Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:08 UTC, submitted by twickline
GNU, GPL, Open Source Of course the net is buzzing with reactions to the Novell-Microsoft agreement of yesterday. Bruce Perens is very negative about it all: "What aren't they telling you? First, you can be sure that Microsoft's not out to help a competitor. This announcement paves the way for Microsoft to implement significant control over commercial customer's use of Free Software. And it has significant negative implications for Open Source in general." Eben Moglen of the FSF says about the possible GPL issues: "If you make an agreement which requires you to pay a royalty to anybody for the right to distribute GPL software, you may not distribute it under the GPL."
Order by: Score:
So long Novell
by Grant Swinger on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:24 UTC
Grant Swinger
Member since:
2006-02-04

I just tossed my SUSE DVD into the trash. As soon as I post this SUSE will be OFF all my computers.

Reply Score: 5

RE: So long Novell
by backdoc on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:37 UTC in reply to "So long Novell"
backdoc Member since:
2006-01-14

That's ridiculous.

As long as Novell doesn't violate the GPL, which I'm sure they won't. And, they don't pick up Microsoft's bad habits. It should help bring Linux into the mainstream.

[edit typo]

Edited 2006-11-03 16:37

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: So long Novell
by nathbeadle on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:53 UTC in reply to "RE: So long Novell"
nathbeadle Member since:
2006-08-08

How could a deal with Microsoft bring Linux into the mainstream? There is no way that Microsoft is doing this alliance to benefit Linux and improve it's use.

MS has been fighting linux for the past decade!! I can see the MS is opening up more to it's presence and learning to work with it, but never would I say that MS will help Linux

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: So long Novell
by molnarcs on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE: So long Novell"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

And what you say is naivity - do you think that Microsoft would help Novell "bring Linux into the mainstream"? Both Perens and Moglen smell a rat - and rightfully so. History of MS proves that they never ever acted in anyone's interest, save their own - and their historical "partners" almost always lost in the end.

Reply Score: 5

RE: So long Novell
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:47 UTC in reply to "So long Novell"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Let me get this straight: Novell makes a deal with Microsoft to protect itself against possible patent infringement lawsuits -- and you're ready to throw the SUSE disc in the trash? Unbelievable. Talk about a zealot...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: So long Novell
by Grant Swinger on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE: So long Novell"
Grant Swinger Member since:
2006-02-04

"Let me get this straight: Novell makes a deal with Microsoft to protect itself against possible patent infringement lawsuits -- and you're ready to throw the SUSE disc in the trash? Unbelievable. Talk about a zealot..."

Yes, I would. I did. Novell has turned themselves into Microsoft's pet Linux distro. They have the same source code everybody else does. Why are they the only ones afraid of "possible patent infringment"? When has MS ever produced any proof that Linux is infringing on one of their patents? There was no need for this deal until MS produced some proof. At best they look like the fools who purchased licenses from SCO.

But it's worse than that. Novell is selling out and trying to both lock up and impugn the work of an entire community. Perhaps you're young and naive but at my age I've seen just about every manner of backstabbing and sleazy legal maneuvering possible. That's exactly what this is and I decline to be a party to it.

On second thought I've decided to get my disc out of the trash. I'm mailing it back to them along a polite letter telling them goodbye and good riddance.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: So long Novell
by tomcat on Sat 4th Nov 2006 01:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So long Novell"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Novell has turned themselves into Microsoft's pet Linux distro. They have the same source code everybody else does.

Yeah, and consequently, Novell previously ran the same risk of being sued.

Why are they the only ones afraid of "possible patent infringment"?

They're not the only ones afraid of possible patent infringement. Red Hat, whether it wants to admit it or not, is also afraid of that scenario. But the difference is that Novell decided not to gamble with shareholder money. Novell minimized its risk and, in an environment of uncertainty, that means a lot to investors.

But it's worse than that. Novell is selling out and trying to both lock up and impugn the work of an entire community.

Novell isn't "locking up" or "impugning" anyone's work. That's your opinion. The GPL is doing quite fine, thank you very much, regardless of this agreement.

Perhaps you're young and naive but at my age I've seen just about every manner of backstabbing and sleazy legal maneuvering possible. That's exactly what this is and I decline to be a party to it.

Yeah, poor, dumb, naive me. I only started coding in the late 70's on a DEC PDP-8. I mean, what do I know... /SARCASM

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: So long Novell
by molnarcs on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE: So long Novell"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Heh, an anti-zealot zealot ;)

He simply became suspicious of Novell, and decided to make a point - is that wrong, or as you say, zealotry? You also forget that's one of the best things about Free Software - that actually he can ditch his discs without much ado. Bye Novell, welcome Archlinux (if I may make a recommendation ;) - zealotry is always dramatic, ditching a linux distro because you don't like what they do - well, there are hundreds of linux distroes plus there is FreeBSD.

There are always peeps who think that it is soo cool to call others zealots, just because the ideals of Free Software actually mean something for them. This is boring, really. If you cannot see outside the pragmatical/technical box, that's fine, but don't ridicule others because they can.

Reply Score: 5

RE: So long Novell
by Kroc on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:51 UTC in reply to "So long Novell"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

That's a complete reactionist comment; you shouldn't be modded up for zealous grandstanding.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: So long Novell
by r_a_trip on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 19:31 UTC in reply to "RE: So long Novell"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe it's not grandstanding, but shells falling from the eyes. Then again, I said goodbye to SuSE the moment Novell bought it. I didn't need a tainted distro and I now can see why.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So long Novell
by molnarcs on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 20:32 UTC in reply to "RE: So long Novell"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

And you shouldn't be modded up for ridiculing someone you don't know anything about. What you just did fits into the "personal attacks" category btw.
Because:

a) lots of people are suspicios about this move. They have a bad feeling (warning: emotion!) about this partnership.

b) some people express this bad feeling by switching to another distro.This is their own way of expressing their dismay.

Now calling their posts zealous grandstanding and reactionist, and what's more, campaigning against others who mod him up because they feel the same way is just... well ridiculous.

Edited 2006-11-03 20:34

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: So long Novell
by vinzer on Sun 5th Nov 2006 01:53 UTC in reply to "RE: So long Novell"
vinzer Member since:
2006-08-16

but that's his choice, and other people modded him up because they also feel the same way.

isn't it the case that comments are SUPPOSED to be reactions?

i don't see how the original poster was grandstanding. if simply expressing your opinion is grandstanding (and he didn't even flame anyone), then we're all grandstanders here, including you.

you might wanna consult the dictionary before throwing big words around. now THAT's grandstanding.

Reply Score: 2

v RE: So long Novell
by NotParker on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:07 UTC in reply to "So long Novell"
v RE[2]: So long Novell
by NotParker on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:40 UTC in reply to "RE: So long Novell"
RE: So long Novell
by rexbinary on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:11 UTC in reply to "So long Novell"
rexbinary Member since:
2006-01-04

Good for you, I just tossed all my burned copies as well.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: So long Novell
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:47 UTC in reply to "RE: So long Novell"
RE: So long Novell
by deanlinkous on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:13 UTC in reply to "So long Novell"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

mine went in the trash while I was watching the webcast...

Reply Score: 4

v RE[2]: So long Novell
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:46 UTC in reply to "RE: So long Novell"
RE[3]: So long Novell
by deanlinkous on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So long Novell"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

well i never had any, once or otherwise...
But this doesn't even demand common sense to figure out what is going on.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: So long Novell
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So long Novell"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

But this doesn't even demand common sense to figure out what is going on.

Wrong. You (like numerous others on this thread) jumped to conclusions based on incomplete information.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: So long Novell
by deanlinkous on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So long Novell"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

The information will always be incomplete because they wont be releasing the details of the agreement.

We have enough info to make a decision about the agreement. I watched a webcast where I heard about patents,patents, patents, protection, protection, protection, IP, IP, IP, and money changing hands oh and a little colaboration. I also seen ballmer say something about a "linux that respects our IP" and that this deal was Novell only and so forth... That is all I need to know exactly what this is truly about.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: So long Novell
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: So long Novell"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

So what is the practical impact on you? Why did you feel that you needed to discard your SUSE disc in such a kneejerk fashion?

Reply Score: 1

RE: So long Novell
by cmost on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 19:22 UTC in reply to "So long Novell"
cmost Member since:
2006-07-16

"I just tossed my SUSE DVD into the trash. As soon as I post this SUSE will be OFF all my computers."

I respect your decision. I run Linux because I grew sick and tired of Microsoft's policies and practice as well as their not-so-subtle shady behavior in the marketplace. I don't run Microsoft products and I want nothing whatsoever to do with them. In my view, Novell has made a pact with the devil. The entire deal is suspicious from a standpoint that for years Microsoft has been spewing negative press about how "Linux is like cancer" and "get the facts - Windows is superior to Linux" etc., etc., etc. Now, all of a sudden, they're apparently Linux's new best friend! Bullshit. It's also interesting to point out that Novell has embroiled Microsoft in an antitrust lawsuit that has cost MS over $500 million to date. This deal has no effect on that lawsuit. There's a fox in the hen house folks and we should all beware. While it's true that Novell cannot violate the GPL per se, this unique arrangement with Microsoft may give Microsoft legal leverage in the future to intimidate, invalidate or otherwise force Linux users to bend to their will, by way of precedence. I'm currently an Ubuntu Linux user but I will definitely be steering clear of SUSE and Novell from now on.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: So long Novell
by Anonymous Penguin on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 21:02 UTC in reply to "RE: So long Novell"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Who knows, maybe Bill Gates has decided that the next version of Microsoft will be based on Linux? *LOL*

Having made very clear that mine is only a joke, the idea is not so crazy if you think about it. After all OS X is based off BSD.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So long Novell
by twenex on Sun 5th Nov 2006 15:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So long Novell"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Sorry, but the idea IS crazy.

