A former BitTorrent server administrator has been given a harsh sentence - at least for a diehard Linux user. Because the monitoring software required by his plea agreement won't run on Linux (surprise!), he is been ordered to switch to Windows, or go without a computer.
Scott McCausland, who used to be an administrator of the
EliteTorrents BitTorrent server before it was shut down by the FBI,
pleaded guilty in 2006 to two copyright-related charges over the
uploading of Star Wars: Episode III to the internet. As a result, he was sentenced to five months in jail and five months' home confinement.
McCausland — who also goes by the name "sk0t" — has since been released from jail, but on Tuesday he reported on his blog that the terms of his sentence meant he would have to install Windows
if he wanted to use a computer during his probation. "I had a meeting
with my probation officer today, and he told me that he has to install
monitoring software onto my PC. However, their
software doesn't support GNU/Linux (which is what I use). So, he told me that if I want to use a computer, I would
have to use an OS that the software can be installed on. Which
basically means: Microsoft and monitoring software or no computer."
I'm unclear from the story if the monitoriing software is only to be installed during his probation. If it's only during the probation, he might just want to wait out the five months. However, McCausland has started a donation campaign on his site in order to buy Windows, as he is currently unemployed.