about that april fools joke

dear arc, bolsh, chpe, cyberdork33, gerd kohlberger, gicmo, hughsie, karl lattimer, lapo, luis villa, macslow, mattias eriksson, michaël van dorpe, murrayc, nicolás reynolds, oskar rubinstein, pachi, patoh, thomas lunde, uwog, vuntz, the redhat crew germany, the ubuntu forums and several other people,
as you might noticed, the blog entry about a fictional lawsuit against cheese was an april fools joke. i do not want to talk about the taste of the joke, which is of course really really bad. many people got irritated about my lines and didnt have look at the calendar. mikkels post was of course not planned and in my opinion those two posts together were really hard to people, who are working in and for the free software community for a long time, like behdad, vuntz and luis villa and of course others.

a comment which really thrilled me was the following: "[...] but his post and this one (in light of the reactions, more than the content) are like shouting "fire" in a crowded theater."
this is so true. many people had fun reading that post, but i had the feeling (and several comments, mails, ... proved it) that some people had no fun at all. moreover, they were scared, concerned, perturbed.

why? why was this joke not taken as a joke by so many people? in my opinion it is just too close on reality. we all know that software patents are bad. we all know what they can do. but what would we do if something like this would happen for real?

it seems to like some topics are taboo. even this one. but to resolve the problem of software patents, the right way is not to _not_ talk about them. so please take this april fools joke as a warning what could happen, and not even on cheese, but also on other free software projects, and that this could reveal itself in a real mess. imagine, someone from [bad company] would call you and force you to stop developing a project. fortunately the free software foundation and the software freedom law center are already doing a damn good job and so we developers are able to work on nice projects, just because we all think that free software is awesome.

back to fun (isnt everything about fun?): it was april fools day and life isnt as serious as we sometimes think it is. and it is totally ok to buy me not one beer wherever you meet me this year.

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