Give it Back.

As you know, Sun’s open source software and microprocessor strategy has been, at times controversial. We’ve filled trade journals and chat rooms with all kinds of dialog and the occasional crackpot conspiracy theory.

As many have rightly assumed from the outset, that controversy was, in fact, not a byproduct of the strategy – it was the strategy: if you’re talking about Sun, you’re not talking about the other guy. And then you’ll buy a datacenter.

But now that we’ve firmly established our reputation for open source leadership, I’m very worried there’s no more controversy to be had. There’s too much trust in the system, and too much clarity around our strategic intent. So it’s getting tougher and tougher to kick up a storm – and we can’t very well spend a billion dollars or change our ticker symbol every time we want to generate a headline. Now can we?

So today I’d like to unfurl the second chapter of our strategy.

We want you to give it all back. You couldn’t possibly believe we’d let you keep it, did you?

We specifically request that all free software originally distributed by Sun Microsystems, related to software or microprocessors, including but not limited to source files, binaries, derivatives, extensions, applications, patents, patent applications, copyrights, ideas, thoughts, and derivative thoughts, along with any and all mirrors thereof, be returned immediately.

In addition, (we know this is the risky part, but we need to get the privacy advocates twittering, too), we demand all data processed, stored or created by such intellectual property, up to and including all data held within file systems, databases or open source productivity applications be returned, as well. Up to and including the book report your kid just typed on OpenOffice.

We’d like to request this all be returned within thirty days.

Thank you for your understanding.


And although it pains me to say this, we do live in a litigious society, so: YES, this is an April Fool’s joke, as defined by relevant sections of the United States Securities Act of 1933.


Filed under General

36 responses to “Give it Back.

  1. Chandru

    Frankly, this was one of the least believable April fool’s day attempts. πŸ™‚

  2. jess

    which part of the license is this stated in?

  3. opteron

    Thanks for the April fool! You did not surprise me because of the previous post.

  4. Where should I upload my files? ? ? πŸ˜‰

  5. Robert

    What? Here’s my my response to that:

  6. Ashwin

    Thank God this is an April Fool πŸ™‚ Otherwise what would this world do without OpenSource Software ?

  7. I read all of that link and it does not mention April Fool anywhere.

  8. Damn, is that the best you can do?
    Couldn’t you make reference to putting it all in a lake, or something?

  9. Jason Dodd

    Please refund/profund any and all monies that would or would not have been paid by me had the free software I have used not been available.
    I accept cash, and for your convenience, google checkout.
    Thank you.

  10. Tony

    I think the US needs to have March 31 replace April 1 as April Fool’s Day. This will allow a) more people to be caught out and b) those of us who are now in April 2 already, to be able to use this stuff in our own pranks. Just a thought…

  11. Whew, that’s a good one. It’s a good thing it’s April’s Fool day it would have been scary just to think about it considering I use a lot of great open source software supported by Sun.

  12. whystopnow

    Lamest. April Fool’s Day. Joke. Ever.

  13. neon

    Gosh! Jonathan I thought you are better than this. b/w open office logo is missing in your list of icons..

  14. Oh! I should tell this bad news to my thesis project co-workers. I have told them to use Netbeans IDE and Glassfish for our open source project. I should have guessed:)

  15. Carolyn

    “You sheltered me from harm… kept me warm… “ *

  16. Tom Jordan

    What’s open source ? Can I get my money back ?

  17. CPO Gal

    Even a *joke* nod to privacy from you *does* rather set me a twitter Jonathan! Note to self, schedule vacation & get new hobbies… πŸ˜‰

  18. Fintas

    I’d be happy to see your press release re earnings for the third quarter for May 1..Match what is stated on your investor relations automated information site that as of today was still saying April 21. OR was that an APRIL FOOLS JOKE also. Seriously, cmon Jonathan that’s a basic and should have been corrected quickly along with an explanation for the oops. Some might even consider that transparency.
    Support of Java and you but no tolerance for basic mistakes from a company that has you as a CEO and is cutting edge.
    Thank you

  19. Peter

    Well, that brings to mind one very large IT company’s typical behaviour, however I struggle to see a long term future for them, even with concerted clandestine efforts, to promote their patent encumbered, overly complex standard through ISO. I cannot see how they can possibly compete with the innovation in the Open Source and Free Software global communities. Just look at this recent development:

  20. No mine, no longer yours.
    However from a business perception it is not always good for MYSQL to keep on having a facelift. The branding thing.
    Why not change the product reference name rather to something that suit MYSQL and probably justify the company and change open source which are so overrated and if truth be dared say MYSQL software is so open that it contributes to the diverse programming sector.
    And as for strategy, why not change open source to free source.
    That is more a justification to the name. It would also make the competition sorry opposition squirm.
    And as for the conspiracy theory now I have started a real one.

