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Why Boycott?

“If the Microsoft corporation, whether it wishes to be part of this ecology in a genuine and sincere sense or not, if it succeeds in getting one distribution to pay royalties for the distribution of free software, other distributions will do so. They will have to. That will then succeed in marching the commercial sector away from the non-commercial sector, and Microsoft then will be able to use its patents to sue to block the development of software in the non-commercial sector without the fear of suing its own customers, which is the force that now constrains them from misbehavior with their patent portfolio.”

       –Eben Moglen, Software Freedom Law Center

Are Boycotts Effective?

Here’s one take:

Boycotts are consumers doing judo on corporations:

  1. Most corporations aim to maximise their profit and their shareholders usually push them to do so.
  2. Boycotts are an overt way of linking lost sales to a particular issue.
  3. If it looks like it’s costing more profit to suffer the boycott than to address the cause, the corporation is not maximising their profit.
  4. So, the executives should answer the boycott or the shareholders should replace them with some who will.

So, it is helpful to boycott harmful companies and it’s more helpful to do so noisily.

What Can I Do?

Do not Buy, Use, Host or Recommend Novell or SUSE products or services.
The way to communicate with a corporation is economically. It is unacceptable behavior on Novell’s part to legitimize and participate in MS FUD campaign, and to violate the very license that allows them to distribute the community’s work in the first place.
Sign Bruce Perens’ Open Letter to Novell which serves as a petition.
"Novell and Microsoft’s software patent agreement betrays the rest of the Free Software community, including the very people who wrote Novell’s own system, for Novell’s sole financial benefit. Join Bruce Perens in signing an open letter to Novell’s CEO Ron Hovsepian."

Last edited in 2006

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An invade, divide, and conquer Grand Plan

Novell CEO Ron HovsepianHighlight: Novell was the first to acknowledge that Microsoft FUD tactics had substance. Novell then used anti-Linux FUD to market itself. Learn more

Xandros founderHighlight: Xandros let Microsoft make patent claims and brag about (paid-for) OOXML support. Learn more

Linspire CEO Kevin CarmonyHighlight: Linspire's CEO not only fell into Microsoft arms, but he also assisted the company's attack on GNU/Linux. Learn more

Hand with moneyHighlight: Microsoft craves pseudo (proprietary) standards and gets its way using proxies and influence which it buys. Learn more

Eric RaymondHighlight: The invasion into the open source world is intended to leave Linux companies neglected, due to financial incentives from Microsoft. Learn more

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