[Fsf-friends] Re: DotNet

Richard Stallman rms@gnu.org
Sun Oct 31 04:42:23 IST 2004

    A MSA who was pestering me for a DotNET session at GLUG-Madurai
    argued that DotNET being an Open Standard, I should not object him
    promoting it in the GLUG.

When he said this, he was taking advantage of a broader
misunderstanding.  The idea of GNU/Linux is to be free software;
"open standard", even if that is true, is not good enough if the
software itself is non-free.

So it looks like we need to educate all GLUGs (and LUGs, if they will
listen) to recognize and teac that people should not promote non-free
software--regardless of the details.

By the way, Microsoft is deceiving people when they say this is an
"open standard", since in the US they are trying to patent some
aspects of it.  It could be useful to bring that up and expose it.

    The lesson that I learn from these people is to outrightly reject
    their requests. They are not worth the trouble.

We should always refuse to give developers of non-free software a
platform to speak.  However, saying that this is "not worth the
trouble" is misleading, because it is implies there is some potential
good to be achieved--if only it were easier to do.

What they are doing is bad, pure and simple.  There is no good in it.

    M$ through its Micro$oft Student Ambassadors
    is doing a large scale mobilisation in colleges amongst the
    student community. They wrap their stuff under labels such as "M$s
    Open Source venture", "Open Technology", etc.. They are forming
    student groups in colleges.

>From what you are saying, it sounds like they are starting phony "open
source" groups.  Can you find any specific statements that you can
quote?  We could embarrass them badly by documenting this, but we need
specific quotes, specific proof.

If you could go to a meeting where they try to recruit new people, and
make a recording so that you can quote them exactly, that would be
useful too.

Once we have solid proof, we could use various methods to organize
against them.

1. Make handouts denouncing them as a fraud.  Whenever they have an
event, a few of you can stand near the door and hand out copies to
whoever is attending.  In effect, stage a quiet and simple protest
against each of their meetings, accusing them of lying.

2. Recruit a couple of people to pretend to be interested in joining,
go to the meeting, and speak up within it to identify the lies.

3. Write articles for student newspapers about the deception.

4. Treat the MSA program and its representatives as liars.
Don't treat them as respectable or legitimate.

5. Call on the university to close the program down for lying.  Even
if this campaign does not succeed, it will generate public awareness
that will be useful in all ways.  So renew the campaign each year!

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