For Immediate Release
17 November 2008
The National Conference on Free Software which holds the motto of Free Software, Free Knowledge and Free Humanity was held on Cochin University of Science And Technology (CUSAT). The main organisers of the event were CUSAT, Open Software Solutions Industrial Co-Operative Society (OSSICS), Appropriate Technology Promotion Society (ATPS) and Kerala State IT@School Project. In addition to the above mentioned organizations, Free Software Communities such as Swathanthra Malayalam Computing(SMC) and ILUG-Cochin were also invited to organise the event. The prime sponsors of the event were Keltron, C-DIT and Linux For You Magazine. A number of NGO's and private organisations also participated in the four day exhibition and two day seminars. All of the sponsors and the participating members were listed in the website of NCFS(http://nfm2008.atps.in). However, one such organization was missing from the sponsor list, which is the notorious Novell Corporation.
After the evil agreement with Microsoft Corporation (MS), Novell betrayed the Free Software community by violating the spirit of the GNU General Public license, which is the corner stone of the Free Software movement and legitimising the patent threats of Microsoft corporation. The protest against Novell have been in it's peak since the inception of the Boycott Novell campaign which has been successful in making awareness about the evil hands of Novell and it's ally MS. Novell was allotted a prominent position in the exhibition stall and they were allowed to place their posters at the prominent venues.
Members from SMC were part of the Programme Committee and the Souvenir Committee. There were no indication that Novell was the platinum sponsor of this Free Software Event. The organisers never communicated about the sponsorship and thus betrayed the whole Free Software community as Novell did. This is evident from the incidents that occurred after the peaceful campaign to boycott Novell by the SMC members & other Free Software Supporters present at the meeting.
SMC members including Anivar Aravind, Shyam, Hiran, Suresh, Jaisen and many others were busy in the first day with Localisation track (full time) and sessions. After knowing Novell's role SMC members planned a peaceful awareness campaign on second day urging end users to boycott Novell and posted a Charge sheet against Novell. However, the organisers, primarily the CUSAT bureaucrats & Members of Students Union, (who does not have much exposure in Free Software) were harsh with the protesters after a verbal complaint from one of the Novell official present at the stall.
SMC takes this opportunity to deeply condemn the organisers decision to include Novell into the Free Software event. SMC urges the organisers of the event to aplogize to the community on this dreadful alliance with the notorious Novell Corporation and the way the organisers treated Free Software Campaigners.
About Swathanthra Malayalam Computing
Swathanthra Malayalam Computing is a developer Collective Working on Localisation, standardization and Development of Malayalam Computing