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IBM Gets 30 Days Community Service 147

CelestialWizard writes "Linuxworld have this story regarding the IBM employee that has been ordered to perform 30 days community service for spray painting "Peace, Love and Linux" ads on Chicago sidewalks. See the older story."
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IBM Gets 30 Days Community Service

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  • by Anonymous Coward [] did a similar thing in London for its relaunch, they plastered pesky little stickers all over Camden Town [].

    Fly posting is illegal under the Town and Country Act and carries fines of up to £1,000 per offending poster - or in this case, sticker... ouch, now that could really add up.

    Those figures are nothing though, the old managed to eat through a whopping £178 million ($250m, yup a quater of a billion bucks) in funding in 3-4 months. Man... what were they spending it on?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The way I heard it was that IBM's *ADVERTISING* agency hired this guy to use some kind of chalk substance and he used paint instead... if thats true, I don't see how IBM can be held responsible...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The first ammendment gives you the right to publish, but not the right to publish using PROPERTY YOU DON'T OWN.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yeah, but the article is about Chicago. Not San Francisco.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I work for a better known Linux related company, and was at a trade show earlier this week in London. I was approached by two IBM representatives who I chatted to for a while. They weren't stupid and knew what was happening on the Linux front. But I also didn't get the impression that Linux was their primary focus, it is just a part in an overall strategy to them to ensure they have all their bases covered.

    I don't believe they truely want to push Linux on to consumers, instead they want to have a handhold on Linux incase it takes off and also make it appear to the Linux community that they are Linux friendly and not a threat, which is true for now.

    I think we should try to ride on the publicity they give Linux as much as we can, for now.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yes, IBM hired an advertising firm who seem to have screwed up, but before we make this out to be an 'accident' we should look at the facts. The newsrelease concerning the IBM POWER4 supercomputer [] was slated to come out this week, but who will pay attention now? Or to the sharp rise of IBM stock in light of the .com disaster? No, clearly this is going to hit IBM harder than a simple 18k in damages, or the lost 2.1 million paid to the advertising firm, or the 720 hours of lost time spent by IBM employees cleaning up the mess. No, this is big.

    Who would mastermind such a clever plot? That's right. Bill Gates, noted mastermind behind the Microsoft phenomina. Publically available second quarter financials show that a sizable chunk of Microsoft PR money was spent last quarter, but has a new campaign come out? No! In addition, the general profit report of the firm IBM hired to do the advertising was up this quarter, but how? They were down for the last three consecutive quarters before this, and no new changes have occured in their general financial statement besides the profit boost. Suspicious? Yes! Microsoft may have been funneling money into this PR firm.

    Now, why this type of attack? Well, that is clear. What is the greatest threat on the horizon for Microsoft? Not AOL, but Linux! And who is the largest corporate supporter of Linux? That's right, IBM! In addition, IBM is Microsoft's old rival from the days of OS/2 and Windows 3.1. What better way to attack Linux, but through IBM? They could portray Linux supporters as vandals, and at the same time do major damage to IBM, all while hiding behind the latest information on Windows XP. That's right, Windows XP. Microsoft needs Windows XP to go big, because Windows ME wasn't the powerball that they expected it to be, in the face of the Linux threat. Windows 2000 helped, but Microsoft desperately needs Windows XP to overcome Linux in the corporate and home user environment, even if it can't challenge it on the server just yet. We should have known all along that Microsoft was behind this!
  • "At the risk of feeding the trolls, using a plural verb for a corporate entity (e.g. "Linuxworld have") is perfectly normal British/Australian English.

    I fully agree. While it does not follow the classical rules of grammar, it has fallen into such common usage that it should now be considered correct. Strict grammar dictates that you should say "R.E.M. is appearing on stage"; but everyone but the worst kind of pedant says "R.E.M. are appearing on stage".
  • by counsell ( 4057 ) on Monday May 21, 2001 @03:18AM (#209034) Homepage
    IBM would get even more cheap publicity if they started selling "Peace, Love, Linux" T-shirts. Anyone know where I might buy one?
  • You know, even here in Australia we heard about the IBM Linux advertising campaign and I'm sure it was reported in many many other countries. And it was reported not just in the IT section, but in the main news section.

