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Bill Gates, Time Magazine "Person of the Year" 751

klubar writes "Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, were named Time Magazine "Persons of the Year". He was joined in this honor with Irish rocker Bono-all being named for being "Good Samaritans" who made a difference."
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Bill Gates, Time Magazine "Person of the Year"

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 18, 2005 @10:55AM (#14284793)
    I know for a FACT that none of them are from Samaria!
    • by SgtChaireBourne ( 457691 ) on Monday December 19, 2005 @05:34AM (#14289728) Homepage
      Funny. But lets look at the actions, which do speak louder than words, and then again at the definition of Good Samaratin

      I find it peculiar that these acts of "charity" tend to be timed to fight Linux and Open Source more than to fight disease [zdnet.com.au]. It's been the same pattern whether in Australia, India or many of the African nations: Gates gives $100m to fight HIV, $421m to fight Linux [theregister.co.uk].

      Another thing that makes it stink of PR is the focus on HIV/AIDS which, compared to other problems like heart problems, smoke from cooking fires, etc, is not a major health problem. However, it is a high profile item for US audiences.

      Yet another problem is that the solutions offered by Chairman Bill and his foundation focus on expensive pharmaceutical treatments, often draining significant matching funding coming from the target region. Most health issues are solved more effectively and cheapy with preventative measures not corrective measures, especially expensive ones. Cheaper is better, but it just so happens he's also heavily invested in the same pharmas, so maybe, jsut maybe there is a bit of conflict of interest.

      Read the interview Time had earlier with Chairman Gates. He seriously couldn't seem less interested in the health and social aspects of the charity. The definition I had previously heard for Good Samaritan involved an active interest in helping and helping in an altruistic manner, not with strings attached or with major conflicts of interest.

  • by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @10:56AM (#14284800)
    This should prove... once and for all, to the teeming masses of Slashdot kids, that people, by and large, DO NOT hate Microsoft and Bill Gates.
    • They are in good company; Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and George W. Bush have also been Time's Man of the Year.
      • by NCraig ( 773500 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @12:11PM (#14285233)
        They are in good company; Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and George W. Bush have also been Time's Man of the Year.
        None of those "winners" were lauded as "Good Samaritans." From the article:
        The richest man in the world, Bill Gates, and his wife, Melinda, were named Time magazine's "Persons of the Year" ... for being "Good Samaritans" ...
        Or you could have read the summary. Either way, you would have noticed that Bill and Melinda Gates won SPECIFICALLY for doing good. Unlike Adolf Hitler.

        But I would like to congratulate you for creating on of the most subtle Godwins ever =).
      • for good or for ill (Score:5, Informative)

        by sdo1 ( 213835 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @12:17PM (#14285266) Journal
        Now I know you were trying to be funny, but Time's "Person of the Year" is nominated not for being a good person, but for being an impactful person. By Time Magazine's own words [time.com] the "Person of the Year" is chosen for good or for ill . Because they chose Hitler DOES NOT mean they found him to be a stand-up person of good will. They chose him because he had an unbelievable effect on the history of mankind, though in this case of the worst possible kind.

        "...or for ill." Get it?

        Now in this case, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are being recognized for their efforts to make the world a better place.


        • by Minna Kirai ( 624281 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @01:17PM (#14285658)
          Now I know you were trying to be funny, but Time's "Person of the Year" is nominated not for being a good person, but for being an impactful person.

          Not anymore. In 2001, the Man Of The Year was Rudolph Guiliani, when it is painfully obvious that Usama bin Laden had an inestimably bigger impactful on that year's events. (Indeed, 100% of Rudy's interesting actions were merely responses to Usama's initiatives).

          Face it, Time uses at least 4 factors to pick Yearitude: Attractiveness, Deserving, Virtue, and Import.
    • MS did not win the award. The gates did. Big difference.

      In addition, the foundation was set up by Melinda, NOT bill. And she did it for marketing. I would say that it has paid off.
    • How does that prove anything? Time Warner decides who is Person of the Year. They are easily bought and sold.
  • Well. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Winckle ( 870180 ) <mark@@@winckle...co...uk> on Sunday December 18, 2005 @10:57AM (#14284804) Homepage
    As much as we dislike him, he does give an awful lot of money to charity, so well done Billy.
    Of course the other argument is that, percentage wise he doesn't actually give that much...
    • Re:Well. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mumblestheclown ( 569987 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:11AM (#14284876)
      Unless you can honestly claim to give a larger percentage of your salary to charity than bill gates has, then I encourage you to please enjoy a hearty slice of shut the hell up.