Microsoft has made it very clear that they will do *anything* to combat the GPL, even "getting around it" and using clueless "Linux companies" to do it. (It is very clear now that Novell is not a "Linux company", except in quotation marks, if it even ever was.)

Microsoft hate the GPL even more than those who believe in software freedom hate Microsoft, because it is the biggest single threat to their monopoly in years.

The BSD licence, on the other hand, says "you can take our code and fork it, munge it, and/or hide it all you like" - which is exactly what Microsoft did/(are still doing?) for years with their TCP/IP suite.

So no, Microsoft is not going to use Linux as a base for their OSes unless (a) they figure they can hide the fact that it IS Linux OR (b) they undergo a "conversion" to believing in the GPL. Personally, I think the former is the only option they will take. MS believing in the GPL would be bigger than the Jews believing in Jesus Christ.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: So long Novell
by Anonymous Penguin on Sun 5th Nov 2006 17:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So long Novell"
Anonymous Penguin Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, in a world where you don't pay for the OS, but (mainly) for the hardware (Apple) or for services (Red Hat), the idea isn't that crazy, IMO.

After all, how many pirated copy of Windows circulate in the world? Most likely *many* more than legal ones. A change of business model could solve forever the piracy problem. And there would be other advantages as well: more frequent releases, less (or faster and easier) bug hunting...

Edited 2006-11-05 17:13

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: So long Novell
by twenex on Sun 5th Nov 2006 17:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So long Novell"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I agree - but that's because I *do* believe in free software. Microsoft believe you should worship at the alter of the Goddess Proprietorix (no pun on Unix intended), or better, her avatar Microsofta.

Edited 2006-11-05 17:26

Reply Score: 2

uh
by deanlinkous on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:28 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

Someone let Eben Moglen know that I am sure the word 'royalty' was left out of the patent agrement (not license). They said this was in the works for a long time and they worked really hard to make it work. Basically they are saying they finally found a way to make it work while skirting the GPLv2.

ring ring ring....
Novell to MS - "show me the money"
MS to Novell - "you had me at hello"

Reply Score: 5

Tinfoil hats
by eMagius on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:29 UTC
eMagius
Member since:
2005-07-06

It is amusing to see the usual suspects (Perens, Groklaw, et al) freaking out with conspiracy theories out the wazoo. All that paranoia's going to give someone a stroke. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Tinfoil hats
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:30 UTC in reply to "Tinfoil hats"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

All that paranoia's going to give someone a stroke. ;)

Yeah, I agree. You'd think there are more important matters in a person's life than software, but I guess I'm mistaken.

Edited 2006-11-03 16:38

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Tinfoil hats
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Tinfoil hats"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Geeks tend to think that technology is the center of the universe. If only they realized that normal people really don't care about any of it...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Tinfoil hats
by pumupthapointz on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tinfoil hats"
pumupthapointz Member since:
2006-06-28

Yep untill their flight doesn't arrive at time because the shedule system has caught a glitch.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Tinfoil hats
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:45 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tinfoil hats"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Sure, but how many people think about this problem in advance of going to the airport? None. They only care when they're affected by a glitch. Hence, they just don't care.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Tinfoil hats
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Tinfoil hats"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

So, tell me. What was it about this comment that contained offensive/abusive language that justified it being mod'ed down?

"Sure, but how many people think about this problem in advance of going to the airport? None. They only care when they're affected by a glitch. Hence, they just don't care."

Just curious. Are people so insecure that they have to editorialize based on ideology?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Tinfoil hats
by Mitarai on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Tinfoil hats"
Mitarai Member since:
2005-07-28

I don't see anything wrong about my post eather.

I think SUSE is gonna be my distro of choise from now on, good move from Novell and Microsoft.

And yet they mod it down, oh the insecure people.

Edited 2006-11-03 18:18

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Tinfoil hats
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Tinfoil hats"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I don't see anything wrong about my post eather.

I think SUSE is gonna be my distro of choise from And yet they mod it down, oh the insecure people.


Pathetic, isn't it?

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Tinfoil hats
by twenex on Sat 4th Nov 2006 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Tinfoil hats"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

The same could be said of what happens when someone's right to do x is impeded by someone. THEN you can be sure they care.

That isn't an argument for not caring about rights in general - in fact it's an argument AGAINST being shortsighted at all.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Tinfoil hats
by ma_d on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tinfoil hats"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

If you make a living on it then it's probably going to have a heightened importance to you.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Tinfoil hats
by brewmastre on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tinfoil hats"
brewmastre Member since:
2006-08-01

ma_d : "If you make a living on it then it's probably going to have a heightened importance to you."

What are you talking about?! What do you think is going to happen. MS is partnering up with Novell. Novell is just another Linux distro, they don't make or break Linux. So MS might swallow Novell and Suse at the end of the five years, so what! Linux will still live on and so will the GPL. The GPL's biggest threat is this little GPL 2 vs. 3 conflict.

Edited 2006-11-03 17:32

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Tinfoil hats
by ma_d on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Tinfoil hats"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, since Novell funds Mono it would be awfully important to anyone writing .Net applications for *nix. If you work on Compiz/Xgl you might be upset to see the main guy out of a job.

But, if you'd read the parent of my post you'd see I wasn't talking about anything more than people getting upset about software.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Tinfoil hats
by segedunum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Tinfoil hats"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, since Novell funds Mono it would be awfully important to anyone writing .Net applications for *nix.

In what way? Yer, I know it confirms what some of us have suspected in what Novell have signed up to with the usage of the ECMA stuff in relation to Mono. But in what way is it going to help anyone, other than you won't be able to use Mono without fear or write stuff for it unless you are using Suse or are covered by this agreement (and Novell back Microsoft over this)?

If you work on Compiz/Xgl you might be upset to see the main guy out of a job.

It's called an open source project. The source code is there, so provided people want to work on it it doesn't matter who gets made redundant.

Besides, in what way is this relevant? Does Microsoft have some hold over Compiz and XGL as well? Did they invent 3D desktops or something?

But, if you'd read the parent of my post you'd see I wasn't talking about anything more than people getting upset about software.

Why are you here then? People are entitled to comment on it, as many people do on many subjects and with many events in many different industries and disciplines. This is a fairly major event in the IT industry, and as people have pointed out, isn't what it appears.

I don't get your point, and don't see that you have one.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Tinfoil hats
by ma_d on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Tinfoil hats"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

I think you're reading too much into what Microsoft is getting here. All it's getting is one piece of conjecture to throw at you in court. If they go to court on nothing more than "Novell signed something saying we can't sue them, so they must think they're violating our patents, so this open source software must be violating them too." That's not going to get you very far, you'll need something more.

What Mono gets is protection for itself. So, you don't have to worry about Microsoft suing Mono (or I suppose you don't have to worry as much).


You're reading into everything I say. I say upset and you translate it to "utterly devastated and ruined." You counter my "upset" with "it's open source so they can still work on it." Of course they can still work on it, however, being human I imagine they have emotions reguarding their colleagues loss of a job!

Stop reading in. I'm not saying very much at all, but you're trying to push it to be some grand conclusive statement.

I made the statement about my parent comment because that was the context, and the other guy read into it JUST LIKE YOU ARE NOW.
There needs to be a negative vote reason for reading into things.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Tinfoil hats
by dsmogor on Sat 4th Nov 2006 20:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Tinfoil hats"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Those matters are much more important on the PR field.
PR wise by delivering an approved and controled way of using it's IP in OSS MS just oppened itself a way of suing other players. And PR is of primary concern for a company which is under continous legal scurtiny.

Besides they pitched two most important Linux players against each others.

The new Linux strategy at MS guy knew what he was doing when he said that MS started to embrace the Linux threat as they are now competing against particural (caual) companies not some, revolucionist grassroots movement.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Tinfoil hats
by anda_skoa on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tinfoil hats"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

Geeks tend to think that technology is the center of the universe.

That's because it is. Without technology we would still be living in caves.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Tinfoil hats
by Sphinx on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tinfoil hats"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Almost as farfetched as the concept of, "normal", people.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Tinfoil hats
by dylansmrjones on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 19:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tinfoil hats"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Normal people scares me ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Tinfoil hats
by dsmogor on Sat 4th Nov 2006 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tinfoil hats"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

They'd certainly care if they were more aware when they overpay for it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Tinfoil hats
by dylansmrjones on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Tinfoil hats"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually software is important, considering how much control software has over the life.

With that said I still don't see the problem with the MS-Novell deal.

There _is_ money in Open Source, so why shouldn't MS be interested? They have everything to gain and nothing to lose. I'm sure MS can see a reasoable chance for profit - or they wouldn't do it. And I can't get myself worked up just because of profit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Tinfoil hats
by dsmogor on Sat 4th Nov 2006 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tinfoil hats"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

We certainly doen't have to be worried about MS' future. But thet's not the point. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Tinfoil hats
by MORB on Sat 4th Nov 2006 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Tinfoil hats"
MORB Member since:
2005-07-06

Given that developing software is my job and most of my life time is spent at my job, yes, software is a pretty important part of my life.

