An Open Letter to the Ubuntu-au Members

Robert Stoffers rstoffers at
Fri May 5 13:18:35 BST 2006

James Purser wrote:
> On Fri, 2006-05-05 at 20:43 +1000, GrAnT GaLbRaiTh wrote:
>> This statement concerns me greatly. I don't believe that it should be
>> our groups role to act as a go between for Australian businesses.
>> Surely this implies that organisations who come to us for advice about
>> free/libre open source software would also be looking for contacts
>> within the industry to make it happen. I think Rob is right, this
>> smells fishier by the minute. 
> Can I just ask, what exactly is so wrong with supporting local
> businesses that support Ubuntu?

Nothing. This isn't the argument.

> Nobody is asking the ubuntu-au team to become the mouth piece of say
> Solutions First, or any other company that comes along. However at some
> point the group is going to be asked about commercial support for the
> Distro, and it would be nice to able to point to a number of LOCAL
> companies and say "Yes, see the power of Ubuntu, empowering the local
> ICT industry in wonderful ways."

Yes, I agree that it is nice to be able to point to local commercial 
support if we are asked about it. It would also be nice to not be 
influenced in any way, which currently isn't the case. Solutions First 
own both the domain name and hence the registered business 
name in this country "Ubuntu". This gives them an unfair advantage and 
control over other Linux support companies we could also suggest and to 
add to that I believe we have several employees who also toe the company 
line within the team also (happy to be corrected on this). I would like 
to see Ubuntu empowering the entire local ICT industry, not just one 
local company riding the wave of free publicity and marketing whist 
making a quick buck.

This latest "plan" to push for registered not-for-profit status does not 
benefit the community at all. The only tangible benefit was point three 
of the plan which only serves to help business such as Solutions First 
pimp their support products to other businesses and government. The 
worst part of this is that the Australian Ubuntu Loco Team would be 
doing all of the marketing/hard work whist Solutions First sits back and 
profits, all the time the team thinking they are doing this for the good 
of Ubuntu and Linux. This stinks quite frankly and should be stopped.


Robert Stoffers

Ubuntu - rob1 at
Townsville Linux Users Group -
Freenode Staff - rob -

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