    For $18k, hundreds of thousands of people around the world heard about Linux and heard that the most recognised IT company in the world is backing it. So not only has the Linux 'brand' gained further publicity (and hence acceptance) around the world, but it's also gained legitimatecy (sp?) by having a blue chip IT company associated with it. That kind of publicity is worth millions and millions of dollars.

    So stop thinking small, and think big picture and you will see that this $18k was a great investment in Linux.

  • It is really unnerving, how easy people like you are to manipulate.

    Well, I guess that's why so much of the money you spend on things goes to marketing and advertising. People wouldn't be spending so much money to manipulate you if they weren't, on the average, getting more back from it.

  • I'd love to get a picture of these. Anyone in the area with a camera? Pictures still around?

    This is a memorable laugh, a real mind-boggler.
  • by dido ( 9125 ) <> on Sunday May 20, 2001 @10:38PM (#209038)

    Well, isn't developing for Linux a community service? ;)

  • the spray painting _was_ the community service
  • Hmmm, thirty days of community service for painting something on the sidewalk.

    And it wasn't even paint, it was water-soluble chalk.
  • Hmmm, thirty days of community service for painting something on the sidewalk. Meanwhile, the President's daughter got what, eight hours, of community service for underage drinking?


  • Sorry if I wasn't adequetly clear above. "Tough-on-crime" politicians certainly disgust me, and I didn't mean to sound like one.

    I don't think sidewalk-spraying is a terrible crime, and I would probably get over it if it were made legal (as long as individuals got the same freedom as corporations.) However, my point is that if society has decided that sidewalk-painting is illegal, then the given punishment is clearly far less of deterrent to a corporation than an individual and is therefore unjust as it makes it "easier" for corporations to break the law. It doesn't make sense to me that corporations (or rich people, for that matter) should have more rights than the rest of us simply because the punishment meted out upon them de facto has a lesser effect due to their great ability to pay.

    I'm not going to get into a whole corporations-are-not-people rant here, but look up AdBusters or the Student Alliance to Reform Corporations or any one of a large number of other organizations if you'd like to see one.
    // mlc, user 16290

  • So, IBM has to pay $18k, probably + the guy's salary while's he's serving the community. This is peanuts for a marketing campaign of the scale they did. (I've personally seen the stupid ads in NYC and SF, and I'm sure they got at least a few more cities).

    Some sneaker company (I forget which one) did a similar thing a couple years ago where they spraypainted ~ 200 ads on the sidewalk. Of course this was found to be illegal and they were forced to pay to clean it up. However, the cost of cleanup was more than an order of magnitude less than it would have cost them to buy 200 payphone ads or whatever! They prefigured in legal penalties as simply a cost of doing the campaign, and still decided it would be cost-effective to violate the law!

    Clearly, stiffer penalties are needed when corporations violate the law -- the fines that are sufficient when individuals do bad things are peanuts to large corporations such as IBM.

    (And, you'll have a hard time getting me to believe that IBM is about peace or love. Please! The co-opting of '60s imagery is disgusting in and of itself.)
    // mlc, user 16290

  • by augustz ( 18082 ) on Sunday May 20, 2001 @09:14PM (#209044) Homepage
    Of course, the facts in this case are a bit different than the story and the submitter make them out to be.

    He's not an IBM employee, they hired a firm, like any other large company, to do a promotional campaign.

    That company obviously screwed up, campaign materials called for non-permanent medium, though that would likely have been illegal as well.

    IBM did the right thing by helping with the cleanup.