Therefore, anything that will make my day-to-day life at work harder (for instance, stupid corporate politics that will shove awfum microsoft products down my throat for some more years) is something that pisses me off.

People who don't care about software are the people who let microsoft take control of the software industry, and they are the people who make my day to day life harder as a software developer.

But it's probably easy to just dismiss software as unimportant when it's not part of your job and you don't have to deal with it everyday.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Tinfoil hats
by twenex on Sat 4th Nov 2006 18:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Tinfoil hats"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Yeah, I agree. You'd think there are more important matters in a person's life than software

Yeah, like data. And making sure you still own it in 10 years.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Tinfoil hats
by egon_spengler on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:31 UTC in reply to "Tinfoil hats"
egon_spengler Member since:
2005-11-20

And in most of the cases, it proves quite correct.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Tinfoil hats
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Tinfoil hats"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Actually, not true. Conspiracy theories far outnumber actual conspiracies. People have been saying for years that MS was going to exercise its patent rights with respect to Mono, Samba, and other technologies -- but it never happened.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Tinfoil hats
by segedunum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tinfoil hats"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

People have been saying for years that MS was going to exercise its patent rights with respect to Mono, Samba, and other technologies -- but it never happened.

Against Samba and other open source stuff, it was simply impractical to do so. Mono is a different kettle of fish since Novell now know what they signed up to with the ECMA stuff they're deriving from.

What Microsoft have here is not necessarily something that they can go around and sue everyone with, but it certainly gives them a green light to scare people with. It also gives them at least some tight control of Novell's customers, since Microsoft can revoke this at any time. Basically, Microsoft are suffocating Novell and using that as a springboard to attack other open source software as well to give them some legitimacy.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Tinfoil hats
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tinfoil hats"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Actually, I disagree. What Novell gains is the ability to say to its customers that it will indemnify them from harm. Red Hat may say that ... but they would have to defend their customers in the event of a patent suit from MS using their bottom line cash. Novell doesn't have to fight that battle or incur that risk; frankly, it was a smart move.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Tinfoil hats
by segedunum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Tinfoil hats"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

What Novell gains is the ability to say to its customers that it will indemnify them from harm.

Yes, harm - from Microsoft. It's like a protection racket. The protection means absolutely nothing, and Microsoft can revoke it at any time.

...but they would have to defend their customers in the event of a patent suit from MS

Why?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Tinfoil hats
by Lakedaemon on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tinfoil hats"
Lakedaemon Member since:
2005-08-07

Excuse me...but it looks like tit just happened :

They used the THREAT to exercise their patent right with respect to Mono, open office, etc... to get a deal...or at least to get a better deal with novel.

Lol..sometimes..the shadow of a disaster can be as powerfull as the disaster itself ;)


If they were intent on NOT using their patent portfolio against linux....the only right move would be to say
"I hereby give up for now and all eternity to sue mono/linux etc with my patent portfolio"


And they didn't, did they...

So..first they just used their patent portfolio in negociation (which is a bit better than in litigation) and they mighht still use it in 5+ year against novell or against over oss people.

just my .02$

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Tinfoil hats
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tinfoil hats"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

If they were intent on NOT using their patent portfolio against linux....the only right move would be to say

"I hereby give up for now and all eternity to sue mono/linux etc with my patent portfolio"

And they didn't, did they...


My point was that conspiracy theorists have been spewing FUD about this issue for years -- but it never materialized. MS's deal with Novell doesn't signify an implied threat to other open source distros: It merely clears up any doubts that Novell shareholders & customers might have once had. Both parties get a lot. MS potentially gets access to UNIX patent IP for its own OS. Novell gets indemnification from harm. Novell isn't a charity. They owe it to their customers and shareholders to stem financial loss. This was a smart move.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Tinfoil hats
by Sphinx on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tinfoil hats"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Just because you can't prove it doesn't mean there is no conspiracy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Tinfoil hats
by hal2k1 on Sat 4th Nov 2006 08:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tinfoil hats"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//People have been saying for years that MS was going to exercise its patent rights with respect to Mono, Samba, and other technologies -- but it never happened.//

Microsoft doesn't have any patent rights over Samba. The Server Message Block protocol on which Samba is based is an IBM invention.

Mono - who cares? I don't run Mono.

"Other technologies" ... what other technologies?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Tinfoil hats
by someone on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:41 UTC in reply to "Tinfoil hats"
someone Member since:
2006-01-12

It is amusing to see the usual suspects (Perens, Groklaw, et al) freaking out with conspiracy theories out the wazoo. All that paranoia's going to give someone a stroke. ;)

Well, I find their reactions to be quite reasonable, given MS' track record. There is nothing paranoid about suspecting EEE from MS.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Tinfoil hats
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Tinfoil hats"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

How, exactly, can MS EEE GPL'd code? Face it: It can't. You're spewing paranoia.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Tinfoil hats
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tinfoil hats"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Why was this comment mod'ed down?

"How, exactly, can MS EEE GPL'd code? Face it: It can't. You're spewing paranoia."

It was factual. It didn't contain offensive/abusive language. I'm getting a little sick and tired of fanboys using the mod system to suppress opposing viewpoints.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Tinfoil hats
by dylansmrjones on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Tinfoil hats"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I think the "spewing paranoia" part could do it (and it is offensive, even if it is true - is there a nicer way to put it?). It is (as is obvious from the posts) a quite sensitive topic. More than usual. Wake me up in the morning.. *snores _loudly_*

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Tinfoil hats
by dylansmrjones on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Tinfoil hats"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Can't edit... weird... happens sometimes.

Anyway, just to quote you, tomcat.

"It was factual. It didn't contain offensive/abusive language. I'm getting a little sick and tired of fanboys using the mod system to suppress opposing viewpoints."

/agree

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Tinfoil hats
by molnarcs on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Tinfoil hats"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Some people might consider calling them zealots or paranoids offensive. Actually, calling names like that is simply unnecessary, if you have sound arguments. Many of your posts can easily qualify as "Yes, this comment includes personal attacks" of the mod system, especially if they contain little else besides declaring someone a zealot.

Edited 2006-11-03 20:47

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Tinfoil hats
by twenex on Sat 4th Nov 2006 18:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tinfoil hats"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

According to the law, it can't. However, in this imperfect world, the law takes a backseat to lawyers.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Tinfoil hats
by twenex on Sun 5th Nov 2006 21:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Tinfoil hats"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Dammit, I accidentally modded this comment up. Need to be more careful with those fingers.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Tinfoil hats
by Shaman on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:58 UTC in reply to "Tinfoil hats"
Shaman Member since:
2005-11-15

Microsoft is a convicted criminal and an evil, malingering company which has proven repeatedly that it will do whatever it takes to win market share. Stealing, lying, cheating, bullying - they've done it all and been caught... imagine how much of it they've done that nobody has documented!

That's why many people are "paranoid" all of a sudden. Up until now, Microsoft was only grumbling about how unfair it is that they have to compete with some other philosophy, and suddenly they've stopped grumbling and started talking in legal stanzas.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: Tinfoil hats
by brewmastre on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:20 UTC in reply to "Tinfoil hats"
RE: Tinfoil hats
by g2devi on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:59 UTC in reply to "Tinfoil hats"
g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

No paranoia. The GPL states that you can only distribute GPL software if you give the people you're distributing exactly the same rights as you have. In essense, that means that if Novell's GPL software has patent immunity, everyone else has. Microsoft has stated that commercial distros have to worry about violating MS patents, which indicates that Microsoft's patent grant *is not distributable*. As a result, if Novell starts using some of Microsoft's patents because it thinks it can, their GPL license will be revoked. This basically means that projected should be very wary of any contribution from Novell.

Reply Score: 2

I'll go with what works best...
by Bobmeister on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:30 UTC
Bobmeister
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think that is all an overreaction...but the concerns expressed all over the internet now are valid. But throwing everything out the day after an announcement?

I too have concerns about legal aspects, etc. But overall, as a consumer, I'll use what I think works best. SUSE has worked best for me in the past, and I'll give it the chance in the future. If it becomes even better because of this, then fine, I'll continue using it.

If this deal destroys Novell and/or Microsoft is truly has evil intentions it will become obvious before long. THEN we can throw everything away. I'm not jumping to conclusions.

It's like when a magazine publishes an article that a person doesn't like and then writes to the editor to "cancel my subscription" because of an article that someone doesn't agree with. That's shallow and small-minded.

I feel the same way about this, however I still am no fan of Microsoft...as I have been fighting them for years now.

Hmmmmm....just have to wait and think and see what happens.....because WE can't turn the clock back now....

Reply Score: 5

holywood Member since:
2006-09-25

« If this deal destroys Novell and/or Microsoft is truly has evil intentions it will become obvious before long. THEN we can throw everything away. »

Yeah, this is OpenSource. We still have choice afterall.

Reply Score: 3

deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

I don't think it is over reacting.

It's like when a magazine publishes an article that a person doesn't like and then writes to the editor to "cancel my subscription" because of an article that someone doesn't agree with. That's shallow and small-minded.

No it is not like a magazine publishing a article you didn't like. It would be like a magazine whose focus was equality for all people, entering into a agreement/partnership with the Klan to include white robes with each magazine subscription.
It would be like PETA entering into a agreement/partnership with KFC to sell KFC chicken at all the PETA meetings.
It would be like novell selling out and cashing in, nomore and no less.

Reply Score: 5

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Well put, sir.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'll go with what works best...
by ma_d on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:38 UTC in reply to "I'll go with what works best..."
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Your analogy is completely wrong. The article in the magazine is merely rhetoric. It doesn't affect anyone beyond how they let it affect them.
Law is something wholly different: You can be forced to be affected by it. This is legal, not opinion.

A better analogy would be writing your senator to tell him you'll never vote for him again because of the unconstitutional bill he just voted for.

Realistically the first articles on this will probably be blown way out of proportion. That is, afterall, the easiest way to get cheap marketing (pretend to do something horrible, yet slightly controversial). I don't know where this is going, but the pattern of things, in business, seems to say that it'll probably be mostly meaningless.

However, if I see Novell attempting to dismantle ODF efforts in favor of using Microsoft's latest format, then I'll be very upset (I really can't do anything to them, it's not like I even use any of their products other than Mono).
However, getting a plugin for Microsoft's format (that works) for their pay-only distribution wouldn't bother me at all. But when the lawyers come in and developers get sued, that's the time to boycott Novell. I really don't think they're that stupid though.

Reply Score: 2

miguel Member since:
2005-07-27



However, if I see Novell attempting to dismantle ODF efforts in favor of using Microsoft's latest format, then I'll be very upset (I really can't do anything to them, it's not like I even use any of their products other than Mono).

However, getting a plugin for Microsoft's format (that works) for their pay-only distribution wouldn't bother me at all. But when the lawyers come in and developers get sued, that's the time to boycott Novell. I really don't think they're that stupid though.


We are the largest contributor to OpenOffice outside of Sun, and we have done more to enable collaboration with OpenOffice than any other organization.

But way before this agreement was even in dicsussion, about a year ago we started working on the ECMA TC45 group to improve the Office XML spec.

At the time, we saw one big limitation: we did not really know what the exact semantics for formulas and the actual functions on Excel were. To be compatible we needed this information.

The ODF specification completely sidesteps this issue, there is nothing on the subject, nothing that would help interop. So when Microsoft brought their own spec to ECMA, we took this opportunity to improve the spec and gain knowledge about this.

Read Michael Meeks' blog, where he talks about Jody Goldberg (Gnumeric's maintainer and OpenOffice hacker) participation on the ECMA meetings. At some point, Novell (through Michael and Jody) were the ones that raised the most issues on the spec.

At the time we did not have plans to implement an importer, although Jody wrote one for Gnumeric as a spare time activity on a plane flying back home, but it resulted in a lot of information that previously we did not know about to be released as part of ECMA.

The agreement will ensure that we implement a mechanism to interoperate with Microsoft's own format, and my guess is that this will be open sourced, and that we will present this contribution back to OpenOffice.org just like we do.

I can understand a fight between Emacs and Vi, and Java vs C#, but a fight over XML markups is something I have trouble grasping.

Miguel.

Reply Score: 1

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

> but a fight over XML markups is something I have trouble grasping.

Well if the markups are 100% mappable between each other (including or actually underlining presentation) the fight is indeed pointless. Otherwise (which is almost allways the reality imo), one has to win killing the other or be killed.

Reply Score: 1

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

We are the largest contributor to OpenOffice outside of Sun, and we have done more to enable collaboration with OpenOffice than any other organization.

Yeah, until now. Thankyou so much.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It's like when a magazine publishes an article that a person doesn't like and then writes to the editor to "cancel my subscription" because of an article that someone doesn't agree with. That's shallow and small-minded.

There is nothing small-minded about that. The only small-minded thing here, would be the one who called the ex-subscriber for small-minded.

Subscribing to a magazine which publishes articles you don't like is out right stupid. It's like eating shit, because you know you don't like the taste.

Sooo.. You either chose a bad analogy or have a warped sense of being small-minded.

Reply Score: 2

Buying FUD
by chemical_scum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:31 UTC
chemical_scum
Member since:
2005-11-02

From the Novell FAQ

Under the patent agreement, both companies will make up-front payments in exchange for a release from any potential liability for use of each others patented intellectual property, with a net balancing payment from Microsoft to Novell reflecting the larger applicable volume of Microsoft's product shipments. Novell will also make running royalty payments based on a percentage of its revenues from open source products.

In plain language Microsoft will pay Novell a lot of money in return Novell will pay MS a lesser amount of money which is explicitly defined as "royalty payments based on a percentage of its revenues from open source products" in order to establish a combined FUD/threat of MS patent suit against all other Linux distributions.

Yes it is SCO all over again but more insidious. However I think that MS's claim that by issuing a patent "covenant" they have got round section 7 of the GPL is probably without merit (IANAL) if so Novell has just lost the right to distribute Linux.

Edited 2006-11-03 16:34

Reply Score: 5

v RE: Buying FUD
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:07 UTC in reply to "Buying FUD"
RE[2]: Buying FUD
by dylansmrjones on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Buying FUD"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Well well... either Novell cannot distribute GPL'ed code, or Microsoft cannot sue anyone distributing the sources that Novell also uses. If you spare one person distributing under the GPL you spare every person.

Not that it matters for me living in Denmark and all.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Buying FUD
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 19:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Buying FUD"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

If you spare one person distributing under the GPL you spare every person.

Not true. Novell and MS (like any other company in a similar position) can choose to assert patent rights against one party but not another. In the case of the GPL, a patent suit by MS might require a separate litigant (ie. Red Hat) to remove or modify the code in question; which would, obviously affect Novell. But clearly, it would be in everyone's interests to resolve this situation as quickly as possible, so Novell wouldn't be losing much, if anything.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Buying FUD
by dylansmrjones on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 20:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Buying FUD"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

If Novell is allowed by Microsoft to release something under the GPL despite "violating" a MS-patent, everybody can release that as long as it is based on the sources from Novell. If this is not the case, Novell isn't allowed to release it under the GPL.

But it's pretty much a (or an? I could use a mini-lecture on English (American or British), please) US-problem only.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Buying FUD
by tomcat on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 21:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Buying FUD"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

If Novell is allowed by Microsoft to release something under the GPL despite "violating" a MS-patent, everybody can release that as long as it is based on the sources from Novell. If this is not the case, Novell isn't allowed to release it under the GPL.

Since Novell has contributed only a small amount of code to Linux overall, the scenario you've outlined is far less important than one in which some random third party gets sued by MS for patent infringement. In *that* scenario, the third party could be compelled to remove or modify the sources, which would affect *all* Linux distros, including SUSE.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Buying FUD
by dylansmrjones on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 22:04 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Buying FUD"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The amount of Novell's contribution is irrelevant. Anything GPL'ed distributed by Novell can be distributed by everybody else on equal terms.

If a third party was sued by Microsoft it could become tricky, because either Novell would lose the right to distribute it under the GPL or everybody could distribute the sources from Novell under the GPL despite the sources being identical to those from the third party.

This could become "funny" _if_ it happened. However, I don't think it would happen. Too much bad pr in it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Buying FUD
by tomcat on Mon 6th Nov 2006 16:50 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Buying FUD"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

The amount of Novell's contribution is irrelevant...

If a third party was sued by Microsoft it could become tricky, because either Novell would lose the right to distribute it under the GPL or everybody could distribute the sources from Novell under the GPL despite the sources being identical to those from the third party.


These two statements are at odds. Of course it matters how much Novell contributes -- because its deal with MSFT would exempt whatever code it contributes from patent infringement liability. But since the code surface area contributed by parties other than Novell is so much greater, there's a wider range of patent infringement liability for the entire Linux ecosystem.

Not true. If whoever contributed the code gets sued, Novell -- like other distributions -- has to remove it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Buying FUD
by chemical_scum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Buying FUD"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Nothing paranoid there just a statement of facts. The question of if Novell is in breach of the GPL is complicated and depends a lot on the interpretation of the "covenant" but I pointed out IANAL and that IF Novell was in breach it would no longer be a able to distribute Linux - a fact.

What you guys who go round throwing accusations of of paranoia and 'conspiacy theories" have to realize that this is a tough world out there and an analysis must be based on realpolitik and ask the question Qui bono ?

People said it was a paranoid conspiracy theory that MS was behind the Baystar financing of SCO, but now that's been proven.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Buying FUD
by ma_d on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 19:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Buying FUD"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

The only way to make this a conspiracy is to believe that Novell is trying to destroy Linux (intentionally and knowingly) as well.

To say that Microsoft is conspiring by itself is to admit that you don't know what "conspiracy" is.

I agree though, people throwing accusations of conspiracy in this thread should, mostly, be voted down for insulting the individuals proposing theories about Microsoft's reasoning for doing this.

I'm really sick of the hurling of the words "fanboy" "zealout" and "conspiracy" with no form of argument to back them up.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Buying FUD
by dsmogor on Sat 4th Nov 2006 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Buying FUD"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Novell may be trying to (desperately) save itself at expense of it's direct competitor to whom it was loosing the competitive battle. If the whole ecosystem looses in effect, well they may have more pressing problems. That's the motive that one of the commentaries brought.

Reply Score: 1

Thanks Novell...
by davidl on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:41 UTC
davidl
Member since:
2006-01-04

You've made a deal with Satan himself, and the bill always comes due.

