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03.21.07

Steinman’s Mea Culpa

Posted in FSF, Interview, Marketing, Novell at 4:18 pm by Shane Coyle

Novell’s PR Blog has a guest entry from Justin Steinman, in which he explains that he was indeed in error when he made those disputed statements regarding Novell’s financial support of the Free Software Foundation:

Further research inside Novell confirms that Peter Brown is correct and I spoke in error. I want to make it clear that I had no intention of making false claims or providing misinformation to the market. I simply said what I believed to be true. Now that I have learned my statement is not true, I want to correct that error.

Thus, I want to apologize to the Free Software Foundation and to the open source community for making this misrepresentation. I should have double-checked the accuracy of my information before speaking, and for that, I offer no excuse.

Since I get corrected around here all the time, I am certainly willing to believe there was no malice here – a simple error, and we move on…

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4 Comments

  1. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 21, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Gravatar

    Matt Asay was among those having a go at Novell for pretending they are friends with the Free Software Foundation.

    http://weblog.infoworld.com/openresource/archives/2007/03/the_problem_wit.html
    [ The problem with pretending (Novell claims support for FSF) ]

  2. Waltham said,

    March 23, 2007 at 8:19 am

    Gravatar

    I’m sure you are correct that no malice was intended, but it still remains that Justin is a company spokesperson. As such it’s his responsibility to check the facts before speaking.

    It’s this sort of amateurish behavior that damages the reputation of marketing professionals.

  3. IMQ said,

    March 23, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Gravatar

    I am in agreement with Waltham.

    Furthermore, anyone in a position to speak on the company behave should do his/her homework carefully before making any kind of statement that could be seen as misinformation.

  4. shane said,

    March 23, 2007 at 11:00 am

    Gravatar

    Steinman himself offers no excuse.

    If Novell relieved him of his duties, I would not be surprised, but I didn’t get the feeling that he was consciously misrepresenting Novell’s support of the FSF; I got the feeling that he just assumed that it was still the case that Novell was a patron, he had old info but didn’t just dream it up completely.

    Then again, I don’t know if $5,000 could be considered "significant" contributions for a corporation the size of Novell, but he’s a marketing guy.

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