      Or maybe Roman Abramovich is a model citizen, because, while he wastes his money on football teams, yachts, and whores, at least he hasn't made (gasp! horror!) a closed-source operating system? That's really what it's about, isn't it?

      • Yes, I can honestly claim to give a percentage of my earnings to charity, but since I am in full-time education, and only have a small job to support my student life, the amount is not that much. Whether we can ascribe to my donations anymore value than Mr Gate's donations, is another discussion for another day.
        • Re:Well. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mumblestheclown ( 569987 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:20AM (#14284933)
          Your initial point was that the size of his donation was not that large. Then, you proceed to make excuses why his is not bigger. So, his is bigger in both absolute and percentage terms. You also neglect to mention that a) the guy actually follows through where his money goes so that it is used wisely and b) that he has plans to basically give away EVERYTHING by the time he's gone.

          I mean really. See beyond your jealousy and hatred of IE's "broken HTML" and other assorted technical-philosophical gripes for one minute.

      • It's not how much you give away that shows how generous you are, neither the actual amount nor as a percentage. It's how much you decide to keep. Bill Gates has decided to keep enough money to remain the richest man in the world.
    • Re:Well. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by aszlej ( 886876 )
      Well, obviously you are wrong, because Bill Gates donated almost 60% of his wealth up to this day, and he said, that before he die, he'll donate 90%. So STFU with your stupid anti-ms comments and go do some research on the subject before you post.

      BTW: All you guys hate Bill so much, but do you know how much Wal-Mart gave to charity? Just see the movie 'Wal-Mart - The high cost of Low Prices' where they actually compare Bill and Melinda's donations and donations from Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, truth is quite s
      • Re:Well. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @12:06PM (#14285203) Journal
        Wal-Mart saves low-income shoppers $50 billion [washingtonpost.com] a year by having an efficient supply chain. I don't care Mal-Mart give to charity or not.

        Infact, Bill Gates, who had a lot to do with the success of the modern PC revolution has helped hundreds of millions of people get jobs that made them trillions of dollars. And I don't care if he gives to charity either, but sure, it is nice.

        Every market transaction makes both parties better off, or else they would not engage in the transaction.
        • Re:Well. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @01:12PM (#14285618) Homepage
          Every market transaction makes both parties better off, or else they would not engage in the transaction.

          That particular piece of dogma assumes that everybody has perfect knowledge of all the economic factors, and an infallible ability to apply that knowledge correctly. It may make for a nice computer model, but it applies only sporadically to real life. As a counterexample, ask some ex-Enron employees how much better off they are due to their 'market transactions' with Enron regarding their retirement funds...

        • Re:Well. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ThaFooz ( 900535 )
          Wal-Mart saves low-income shoppers $50 billion a year by having an efficient supply chain.

          Yes, but it also destroys the local retail outlets. That can really hurt a tight-knigt community (just think of how different the vibe is at your favorite local shop vs Wal Mart), and said storekeepers will have to adjust. And working at Wal-Mart is NOT an improvement. Sure Wal-Mart might throw jobs at those whow might otherwise have difficulty finding employment (particularly the mentally handicapped), but it do
        • Re:Well. (Score:3, Interesting)

          by wass ( 72082 )
          Wal-Mart saves low-income shoppers $50 billion a year by having an efficient supply chain.

          Take this quote by Steve Dobbins, the CEO of Carolina Mills, which provides textile supplies. "People ask, 'How can it be bad for things to come into the U.S. cheaply? How can it be bad to have a bargain at Wal-Mart?' Sure, it's held inflation down, and it's great to have bargains," says Dobbins. "But you can't buy anything if you're not employed. We are shopping ourselves out of jobs."

          Here's the link [fastcompany.com]. Why are

    • Re:Well. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by v1 ( 525388 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:30AM (#14284993) Homepage Journal
      Though I can't help but feel he's giving our money to charity...
    • by turgid ( 580780 )

      It just goes to show that people are stupid and that the mass media are sycophants.