I just *knew* I should've bought a Mac...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Thanks Novell...
by macisaac on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:08 UTC in reply to "Thanks Novell..."
macisaac Member since:
2005-08-28

and apple is so much better in terms of non-litigiousnous and community friendliness how?

Reply Score: 5

tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

He has a history of this sort of thing...

HP fires ‘Microsoft-baiting’ Perens
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/09/09/hp_fires_microsoftbaiting_p...

"HP has fired Bruce Perens - the leading Open Source evangelist and former Debian project lead - for Microsoft-baiting, he says."

Reply Score: 4

Flabbergasted
by segedunum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 16:56 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm lost for words. I've known for a while, and I've been saying, that Novell are an incompetent company that keeps blundering it's way through life until its now almost inevitable demise. However, I didn't know how bad it was until now.

I'm not sure what Novell are trying to protect or do with this deal because basically they are admitting that their software, whether open source or not, is infringing on Microsoft's patents - whatever they happen to be. Eben Moglen is wrong about this, because what this deal is is a covenant not to sue which means you don't list patents.

The only thing that could possibly be a problem here is something like Mono, because I cannot see in any way shape or form how this is going to help all the independent open source software projects out there that go to make up Novell's software. Novell is basically saying that if you use open source software in Novell/Suse software then you're alright, but outside of that they've effectively given Microsoft the green light to say what they like. Novell are not the open source community's friend. I mean, read this:

http://www.microsoft.com/interop/msnovellcollab/patent_agreement.ms...

It has no information about what Microsoft will do, or what Microsoft will give up. It's all about Microsoft promising not to sue Novell's customers, and is an agreement that Microsoft can revoke at any time. Basically, Microsoft have something to really scare Novell's customers with. Who the hell at Novell signed that?!

Incompetence. Sheer incompetence.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Flabbergasted
by miguel on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 20:53 UTC in reply to "Flabbergasted"
miguel Member since:
2005-07-27


http://www.microsoft.com/interop/msnovellcollab/patent_agreement.ms.....

It has no information about what Microsoft will do, or what Microsoft will give up. It's all about Microsoft promising not to sue Novell's customers, and is an agreement that Microsoft can revoke at any time. Basically, Microsoft have something to really scare Novell's customers with. Who the hell at Novell signed that?!


There is not one place in the "Covenant to Customers" that talks about revoking anything.

You might be confused with a different covenant, the developer covenant, where suing Microsoft over patents will revoke the covenant from you, and you are elegible to retaliation.


Miguel.

Reply Score: 1

What are some constructive actions?
by b3timmons on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:13 UTC
b3timmons
Member since:
2006-08-26

Novell cannot help now but be diverted toward cooperating with the most powerful adversary of the free software movement.

Now developers outside of Novell can divert their efforts *away* from anything involving Novell. E.g., improvements to Mono require copyright assignment to Novell. With their new friends, it seems they can take of themselves.

Browser: Lynx/2.8.7dev.1 libwww-FM/2.14 SSL-MM/1.4.1 GNUTLS/1.4.4

Reply Score: 1

THis Anti Novell stuff is a joke
by jakesdad on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:26 UTC
jakesdad
Member since:
2005-12-28

Nobody knows all the details... Nobody apparently wants Linux to inter-operate with Windows. And nobody realizes that OpenSUSE still exists. This only applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise. Get over it. OpenSUSE will just not distributed the modified parts.

I'll still use SUSE... Im more confident it will work in a mixed environment with out all the twiddling... Not that MS doesnt require twiddling ;)

The FSF people are just as bad as MS is portrayed and has acted. If you cant play the game by my rules... Im taking my ball home.

Reply Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Nobody knows all the details...

We know enough, and on what grounds those details are.

Nobody apparently wants Linux to inter-operate with Windows.

It already interoprates well enough as it is. I can transfer files. I can have single-sign on. I can run both Suse and Windows in VMs right now. I didn't need an agreement to be signed to miraculously allow all this to happen.

What is going to be changed by this? The interoperability card is just something they can portray as a benefit. There are definitely no details on that point, and no evidence as to what will be better either.

This only applies to SUSE Linux Enterprise. Get over it. OpenSUSE will just not distributed the modified parts.

Which could be just about anything or everything based on this. And what about people developing the software that Novell uses on other distributions? Does this give Microsoft a green light to threaten these people?

That is absolutely laughable and shows you have no idea how open source software works, or is developed - as Novell obviously doesn't.

Reply Score: 3

linux-it Member since:
2006-07-13

Novell based SLES/SLED10 on SUSE 10.0, not the other way around.

While I must see what it will do in the future, I can assure you that Novell so far has always been reluctant in distributing parts that was not agreed upon towards GPL so I am not sure how that would change all over sudden.

I dislike MS, but maybe, just maybe it will have positive parts in te corporate environment. I Don't know yet.

I'll be watching it closely as we all know MS.

Reply Score: 1

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

First, ...

We know enough, and on what grounds those details are.

and then ...

The interoperability card is just something they can portray as a benefit. There are definitely no details on that point, and no evidence as to what will be better either.

Which is it? You either "know enough" -- or you don't. I think it's the latter.


That is absolutely laughable and shows you have no idea how open source software works, or is developed - as Novell obviously doesn't.

LMFAO! Who am I to put my faith in? Novell? Or Joe Anonymous on an Internet discussion web site? Hmmmm... sorry, my money's on Novell.

Reply Score: 1

Mitarai Member since:
2005-07-28

You are so right!!!

I second that.

Reply Score: 1

jakesdad Member since:
2005-12-28

"Which could be just about anything or everything based on this."

No it would be the parts covered by the pact. Web services, Mono and what not as stated in the Novell Q&A.

You guys are talking out of both sides of your mouths. IF OpenSUSE is a community driven distro, people can fork it. Just like CentOS and RedHat. It's GPL. Novell doesnt own the copyright to that, the developers can do what they want. They just wouldnt be able to use the parts that are covered by this pact. In fact they dont have to fork it they can just keep doing what they want.

Thats part of the problem with the FSF, not OSS. Good enough is enough for them, maybe its not for corporate use.

Reply Score: 1

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//Nobody apparently wants Linux to inter-operate with Windows.//

What are you talking about?

I can read and write MS Office documents. I can even import some data from Access. I can read an write NTFS partitions (ntfs-3g). I can use the same CIFS sever for Windows and Linux machines. I can print to CUPs printers connected to my Linux computers from Windows machines.

I can even run some Windows executable programs on my Linux machine.

What possible bit are you talking about that does not interoperate?

Reply Score: 1

deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

The part where money goes into MS pockets when you read and write MS Office documents, import some data from Access, read an write NTFS partitions, CIFS sever, CUPs printers....
;)

Reply Score: 2

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//The part where money goes into MS pockets when you read and write MS Office documents, import some data from Access, read an write NTFS partitions, CIFS sever, CUPs printers....
;)//

Sigh!

Microsoft does not have patents on these things.

Access is a database, there is more than adequate prior art.

MS Office ... even more so. Office certainly isn't the first Office suite. NTFS is not the first file format. CIFS is IBM's property, if anything. CUPs has absolutely nothing to do with Microsoft ... the interface that CUPs presents is Postscript.

If anything, it is Microsoft software that is liable to infringe in these areas.

BTW, IBM has donated a patent portfolio to Linux, for use in the event that a patent bully attacks Linux.

Reply Score: 1

deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

Sigh!

Microsoft does not have patents on these things.


That was my attempt at humor mostly. Can you tell me what exactly MS does hold patents on or claims to hold the patent on. While NTFS is not the first file format I am sure there are patents related to it.

Reply Score: 1

Didn't sun make a deal?
by zuzzy on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:26 UTC
zuzzy
Member since:
2006-07-19

Didn't sun make a deal with Microsoft as well? I can't say I have seen much from that deal but it doesn't seemed to have hurt sun. Especially given their latest quarter results.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Didn't sun make a deal?
by twenex on Sat 4th Nov 2006 18:57 UTC in reply to "Didn't sun make a deal?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Sun made a deal with Microsoft, yes, but (a) Sun is the only supplier of Solaris and (b) Microsoft don't object to the CDDL. It's clear that they DO still object to the GPL, because they are finding ways "to skirt round it" and to "offer indemnity to users of SuSE Linux" - which under the GPL they can't do without offering indemnity to users of Linux in general.

Reply Score: 4

glad for Novel
by Gadrel on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:34 UTC
Gadrel
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think Novel has shown courage and creative thinking in the last few years. It was the right thing for them to do in order to move forward as a company and I hope it works out. I'm looking forward to some of what Mono will bring to the community.

Reply Score: 1

That's why I love RedHat
by Don T. Bothers on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:39 UTC
Don T. Bothers
Member since:
2006-03-15

RedHat is an opensource company by nature. Throughout its history it has done nothing but opensource. OTOH, Novell is a proprietary monster by nature. If Netware was still flying, they would have never bothered with SuSE or opensource. Novell was brought into open standards, IP, etc. kicking and screaming. They were more than happy pushing IPX and Netware to customers. The only reason they finally bought into opensource to keep their doors open but otherwise they do not really care about opensource. If tommorrow Novell can make more money by pushing proprietary solutions, they will have no problem going that way. Novell feels a lot like Corel to me.

Reply Score: 5

Not validation
by Hands on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:51 UTC
Hands
Member since:
2005-06-30

Just because Perens and the FSF express their opinion it doesn't mean that everyone with the same opinion is instantly validated. No one should be surprised about the statements that were given. Those statements should be taken with as large a grain of salt as any statements about how this will imminently make Novell more successful.

