Desperate company threatens to give free software to French residents unless Colbert buys a copy by July 2; “a shameless stunt to save our business” CodeWeavers CEO declares
SAINT PAUL, Minn. (June 21, 2010) – In an effort to boost its popularity in Europe as well as its native America, gadfly software developer CodeWeavers, Inc., will give away a copy of its software to each resident of France on July 3 unless political commentator and cable television news personality Stephen Colbert buys a copy by July 2.
Based in Saint Paul, Minn., CodeWeavers develops software enabling users to run Windows Applications on Mac and Linux without a Windows operating system.
With an eye toward increasing revenues, and thereby being able to pay its employees, CodeWeavers is expanding its outreach to European markets, including France. To make a grand entrance, CodeWeavers will give everyone in France an opportunity to download a free one-year subscription to their software on July 3 unless America’s most anti-French man, Stephen Colbert, first buys his own copy by July 2.
CodeWeavers informed Colbert by letter on June 18 of their ploy.
“Make no mistake, this is a shameless stunt to save our company,” said CodeWeavers CEO Jeremy White. “By threatening one of the nation’s leading TV newscasters to spend $39.95 for our software, lest the residents of his least favorite Western European nation get a free copy, it is our hope we will get the kind of publicity no Madison Avenue ad agency could ever provide.
“It also is my hope that we haven’t committed a federal crime,” White added, “because the more I read the letter I just sent, the more I think it looks a lot like mail fraud.”
CodeWeavers’ June 18 Letter to Stephen Colbert
Sir Dr. Colbert,
As a small business owner, let me begin by saying I how much I admire you’re enduring crusade to support the freedom loving, laissez faire leaning American businessperson. USA! USA! USA!
I own CodeWeavers, Inc., an open source gadfly software development firm based in St. Paul, Minnesota, that enables rugged individualistic Americans like you to run Windows software on their computers without having to buy it from “the man” at Microsoft.
But, Dr. Colbert, I need your help to survive, and – yes – I’m doing it in the form of a threat with the citizens of France as my hostages.
CodeWeavers (www.CodeWeavers.com) has managed to muddle through the Great Recession, and like any company we need to grow to survive. My numbers guy wants new tires on his Ford Focus. My staff wants to use fresh coffee grounds daily.
So to increase revenue, my sales team wants us to expand to Europe.
Europe, Dr. Colbert, where they use the metric system. Europe, where it’s really hard to find a good can of Cheese Whiz or $3.99 VHS copies of late ‘90s Cuba Gooding, Jr., movies at gas stations.
With only pennies to spare for marketing, I ask that you download a copy of our software on your program by July 2. If you do not, my sales team will be giving away a free copy of our software to every resident of France on July 3 as part of our expansion into the market.
Imagine, Dr. Colbert, hundreds of thousands of French men and women using our software for free – all the while wearing their black berets and smoking skinny cigarettes.
For the sake of my company, for the sake of national pride, and to keep “the man” in his place, I ask that you comply with my request.
With respect and honor, Jeremy White, President, CodeWeavers, Inc.
Founded in 1996 as a general software consultancy, CodeWeavers focuses on the development of Wine – the core technology found in all of its CrossOver products. The company's goal is to bring expanded market opportunities for Windows software developers by making it easier, faster and more painless to port Windows software to Linux. CodeWeavers is recognized as a leader in open-source Windows porting technology, and maintains development offices in Minnesota, the United Kingdom and elsewhere around the world. The company is privately held. For more information about CodeWeavers, log on to www.CodeWeavers.com.
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Eric Davis, Haberman & Associates, 612-372-6465,