      I am sick and tired of hearing what a great genius and philanthropists Bill Gates is.

      Let us not forget that Bill Gates went to India in 2002 and gave $100 million to fight AIDS, which received great press. What the main-stream media failed to report was that $421 million of Microsoft's money at the time went to fight Linux and Free Software [theregister.co.uk].

      So make your own conclusions about his priorities.

      • > Let us not forget that Bill Gates went to India in 2002 and gave $100 million to fight AIDS, which received great press.

        Also, $100,000,000 / $51,000,000,000,000 = 0.2% of his net worth.

        Suppose you're far better off than most people, to the point of having $100,000 socked away in the bank, and you decide to be equally generous. Should you expect kudos for your $200 donation?

        What about all the people working their way through college, who still find a way to dro $5 or $10 in their church's collection pla
    • Re:Well. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kevlar ( 13509 )
      Of course the other argument is that, percentage wise he doesn't actually give that much...

      Thats because when you're the riches person in the world, the vast majority of your money exists as ownership of companies. If Gates were to try to sell off his 1 billion shares of MSFT, it would severely criple the company's finances because he likely wouldn't be able to find a buyer @market.

      While I'm sure that his success is fundamentally driven by ego, you cannot say that he doesn't give an enormous amount back t
    • Re:Well. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by putko ( 753330 )
      Bill's choices in charities don't make sense. He's basically taken money from the first world (with monopolistic practices) and is busily pouring it down the blackhole of 3rd world charities.

      The money that he pours into Africa gets stolen by the corrupt heads of the countries. As long as African truckers can buy whores for a few dollars at truck stops, they'll be having "dry sex" [villagevoice.com] and spreading AIDs.

      He could copy Soros and get more bang for the buck if he invested in somewhat less hopeless causes. I'm
      • Re:Well. (Score:3, Informative)

        by wct ( 45593 )
        Actually, if you bothered to read the Gates foundation [gatesfoundation.org] web page, you would see that most of the money has been allocated to a minority scholarship program, followed by a vaccination fund that targets the 75 poorest nations in the world - ie not just African countries. There are no AIDS grants mentioned, except for research into an AIDS vaccine. What AIDS-in-Africa charity are you talking about? And if you've been to an African country, you would see the immense good that NGO charities are doing efficient
    • Re:Well. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wwwillem ( 253720 )
      .... the other argument is that "who cares how much someone gives to charity".

      Giving to charity, so much an anglosaxon measurement for how good you are, always comes after (!!) the fact that people have taken care of their own well being. As a simple example, mother Theresa didn't GIVE to charity, she WAS charity.

      Having moved from Europe to Canada (which follows the American/British model), I'm still flabergasted about how people here think that 'giving to charity' can wipe out their evil, or lack of actio

  • Kudos (Score:4, Insightful)

    by timmyf2371 ( 586051 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @10:57AM (#14284808)
    All too often we will critiscise Bill Gates for the actions of his company and practises they employ; but whether we're right or wrong to do so, both him and his wife must be congratulated for their donations and the work they have done through their charity.

    Keep up the good work, Mr & Mrs Gates.

    • Re:Kudos (Score:2, Interesting)

      by IAAP ( 937607 )
      All too often we will critiscise Bill Gates for the actions of his company and practises they employ; but whether we're right or wrong to do so, both him and his wife must be congratulated for their donations and the work they have done through their charity.

      I'm trying to find the quote. Someone once made a comment during the Guilded Age regarding Carnegie's, Rockefeller's, etc... charities. The critique was that they were doing it for PR or to clense their souls (which might have been true for Carnegie. H

    • Well said.

      What I find interesting is that Bill is clearly someone who has helped change the world and touch many peoples lives already, and now seems to be looking towards an even greater legacy in Africa and 3rd world countries.

      At only 50 years old, his next triumph may still be his greatest.

      On an offtopic side note, my little test revealed Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] is already up to date. Cool.

      Broadband funny videos for adults [laughdaily.com]. Now updated 3 times daily.

    • His charity may be good
      but that doesn't make his software good
      or innovative.

      Only he can do that.
      And time and again he has not managed to do that
      until somebody else does it first
      and then he tries to do something similar.

