Friday, December 30, 2005

Business as usual

From a list of things we might have missed this year (courtesy the NYT):

"This year, Yahoo even supplied information that helped the government track and convict a political dissident who sent an e-mail message with forbidden thoughts from a Yahoo account; he was sentenced to 10 years in jail. "Business is business," said Jack Ma, Yahoo's chief in China. "It's not politics.""

Mr. Ma is confused. Business is politics; politics is business. A supposedly apolitical, this-is-only-business stance is political through and through. Please note Mr. Ma, your company is helping enforce the law in China.

Why is this comment appearing in this blog? You're still asking this question after having read the paper on the ethics of licensing schemes? But yes, the answer is straightforward: the business of software is a political business - to pretend otherwise is to be disingenuous.


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