Closed-spec hardware vendors (was: Re: Gnash - GNU Flash Player / John Gilmore)

MJ Ray mjr at
Sun Jan 8 11:13:58 UTC 2006

Ben Finney <ben at>
> On 03-Jan-2006, Alfred M. Szmidt wrote:
> > There is, simply not supporting companies that refuse to give
> > specifications to their hardware, and nagging them to release these
> > specs.
> Which is not a solution unless everyone else does the same.

Since when has a boycott needed to be total in order to change
a supplier's mind? You only need *enough* people to support it,
not everyone. The value of "enough" changes for each thing:
there are examples of relatively limited boycotts succeeding
(Shell Brent Spar) and relatively long/large ones not yet
succeeding (Nestle ).

Boycotts are consumers doing judo on corporations:

Most corporations aim to maximise their profit. Boycotts are an
overt way of linking lost sales to a particular issue. In theory,
if it looks like it's costing more profit to suffer the boycott
than to address the cause, the executives should fix it or the
shareholders should replace them with some who will.

So, it *is* helpful to boycott harmful companies noisily.
If you choose not to, that's your choice, but do it only if
you don't care enough: don't kid yourself that only total
boycotts work.  If someone kidding themselves their action
made no difference changed, it might make enough support.

See for other views.

MJ Ray - personal email, see
Work:  Jabber/SIP ask

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