03.03.10

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Novell Should Stop Sponsoring the BSA, Which Lobbies Against Free Software in Vietnam

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vietnam flag at How Lung Bay

Summary: Novell supports the BSA et al, thus harming some of its own interests as an arguably “open source” (or “mixed source”) company

A LOT of people may not know this, but Novell is a backer of the BSA and its clique, which has been attacking Free software recently, along with other front groups.

Here is a reminder or two from this week’s news that Novell is with the BSA.

Watch what happens in Vietnam after its statements that promote broad support of Free software in government (and also ODF [1, 2, 3]). See what was posted in an education forum (edu.net.vn) on behalf of the BSA:

I am writing with regard to Draft Circular No. /2010/TT-BGDDT of the Ministry of Education and Training, providing for the use of free and open source code in academic institutions, particularly by providing for “the list of and methods to exploit and use free and open source code software in management, teaching and learning, R&D activities in academic institutions” (Art. 1).

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) welcomes this opportunity to comment and supports the purposes for the issuance of the Draft Circular, which includes reduction and elimination of software piracy (Art. 4.3), enabling compatibility with similar products which are closed source code commercial software (Art. 4.5), ensuring security for IT infrastructure and information and database (Art. 4.6) and use of open standards (Art. 4.7). However, BSA expresses its concern that mandating the use of OSS will not accomplish the Draft Circular’s stated purposes and may, in the long term, stifle the growth of Vietnam’s software industry.

Look at some of the replies, for example: “BSA is a lobbying group paid by microsoft among others, whatever they say it’s tainted by the fact that they are not an advisory group they are promoting the solutions of the organization that pays them.”

Why is Novell still feeding the BSA? If the BSA not only enforces compliance with proprietary software licences but also attacks Free software through lobbying avenues, then Novell is no friend of Free software. But we already knew that, didn’t we?

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2 Comments

  1. Bertrand said,

    March 3, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Gravatar

    If you look at the BSA website, apparently Novell is not a member :
    http://www.bsa.org/country/BSA%20and%20Members/Our%20Members.aspx

    The first link is a press release, and the second points to an article who is mostly citing the press release.

    Novell is a member of the SIIA, that’s probably why it’s cited. :
    http://www.siia.net/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=77

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The BSA is a subset.

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