what they download. Instead of being 
> worth $0 their software is now worth $60, $100, $200".
> </quote>
>     (1) How would they check how many Linux installs were performed?

Software installations might be required to be on file with
an appropriate government agency, probably connected with
Homeland Security.  Violators would be subject to a $20,000
fine and possibly 90 days, though a first-time offender
might get by with a $2,000 fine and community service.

Virtual machines (e.g., UML, coLinux or VmWare) would also
be required to be registered.

And remember, Homeland Security is there to protect you from
eeeeeeeeevil terrorists who will steal your water bottle
and make a bomb out of it. [*]

>     (2) How PR-oblivious would a senator have to be the "we're value adding" 
> statement? If there's one things politicians understand, that asking people 
> to give away their money is very bad PR.

This is not a giveaway or takeaway.  This is a requirement
to fairly tax.  At least, such would be my spin, were I
actually stupid enough to go along with this proposal.

I don't think it will go far as a proposal, but we'll see.
Somebody out there might be just stupid enough... :-)

>     - Oliver 

[*] it would be interesting, in a slightly sick sort of
way, to see how much explosive power one could get from
a standard 9V transistor battery, a water bottle, and a
bag of chips or salted peanuts.  The notion is a simple
and probably simplistic one: dunk the chips or peanuts
into the water (the salt helps conductivity), along with
a couple of wire leads from the 9V battery, and generate
hydrogen gas.  The gas mixture would be collected in a
balloon and ignited using a taper.  Do remember to duck
under a table first. ;-)

Note that a 9V battery has maybe 300 mAh or 1080 J or
23/100ths of a gram of TNT.  Not sure if that's enough to
blow a hole in the side of an airplane, or not.  I suspect
not, though a good 20 kg sledgehammer moving at 5 m/s
gives one 250 J so it might make a good dent but this
isn't a shaped charge.

Condition: RED from UK, ORANGE regarding all other flights.
I don't know what terrorists could make from toothpaste,
shaving cream (suggestions from Spaceballs notwithstanding),
or perfumes (a stink bomb could be very uncomfortable but
wouldn't endanger the plane unless the pilots pass out).

But that dihydrogen monoxide -- dangerous stuff. :-)

#191, ewill3@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Windows Vista.  Because it's time to refresh your hardware.  Trust us.

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