  • Respect.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aero2600-5 ( 797736 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @10:58AM (#14284809)
    As much as I dislike Bill Gates and his business practices, there is no doubt that he and his wife have done more for charitable organizations than anyone in history. Bill Gates and his wife deserve to be celebrated for their efforts.

    • Re:Respect.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WindBourne ( 631190 )
      he and his wife have done more for charitable organizations than anyone in history.

      false. You need only to look at all the local libraries that were built and furnished with books or look at a number of our universities (CMU comes to mind). Gates foundation has spent a mere amount compared to the robber barons of the 1800s/early 1900s. Now down the road, he may well do more, but at this time, he has not even come close.

      • Re:Respect.. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by generic-man ( 33649 ) * on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:36AM (#14285028) Homepage Journal
        In my opinion, Gates wants to be seen as the 21st century equivalent to a Carnegie. Carnegie and Rockefeller had a ton of money because taxes were so low back then (0-1% of income) that the money just piled up. I read the book Titan about Rockefeller in which the author claimed that Rockefeller would be worth $900 BILLION in modern dollars when you adjust his wealth for inflation. He gave nearly all his fortune to charity, starting hospitals, universities, and foundations left and right.

        If you're going to compare Mr. Gates to the robber barons in terms of generosity, at least take into consideration the fact that Gates is considerably poorer than Rockefeller was at Rockefeller's peak.
  • FTA- (Score:2, Funny)

    by soundoff ( 927124 )
    "For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice." I think I understand now. Those commie bastards in the open-source community are reverse-engineering justice and giving it away for free.
  • On Forbes, or Fortune, or The Robb Report..... but TIME?

    I agree that Time always tries to be a little off-centre in their selection of Man of the Year (PC Man of the Year, etc...) but this is getting ridiculous. Plus, he's already been Man of the Year, when he most deserved it for his dominance (for better or for worse) in the emerging IT marketplace.
  • by fussili ( 720463 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:02AM (#14284827)
    Mark 12:41-44
    41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
    42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
    43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
    44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything-- all she had to live on."

    As much as I understand the necessity of patting people on their back for doing anything at all with their insanely huge wealth - to stop them turning away sneering at the 'ingratitude' of the world, I can think of a lot of "Good Samaritans" who better deserved Person of the Year
    • by at_slashdot ( 674436 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:46AM (#14285081)
      You have to understand though that Time gives the title of "person of the year" not on the ground of merit but on the ground of impact on the World. Widows donating money they can't spare don't really have such a big impact.
    • If you're talking charity in the christian sense Mark 6:1-5 is as relevant:

      6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

      6:2 Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

      6:3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

    • I do agree but I want to embellish it with what I think it's about (no guarantee that this is the "correct" view, think and decide for yourselves).

      Does it mean that rich people shouldn't donate? No
      Does it mean we shouldn't encourage rich people to donate? No
      Does it mean that we shouldn't be happy when rich people donate? No

      What it means is that we shouldn't scoff at those who donate the little they have just because they're poor and can't give "much" dollar-for-dollar.

      What it means is that we should applau
  • by kgroombr ( 608645 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:02AM (#14284834)
    Although they did give a large amount back, what percentage is this to what was taken in? There are a lot of people that don't make a lot of money and give a large percentage to charities. The total amount given is really not a measure of one's thoughtfulness, the percentage is really where it counts.
  • While I commend the Gates Foundation for it's great work, surely there has to be someone that, in the past 12 months, has afected the news more than he has.

    Isn't that what the Person of the Year was designed to be? Has it fallen so far that anyone with enough money can buy the post?
  • We already discussed this here [slashdot.org] and this was my comment [slashdot.org] on the topic.
    The thing is it was one of the few discussions on slashdot (it's about Billy of the M$) which was truely fair or at least gives me such a feeling
  • Sorry Bill (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ed Almos ( 584864 )
    Giving away millions does not excuse you from Microsoft tactics such as:

    1) EULAs that take away the users rights

    2) Operating systems with little or no security

    3) Business tactics that make the Borgias look like a kindergarden group.

    5/10, try harder.

    Ed Almos
  • by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:12AM (#14284883)
    Not trolling, but asking out of genuine curiousity.