  21. Jan

    I rather liked this April Fools blog entry. I just don’t understand why people are so sensitive, especially around 1st of April

  22. Kevin Hutchinson

    Your April fools blog post reminds me of the NetApp patent litigation against Sun – did you just copy and paste it? πŸ˜‰

  23. J. A. Sturmthrond

    Are you still going on about MySQL? Why do you bother with that toy when you already had PostgreSQL, a real database?
    BTW, you joke, but until recently what you describe is _exactly_ what Sun’s strategy was with regard to the free software / open source community. Considering that you strangled Java aborning with your restrictive license terms, alternately mocked and slavishly copied Linux, etc etc. Forgive us if it takes us a while to see the humor.
    Finally, "And although it pains me to say this, we do live in a litigious society", pathetic and cowardly.

  24. Philip Law

    Sun Microsystems is becoming a global company and not every country in the world subscribes to the April Fool tradition besides the time zone differences and international date line. One hurdle to decide between Linux and Solaris is someday what you say may become true. Any hint of the possibility of an unreasonable demand however improbable or impractical should be avoided. This is no joking matter.

  25. I cannot see how they can possibly compete with the innovation in the Open Source and Free Software global communities. Just look at this recent development

  26. Classic! Best April Fools of the year, hands down. You get an automatic +999 for having the guts as a CEO to do this. πŸ™‚

    I was enjoying the beginning of April until I read Jonathan’s SCATHING THREAT TO US ALL!
    Jonathan, I have news for you: I have one line of code SITTING IN FRONT OF ME. It is covered with glitter and I put a bow on it, because I was under the impression that it was opensourced, and I could modify it however I chose. Well, I have it: AND I AM NOT RETURNING IT!
    Viva la revolucion!

  28. For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet (and based on comments many haven’t) the "YES, this is an April Fool’s joke, as defined by relevant sections of the United States Securities Act of 1933." isn’t referring to Securities Act defining an April Fool’s joke – check Section 17a-17d.
    Also, this was a bit weak for an April Fool’s joke – I’ll take $250,000 per year to come up with April Fool’s web pranks year round for you, if your willing to hire me. (Salary is also quite negotiable)

  29. Charles Soto

    Um. You can have NIS back πŸ™‚

  30. CampRen

    Regarding your open source microprocessor strategy
    I guess that makes you guys open source to the core…

  31. Dear Jonathan,
    Could you please give us the anonymous ftp where we could upload all of the requested files?
    Could we keep ZFS and Openoffice for 60 days, as we are using it in production
    and we will have to migrate the data to FAT32 and WordPerfect?
    Slava Bouttchenko

  32. Even a *joke* nod to privacy from you *does* rather set me a twitter Jonathan! Note to self, schedule vacation & get new hobbies… πŸ˜‰

  33. Markr

    How about mid-May, say 514? I promise to bring it back, by then. πŸ™‚

  34. Nice and sunny blog. This one and the previous one too. There is a lot of dignity and beauty in giving the way Sun has been offering its services. Its just the the real sun giving sunshine freely, the breeze that never questions any living thing’s right to breath and the patient Earth we walk on and brutalise. I do not wish to spoil the fun but…Whales are mammals and so many of these biologically non degradable ones are floating on your front lawn. Sun Microsystems is one place which other places would ape blindly. Imagine how many such plastic whales will then jump across the lawns? There is a nice feel to this blog some thing like when you peep into a well and shout. The voice echo comes back, that kinda feel and sometimes memory brings back some sun-lit days. This blog feels like one of those breezy, heady spring noons. Thanks for sharing Sun and all!

  35. Mayur Patel

    Close your eyes, take deep breath and tell yourself you will keep this as memorable April fool day, for everyone …forever.
    You are leading the only organization, left on the planet that has tools and technologies, which competes with the major vendor. Surprisingly no one notices the (careful) gradual demise of all major programming languages on Windows platform.
    Cannot imagine a day without Sun’s "open/free" tools and technologies.
    Keep it alive and kicking.

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