I was listening to the latest Lugradio episode today at the gym. They were going on about the patent deals between Microsoft and Novell (and other misguided fools).
About two months ago Frogfoot got a request from our website to quote on a big batch of Windows Vista licenses.. I think it was Vista. I responded (not exactly like this, but close) simply saying that’s not our cup of tea and that we can give the client a bucket load of free Ubuntu installs.
This kicked up a week long debate about it being easy money, no support involved, just the same as selling any other device with closed source software on it etc. etc.
My point from the very start of the debate was..
“Stand for something or fall for anything“
I feel Frogfoot is about frogs, not sheep and we should not sell Wintendo for any easy money like other sheep do.
If I were a customer and effectively subscribed to shared ideas with a company, I’d have a sense of humor failure if they went and did something very much against these shared values.. even if it’s in a very loosely defined way of voting with my wallet.
I’m happy to say we did not sell any Wintendo copies.
So, here is my point..
If I were a user of Suse on Novell Linux I would dump Novell like a ton of brinks down a mine shaft never to be seen again. They don’t stand for anything. They are supporting an obviously broken patent system and they are too weak to do the right thing.
The sad thing is that I get the idea the greasy little Novell sales droids have done a Jedi mind trick on the SA Government. “Forget freedom, patents are good, forget the reasons you should be running Linux, give us your money because we are a big company that have been selling you file servers and backward email systems for the last 15 years”. “We are also the smart guys that have been responsible for all that IPX broadcast traffic on your LAN for the last 15 years”.
This is a classic case of good intentions and bad results. Ethics and principles are not things of convenience, you don’t write them in spec documents, RFPs, RFQs, blah, blah and then pick the cheapest and perceived safest proposal.
Fight the good fight. Have the courage to say No, stand up and change direction.
Dump Novell. Dump Xandros. Dump Samsung and Fuji Xerox. Dump LG. Dump Sony.
Vote with your wallet. We can only hope this list does not grow.