    Isn't Linus Torvalds also a millionaire? Does anyone have any figures
    about his charitable donations?
    • he probably donates, but you know, the biggest donator always gets all the credits. And Gates can donate far more than Torvalds.

      I believe we should be evaluated not by how much we donate, but by what we have left after the donation. Then, I could be considered as a _big_ donator!

    • by LibrePensador ( 668335 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:30AM (#14284995) Journal
      No he is not a millionare. And yes you are trolling.

      Are you implying that Bill Gates who keeps for himself every bit of "intelectual property" that he has created or has had others create on his behalf is a better man than a guy who has shared his work with all of humanity?

      I didnt think you were.
    • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:44AM (#14285063) Homepage Journal
      How much Linus Torvalds donates? Look here [kernel.org], how much is that worth?
      • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @12:27PM (#14285315) Journal
        Wish I had mod points. It is easier for a millionaire to give money, since he has plenty to spare. Linux gives everyone his time and talents, which are more precious.

        Kudos to Bill for all the charity work he has done, but the impact of creating a very good operating system that the people in the poorest of countries can use for free, on old "thrown away" hardware is tremendous. I'm not a Christian, but there is good sense in the phrase: Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

        Linus's gift will keep giving years after he is gone because it helps raise the education and living standards in the poorest nations. And he doesn't exactly get a tax credit for it. Of course, let us not forget everyone who contributes to FOSS, be it Samba, Apache, Bind or Squirrelmail, and of course our own Jesus look-alike, RMS ;)

        It's hard to measure the impact in dollars, but GNU/BSD/FOSS are great equalizers that embiggen the smallest men.
  • Melinda Gates (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Laser Lou ( 230648 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:13AM (#14284890)
    I really have to give Melinda Gates credit for influencing Bill to start that foundation because, from what I read, Bill didn't donate anything until after he married her.
  • Rip off people, lie, cheat, do WHATEVER IT TAKES to make billions... ...then give a lot of it away to receive praise.

    Time Magazine, how stupid are you.
  • Bono bloody Bono (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wwwrench ( 464274 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:21AM (#14284938) Homepage
    Well, this shows how credible Time mag. is

    Time also named former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton as "Partners of the Year" for their humanitarian efforts after the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, and the unlikely friendship that developed from that work.

    Unlikely friendship??? Someone hand me a hanky. Gotta love applauding Bush for Katrina. It ain't as ironic as giving Kissenger the Peace prize, but it's gettting there. And Bono??? Bono???
    The guy may be well meaning and all, but by allowing politicians to exploit him, he essentially allows them to look good while they make the problems of Africa worse. Him and Bobby Geldof were complete tools at the last G8, allowing Blair to look like he wanted to help Africa, when all they did was continue the same IMF policies of handouts in exchange for selling off of resources to the west. And Bono does it over and over again [zmag.org].

  • I'm not a typical Gates basher, but I do have a problem with praising the guy for all his charitable work, and I'm going to try to explain why.

    Gates is convicted abuser of monopilist power. This means he obtained a large amount of his tremendous wealth through illegal means. The only reason he/his corporation hasn't been chastized for this is his enourmous contributions to the rebuplican party during the Bush vs. Gore elections. So not only is he guilty of abusing monopolistic power, but in my mind he

  • I think that tells you what we can all make of Time Magazine's exalted choice.

    http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=11 worst [thebestpag...iverse.net]

    This quote epitomizes U2's pious, holier-than-thou attitude:

    "I don't know why, but we always had this belief that there was something sacred about our music, that it was almost holy."

    -Bono, pompous asshole and lead singer of U2

    Cocky, high-handed, imperial assholes.
  • by Pinkoir ( 666130 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:27AM (#14284976)
    I'm not sure I'd be smiling as much as Bill is if Bono were standing between me and my wife with such a smug look on his face.

