While lawyers debate the merits of the FSF's suit against Cisco, open source developers may be asking themselves how they can make their views heard.
Here's an idea. Boycott Cisco's contest.
Cisco is running a contest, with a $100,000 prize fund, called "Think Inside the Box." Its aim is to build Linux applications using Cisco's Application Extension Platform (AXP).
Perhaps due to a lack of publicity entries have not been pouring in. The first phase entry deadline has been pushed back to February 27.
So here's an idea.
Don't enter. And let Cisco know why.
Companies are welcome to act as open source leeches if they wish, and if that behavior goes beyond the pale that's what lawyers are for.
But here is a company being accused of stealing open source code on the one hand trying to buy the loyalties of open source programmers with the other.
Sure we could all use the money especially now. And it would be neat to jump-start what I call Always On applications which live in the air and require network resources.
But there are other ways to get there.
And what of those who do choose to enter? What of those who win? Should their own reputations within their open source communities suffer as a result?
Maybe. People are free to feel that way just as they are free to enter the contest and take Cisco's money.
I'm interested in how readers feel about this. Should open source people shun Cisco until it gets right by the FSF? Or do we compartmentalize legal disputes and get on with the work?