…this is definitely cruel and unusual punishment:
A man convicted of illegally downloading an episode of Star Wars has been told that he can no longer use his computer with an Ubuntu Linux operating system.
Scott McCausland pleaded guilty last year to ‘conspiracy to commit copyright infringement’ and ‘criminal copyright infringement’ by downloading Star Wars: Episode III illegally.
He served five months in prison and is now on probation, but has been told that he cannot use his Linux computer.
“I had a meeting with my probation officer today and he told me that he has to install monitoring software onto my PC. No big deal to me; that is part of my sentence,” he wrote on his Lost and Alone blog.
“However, the [monitoring] software doesn’t support GNU/Linux. 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 use Ubuntu 7.04 now, and they are trying to force me to switch.”