Q0. Why the fuss?
A free software activist and former student at CUSAT, Anivar Aravind was manhandled today (16/11/2008) by the “National free software conference organizers” @ CUSAT
with assistance from the states police forces (UPDATE from Anivar: State Police force wasn’t used), for his peaceful protest against the “Novell Sponsorship”. The free software conference is backed by CPI(M), the ruling left party in Kerala.
Q1. What is a free software?
According to GNU, “FREE SOFTWARES” are those softwares which gives its user the following freedoms (Read More).
- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
- The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
- The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
Q2. What is the problem with NOVELL?
Novell doesn’t respect the free software philosophy and works against the interest of the community. In short we are against Novell because of the following.
- Novell helps Microsoft more than it helps GNU/Linux.
- Novell still insults competing GNU/Linux distributions and Sun’s Openoffice.org. (Read more)
- Novell & Microsoft’s software patent agreement betrays rest of free software community, including the very people who wrote the Novell’s own system, for Novell’s sole financial profit. (Read more)
- Novell helps Microsoft’s fight against Ajax, web standards, SVG by supporting Silverlight & implementing its GNU/Linux version. (Read more)
- Novell supports Microsofts proprietary standard OOXML.
- Novell is pushing Microsofts patents to GNU/Linux and cheating Free Software Community.
- Novell is the biggest promoter of MONO in Free Software Development.
Q3. What can I do?
There are both short term and long term goals. Short term goals include protesting the organizers’s act either by forwarding this to your friends or posting about the issue on your blog.
The long term goal includes creating awareness about the “Evil Novell” and boycotting all Novell products. Read about the boycott in this site.
Q4. I heard you were an ardent Communist and now you are talking against CPI(M)?
Yes! what you heard is right and I am still a Communist. That doesn’t mean I will be supporting CPI(M) for all their deeds. This case is a clear hijacking and dilution of Free Software Philosophy.
I would like to see CPI(M) and the left parties supporting and spreading free softwares. But before that they should understand what exactly is a “Free Software” and respect the community.
1) ‘Boycott Novell’ boycotted from Free software conference!!! by aswinatgec.
2) Free Software Activist Man-Handled by jainbasil.