  • Yaaaay Melinda! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blueZhift ( 652272 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:31AM (#14285006) Homepage Journal
    There's nothing like a good woman to get the best out of a man, heh, heh! It's good to see the Gateses getting some recognition, but I think it's especially cool that Melinda is getting some cover time too. I don't think it's any coincidence that Bill Gates' philantropy really took off after he married Melinda. Now if Melinda can also do something to make Windows better then I will be clearing out some space in my home for a special shrine!
  • by Knuckles ( 8964 ) <knuckles@d a n t i an.org> on Sunday December 18, 2005 @11:38AM (#14285037)
    In 1991, Bono's band U2 sued seminal [furious.com] independent label SST [sstsuperstore.com] (home to, among others, Black Flag, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Hüsker Dü, Soundgarden, ...) over a satirical record by a band on the label, Negativland [negativland.com]. They claimed that Negativland was infringing on U2's IP by using samples and other stuff (e.g., the letter U and the numeral 2).

    This nearly ruined SST over the costs of the suit alone, but by forcing SST to fight an expensive suit, while the music they had greatly contributed to for more than 10 years exploded into the mainstream, it greatly contributed to the eventual demise of the label, robbing the artists of an important channel.

    Later U2 claimed [l2g.to] to have not been greatly involved. "It wasn't us, just the label", paraphrased.
    I'm sorry, but if you let your lawyer sue, I'll hold you responsible. And if you wanna preach to people about responsible behavior, I'll expect that you know what your agents do in your name.

    I have one thing to say about Bono: hypocrite. I think this is a fitting "people of the year" panel: They all give to charity in the limelight, then turn around and fuck people over.
    • not correct... (Score:4, Informative)

      by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @05:37PM (#14287110)
      You should get a copy of Negativland's book "The Letter U and the Numeral 2". If you have one already, reread it.

      The lawsuit is on page 4.

      The plantiff is Island records, the defendants are SST and Negativland (Hosler, et al). Neither the band U2 nor the members are listed on the lawsuit.

      Furthermore, the lawsuit is primarily about Negativland's use of the enormous letters "U2" on the cover of the EP. It does mention the lyrics and samples down lower. The songs were actually rereleased later (much later) with a non-infringing cover.

      Additionally, if you continue to read the book or other info on the case, you realize the main problem isn't Island or U2. The main problem was that when the lawsuit rolled in SST immediately rolled over, stopped distribution of the EP, paid off Island and then BILLED BACK Negativland for the payoff (while simultaneously depriving them of income!).

      If you continued to investigate, you'd find that Negativland was wrapped up on court for years over this. Not against Island, against SST. SST didn't rack up huge bills defending themselves against Island, they settled immediately. They did rack up huge bills fighting Negativland in a contractual dispute.

      How about if you read page 32, where Chris Blackwell of Island Records says in a letter to Negativland "I have been getting a huge amount of hastle (sp) from the members of U2, not to press for payment."

      Hosler could probably explain it better than I (he's perhaps even on here), but the main villain here is SST, not U2. Island probably comes in 2nd place.

      Note that a later part of the book talks more about "audio collage" and sampling, etc. That's where the stuff on "No Copyright" is. And there are some good arguments here, in fact, so good that (IMHO) the recent Creative Commons stuff is a spiritual descendant of this work.

      I like Negativland, I have all of their SST stuff and some of their Seeland stuff. But, I do know they are very subversive and not stupid. When the Tower records standup picture of the EP bin on page 3 of the book says "buy it before they get sued", I think it's probably that Negativland understood they would get C&D'd over this record and likely sued by Island too. What they didn't understand was that SST would roll over on them and leave them with the bill (illegally it turns out).
  • by dominion ( 3153 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @12:09PM (#14285224) Homepage
    ... is a bus thief. Say what you want about Bill Gates, or Bono, or whichever "great man" that Time wants to honor this year, but I really can't let my bosom swell over a millionaire or a billionaire throwing out a little bit of their plentiful time and/or money here or there. Hell, if somebody has that much power and money, we shouldn't be "thanking" them for doing the right thing, it should be *expected* of them.

    My person of the year is Jabbar Gibson [wikipedia.org], the 18 year old kid who saved 70 people from the aftermath of Katrina by stealing a bus and driving to Houston. Maybe that's because my definition of a hero is somebody that rises above even when the chips are down.
  • Lex Luthor (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Sunday December 18, 2005 @01:57PM (#14285878)
    Didn't Lex Luthor get all sorts of humanitarian awards too?

    Let's see... rich guy, gives money to charities, does humanitarian things, does some evil on the side...

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra