"We have not ruled out legal action against beings on other planets who may be illegally copying radio or TV transmissions they pick up from their spacecraft or with super-powerful receivers on their home worlds," said ORAMITY spokesperson Hilary McBralenti, "but for now we are confining ourselves to inhabitants of Earth."
According to ORAMITY's Web site, which has now apparently been removed from the Internet since we can't find a URL for it, "Every living human has derived benefit from Linux in one way or another, and since American movies and music are available everywhere in one form or another, all residents of all countries have either viewed or heard them or have illegally used copyrighted phrases taken from movie dialog or song lyrics."
Two of the most popular copyrighted phrases used in everyday speech, according to McBralenti, are "I'll be back" and "Don't worry, be happy."
"The royalties owed on these two statements alone are higher than the entire Gross National Product of Jamaica," noted McBralenti.
A reporter pointed out that "Don't worry, be happy" may be the title of a popular song used in a movie, but the statement was first attributed to mystic Meher Baba, who had nothing to do with either the record or movie business. "Copyright is copyright," McBralenti said. "We paid for that copyright and the politicians who make copyright laws, so our members own it, just as they own 'Happy Birthday.'"
The amount sought by ORAMITY is $63 billion, which is approximately $10 from every living person.
"We feel this is absolutely fair, even a bargain," McBralenti said. "Everyone in the world has benefited in some way from information distributed on the Internet by servers running Linux. That alone justifies our modest financial demand. Add in the pleasure that movies and recorded music have given to us all, not to mention people who sing or act out our members' copyrighted material for their own enjoyment and the millions who run Linux on their home computers without paying for it, and you will surely agree that we could ask 10 times as much and it would still be a reasonable price."
A court date has not yet been determined, nor has ORAMITY decided where the lawsuit will be filed. "We're looking for a country where the legal system and legislature is, shall we say, eager to please major political campaign donors. Our members are certainly that, especially when our interests are at stake."
While McBralenti declined to name specific countries, sources close to the matter said top candidates included Bangladesh and Nigeria, reputedly the world's two most corrupt countries, but that the United States, where SCO, MPAA, and RIAA are all headquartered, may offer an even better political climate for this kind of legal action.