Novell and MS pay lawyers lots of money to make sure that legal arrangements are sound. The FSF doesn't know any more about the actual specifics than you or I. So, while they can say anything they want, any implications that Novell is violating the GPL ar nothing more than that without hard facts. I certainly couldn't care less about what Perens has to say.

I'm not trying to defend Novell. I'm not going to buy Novell stock because of this. SUSE hasn't become my distro of choice because of this. But, I'm not writing SUSE off as a decent tool because of this either.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not validation
by garymax on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:47 UTC in reply to "Not validation"
garymax Member since:
2006-01-23

"Novell and MS pay lawyers lots of money to make sure that legal arrangements are sound..."

Yeah...and this is why Microsoft's lawyers could not keep them from being convicted as a monopolist--twice.

Apparently their lawyers only see the law through Microsoft-colored eyeglasses.

Get a clue!

Reply Score: 2

Ballmer weighs in ...
by Rayz on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:51 UTC
Rayz
Member since:
2006-06-24

Reads suspiciously like a threat.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2050848,00.asp

... think I saw something similar in the Sopranos

Edited 2006-11-03 17:53

Reply Score: 3

This sucks
by Edward on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:53 UTC
Edward
Member since:
2005-09-17

Maybe I should just order PC-BSD now. I would just download it, but the guys from the WISP haven't got thier lazy selves over here yet to hook us up.

Reply Score: 2

Microsoft wins
by Lakedaemon on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:54 UTC
Lakedaemon
Member since:
2005-08-07

Anyway...

If we are to believe the turmoil this deal brough :
Microsoft already wins...

It just spread more FUD about open source and tarnished Novel....

Reply Score: 3

v And the FUDsters emerge...
by Marcellus on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:56 UTC
RE: And the FUDsters emerge...
by segedunum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:01 UTC in reply to "And the FUDsters emerge..."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

It's no secret that Perens and Moglen both hate MS and wouldn't stop at anything to spread their FUD.
Just like their now published comments.


Just like Microsoft have explicitly stated that they want to destroy open source software, and they believe it to be communist - or something. Except Perens and Moglen have stated no such thing regarding Microsoft in terms approaching anything like that.

Moglen at least appears to be a tad bit smarter than Perens, but that doesn't change that what he's spreading now is 100% pure FUD.

I'm sorry, but Perens and Moglen have went into some detail as to why they believe this deal to be a bad thing for everyone apart from Microsoft. You're pitiful little one sentence reply calling it all FUD does absolutely nothing to counter what they are saying.

If you want to counter it then come up with a point by point reply.

Reply Score: 5

...
by Mitarai on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:57 UTC
Mitarai
Member since:
2005-07-28

I think SUSE is gonna be my distro of choise from now on, good move from Novell and Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

Miguel's take
by chemical_scum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 17:58 UTC
chemical_scum
Member since:
2005-11-02

Here is Miguel's take on it as a Novell VP

http://tirania.org/blog/

Edited to point out that his blog contains the following disclaimer:

"This is a personal web page. Things said here do not represent the position of my employer."

Though I think that's there primarily for his political comments.

Edited 2006-11-03 18:09

Reply Score: 1

RE: Miguel's take
by segedunum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:20 UTC in reply to "Miguel's take"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Here is Miguel's take on it as a Novell VP

That was a highly amusing read:

"So today we have secured a peace of mind for Novell customers that might have been worried about possible patent infringements open source deployments. This matters in particular for Mono, because for a long time its been the favorite conversation starter for folks that find dates on Slashdot."

Which confirms that Mono did have patent issues, otherwise why bother with this agreement? And what happens to all those people using and developing for and with Mono on non-Suse distributions? Is that Novell saying "You're not covered and Microsoft can do what they like?" That's effectively what they're saying.

And Office XML:

"At one stage there around 1/2 the open 'issues' wrt. improving disclosure (and hence the spec.) came from Jody. I for one am proud of the job that he did there, an (ongoing) investment that will yield better interoperability for years to come."

Typical silly optimism about trying to get around the problems of Microsoft Office compatibility. What Microsoft gets out of this is that those who would have used ODF will now use OpenXML through Open Office, and over a period of years Microsoft will slowly throttle that support. It's success in Open Office is entirely dependant on how nice Microsoft is, and Microsoft does not want people using Open Office who should be buying Microsoft Office.

From Michael Meeks' blog:

"To re-emphasise this, the value in OpenOffice.org is not what file format it supports (eg. we want to add good Lotus Word Pro support) but that it is truly Free software, that gives people critical Freedoms. An open format is anyhow implicit in the native file format of any openly developed Free software project."

Right. So what happens when Microsoft carefully controls that OpenXML standard, adds stuff that you can only do through Office and carefully reigns in the licensing of OfficeXML? What Michael Meeks is saying there is that ODF is dead as far as they are concerned because they want and need to have better interoperability with Microsoft Office - and they believe Microsoft will simply allow them.

Even better, Novell are thoroughly endorsing a standard that MA had explicitly rejected as a candidate standard for various reasons they had stated.

Gee, thanks Novell. You really get it!

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: Miguel's take
by NotParker on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Miguel's take"
RE[3]: Miguel's take
by g2devi on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Miguel's take"
g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

Easy. Even if the patent grants are identical and none of the companies actually plan on suing:

1) ODF - Rarely modified and only through a lot of consensus. The only official version is the ISO version, so it's easy to track and standardize on.

2) PDF - Almost never modified and there are tons of open source readers and writers for it, so it's easy to track and standardize on.

3) OpenXML - Rubber stamped MS standard (the ECMA agreement pretty much gave this as a take it or leave it deal), which will be obsolete with the next MS release (or even next service pack). Even if it gets resubmitted to the ECMA and ISO, it wouldn't be official with all the official patent grants until the long standardization process finishes. This leaves implementers the job of detecting and changes and reverse engineering any changes. With OpenXML, you're always playing catch up, so it's hard to track and bad to standardize on unless you're Microsoft.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[4]: Miguel's take
by NotParker on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 21:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Miguel's take"
RE[5]: Miguel's take
by g2devi on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 21:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Miguel's take"
g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

I said nothing about evil and I did not insult you so please refrain from insulting me.

I simply pointed out that ODF and PDF are stable standards and that OpenXML is a developing standard which is implemented first in Microsoft's products *before* being published and *before* being approved, so of course anyone other than Microsoft will be playing catch up for OpenXML. Basically, if you want to use OpenXML as a standard, you can only count on Microsoft's apps to load them accurately. ODF or PDF are different because they're stable standards and because adherence to these standards is not determined by any one company, just a standard's body. This means that all ODF and PDF readers and writers are created equal and if anyone, including Adobe creates a PDF file that can't be read by a competitor, Adobe's implementation will be broken, not the competitor's.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[6]: Miguel's take
by NotParker on Sat 4th Nov 2006 00:22 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Miguel's take"
RE[3]: Miguel's take
by segedunum on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Miguel's take"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

1) ODF = Encumbered by Sun Patents
2) PDF = Patented by Adobe
3) OpenXML = Encumbered by Microsoft patents


I see NotParker has crawled out of the woodwork.

ODF: Not patented by Sun at all in any way. Sun merely gave a meaningless agreement that they wouldn't use patents against it. It is fully implementable.

PDF: A fully speced standard that has hundreds of implementations in the world.

OpenXML: A rubber stamped Microsoft standard that has proprietary and closed binary blobs embedded in the open XML that are Microsoft Office specific.

Go figure.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Miguel's take
by netpython on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 21:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Miguel's take"
netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

I see NotParker has crawled out of the woodwork.

roflmao.
+1

Reply Score: 1

v RE[4]: Miguel's take
by NotParker on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Miguel's take"
v RE[5]: Miguel's take
by ronaldst on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 21:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Miguel's take"
RE[5]: Miguel's take
by dylansmrjones on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Miguel's take"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Parts of ODF are encumbered by Suns patents.

Nope. Everybody incl. Microsoft has a royalty-free licence to use ODF.

PDF: An open specification from Adobe. True there is patents involved, but not in the specification. The patents are in Adobes implementation in software. Everybody can use it without fear of being sued. Even in USA.

OpenXML being an ECMA standard is irrelevant. It doesn't make it an open standard. ISO standards are a different thing though.

Reply Score: 2

v RE[6]: Miguel's take
by NotParker on Sat 4th Nov 2006 00:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Miguel's take"
RE[7]: Miguel's take
by deanlinkous on Sat 4th Nov 2006 00:32 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Miguel's take"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

Actually I thought PDF was a fairly open fomat/standard. Adobe then builds on top of that standard to create their implementation. So while adobe adds features that I would call proprietary the basic pdf is basically open and standard.

Similar to flash or should I say .swf file format is fairly open and standard. Features added on top are not.

I think that is how it goes...

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Miguel's take
by dylansmrjones on Sat 4th Nov 2006 00:55 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Miguel's take"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

That's an extension to the PDF-format. The PDF-specification it self is open.

Besides that I don't have to honour DRM'd parts of any file - ever. There's surely some rotten things in the State of Denmark, but somethings are just fine ;)

DRM is legal, but it is only legal to break - aaahh... the pleasure of no DMCA ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Miguel's take
by dylansmrjones on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Miguel's take"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

1) Not encumbered. Free for everybody to use as long as they don't sue other parties for using it.

