Sunday, January 16, 2011

BoycottNovell and liabilities

I was amused this morning to see that for Dr. Roy Schestowitz from BoycottNovell (aka “TechRights”) is finding himself on the receiving end of the conflict he likes to dish out on everyone who fails to measure up to his ideological purity tests. This is a screenshot of comments made by Dr. Roy in just a few minutes ago:


I’m not sure what’s happening in Dr. Roy’s chat room at this time, but I’m not surprised if he is being “trolled”, what with his blog being the biggest troll in all of FOSS and beyond. Sometimes you reap what you sow.

But the thing that really struck me is Dr. Roy’s apparent implication that Jono Bacon is responsible for the actions of everyone in the Ubuntu community.

I find that to be a very strange claim.

You see, BoycottNovell tends to attract the dregs of FOSS; people who have been pretty much run out of everywhere else. Case in point is his valued collaborator twitter, a notorious Slashdot troll and generally a very unpleasant person, or at least his online persona is.

Dr. Roy claims BoycottNovell is a community. He uses the royal We constantly, trying to convey the idea that somehow the ten or so people logged into his chat room (who also post the vast majority of the comments in the blog) are a team effort. This, despite the fact that no one other than him can actually post to the blog at all. Trust issues? Who knows.

But Dr. Roy has found himself in hot water before because of what his associates say and do. Witness the “Fink” debacle, for example (which is the reason I prefer to remain anonymous… no need to be “Finked” by one of Dr. Roy’s friends). Then there’s azuthian, the newest incarnation of the AstralKnight meme operating out of

So Dr. Roy has come up with an innovative defense mechanism: Simply claim that whatever is said by other people on his blog cannot and should not be held against him in any way, shape or form.

It’s easy to log into IRC, shout “Heil Hitler” and then log out. It would be disingenious to point to that and claim everyone at BoycottNovell is a nazi (sorry Mr. Godwin). And no one would really believe it anyway, so it’s generally pointless and stupid. It would simply play into Dr. Roy’s drama-inclined hands.

But collaborators or associates are another thing. People who have been part of the “community” for years, and are  continually used as sources of juicy (if irrelevant) quotes that help fill the daily post quota, not to mention providing entire articles for the blog (even if they are routinely attributed to “Anonymous” to avoid embarrassment). Do these people speak for BoycottNovell?

It’s hard to make a case that your IRC conversations are not to be used against you, as Dr. Roy does here, yet elsewhere we are continually invited to read the logs; for example here. There are many more examples. Indeed, some of his posts are made up of nothing more than fragments of IRC chats. And where the logs used to be posted simply as “IRC Logs”, they were recently changed to “IRC Proceedings” as part of the “TechRights” rebranding. Proceedings sounds mighty important, like something official.

So can one find Dr. Roy liable for things like these?


I doubt “agent_smithe” was planning on delivering flowers to Miguel de Icaza. And what about this:

I wish they gave [Miguel de Icaza] euthanasia

That’s another valued long-time contributor, not some troll that just appeared out of nowhere.

There are literally hundreds of example like these. Violent homophobia, comments about how all Microsoft or Novell employees should die, how it must be “sickening” to ride in the same train as them, how they should all be thrown in jail and subjected to torture.

So if Jono Bacon is responsible for the entire Ubuntu community… is it not fair then that Dr. Roy be held responsible for the actions of his community? Or does he get to have the cake and eat it as well?




Andrius Bentkus said...

While Schestowitz exaggerates a lot of times, I still believe that he is doing a good job of showing how companies tend to use patents in order to troll around.

And if I look at your blog, well it's a basically a Boycott-BoycottNovel site...

Verofakto said...

Not sure I understand how one can reconcile "exaggerates a lot of times" with doing a good job at anything. Have you considered finding another source for your patent news?

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