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Gilberto Gil

Former Latin American musician of the 60s and 70s, now turned Minister of Culture for Brazil is helping to lead the fight against the concept of intellectual property. I appreciate that they're going to stop paying for expensive licenses to use Microsoft products and will instead be using open-source software. I also appreciate that they are forcing pharmaceuticals to offer drugs at a discounted rate considering the percentage of poor in Brazil. Ofc, some would point out that if they were thumbing their noses at Human Rights Watch or Greenpeace, i prolly would appreciate it less. The difference here is that by these actions, the government is trying to do something for the people instead of kowtowing to the corporations. I think that's a significant difference. Ever since corporations were allowed to be considered persons in this country, they've taken advantage of the system to increase their profit margins. All men are created equal but rich men and big corporations are more equal than the rest.

A similar mischievousness seems to have explained the government's response when an official accused Microsoft of behaving like a drug dealer in handing out free software to make customers dependent on its products. Microsoft Brazil sued, but the administration simply ignored the case, and the company eventually withdrew it. "But this is not demagoguery," Gil insists, if you accuse him of just being provocative. "This is pedagogy."

By min | January 10, 2006, 12:54 PM | Liberal Outrage