a public relations opportunity for BSD

Garance A Drosihn drosih at rpi.edu
Fri May 16 05:53:19 PDT 2003

At 11:32 PM -0700 5/15/03, Terry Lambert wrote:
>Garance A Drosihn wrote:
>  > I agree completely.  For one, you can't "Not comment
>  > on whether the charges are true", and then turn around
>  > and try to advertise your product based on the very
>  > same charges.
>This, at least, is incorrect, since FreeBSD is free from
>taint, due to the USL/UCB lawsuit settlement of 1994.
>Linux has no such settlement document.

Well, obviously that is true, but that isn't what I meant.

What I meant is you can not sit back and say "Hey, I am
making no comment on whether the charges against linux are
right, but just co-incidentally this morning I decided to
get up and tell the world that FreeBSD does not have the
same legal issues that linux is accused of".

The fact that "you" (the generic you) are starting to
advertise that *you* are innocent is most certainly a
direct result and thus an implied comment on the guilt of
Linux.  It's like saying "I won't comment on whether the
incumbent mayor stole the car he's driving, but just this
morning I happened to decide that I should wave around the
bill-of-sale for my own car and thus you should vote for me".
It is a campaign of marketing-through-FUD.

It could be 100% accurate that you do own your car, but the
only reason you're waving around that bill-of-sale is because
of the charges against the other guy.

Let's say the court system works remarkably fast, and next
Monday the courts throw out SCO's case as being "Totally
Without Merit".  Then how stupid would we look for saying
"Hey, over here, we're the innocent guys!".

What I'm saying is that I would have been completely
comfortable with the suggested marketing campaign if the
idea popped up a year ago, but it is not appropriate to
*start* such a campaign right now, and thus try to cash
in on this lawsuit against another open-source project.

Garance Alistair Drosehn            =   gad at gilead.netel.rpi.edu
Senior Systems Programmer           or  gad at freebsd.org
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute    or  drosih at rpi.edu

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