2) Not encumbered. True, Adobe has some patents, but it's free to use.

3) Encumbered. Strict license, not compatible with most FLOSS licenses. Does most likely not qualify as an open standard according to new Danish law (the work to do after the law was approved is still to be finished).

So we have two open standards and one closed standard.

The "evil" one (if you can use "evil" about a standard... doesn't really make sense) would be OpenXML.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Miguel's take
by miguel on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 21:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Miguel's take"
miguel Member since:
2005-07-27


1) ODF = Encumbered by Sun Patents
2) PDF = Patented by Adobe
3) OpenXML = Encumbered by Microsoft patents

Which of the above is "open" and which one is EVIL?

Any guesses?


Microsoft has actually a covenant for their Office XML specification:

http://www.microsoft.com/office/xml/covenant.mspx

Reply Score: 1

v RE[4]: Miguel's take
by NotParker on Sat 4th Nov 2006 00:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Miguel's take"
RE[5]: Miguel's take
by dylansmrjones on Sat 4th Nov 2006 12:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Miguel's take"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Any evidence for those three claims?

Naah..? Thought so...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Miguel's take
by miguel on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 21:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Miguel's take"
miguel Member since:
2005-07-27



Which confirms that Mono did have patent issues, otherwise why bother with this agreement? And what happens to all those people using and developing for and with Mono on non-Suse distributions? Is that Novell saying "You're not covered and Microsoft can do what they like?" That's effectively what they're saying.



Any piece of interesting software, anything above 100 lines of code is likely going to infringe on a patent someone owns. The chances that software infringes on Microsoft patents are high.

Anywhere you pick in any operating system a patent is probably being infringed, because fundamentally, software patents are broken.

The collaboration agreement between Novell and Microsoft covers all the software that we sell and all the software that Microsoft sells. They dont sue our customers, we dont sue theirs.

To some people, this was a big concern for adopting our software (and as you pride yourself in pointing out), Mono is not a major technology yet. From an economic standpoint, the big revenue killers today for Microsoft is the LAMP stack. Today Mono is a blimp on the radar, but thanks to people like you, that have focused on using Mono as their punching bag Mono is strongly associated with patents, while from a business standpoint what matters the most is what is actually driving revenue.

Anyways, the point is that this agreement allows Novell to sell Linux to a sector of users that would not have adopted it due to this concerns.

There is nothing in this agreement that changes things for those that did not care in the first place, but it is a selling point for those people that did care.



Right. So what happens when Microsoft carefully controls that OpenXML standard, adds stuff that you can only do through Office and carefully reigns in the licensing of OfficeXML? What Michael Meeks is saying there is that ODF is dead as far as they are concerned because they want and need to have better interoperability with Microsoft Office - and they believe Microsoft will simply allow them.


That is not what Michael Meeks said, as usual, your posting technique is limited to attributing to others things that are not there.

You have done it in the past; You did it with the customer covenant on this thread; and you are doing it with Michael.

Typical.

Miguel.

Reply Score: 1

Not more SuSE
by arhuaco on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:17 UTC
arhuaco
Member since:
2006-04-24

I mainly use Debian. But at work I have to use SuSE. Not for the first time, I am _against_ using SuSE.

Reply Score: 2

A bridgehead
by moleskine on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:21 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

There are really two important things in the Novell-Microsoft announcement, potentially at least.

First, the deal establishes the idea that sofware is something that must be licensed and paid for.

Second, the deal establishes that software patents are seen to reign supreme in every aspect of computing. Interestingly, this deal could be seen as a monoply using its dominance in one area to gain an unfair advantage in another area, but by using software patents rather than cross-selling.

These are the two key drivers of everything Microsoft is and does. The thinking is surely that establishing these ideas in the F/OSS world will eventually bring the whole F/OSS world round to the "Microsoft way". Microsoft's sinister follow-up announcement - that it would be seeking talks about patents with other key Linux players - is a tacit admission of this.

I think it's important to be open-minded and see what the Microsoft-Novell deal actually brings: judge them by what they do, not what they say, etc. But overall this doesn't sound very good news for the F/OSS world and to my mind is an attempt to reel it in. The folks who may be feeling complete chumps are the community of freelancers around OpenSuSE. What useful idiots they now seem to have been taken for.

Reply Score: 5

RE: A bridgehead
by twenex on Sun 5th Nov 2006 21:50 UTC in reply to "A bridgehead"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

There are really two important things in the Novell-Microsoft announcement, potentially at least.

First, the deal establishes the idea that sofware is
something that must be licensed and paid for.


And precisely WHY is it that Microsoft should have the power to decide whether *my software* should be licensed and paid for?

I don't know whether Congress is the opposite of progress, but Microsoft sure as hell are.

Reply Score: 1

Novell and IBM
by Anonymous Coward on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:23 UTC
Anonymous Coward
Member since:
2005-07-06

I wonder how this is going to affect the IBM/Novell relationship, since Microsoft has openly stated that they still see IBM as their largest competitor.

http://www.novell.com/news/press/archive/2003/11/pr03069.html

It's a classic... is the friend of my enemy my enemy?

I guess I'll just stick to the Shuttleworth and Companie's offerings... it's a safe bet that if it goes sour, I can just switch my apt repositories to Debian like they were before Ubuntu came along.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Novell and IBM
by elsewhere on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 20:24 UTC in reply to "Novell and IBM"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

I wonder how this is going to affect the IBM/Novell relationship, since Microsoft has openly stated that they still see IBM as their largest competitor.

If there's any negative impact to IBM, it's only in that MS-backed interoperability will slightly erode the value of IBM's enterprise expertise in integrating disparate systems. But IBM is the largest reseller of both Microsoft and Novell software, so I don't think anyone is going to be parting ways.

When you're the size of IBM or Microsoft, you learn to accept that your partners are often your competitors, and you deal accordingly.

Reply Score: 1

ms/novell
by happycamper on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:39 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

Microsoft also promises not to wield its patent portfolio against SUSE Linux.


Does this mean microsoft wants wield it's patent portfolio against the other linux distros?

Edited 2006-11-03 18:40

Reply Score: 2

RE: ms/novell
by Mitarai on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 18:42 UTC in reply to "ms/novell"
Mitarai Member since:
2005-07-28

If that is the case then I know I'll be safe using SUSE and not other distro, because you know, some people use Linux by choice no because they aprove GPL.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: ms/novell
by twenex on Sun 5th Nov 2006 21:52 UTC in reply to "RE: ms/novell"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Dream on. If Microsoft wipes the floor with everyone except SuSE, just what do you think they'll do next? Wipe the floor WITH SuSE? Surely not.

Reply Score: 1

looncraz
Member since:
2005-07-24

From MS - Novell Agreement, Covenant to Customers:
Microsoft reserves the right to update (including discontinue) the foregoing covenant pursuant to the terms of the Patent Cooperation Agreement between Novell and Microsoft that was publicly announced on November 2, 2006; however, the covenant will continue as to specific copies of Covered Products distributed by Microsoft for Revenue[emphasis added] before the end of the Term.

Out of that excerpt, the last sentence has the most bearing.

I am not a lawyer, but, to me at least, this says that Microsoft, at its own discretion, may go ahead and sue Novell, its customers, cancel this contract, murder the dogs so-to-speak, and STILL GET PAID by Novell during the remainder of the 5 year agreement. I did not find ANY promise of payment to Novell in the aforementioned cases within the agreement:

http://www.microsoft.com/interop/msnovellcollab/patent_agreement.ms...

Other language hinted at WPA-Linux-style, requiring either the entire system to be locked after 180 days on customer machines (without Novell, thereby MS, making money), or perhaps just certain conflicting technologies (depends on where in the system the technology in question lies).

I think this will only apply to business / corporate transactions and product inclusions in these versions beyond the Free versions. The Free versions of SUSE Linux will likely continue unless Novell finds a way out the GPL, by means of a source fork, if that would even be possible, or perhaps not-so-blatantly by just skirting around using legal prose such as that affixed to the top of this post.

Personally, I don't see much chance of Novell getting away from the GPL, so I would expect non-commerce-centric versions of SUSE to continue unabated and, likely, barely affected by this agreement.

However, product activation at any level in Linux is probably going to get at least a few people flaming, with some possible exceptions (such as application level activation, i.e. serial keys/codes, etc...).

This agreement may only make it SEEM that MS has the level of control and influence as seems be...
but I kinda doubt it.

I think we are just going to have to wait and see.

--The loon

Edited 2006-11-03 18:53

Reply Score: 1

Why would Microsoft be doing this?
by ma_d on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 19:09 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

Everyone is proposing, so far, that Microsoft is doing this to damage FOSS. While I fear this too, I don't see how it's going to get them very far (but maybe it's just a small piece of a large puzzle?).

What I see as more likely is a political ploy to get the EC off their back. They're in being taken to court for anti-competitive practices, so now they're playing "buddy buddy" with their competition on the things that really aren't very important (Office formats, patents they probably couldn't use anyway).

Does anyone else suspect they will be soon telling the Europeans that the European courts are suing an innocent company and then tout their agreements to interoperate as proof?

Reply Score: 2

netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

What I see as more likely is a political ploy to get the EC off their back.

Novell is an European firm?
Thought so.Would have been the case if SuSE was still a german firm which we all know isn't the case anymore.

and then tout their agreements to interoperate as proof?

