Editor’s Note: Dramatically Speaking

By Brian Proffitt
Managing Editor

And now, for your entertainment, the Linux Today Players will
now perform brief sketches loosely based on this week’s events. In
the tradition of avant garde theater, we will leave it to you to
guess who the characters in these skits are.

Please, hold your applause till the end of the skits, so as not
to (further) disturb the players.


Scene: EXT – Underneath the Azadi Tower, Azadi

Two men approach each other under this monument to freedom.
Both are dressed in Western-style business suits.

Man 1: Hello.

Man 2: I bring you greetings on behalf of my

Man 1: Thanks. My company wanted to bring up a
subject of some delicacy that has existed in your nation for some
time, that of the lack of copyright laws and the continued use of
our products without proper payment for our intellectual

Man 2: Ah, yes, we have heard this concern
before. It is regrettable that you do not respect our laws. But, I
have news that may be of interest to you.

Man 1: Oh?

Man 2: Yes. It seems that our High Informatics
Council has decided to discontinue using your software for

Man 1: (Interrupts) Well, that’s
certainly good news–

Man 2: (Continues) –we’re going to
use Linux.

Man 1: (Shocked) Er, what?

Man 2: We are going to use Linux and other open
source technologies for our information systems.

Man 1: (Shaken) B-but why?

Man 2: It is quite simple. Your software
represents too much of a security risk for us to use any

Man 1: You mean to tell me that even though you
have been using our software for free all of this time, and had
every intention of continuing to do so, you’re going to move to

Man 2: That is correct. While we do not
recognize your copyright, we certainly recognize quality when we
see it.

Man 2 walks away, leaving Man 1 stunned.


Scene: INT – A nondescript conference room somewhere in
Silicon Valley

Various business executives sit across from each other at a
large conference table.

Woman 1: We want to extend an offer to purchase
your company.

Man 1: Why?

Woman 1: We feel that by merging our two
companies together, we can make a positive stance in the Linux
embedded space.

Man 1: Didn’t you do this already?

Woman 1: Excuse me?

Man 1: With Chorus Systems. You bought them in
1997, and their primary team bolted and formed Jaluna, one of our
major competitors.

Woman 1: Er, well, that’s water under the
bridge. We think we can make a bold move into the carrier-grade

Man 1: (Interrupts) No, thank you.

Woman 1: Pardon?

Man 1: No, thank you. You people really don’t
get it, do you? You need to pick one thing and stick with it. SMBs.
Data centers. HPCs. Enterprises. Pick one. One week you’re
embracing Linux, and the next you’re painting a target on the
largest Linux company around. Who’s going to take you seriously?
Plus, frankly, we don’t need you.

(Man 1 and his side of the table rise to leave.)

Woman 1: I think if you just take a look at
these numbers–

Man 1: (Turns at the door.) It’s not
just about numbers. It’s about making something, then selling it to
customers. The sooner you learn that and stop this speculative
acquisition of companies, the better it will be for you.

Woman 1: (Thoughtfully pauses for a moment,
then turns to another door in the room and raises voice.)

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