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IBM Hooligans

Apr 27, 2001, 12:00 AM
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Officials in San Francisco and Chicago are threatening to fine IBM for spray-painting peace symbols, hearts and penguins on sidewalks to promote the company's Linux computer operating system, reported the Associated Press this morning.

The sidewalk ads for IBM's "Peace, Love and Linux" campaign were supposed to be drawn with biodegradable chalk but somewhere along the way the company got its signals crossed and the outside contractors hired for the curious campaign carried out their orders graffiti style.

IBM has halted the campaign and plans to remove the paintings. Chicago plans to bill IBM for removing the graffiti $67 per half-hour and fine the company from $10 to $200 for each site. San Francisco plans to fine the company as well, along with a misdemeanor charge of painting graffiti on city property. The company would also be liable for any money the city pays to remove the artwork.

- Anya Khait

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