  • You left off a / on one of your anchors. I checked the source. Does that mean that this site is just 'dot' now? :-)

  • Yeah right... That's why it's still on all the sidewalks in my neighborhood more than a month after it happened? This is a bit different than some kid's chalk drawings.
  • Great post, neighbor.
  • by mattmattwa ( 20435 ) on Monday May 21, 2001 @12:02AM (#209048)
    This is good?! This is the start of something very scary. You can't cross a street in my neighborhood (Upper Haight/San Francisco) without seeing this bullshit painted in the crosswalks. It pisses me off and I'm a supporter of Linux. Yes, this gets IBM publicity but at the cost of the people who live in these neighborhoods and have to look at this crap every day, most of whom couldn't care less about Linux or any other operating system for that matter. I can almost stomach this because I'm a supporter of Linux but how cool is it going to be when we start seeing ads for Camel cigarettes or McDonald's painted in the street?!

  • It doesn't seem right to me that the guy who did
    the painting has to do the community service.
    It's IBM's VP of marketing who should be out doing
    the community service. The corporation has
    committed this offence, not the poor slob with the
  • Linuxworld 'have' this? Jesus. I hope that the submitter doesn't speak English natively, because that's a pretty grievious error. Just another example of how Slashdot's average user IQ is inversely proportional to amount of folks in the user base.

    No, it's clear that you are the one who doesn't know English as it is spoken throughout the world well. To wit, in Australia, collective nouns take plural, not singular, verbs. In this case, since LinuxWorld is composed of numerous individuals, it takes a plural verb.

    (Did you know that using US grammar rules, collective nouns can also take plural verbs? Yup! They can when there is some degree of disunity: "The group were unable to decide what to do.")

    While it is true that many people who write on slashdot (either as editors or as posters) apparently can not or choose not to write worth a damn, it is also true that many people like to criticise it for the wrong reasons.

    (Another aside: what would you say if I declared that slashdot bashing is old and has long since become tiresome? I used to do that in 1997! I even got a defensive email from Rob Malda. Bashing slashdot before bashing slashdot was cool! I like to think that I've since moved beyond that sort of thing, though. In other words, bashing slashdot, for all its faults, is no longer cool.)

    My advice: go travel a bit; you might learn something. There's a big world outside of where you live, wherever that is.


  • If only every employee of every marketing and ad agency would be forced to do public service for every billboard, banner ad, tv commercial, etc. they churn out...

    the world would be a better place.

    Point and Grunt

  • For 18k, that'll get you about a nice one FULL page newspaper advertisement in the daily paper. I'm talking a full paper page, not just a half, but a full page for $18,000.

    That's just for a daily newspaper.

    The spray paint advertising from the IBM employee has allowed thousands and thousands of city people to see the ads. With /. and other news sites people around the world can see it.

    $18,000. Dirt cheap advertising for international attention...

    ...with the minor cost of it being done illegally.

  • Everyone lies to themselves at least ten times a day. Most of course don't know the truth in the first place and maybe that does not make it a lie.
  • I am not a hippy. The Hippies were a bunch of rich assholes who dodged the draft and took drugs. Those Hippies that survived are the gerks responsible for the power outages in California today.

    Well, I was a hippy (and arguably still am). I'm not rich, and in those days I was a lot poorer. I rarely take drugs, even legal ones. I've never dodged any draft. I write quite a lot of open source software, and some of it quite a lot of people use.

    Yes, hippies (like open source people) were about idealism. I don't see much hypocisy, and I don't see any disrespect (except, perhaps, from you). So what's your point? You don't want to be assoicated with idealism? That's fine, you don't have to be. The exit door is here []. Close it behind you on your way out.

  • I think that it'll depend on whether or not IBM pays him for his 30 days of public service. If they do, then he really gets of scott free (his 'work' is just a little bit unusual, but he probably gets a lot of choice as to what he does). For IBM, it just adds a couple thousand dollars to the advertising bill ($cheap).

    In 1993, 800 people got arrested for blocking a logging road to protest the provinces logging decisions. Some of them were sentenced to community service -- and spent that time doing volunteer work for environmental organizations.

    It's entirely possible that this guy could end up doing his 'community service' for an IBM-sponsored "community project".

  • In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada [] decided that fines are a tax-deductible expense []. Dunno about the US.

