“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?
Boycotts are consumers doing judo on corporations:
- Most corporations aim to maximise their profit and their shareholders usually push them to do so.
- Boycotts are an overt way of linking lost sales to a particular issue.
- 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.
- 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