That is right!. As MJ Ray have already reported, Sergio Amadeu, one of the most important free software advocate in Brazil (who is also National Institute for Information Technology‘s president) is about to be sued by Microsoft for using the drug dealer argument already used so many times before (see A. P. Lawrence, A. P. Lawrence (again), Geek News, NewsFactor (in the comments), Silk M-L, ZDNet (in the comments), MacNet, MacObserver (in the comments), MS Joke, AustralianIT (in the comments), Amy Whol’s Opinions Newsletter (letters section), Slashdot (in the comments), Neowin (in the comments), DevHood (in the comments), MacOpinion, WorthlessFacts (in the comments) – and I could go on forever… is Microsoft going to sue them all?).
Apparently, this drug dealer argument was first publicly used by a Judge Jackson back in 1999. I have no idea what was the outcome of this trial (anyone?). Sun’s Scott McNealy have used it sometimes around the same time. It appeared again, AFAIK, as a cigarette-firm comparison in 2002, by FSF. Someone may say “But a cigarette-firm is different from a drug-dealer”. Well… for purposes of comparison, and knowing that nicotine is also addictive, I think the two arguments points to the same direction (leaving the cigarette-firm X drug-dealer similarities out of the discussion). In the analysis of Microsoft’s antitrust case, Prof. McKenzie also uses that argument [PDF].
So, the real question is Why have Microsoft chosen Sergio Amadeu to atone for this argument?. My guess is that, after everything that is going on in Brazil specially for Free Software, and considering that Sergio Amadeu is one of the central faces on all those…
Anyways, there’s a petition [pt_BR] running to support Sergio Amadeu (already with over 1-thousand signatures). I think it’s going to be translated RSN, but, meanwhile, automatic translators such as BabelFish or Google may help.