    "The legal system is about rules, not justice."
    -- retired lawyer


  • Those Hippies that survived are the gerks responsible for the power outages in California today.
    So what you're saying is that it was the surviving hippies who decided that it was a good idea for the distributors to get out of the production game and buy electricity from the spot market? Pete Wilson and the California legislature are surviving hippies? How come I was never informed of this?
  • Where exactly do people get this antiquated concept of grammar from? Prescriptive grammar went out in the 18th century. Some of the most prominent self-appointed "experts" being:
    • John Wallace, Grammatica Linguae Anglicanae, 1653
    • Dean Swift, Proposal for correcting, improving, and ascertaining the English Tongue, 1712
    • Bishop Lowth, Short Introduction to English Grammar, 1762

    Perhaps if you are a linguist, you can make a descriptive argument about what is "common place grammar" but a linguist is only concerned with deviations from the norm when it results in a failure to communicate (and leads to the creation of a new dialect, which is not necessarily a bad thing).

    As for your comments on the story, I tend to think that perhaps you know as much about the situation IBM and its employees are in as you do about grammar.
  • err.. you mean other than the fact that they said they were?
  • dont feed the trolls.
  • don't feed the troll-feeder-feed-oh fuck it.
  • You certainly could do with some understanding [] of language. Why not read something about language that wasn't written for 8th grade students before you go shooting your mouth off?
  • or spray paint billy boy's car.
  • I totally agree. The concept does not bug me, the fact that they would stoop to illegal tactics shows a disrespect to the linux community. Oh, the only way we can be down with these kids is to go spray paint stuff. Please. We dont need school yard tactics from IBM. If the linux community wanted to go spray paint linux logos everywhere we would have. No, IBM is supposed to lend some credibility to Linux, encourage people to trust it. Do you trust spray painters? (actually I do, but that's not the point!)
  • Hands up anyone working on open source who could of done with $18k. Thanks IBM. You're spendin' that billion well.
  • Microsoft and IBM are both controlled by aliens of the New World Order.
  • or everyone around the world heard Linux associated with vandalism.
  • "Peace, love and Cindy Crawford" ?
    Will I be forced to make love with Cindy during 30 days ?
  • Yes. That'd be a benchmark :)
  • Because they said so []?

    And haven't you been paying attention to the SF news, too?
  • "There's no such thing as bad publicity"
  • If MS did this, I'd have a problem with this. There are some very good reasons why there are rules for commercial speech. Those rules have come into existence after much deliberation with advertising agencies, and they agreed to it. This time, it's linux ads in front of your house. Next time could be cigarettes at the entrance to kindergarten, or hustler at the YWCA. The fact that it's a nice picture in the commercial doesn't matter to me. I would be more of a hypocrite if I supported it. I wouldn't support it for MS, McDonald's or Disney. I don't support it for linux, even though I quite like the picture itself.

  • by radja ( 58949 ) on Sunday May 20, 2001 @11:16PM (#209073) Homepage
    If your company tells you to kill someone, you'll get arrested. The fact that your job is in danger is a VERY bad reason to break the law. You do the painting, you do the time. The guy should have known better and IBM got off too easy.

  • If your company tells you to kill someone, you'll get arrested.

    I agree, but it's also very obvious that killing someone is illegal. I submit that it's much less obvious that drawing chalk designs on a sidewalk is illegal. The employee doing the actual grunt work might well have assumed (and reasonably so given that he works for a "responsible" company such as IBM) that his company had obtained any necessary permissions from the city. Heck, he probably never gave the matter a second thought. It's the people higher up who should suffer, not the guy with the chalk in his hand.

  • I don't think they even *wanted* permission to do this. The publicity generated by this thing being illegal has a much greater benefit than the campaign itself (these graffitis were seen only by a few people compared to how many read about them).
    I guess they had planned this whole thing including fines or community service all along - because easily removable or not, this is against the law.
  • Well, isn't developing for Linux a community service? ;)

    Mod this up!!

  • However, `could of' for `could have' is hardly something made up for this thread.

    I believe the spelling you're looking for is "could've." Sort of like "I've" or "you've." That way, it still sounds colloquial, but it actually makes grammatical sense.

  • Ok so don't blame Canada, but don't blame Big Blue either, it wasn't them who set out to have someone commit this crime, it was a publicist/marketers fault for this stupid action, and it was someone else's stupidity for not drawing the line regarding morals, and money.

    If Sig Sauer had paid someone to promote their guns, and some idiot decided to do something like shoot up a crowd, it would be wrong to place blame on Sig Sauer for the actions of any other than themselves. (poor example I know but I was reading Guns and Ammo earlier so sue me)

    Listen there is nothing wrong with advocacy, so don't think this is a bash Linux post, it's nothing more than a reality check. You don't commit a crime (vandalism) because someone pays you to do it, that'll make you as guilty as the one who conspired the crime. The guy should have known what he was doing was wrong and opted not to do it. As for the punishment, he should do the community service for it, and be given a swift kick in the ass for being dumb.

    What is Deviation v.1 []?
  • i'd love to work for such a high-profile company that gives their employees a can of spray paint and tells them to go deface public facilities and infrastructure with advertisements and propaganda.

  • International Business Machines Performs Act of Civil Disobedience to Promote Open Source Operating System . . . George Bush honored at Mensa ceremony

    Actually, in real life George W. is getting an honorary Ph.D. from Yale today. Next up:

    Temperatures in Hell drop sharply

  • by ryarger ( 69279 ) on Sunday May 20, 2001 @09:08PM (#209081) Homepage
    International Business Machines Performs Act of Civil Disobedience to Promote Open Source Operating System....

    In other news:
    Ariel Sharon plans pilgrimage to Mecca
    George Bush honored at Mensa ceremony
    Tempratures in Hell drop sharply
  • If Sig Sauer (I'm assuming it's a gun company, though I'm not familiar with the name) blindly paid some guy to promote their guns, then they committed a pretty greivous error. It is deadly (in a figurative sense) for a company to just hand their image to an unknown. If that person goes and shoots up a crowd, then he's most likely not mentally sound, and Sig Sauer has a problem on their hands from giving guns to a lunatic.

    You can be sure that IBM had a significant say in this propaganda beyond merely funding it. A stable, stolid blue-chip company will not pay some lunatic just "to give them some publicity." IBM had a large stake in this and a large say. They want to change their image to appeal to the next generation of CTO's and other large corporate buyers.

    I suppose for someone relatively unthinking, it wouldn't be hard to believe that the graffiti campaign was legal. I mean, they have 12-story pictures of Ru Paul painted on buildings in New York, surely a few 3" circles on the sidewalk (that really don't look altogether unattractive) can't hurt.
  • don't feed the troll-feeders.
  • OK, I'll bite. I can't resist a grammar flame war.

    Simply because language is defined by usage does not give you the right to simply make up a "convention" that only you understand. I read the original post some four or five times before I understood what he was saying. Saying "could of" instead of "could have" inhibits understanding. It's wrong and deserves to be made fun of.

    N.B.: Yes, I'm sure if you tried you could come up with something wrong with my post. But it can be understood, and is therefore valid. That's the whole point of your (stupid) article.

  • You know when you sit down in the movie theater and the trailer adds for new movies comes on the screen. But, the trailers are for movies intended for 12 year-olds, or an "alternative" audience, or otherwise just a really bad movie. You start to get that feeling that movie that you've paid to see might be of the same caliber as the trailers, after all that's what the studio executives think.

    Well, that's how I feel about this IBM campaign. Peace, Love and Linux

    . I am not a hippy. The Hippies were a bunch of rich assholes who dodged the draft and took drugs. Those Hippies that survived are the gerks responsible for the power outages in California today. Not to mention that hippies have always been associated with of "naivette" and "counter-culture". I was offended (in a minor way... not like I lost sleep).

    Then it hit me, that there are many similarities to the younger compsci culture and the hippies: ludicrous idealism, hypocracy, and disrespect. Kernel hacking is the new LSD. When we're 50 will we have some kind of crazy inode_hashtable or jiffies flashback? Anyway, I now realize that my opinions of so many /. articles/posts can be summed up with the word "techippy" because that is exactly what most of these people are.

  • While the poor guys at IBM Chicago do their 30 days of community services have fun looking at the picture [] of the peace love & Linux magazine ads.

    Served to you by []
  • Just to prove your point a little further, $18K will get a full page ad in ONE daily newspaper. Depending on the paper, that would mean ONE city or region.
  • often wondered that myself. if your coding goes back to the community should that not count as community service? Ask Slashdot anyone?
  • And what will IBM get for bribing people in Argentina's goverment to get the contract to computerize the national bank? Nothing, the US goverment covered up the IBM execs.
  • by krmt ( 91422 )
    And how do you know IBM was even responsible for this?

    "I may not have morals, but I have standards."
  • Linuxworld 'have' this? Jesus. I hope that the submitter doesn't speak English natively, because that's a pretty grievious error.

    At the risk of feeding the trolls, using a plural verb for a corporate entity (e.g. "Linuxworld have") is perfectly normal British/Australian English. The reasoning is that it's not a Linuxworld which has an article, it's all those happy folks at Linuxworld who have an article.


  • Clearly, stiffer penalties are needed when corporations violate the law...
    Why? The penalty should be proportional to the offense, which is a very minor one in this case. Don't take this the wrong way, but you sound like some uptight Senator demanding stiffer penalties for 'cyber-terrorism' or something. Who really cares if a person/organization squirts their message all over the sidewalk? I'm glad it's (mildly) illegal so it doesn't become a self-righteous, entrenched phenomenon (imagine the sidewalk-spraying industry getting all RIAA and whining when people start teleporting to work), but I'm more amused than offended by those who break this law.
  • Most of the best walls are owned by government agencies. They are part of freeway overpasses, the LA river, and similar structures. It's true that in LA the government only allows lame childish official murals on these huge tempting expanses of concrete. And then it's a crime to deface the crappy murals!
    Effectively, it is a government-controlled medium of expression, with predictably bad results. Good art rarely begins with submitting a proposal to a government agency.
  • maybe 30 days of hard programming for the open-source community ;-?
  • by cperciva ( 102828 ) on Sunday May 20, 2001 @09:40PM (#209095) Homepage
    It's a small point, but how long is 30 days of community service?

    Whenever I've heard about people being ordered to perform community service it has always been a number of hours -- 50 hours, 100 hours, 250 hours, whatever. That way it is easy for people to keep track of how much service the person has done.

    Does 30 days mean 30 x [mean number of hours worked per day] hours of community service? Does it mean that whenever he would be at work for the next 30 days he has to be doing community service instead? Or does it literally mean 30 *days*, ie 720 hours?
  • I can read the headline now: Microsoft Ordered to Perform 482 Years of Community Service At least the parks will be clean....
  • Community service as punishment for doing community service? Cute :)

    How could luring people away from Windows be considered as anything other than community service :)

    /* Wayne Pascoe
  • Ya know, you are on to something...
    I sure know that I would by at least two as long as the proceeds went to OSS funding...
  • Because IBM is helping the world, getting linux knowledge out, do they consider that public service?
  • Doesn't that defeat the whole point? Or have I just been trolled?


  • And it wasn't even paint, it was water-soluble chalk.

    Please remove your head from the rectal position.

    It was supposed to be water-soluable chalk. It was, in fact, spray enamel (at least here in San Francisco, according to the local paper it was Krylon Enamel). That was the problem.

    In my own neighborhood, there are many areas where the sidewalk was damaged by the attempted removal of the enamel. I have photographs of this, which will be on a website as soon as Ritz gives them back to me.

    Chalk would have presented no problem. This wasn't chalk.

  • by faedle ( 114018 ) on Monday May 21, 2001 @09:35AM (#209102) Homepage Journal
    Does nobody around here see how IBM has permanently harmed Linux enthusiasts with this? I live in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, and I've had to defend Linux to more than one of my neighbors because of this whole thing. And I tragically must admit that their anger is justified: IBM smearing their logo feces on our neighborhood is an abomination. What's worse is that in some areas (like in the brick-paved sidewalks of Market Street), the spraypaint proved to be difficult to remove. It makes me cry, literally, that my beautiful city has become permanently stained by this. In the eyes of many in the general public, IBM has made Linux enthusiasts a street gang, full of "taggers" who (like dogs) mark their territory by urinating on everybody else's property.

    IBM needs to do more than pay a measly fine. IBM needs to serve "jail time" in the form of forfietting 30 days of corporate profits to CleanSF and similar organizations in cities they crapped on... groups that spend their time and energy trying to keep the streets of our towns clean. IBM needs to publically apologize with large, full page ads in local newspapers.

    But most importantly, IBM needs to apologize to the Linux community, for making us look bad in the eyes of our neighbors and friends.

    $18,000? Pshaw. That's the price for ONE of the billboards they placed along the 101 Freeway. IBM needs to truly pay for this crime, otherwise they're just another corporate criminal, who's gonna rape Linux for all it's worth and leave us out in the cold.

  • You don't see FreeBSD fold vandalizing sidewalks. I guess they don't have anything to prove!

    How can I put this so it isn't modded as a troll?

    When I first read this, I interpreted it to have just the opposite meaning as you meant it. I then realized how you meant it. There must be a better way to phrase this.
  • What if IBM would have gotten permission from the cities they wanted to deface, though? I can't help but think that they would have been able to get permission in some places, which scares me.

    Had that happened, then 5 years from now, we might be seeing ads on EVERY sidewalk. It's even scarier to think that this is probably going to happen anyway.

  • But I also didn't get the impression that Linux was their primary focus, it is just a part in an overall strategy to them to ensure they have all their bases covered.

    I get the feeling that they are only supporting open source as a way to sell other products that are totally non open source related and that those products only get pushed for Linux once the possibility of selling an NT or AIX solution to is almost dead.

    I don't believe they truely want to push Linux on to consumers, instead they want to have a handhold on Linux incase it takes off and also make it appear to the Linux community that they are Linux friendly and not a threat, which is true for now.

    Look at any IBM product. There may be a Linux version but don't expect it to have all the bells and whistles of the NT or AIX versions.

    I think they are only doing the Linux thing to, as you said, cover their bases in case it actually gains a critical mass. For a company who keeps telling us how much money they are spending on Linux there's not much to show for it... apart from a couple of graffitted foot paths!

    That said, anyone who even contemplates running production DB2 or Content Manager systems on Linux (or NT for that matter) is a moron.

  • I don't know where you got that story from, but according to this guy [] the art director for The Doors painted petroglyphs in oil-based paint on a blank cave wall...
  • & If I caught those pricks spray painting the sidwalk in front of my house, I'd take a baseball bat to his head.
  • This might be a stupid question, but does any know if the guy that has to do community service will have this on his criminal record?
  • Only if you can convince the judge that it's of benefit to the community. ;-)

  • To quote Winston, "This is the kind of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put!"

    In other words, if we don't talk the way the rules say, then the rules just aren't keeping up. :-)

  • Hands up if you can find any other way to fund a national advertising campaign for a mere $18k.

    Spray your message in latex glue or similar substance onto the dress of a white house intern.

    Paint it onto the roof of a sports personality who wants to kill their wife.

  • Hands up if you can find any other way to fund a national advertising campaign for a mere $18k.
  • I'm simply saying that every organization lies, which makes everyone I know a liar.

    I have a hard time believing you.

  • I suspect it is one of those precedent things. If you turn a blind eye and a chuckle to IBM, you invite every company with a can of spray-paint and a stencil to start turning your city sidewalks into billboards.


