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walk disney

Disney Adds A Bit Of Nonsensical Anti-Open Source FUD To Kid’s Sitcom

Posted Aug 19, 2012 by Alex Williams (@alexwilliams)
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Uber Screwed Me (But At Least It Bought Me Breakfast!)

Walt Disney Corporation added a bit of nonsensical anti-open source fear, uncertainty and doubt to a kid’s sitcom that it aired this past weekend. But the dialogue is so ridiculous that you have to wonder if they have any clue about what they are doing.

In an episode that aired Friday on the Disney Channel, the show Shake It Up features two teenagers begging the stereotypical geeky kid for help with a computer that has apparently gone down.

The geeky kid, complete with sweater, parted hair and glasses, asks the two teenagers the oddest question: “Did you use open source code to save time and the virus was hidden in it?”

The intent is what’s worst about this. It raises suspicions with kids about open source even though the premise for the question is absurd. If it is open-source then what are the chances it would have a hidden virus? Of course, the geeky kid is using a PC laptop, arguably loaded with Microsoft software. Hmm – safe, huh?

The Disney show targets little kids and pre-teens. That’s a different approach than a company like Oracle that just does what it does to sell more software. CEO Larry Ellison will throw out some barbs, they’ll throw open source MySQL under the bus. Disney? It’s using kids entertainment to deride open source and spread FUD.

The YouTube comments say it best:

  • Did you use precompiled binaries from Micro$oft™, with the NSA backdoor obfuscated deep in some vital system DLL?
  • They obviously don’t know what open source means.
  • Either that was a really fucking shitty joke, or the writers just have no clue what they are talking about at all.
  • Why would someone complain about open source and then use an unidentified source for their code?

I guess after seeing this I wonder why Disney did this.  If anyone has any enlightenment on all of this, please let me know.

(Thanks to Jon Reed for the tip.)

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