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07.10.11

What We Can Do to Improve Things

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

India protest

Summary: For technologists and so-called ‘consumers’ alike, we need to embrace a non-violent and minimally abrasive form of protest, including boycotts

CIVIL disobedience is one of the friendliest forms of protest (if it even qualifies as that). Boycott Novell would be elusive now that Novell no longer exists. People must remember that back in 2006 (and half of 2007) Novell was the only company that paid Microsoft for Linux; moreover, Novell did what no company to date has done. Novell actually used Microsoft’s patent accusations against Linux in order to sell its products. Novell was definitely the only company of its kind to boycott back then. When Samsung signed a patent deal covering Linux, then too we called for a boycott of Samsung. Novell was treated fairly compared to other companies, but now that Microsoft extorts many small Android vendors we need to rethink our strategy. Back in 2006 it was Novell that went to Microsoft looking to sign a deal; based on these days’ reports, it is Microsoft that goes hunting distributors of Android, so to vocally boycott those who are victims would be tactless. We urge people never to buy any products from companies that pay Microsoft for Linux (a boycott too is an effective form of protest), but at the same time we must stand up against US law and protest against software patents by ignoring their applicability, ridiculing them, and shaming politicians who help promote these. This is a polite form of protest, which is the only sort of protest we ever advocated in Techrights. It is most likely to be fruitful, but we sure expect to continue receiving flak. Someone has to do it.

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6 Comments

  1. walterbyrd said,

    July 10, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Gravatar

    Shouldn’t Microsoft be the target? Microsoft is behind every bit of this. Of course most people here probably already boycott Microsoft. Maybe we could start posting comments to some of the Microsoft-praising articles that are routinely published?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Under TechWrongs, the front page of this site (receiving thousands of hits per day) names Apple, Microsoft, and then Novell as rogue companies (more at the bottom-right corner). Recently it has been the authors of Microsoft-praising articles who actually came here to Techrights. Some of them come to the IRC channels (Ars Technica’s main Microsoft person is currently there being challenged as he’s in the minority). They cannot manage to make their arguments/defences/excuses stick. It will affect their future writings.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Ars Technica should drop the Microsofter. It’s lowering the respectability and credibility of the site to retain them.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Maybe that’s why he came to IRC.

  2. pinguinpat said,

    July 11, 2011 at 3:52 am

    Gravatar

    Facts are on our side: we have the core FSF principle, we have the quality software with solid applications on virtual all user platforms. What we don’t have are professional public relation initiatives who focus to computer users who simply don’t care. Who blindly accept that M$, Apple what ever isn’t free by advocating and rolling out anti people rules. So it’s about translating content in a non aggressive way to the man on the street.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Indeed.

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