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Press Release ScriptumLibre, Februari 8, 2008
ScriptumLibre.org calls for boycott of Trend Micro
WORKUM, The Netherlands -- Friday, February 8, 2008 -- The ScriptumLibre.org Foundation issued a call today for a worldwide boycott on Trend Micro products. The call comes as a response to the public announcement on January 29th that a lawsuit was filed by Trend Micro in November 2007, which claims that software-security company Barracuda Networks is infringing its U.S.-patent on software that filters out viruses on Internet gateway computers. The claim targets the free and open source (FOSS) software program ClamAV (Clam AntiVirus), and demands that Barracuda either cease distributing it with their web filtering hardware and other products, or pay Trend Micro a licensing fee.
Software vendors that hold software patents tend to wage a "cold war" amongst each other, collecting patents and holding on to them for defensive purposes. Rarely are suits filed against one another aggressively. ScriptumLibre's chairman Wiebe van der Worp claims Trend Micro's aggressive use of litigation to be "well beyond the borders of decency," and points to the company's past history of "extorting organizations such as Symantec and McAfee with similar threats of litigation." However, there are deeper concerns echoed by van der Worp, and others, in the threats this lawsuit holds toward others in the FOSS community. Recognizing this threat, Barracuda CEO, Dean Drako, in a statement to the FOSS community, writes, "Trend Micro’s actions illustrate that ClamAV and other open source projects remain vulnerable to commercial patent holders attempting to unjustly hinder the free and open source community."
As a result, many in the community are banding together, and offering support towards Barracuda, such as Eben Moglen of the Software Freedom Law Center, who has stated that the "Collective defense from software patents is a shared responsibility for everyone in the free software ecosystem." ScriptumLibre feels that the patent system is fundamentally broken. But even though the system is broken, this does not mean that companies should be held blameless for abusing that system.The foundation therefore urges the entire IT community, including both the proprietary and FOSS communities, to boycott Trend Micro products.
ScriptumLibre.org Foundation is the international branch of the Dutch "Stichting Vrijschrift.org". ScriptumLibre creates awareness about the economic and social meaning of free knowledge and culture for our society. The foundation was involved in the successful campaign to keep software patents out of the European Union.
Links and Attachments
Boycott web page with information, banners and cartoons: http://www.scriptumlibre.org/Boycott_Trend_Micro
Barracuda Networks call for help: http://www.barracudanetworks.com/ns/legal/
- Cartoon as line art in pdf-format
Wiebe van der Worp, chairman ScriptumLibre, wiebe at vrijschrift.org tel.: +31 6 455 939 82