Wednesday, 15 April 2009 04:13

Linux Foundation bows to RMS

It's more than a bit ironic that the Linux Foundation, an organisation that drips with bizspeak, has chosen as the winner of its Linux promotional campaign an ad that espouses the virtues of freedom.

The Foundation - which describes itself "a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux" - hardly makes any reference to the freedom aspect of Linux when it issues statements.

And this same Foundation has such a great devotion to freedom that it keeps journalists away from its conferences! 

But the seeds of this whole movement were planted by Richard Stallman and his ideas won't die easily.

The campaign was announced earlier this year and community participation was solicited. As reported on iTWire, the winner, was Armitay Tweeto of Israel with his entry What does it mean to be free?

The clip concentrates on the political connotations of Linux - that it is free to modify and adapt any way the individual wants. Naught else.

In fact, one of the runners-up, The Origin , created by one Agustin Eguia, also dealt with the idea of freedom. Perhaps the lack of any capitalist ideas in these ads was because neither of the creators appears to be American.

The choice of winner is even stranger when one considers that all the judges are people who are more tilted towards the open source camp, rather the free software people. One of the judges, Joe Brockmeier, is an employee of Novell, the company that committed the ultimate act of freedom in November 2006, that of signing a patent deal with Microsoft.

The other three finalists picked out of the batch of 90 entries were somewhat juvenile. All concentrated on the Linux-Windows battle but lacked that touch of professionalism.

That just 90 videos were submitted is probably an indication of the Linux Foundation's image among geeks. There are people in the community who are capable of creating videos that can match an professional ad agency - and often trump them.

Other videos which were finalists: Linux pub (also a runner-up), The future is open and Challenges at the office .

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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