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[humorix] Could You Get Fined For Downloading Linux?

Could You Get Fined For Downloading Linux?
May 13, 1999

...If you live in Australia you might.  If the proposed
Internet censorship bill pending in Australia[1] is
ratified, it might become illegal to download Linux. The
bill would make it illegal to access any 'R' rated content
in the country.  The Linux source code is 'R' rated; a
search through it with the rgrep command reveals that the
f--- word appears in several places[2].

We at Humorix shudder to think of all the negative
repercussions that passage of the censorship bill might
cause.  Australian FTP sites would no longer be able to
carry the Linux source code -- or any 'R' rated open source
software.  It would take a herculanean effort to remove all
'offensive' material from all copies of Linux software in
existence in Australia.

Several conspiracy theories have already emerged, all of
which center on Microsoft.  Have any of the bill's
supporters accepted Microsoft campaign contributions or
other favors? We haven't found any evidence of this, but
the Humorix Vast Spy Network(tm) is investigating the

In addition, it seems suspicious that this bill would leave
proprietary software unscathed.  The Windows source code
could be filled with hundreds of expletives directed at the
lemmings^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hend-users of it, but we and the
Australian censorship police would have no way of knowing.

Stay tuned to Humorix for breaking information about this
unfolding situation.

[1] http://www.efa.org.au/Campaigns/99.html
[2] http://lwn.net/1998/1015/a/f-word.html


James S. Baughn

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