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[ale] Letter to my congressman
- Subject: [ale] Letter to my congressman
- From: cshapiro at nubridges.com (Charles Shapiro)
- Date: Fri Jan 23 10:19:09 2004
I intend to print this out, put it into an envelope, and mail it to my
congressman this weekend.
You may have received a letter from Daryl Mcbride, president of
the Santa Cruz Organization (SCO), calling Linux a danger to American
security and a threat to the American economy.
I am an American citizen and a professional computer programmer who
works full-time with Linux and Open Source software. Daryl Mcbride's
litigation and lobbying efforts pose a direct threat to my livelihood
and to that of hundreds of thousands of other Americans. They are also
deeply insulting to those involved in Open Source.
His allegations that Linux and Open Source software are threats to
America are demonstrably false. To take just one example,
he claims that open source software is a 'threat to the US information
technology industry'. Almost all the computer programmers in the United
States write software for companies which do not directly sell it; I am
no exception to this rule. For these programmers, Linux and Open
Source software are essential tools and substantial
boosts to their productivity. To deprive them of these tools, or even
to interfere with their use, injures the vast
majority of the voters in the IT industry while unjustly favoring a tiny
minority who don't even reside in your state. It also injures those who
use their programs, a group which includes nearly everyone who works
with a computer.
If you think of legislation in this matter, perhaps the words of some
17th-century French merchants should be your guide. When asked by a
minister of Finance what he could do for them they replied: Laissez-nous
faire (Let Us Be).