Guest blog entry from Justin Steinman, director of marketing for Linux and Open Platform Solutions.
Last week, in an interview with ITBusinessEdge, I gave a quote that said, “I do want to tell you that Novell is a significant financial contributor to the Free Software Foundation.” At the time I made this statement, I believed it to be true, based on information I had received from individuals inside Novell.
However, since that interview, I have learned that I made a mistake when making that claim. Peter Brown of the Free Software Foundation issued a public statement saying, “Novell last gave funds to the FSF in October 2005, when they donated $5K as part of FSF Corporate Patron program. Since their deal with Microsoft was announced we have not asked them to renew as a patron, nor would we. Novell is not ‘a significant financial contributor to the Free Software Foundation.'”
Further research inside Novell confirms that Peter Brown is correct and I spoke in error. I want to make it clear that I had no intention of making false claims or providing misinformation to the market. I simply said what I believed to be true. Now that I have learned my statement is not true, I want to correct that error.
Thus, I want to apologize to the Free Software Foundation and to the open source community for making this misrepresentation. I should have double-checked the accuracy of my information before speaking, and for that, I offer no excuse.
Novell values its membership in the open source community, and as a member of the marketing team at Novell, I appreciate the opportunity that I personally have to participate in open discussion with the community. Part of an open and intellectually honest discussion is to admit when you’re wrong and accept responsibility. That’s what I’m doing today, and I hope we can continue a fact-based and open conversation in the future.