  • Sucks to be that guy. I'm wondering what kind of compensation this guy is getting from Big Blue. Or if that non-compete clause is gonna keep him from picking up garbage for 6 months after he leaves the company.
  • I live in San Francisco, and when wandering about the city last week these icons were still rather boldly painted onto the sidewalks. Guess they don't wash off so well, eh? :-P


  • by imagineer_bob ( 163708 ) on Sunday May 20, 2001 @09:32PM (#209124) Homepage
    ...vandalizing sidewalks. I guess they don't have anything to prove!
  • This guy didn't do it on his own. IBM is using this as a publicity stunt to push their Linux campaign. They want to be viewed as a company whose employees are passionate about Linux
  • Along I-40 (Westbound, approx. exit 14) there's a billboard that completely rips off IBM's campaign. It's for a wireless company - Cingular I think - and it says, "Peace. Love. Wireless." It has three icons, the first two being a peace symbol and a heart. The last, if I remember right, is the Cingular logo.

    Not only is IBM getting a lot of publicity off this, so are the copycats. If you ask me, anyone who's copied their campaign (whether on sidewalks or on billboards) ought to be just as liable as IBM. I hate people who can't come up with their own ideas.

  • Comment, Version 2:
    If I knew I could get free advertising by defacing public property, I'd be a billonaire right now.
  • by hillct ( 230132 ) on Monday May 21, 2001 @03:52AM (#209146) Homepage Journal
    If I knew I could get gree advertising by defacing public property, I'd be a billonaire right now.

  • I fail to understand the goal which Chicgo is trying to acheive by giving an IBM employee 30 days community service. Giving the corporation as a whole a fine is logical, and worth while, but a singular employee makes no sense. Even if this employee spray painted all of the ads, which I doubt, he would only be following orders, especially if he thought his job would be in danger.(How ever, that would make one hell of a lawsuit) If anyone should be getting community service, it should be the marketing team or perhaps the people who authorized the ads or maybe, just maybe, the lawyers who said it would be legal (If they were consulted in the first place).
    By the looks of it, this poor person has been suckered into doing something which he does not deserve.
    irc addict.
  • ... then the Linux zealots at /. would cry "Put this stupid Bill-Gates-slave on a jail for ten years!".

    Come one, guys. This was just yet another "we are the good boys because we promote Linux so anything we do will be considered right even if it is against the law".

    All in all, it's just business...

  • by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Sunday May 20, 2001 @10:02PM (#209162)
    This reminds me of what happened on a film set a few years back. The filmmakers of "The Doors" wanted an authentic indian cave where they could film on location with indian petroglyphs in the background. They received permission on the explicit understanding that no indian petroglyphs were to be touched. Except an art director didn't get it, he thought the petroglyphs didn't come up clearly enough on camera so he painted over them with a water based paint. He completely covered every written character with dark paint. The petroglyphs were originally done in water based pigments, he thought he could wash off his overpainting but that would have washed off all the original petroglyph too. Now there is nothing left but the dumb art director's painting. Another wonderful cultural relic raped, pillaged, and destroyed by Hollywood greed-heads.
    Anyway, the laws used to prosecute IBM are a two-edged sword. Street artists go up against fines like this all the time. I recall artists like Robbie Conal in Los Angeles plastering posters of political satire all over the city. An artist I knew did an amazing mural under a bridge in downtown LA. He painted it in reflective paint, you couldn't see it in the day, only at night by your car's headlights. And the city decided to paint over it. Another artist I knew did a series of oddly beautiful mini-murals, with the message "Justice Just Is." The city went out of its way to paint them over immediately. LA has laws to protect stupid murals from the days of the Olympics, but doesn't hesitate to paint over the street artists. And I'm not talking graffiti taggers, these were serious artists with no other way to reach the public except directly. I'm not sure I endorse the concept of the city government having total control of the public space and who can say what in public. I know advertising doesn't really enjoy the same first amendment protections, but when the same laws are used to suppress advertisers as well as artists, I sense a slippery slope ahead.
  • This used to be the most uptight company in the world. Now they get in trouble for grafiti.
  • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Sunday May 20, 2001 @09:21PM (#209173) Homepage
    That's nothing. MS has been spraypainting the Windows logo on my monitor for years.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling