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Boycott Novell Protesters Manhandled In India 360

Posted by kdawson
from the opposite-of-freedom dept.
James Mathew writes "This is an interesting story from Kerala, India, where the ruling Communist Party organized a national conference in its efforts to hijack the Free Software Movement, which has enviable roots in the state. They got Novell to sponsor it. On the second day of the conference, a few free software activists who displayed posters against Novell were manhandled by the organizers and police — typical of what is expected from them. Most of the snaps taken during the scuffle were forcefully deleted by the organizers, after seizing the protesters' mobile phones. Still they couldn't delete all. Here is another blow-by-blow account."
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Boycott Novell Protesters Manhandled In India

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  • by kandela (835710) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @11:26PM (#25781995)
    Why am I not surprised that the makers of Groupwise are communist sympathisers.
    • by Xiroth (917768)

      OK, this is a WTF moment. Since when is the Indian National Congress [wikipedia.org] a communist party? I mean, sure, they could be described as centre-left, but probably less to the left than most major northern European parties, and you don't hear them being called communist parties.

  • Sadly (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 16, 2008 @11:27PM (#25781997)

    The pictures don't show anything and any people quoted would have vested interests.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by sumdumass (711423)

      Well, I can imagine the scene. Someone holds up a poster during a presentation, blocking the view of the people behind them. They make some sort of noise to get attention, when the organizers attempt to removed them, they don't budge which causes the police to get involved, when he doesn't leave then, they drag him out. Then they realize it was just a publicity stunt and attempt to delete the pictures of the people apparently filming it. And here you have the Sensational headlines- communists man-handle pr

      • "Then they realize it was just a publicity stunt and attempt to delete the pictures of the people apparently filming it."

        And that's when they go too far. No. matter. what. happened. Who cares if it's a publicity stunt? The policy should just bring their own cameras. Sure people like me would bitch about the Orwellian state, but it would help solve the problem.

    • by mcvos (645701)

      Yeah. I expected a bit more substance.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 16, 2008 @11:29PM (#25782009)

    Free Software activists start a protest on private property, are asked to leave by owners/organisers and forgo negotiation, instead opting for point-blank refusal. This leads to a confrontation because both of both parties being excessively stubborn.

    Sounds like 50/50 blame split to me.

  • by PixelSlut (620954) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @11:29PM (#25782013)
    Sorry, but the Boycott Novell people are complete retards to begin with. To my knowledge they don't actually produce anything for the open source community, but they sit around and bitch and whine about Novell who employs all kinds of open source hackers; including kernel hackers, GTK and GNOME hackers, window manager hackers, Mono hackers, accessibility hackers, open source artists, and more. Sorry if I have very little sympathy for the situation. It's not that I think anyone should be 'manhandled' under any situation, but these guys are the most inconsiderate members of the "open source community" and it's hard for me to really take most things they say very seriously.
    • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Sunday November 16, 2008 @11:33PM (#25782029) Homepage

      ...Mono hackers...

      That's a reason to lead a campaign against Novell in itself.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PixelSlut (620954)
        That's the most retarded fucking thing in the world. If you don't like Mono, just don't fucking use it. The point is, these guys aren't actually contributing anything. Instead they just sit around and criticize fucking awesome hackers. Mono is really fantastic software. If you don't like it, just don't use it.
        • by siddesu (698447) on Monday November 17, 2008 @12:19AM (#25782251)

          Man, you say "fuck" a lot. You're Sean Connery's distant relative or something?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bug1 (96678)

          That's the most retarded fucking thing in the world. If you don't like Mono, just don't fucking use it.

          He criticized a piece of software, your carrying on like he insulted your god(s), Get a grip...

          • Have you noticed your browser is pointed at SlashDot?

          • by Kjella (173770)

            He criticized a piece of software, your carrying on like he insulted your god(s), Get a grip...

            There's a reason they're called OSS zealots.

            1capitalized : a member of a fanatical sect arising in Judea during the first century a.d. and militantly opposing the Roman domination of Palestine
            2: a zealous person ; especially : a fanatical partisan <a religious zealot>

        • by mcvos (645701) on Monday November 17, 2008 @02:52AM (#25783067)

          The point is, these guys aren't actually contributing anything. Instead they just sit around and criticize fucking awesome hackers. Mono is really fantastic software. If you don't like it, just don't use it.

          In other words: it should be about the code, not the politics.

      • by that reasoning (Score:5, Insightful)

        by speedtux (1307149) on Monday November 17, 2008 @12:17AM (#25782237)

        By that reasoning, you should boycott anything Linus or the BSD community produce: when those projects started, their kernels and tools were under considerable legal uncertainty. AT&T and other vendors claimed lots of copyrights and patents. You also shouldn't use Java because Sun has numerous patents on Java.

        Open source has always been pushing the limits on patents, copyrights, and cloning, and open source has always been rubbing powerful vendors the wrong way. If anything, the legal situation surrounding Mono is better than it was for Linux or Java: with Mono, we have a public commitment from Microsoft that the core is free (the core that FOSS Mono software actually uses), and nobody has been able to identify patents that read on the core language, libraries, or runtime.

        The only reason people get pushed out of shape about Mono is because of the Microsoft connection. But let me tell you: the original UNIX overlords were just as nasty and monopolistic and people still adopted Linux and made it a success.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      In this particular case though , the people who protested seems to be among the most active FOSS hackers in Kerala...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 17, 2008 @12:41AM (#25782375)

      Look, zealous protesters on private property and zealous policemen aside, Roy Schestowitz is just a kid with massive amounts of time on his hands and a grudge the size of Ireland. He's an unemployed college dropout who lives with his parents (I'm not kidding here) and his credibility level is less than zero. Occasionally he'll write up something interesting, but with his seemingly 24/7/365 posting activity (just head on to COLA [google.com] to get an idea) most of what he writes is just self-referential gobbledygook of no value whatsoever. Six or seven thousand-word-plus posts per day? No way.

      Anyone who thinks Microsoft made Hans Reiser kill his wife [boycottnovell.com], claims he turned down a "six figure" job because they asked him for a Word document [boycottnovell.com] or posts things like [digg.com] these [digg.com] shouldn't be taken seriously. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and that's what he banks on. The rest is really just his inexperience, insane hatred and child-like demeanor showing through.

      That blog is nothing more than an endless stream of misrepresentations, thinly veiled lies, witch hunts [boycottnovell.com] and weird "THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD BE SCARED OF" prose, accentuated by what I suppose he thinks are "funny" photoshopped images of people and things he thinks are out to get him. A few days ago he wrote up a storm about all the journalists he estimated had been "bribed" by Microsoft because they got evaluation laptops with Windows 7, and a few of those people actually humoured him by stopping by and explaining why they wouldn't throw away decades of journalistic experience and reputation for a $2,000 laptop, but he just ignored them. Hey, he's right and he knows it.

      Linux.com featured [linux.com] an article by Bruce Byfield on this. Roy has a retinue of about half a dozen hanger-ons why post up a storm whenever and wherever anyone criticizes his abrasive "advocacy", which can be seen clearly there... don't miss the fact that our very own favorite troll [slashdot.org] is also chummy with him (I mean if you needed an excuse). It seems he does these days [slashdot.org] is post [slashdot.org] links [slashdot.org] to Schestowitz's blog with his fourteen accounts anyway.

      I'm sure it's important to keep an eye out for Microsoft and all, but by god, this guy is just bad news for the FOSS community. He brings out the worst of the "OMG I HATE MICROSOFT, I AM ANGRY AND I'M GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!" crowd. On purpose, I'm sure. Because the more abrasive he becomes, the more people dislike him and the more he can claim he's being "stalked" and "targeted" by the Evil Empire (TM). That kid is trapped in a vicious circle he built for himself. He needs to take a deep breath, go outside and play or something. He's so desperate and impatient to make a name for himself but he goes about it with such incompetence (volume != quality) that sometimes I think he must be sponsored by someone or something like that. Hell, he's already claiming Microsoft and Novell are directly responsible for all this.

      Anyway, teh internet is serious business and all that...

  • Yep (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FungusCannon (1408259)
    Communists are assholes.
    • by MarkvW (1037596)

      Totalitarian communists are certainly assholes.
      Pure (notice the word "pure") free market capitalists are certainly assholes.

      Otherwise, its just a matter of adjustment between people with differing points of view.

      • by mcvos (645701)

        Totalitarian communists are certainly assholes.

        I think it's safe to expand this statement to: Totalitarians are assholes.

  • non-story (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    a single guy gets pushed around by a couple policeman, after ideologically motivated protest against novell. truly a sign of an out-of-control communist tyranny!
  • by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @11:34PM (#25782033) Homepage

    You know, the die-hard haters who come out of the woodwork every time Novell is mentioned, dredging up the years old Microsoft deal, which I predicted at the time would have zero impact on Linux and FOSS and have been vindicated in that prediction - except for the haters.

    These people really don't give a damn about Linux or FOSS - all they care about is establishing that they're more "moral" than everyone else by opposing any interoperability deals with Microsoft. The fact that the average corporation couldn't care less and only wants some assurance that their Linux deployment will work with their Microsoft deployment is ignored by these morons. The fact that this allows Novell to improve, however small, Linux's penetration into the data center and corporations doesn't interest them either. The fact that whatever Novell agreed to in the deal in terms of "patent protection" is overwhelmingly irrelevant to any future patent cases (which so far haven't materialized and are unlikely to - and unlikely to be won by Microsoft when they do, as countless people have pointed out) doesn't matter to these clowns either.

    Only their juvenile emotional well-being matters to them - and of course, damaging the emotional well-being of everyone else who disagrees with their fanaticism.

    Fuck 'em.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      The fact that the average corporation couldn't care less and only wants some assurance that their Novell deployment will work with their Microsoft deployment is ignored by these morons. The fact that this allows Novell to improve, however small, Novell's penetration into the data center and corporations doesn't interest them either.

      I went ahead and fixed that for you
      Novell's agreement with Microsoft doesn't benefit Linux, it only benefits Novell.

      • by PixelSlut (620954) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @11:59PM (#25782163)
        It benefits Novell, but Novell benefits Linux.
        • Someone further up in the comments noted that Novell is the only one allowed to distribute Mono.
          • by sumdumass (711423) on Monday November 17, 2008 @02:31AM (#25782945) Journal

            If MONO is GPLed, then anyone can distribute it because the GPL gives them that right. Novell is the only one offering patent indemnification which isn't the same thing. MS has never claimed they would sue anyone for MONO if they distributed the source or got it from somewhere other then novell. It is nothing but FUD when people claim Novell is the only ones who can distribute something covered by the GPL. You are taking No more of a change with Mono then you would be from any other product. If some company decides they own a patent on the product and sue you, you hit regardless of using Mono or KDE or Gnome or Linux or BSD or GCC or whatever the person makes the claim about.

            Hell, the GPLv3 doesn't even fix that. All it says is that if you know about a patent covering the product, you can't distribute it unless you can distribute a license to use the patent too. If a third party declares they own something in the produce or have a patent that coveres it, your in the same boat as any other license or Mono.

      • Considering Novell hire tons of open source developers to work on open source projects it actually DOES help the community

        Might I add that the patent protection deal with Microsoft, despite something I dont personally agree with has actually been helpful to get Linux into the places that have already bought Microsoft's FUD campaign, increasing Linux's market share in places it proberbly wouldn't have.
        • by LingNoi (1066278)

          Even if novell didn't hire them they'd still work on their projects.

          Some people resigned from novell after the microsoft deal, they didn't stop working on their projects.

          • by jjohnson (62583)

            Other things being equal, they're probably happier to be paid to work on their projects than not. Except for the drama llamas who stormed out, that is.

        • by pirhana (577758)
          > Might I add that the patent protection deal with Microsoft, despite something I dont personally agree with has actually been helpful to get Linux into the places that have already bought Microsoft's FUD campaign, increasing Linux's market share in places it proberbly wouldn't have.

          You are equating success with market share ALONE. While companies like Microsoft believe in this , FLOSS is altogether different.
      • by Xaria (630117)

        Do you really think that once they get in-house Linux experience people won't start looking at other options? You could say most of the above about Red Hat, but there are plenty of people out there who use CentOS and Red Hat are cool with that.

        If you want money spent on Linux, it has to appeal to people WITH money. Which means that money has to be spent on it to ensure proper support. Which needs corporate backing. Linux would have no where near the market penetration that it does without Red Hat, SuSE (now

    • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday November 17, 2008 @12:58AM (#25782461)

      You know, the die-hard haters who come out of the woodwork every time Novell is mentioned, dredging up the years old Microsoft deal, which I predicted at the time would have zero impact on Linux and FOSS and have been vindicated in that prediction - except for the haters.

      Yeah, but in all fairness, I think many of us forgot that you predicted that. If we'd remembered, we would definitely have kept our mouths shut.

    • "Fuck 'em."
      i'd preffer not too... one curry-fart and my penis would melt.
  • by SeaFox (739806) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @11:42PM (#25782055)

    Most of the snaps taken during the scuffle were forcefully deleted by the organizers, after seizing the protesters' mobile phones.

    Lesson for next time: Use a phone with automatic blogging so the photos are off the phone and on the Net before they can stop you.

    • by mdmkolbe (944892)

      I'm not a cell-phone/camera sort of person, so I was quire surprised to find out there is already an app [shozu.com] for doing this.

    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Monday November 17, 2008 @02:04AM (#25782789)

      Lesson for next time: Use a phone with automatic blogging so the photos are off the phone and on the Net before they can stop you.

      "What's this? Where are the photos you took?" "You uploaded them to a website?"

      Then you get to enjoy a free trip in the back of a truck to somewhere with a net connection, and then you get pushed in front of a monitor and keyboard and told to log in and delete the photos by men with guns.

      Your idea is great in a country where the police won't threaten to shoot you. Even here in the US, if they don't like you enough, you'll "resist arrest" and need a trip to the hospital; it happened to a photojournalism student in Provincetown, MA when the cops didn't like him taking photos of them beating the shit out of drunks.

      Why do you think NYC doesn't supply flashlights to the cops and banned its officers from carrying Maglites larger than 3 D-cells? It's because cops used them to beat the shit out of people...

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        Yea but NYC didn't provide the support necessary when they banned the flashlights and the cops started using plungers and stuff. [pww.org]

      • "What's this? Where are the photos you took?" "You uploaded them to a website?"

        Gee, maybe if you leave the original of the photos on your phone, they'll be happy to delete them none the wiser that you copied them to the web.

  • others top my list (Score:5, Insightful)

    by speedtux (1307149) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @11:56PM (#25782147)

    The objections of BoycottNovell.com against Novell make no sense to me: Microsoft's deal with Novell hasn't affected anybody negatively, and Novell continues to make valuable contributions to the FOSS communities (note: I'm an Ubuntu user, and although I like Mono better than Java, I don't use it much).

    At the top of my list of companies that claim to be open source-friendly but that actually have dangerous agendas would be Sun, Apple, and Nokia. All of those companies have big patent portfolios, deals with Microsoft, and patent deals, and they have frequently acted against the interests of open source and open standards, and we still don't boycott them. Furthermore, although those other companies talk a lot about their contributions, Novell is probably responsible for a lot more software that people use day-to-day.

    • by pembo13 (770295)
      Well, I think they are trying to be proactive, where as you seem to suggest waiting for something bad to happen.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Its like this...
    1. The government organized some event
    2. The government deployed police because there would be "eminent" people ( read "politicians") participating in the event, and need "security"
    3. A firm sponsored the event.We all know what sponsored means, dont we
    4. A group of protesters land up from no where, bad mouthing the chief sponsor
    5. The government would be embarrassed if the protesters are not dispersed. After all, its the government, the mighty government, whose actions are beyond reproach, a

  • by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Monday November 17, 2008 @12:31AM (#25782315) Homepage

    There has never been a time in my life when some person of supposed authority have made any attempt to force me to delete photographs from my digital camera. Perhaps I am just not taking photos of important things. But should that happen I might gleefully comply if I didn't want to make a big deal about it.

    Many digital cameras use VFAT filesystems which means their contents can be recovered. The utility of my personal choice is photorec(1). The photorec utility runs quite well on Linux. Just use /bin/dd to make an image of the SCSI disk to your HDD, run photorec with the device file as the parameter.

    Photorec is written by Christophe GRENIER (no, I am not he) and can be found at:

    http://www.cgsecurity.org/ [cgsecurity.org]

    • by bendodge (998616)

      Recuva for Windows also works well (it even works well in WINE, although I doubt that's recommended). I've salvaged photos and some rather important audio recorded on a cheap MP3 player that corrupted itself.

  • by shyam_k (1232386) on Monday November 17, 2008 @01:55AM (#25782745)
    HI, Myself one of the protestors of boycottnovell protest happened in kerala. I would like to summarize some points here.

    The event was not organized by the Communist Party. Communist Party is promotting Free Software on several occasions and they have a good stand on Free Software. The event organizers are as seen here at the event site http://nfm2008.atps.in./ [nfm2008.atps.in] Some of the organizers were not having enough exposure to the Free Software world. That actually led to the situation of Novell being the platinum sponsor of the event. The whole problem is because of the igorance of the organizers on the subject. The organizers mishandled the subject without realizing the issue, as they have little knowledge about the issue raised by us.

    Our concern was about Novell, and we wanted the general public to know the truth. For that we raised the posters telling them the reasons of boycott Novell. We didnot boycott the event. We did participate the event and tried to correct the organizers and tried to pass the correct information to the public. The organizers didnt realize this and they took their position with Novell due to their ignorance. and this mishandling of this issue caused the problems.

    Anyway the organizers [nfm2008.atps.in] (CP(I)M is not among the organizers ) owe an appology to free software community regarding this.
    I think the way slashdot presented the issue is misleading. This is not an issue between Communist party and Free Software people.
    On behalf of the protestors
    Shyam K

  • The problem is that many communists identify free software as aligned with their communist ideals, since it is competing against the bourgeois American Microsoft Corporation and others. That simply isn't true, since Free software is about freedom and not fighting the capitalists.

    I have lived in Kerala for 21 years, and found the communists the most despicable political group. What they try to do in infiltrate every movement or group, and try to push ideology.

    We have full fledged political organizations, eve

  • Well, I suppose this should settle this issue for all of those people who call Free Software users "communists". If the communists are beating Free Software advocates, the Free Software advocates cannot very well be communists, can they?

  • by monkeySauce (562927) on Monday November 17, 2008 @02:58AM (#25783091) Journal

    I shall not purchase any Novell Protesters which were Manhandled in India!

    We demand unspoiled protesters, dammit! (or at the very least, domestically manhandled ones-- it's better for our economy)

  • by Mantrid (250133) on Monday November 17, 2008 @09:10AM (#25784605) Journal

    Isn't boycotting Novell like boycotting the horse and carriage? Does it serve a purpose?

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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