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How important is this boycott?
It is of critical importance to all copyleft and all copyright developers that are not able to strike back after an attack with software patents as Trend Micro did. Do everything you can to make this boycott a success, put banners on your site and spread the url http://www.scriptumlibre.org/Boycott_Trend_Micro . See Call for IT Professionals for details. The main message: If this boycott is not successful we give a sign that software patents are a great way to exterminate susceptible competitors. The main objective of this boycott is to stop the threat of software patents.
Summarized: Software patent attacks are a problem for both copyleft and copyright developers. Computer users pay the price. Software patent holders don't care whether the competitor that should be eliminated is oriented copyleft or copyright.
Who is supporting this action?
Lots of developers do. For example do a search like http://www.google.com/search?q=%22boycott+trend+micro%22 to get an impression. Organizations like the Free Software Foundation are backing this action too.
Why is Trend Micro attacking Barracuda Networks?
Here is a quote from Webwereld.nl (Dutch):
Patrick Dalvinck, Trend Micro region manager for Belgium, Holland and Luxemburg: "It's all about one commercial organization using technology from another without paying any license fees."
The problem here is that there is no multi million dollar high tech investment in a great invention but just another software patent of nothing more than an obvious concept. Of course you're not going to pay for baked air. It is nothing more than extortion. It is comparable to one automobile manufacturer's claim that another automobile manufacturer should pay for its use of round wheels.
How bad are software patents?
For the economy
The result of software patents for the world economy is overall more devastating than the sum of all virus attacks. What big companies do is buying software patents instead of using the (same) budget for investments in research and development. In other words; they invest in a legal lottery without adding something to the economy and without contributing to the progression of mankind.
For computer users
In a free market you have to work on your product to make it better and cheaper. Every competitor does so because if they don't, consumers will not use their products. So far the theory. Now every company loves to get rid of competition - whatever it takes and here come in the software patents. You simply buy a monopoly on something obvious - the broader the better - and you start telling your competitor they have to give you money or stop distributing the software. This is what Trend Micro and many big players do: break the rules of a free market. Your problem? Yes, because you end up with higher costs, less choice and inferior products.
Who is ScriptumLibre? Never heard of!
We can imagine You never heard of ScriptumLibre or the Vrijschrift.org Foundation. The latter is a Dutch and Belgium based 'freedom of information' organization and ScriptumLibre is a recent name for doing international projects because most people find it hard to pronounce and remember the funny name Vrijschrift. Well, ScriptumLibre is the literal translation of that name.
Second, we are not a new organization. In fact we are veterans. We fought very hard in the trenches of Brussels against software patents where we formed a substantial part of FFII. ScriptumLibre supporters were also boardmembers, lawyers, and active lobbyists within FFII. Bundling forces to make FFII stronger was important but it didn't serve our name reputation as you will understand.