Monday, December 05, 2005

Theft and not so theft

Every now and then I think - "Wow - only in America".

This case involved a public school librarian retreiving dumped National Geographic magazines from the school's rubbish bin and selling them on eBay. What did he do with the money? Even if he went and spent it on beer, it probably wasn't a criminal act.

However, he spent the money, along with $300 of his own, to buy computers for the school. What a wonderful man. Nevertheless, he was arrested for theft. He was never convicted, the charges being dropped in return for his resignation. He went through the system trying to get the record of his arrest expunged, finally achieving this outcome in the appellate courts of Pennsylvania.

Why should such a person be put through such an ordeal? I don't know, you tell me.


Blogger Dash Brannigan said...

Your not wrong my man. Crap like this further demonstrates that no good deed goes unpunished. What I find troubling is flagrant use the mechanisms of the law as a first resort.

An issue I've been watching recently has been the malfunction of the new XBOX 360 in the states.

The first reaction of one guy was to take MS to court, not really giving the company any opportunity to make amends for the malfunction.

Given the recent events (i.e. Sony and their root kit, Apple and the Nano) I would have wagered that Microsoft would do everything in their power ensure this guy was happy. They probably would have replaced his machine and given him a game or two for his troubles. Now instead of giving MS a chance to make remedy he takes them to court. It will end up being expensive for all concerned.

My old accounting lecturer taught me a very important lesson when it comes to the use of the law (although this was regarding accounts receivable); only ever threaten legal action as a last resort, and when you do be serious about it. Now, instead of settling things like adults we run to mum and dad (the law) to arbitrate. Sad aint it?

2:12 pm  

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