Is there an agreement with the EU?

What's the gain for MS.Know that and know what's going to happen.

Reply Score: 1

uh
by deanlinkous on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 19:12 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

people throwing accusations of conspiracy in this thread should, mostly, be voted down for insulting the individuals proposing theories about Microsoft's reasoning for doing this.

rewrote to be:

people proposing theories of conspiracy in this thread should, mostly, be voted down for having a different theory than the individuals proposing theories about non-conspiracy reasoning for doing this. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: uh
by ma_d on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 19:19 UTC in reply to "uh"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Incorrect. Conspiracy is generally considered to be something done by people who are at least a little off. It has a very negative connotation, and those saying it are using it derrogatorily (taking advantage of the negative connotation). This is an insult to character, and that's reason enough for a negative vote.

I've not seen any real conspiracies proposed yet. Maybe I missed one? But did anyone mention two parties collaborating for some evil deed? No, it's all been suggestions about what Microsoft's strategy may be (Microsoft is one party).

So people throw the conspiracy flag in to try and make those who are suggesting these strategies of Microsoft look as if they're typical conspiracy theorists looking for alien spacecraft in New Mexico.

Reply Score: 2

the new sco...
by sergio on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 19:27 UTC
sergio
Member since:
2005-07-06

Novell is the new SCO.

Microsoft will use Novell to destroy Red Hat.

Reply Score: 2

Bottom Line
by Headrush on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 19:33 UTC
Headrush
Member since:
2006-01-03

Until the all details are know, its hard to say where this agreement is going to lead.

So all we can do is look at past history, and of all these parterships/agreements MS has made with various companies, how often does it ultimately benefit the other company? Not very often. Almost always MS comes out the long term winner. You have to applaud the tactics since it is legal, lets just hope things happen different this time and Novell and the Linux community can benefit.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Bottom Line
by twenex on Sun 5th Nov 2006 21:54 UTC in reply to "Bottom Line"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

You have to applaud the tactics since it is legal,

Erm, no I don't. I'm not going to start applauding extortion if extortion becomes legal, am I?

Reply Score: 1

JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

The GPL makes it clear that you can't have patent licensing exclusivity on GPL software. If a patent is licensed to GPL software for one party, it's automatically licensed to all users/distributors of GPL software. Otherwise the Licensor and Licensee are both in violation of the GPL.

So legally speaking, MS might have inadvertently nullified their patents, as they pertain to GPL software. Novell does not own the code. They use code made by others. So if MS licensed their patents on Novell GPL code, they've licensed it to everyone.

Also, if MS wants to sue other commercial entities that redistribute Linux (that are not Novell), or sue customers that use non-SuSE Linux distros, or paid Linux developers not working for Novell (or on SuSE specifically), let 'em. I'd welcome it.

For one, they'd instantly have to deal with IBM, and their largest patent portfolio in the world, not to mention Oracle (who are now distributors of Linux), HP (who have a big hardware/services business based on Linux), Red Hat, and others. IBM has a multi-billion dollar hardware and services business based on Linux, and they're not about to let that get screwed by MS/Novell, nor are they going to tie their Linux strategy to one Linux company, Novell, particularily being that Novell is now MS's bitch. If MS wants to sue non Novell Linux devs/companies/users, they will bring upon themselves a patent jihad from IBM, or Oracle, etc.

Two, MS will instantly re-open anti-trust problems they've been fighting in Europe and Asia.

Three, they will instantly piss off a large amount of their existing customers. 90% of the enterprise Linux market is Red Hat, much of which has mixed Linux/Windows environments.

Four, MS has been trying to change it's image, because they are realizing that being a decent citizen can be good for business. They don't need the huge PR hit a patent lawsuit against innocent Linux users/devs would bring.

Try as they might, MS can't tell the whole world it can't use Linux. Linux is here to stay, it's a major part of most corporate IT environments, and MS is actually realizing. I think they are just trying to co-opt it, and get in the game, otherwise risk losing business. Thus, I kinda think MS actually does want to play nice, because it's to their own benefit.

Reply Score: 2

g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

If the agreement is "MS licenses Novell to ship LGPLed/GPLed software", then you're right. OTOH, if the agreement is "MS promises not to sue Novell", then Novell has committed suicide since all MS needs to do is to sue a minor player like Yoper Linux and the LGPL/GPL's termination clause would kick in for Novell (since Novell knowingly shipped software that was incompatible with the GPL).


From Ballmer what said (see http://www.linuxtoday.com/infrastructure/2006110301626NWMSLL ) "Essentially, If you're using non-SUSE Linux, then I'd say the answer is yes [you are liable for MS patents]" apparently Novell *doesn't* have the right to ship GPLed code that infringes on MS patents, so the agreement can only hurt Novell.

Reply Score: 1

I hope I'm wrong about this
by tristan on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 20:08 UTC
tristan
Member since:
2006-02-01

I'm a bit confused about one thing, regarding Microsoft "promising not to sue Novell's customers".

If Novell infringes Microsoft's patents, then they can get sued. I don't agree with software patents, but I can understand that much.

But on what grounds could MS possibly sue a *customer* of Novell? The customer has no way of knowing what's in the software they've bought; it's not their responsibility.

Let's say Ford infringes on a Volkswagen patent on part of a gearbox. Does that mean that VW gets to sue every person who bought one of the Ford models in question?

Americans: no offence, but your legal system is f*cking crazy.

Reply Score: 4

Business Realities
by elsewhere on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 21:00 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

I suspect this goes back to Novell's acquisition of the infamous Commerce One patents for B2B and web service technologies. If Microsoft got capped in the knees by the pathetic Eolas patent for plugins in IE, then these one must have given them a serious case of the willies.

Couple that with the spectre of patent infringment that has been hanging over mono, a project that Novell has almost irrevokably committed it's enterprise strategy on for better or worse.

Would Novell sue MS? Would MS sue Novell? Who the hell knows? Nobody can even point to specific validates examples of patent infringment in either camp. And the fact that this agreement doesn't even specify which "infringements" Novell and Microsoft customers are protected against doesn't help.

At the end of the day, both companies made a deal with the devil. Microsoft has been forced to provide a very high-profile acknowledgement and even an endorsement of the validity in linux and OSS solutions in the enterprise space. Novell has been forced, once again, into bed with a partner who's ultimate goal is to erradicate them. So basically two competitive companies have achieved a compromise with each other with both of them hoping they're getting the balance of benefit from this new relationship. It's nothing new in the business world.

I don't think this patent "convenant" is going to be applied blindly to GPL software. I suspect this is more about mono, and while I agree Novell's "royalty" payments to MS may invalidate the GPL for mono, Novell holds all copyright assignment anyways and can re-license mono in any way they see fit. Such as a shared source but non-GPL/LGPL version that indemnifies Novell customers but not necessarily the community in general. I don't really think that matters, since Novell seems to be the only major distribution I see trumpeting mono as the future for OSS enterprise development.

Samba? The EU is already breathing down Microsoft's neck about opening their protocols, this is simply their way of complying while making it look like they're contributing.

Active Directory and eDirectory interoperability? Certainly. Microsoft knows that there are those holdouts refusing to ditch eDirectory for ActiveDirectory so this is a reasonable compromise, and if you can properly integrate linux at a high level with ActiveDirectory you strengthen AD's role overall. If anything I suspect this could be Novell's biggest gamble because their entrenchment within that loyal but dwindling customer base is their biggest single asset right now and the only thing paying the bills.

Document compatibility? I think that translates into Novell sponsoring devleopment of OpenXML compatibility into OOo. In the space Novell is targeting, MS compatibility weighs higher than open document standards, and this helps MS confuse the issue of standard suitability.

And with the virtualization gambit, Microsoft is simultaneously capping Red hat by throwing their "acccreditation" behind Novell while at the same time capping VMWare by throwing their weight behind Suse/Xen, which stirs the pot enough to buy Microsoft enough time to develop and release their own technology.

I think this whole issue in general is being blown out of proportion. This isn't about Novell selling out linux to Microsoft, that is simply impossible. Mono maybe, but not linux and the core components. I don't even truly believe it's about the patent indemnity, Novell has already offered that to enterprise customers ever since the SCO debacle began. And which Microsoft customers are losing sleep at night worrying about patent infringements in MS technology? That's simply a tempest in a teapot. Besides, MS already faces the risk of retaliatory patent suits from the OIN if they attack a linux/GPL project, there just isn't a fancy contract and handshake behind it, simply an implied threat.

The conspiracy theories are amusing, but let's keep them grounded in reality. There's logic behind what Novell did (you don't have to agree with it, but there is valid business logic there), and from Microsoft's angle this is simply a bountiful public relations exercise yielding little risk.

Now, whether Novell is strong or smart enough to hold their own against the gorilla is a different story, but virtually every company in this industry with enterprise aspirations has to deal with Microsoft at some point, and that often becomes the make or break moment. At least Novell has the advantage of having been beaten down once, hopefully they'll approach it a little smarter this time.

I'm doubtful though. Wish I could say otherwise, but I'm just not sure.

Reply Score: 1

I dunno
by atari05 on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 21:11 UTC
atari05
Member since:
2006-06-05

I say keep your enemies closer


Yeah I'm a bit cautious of this "agreement" but I will continue to look to Novell/SUSE as a solution. I'm sure this is more from an enterprise perspective


2 cents

Reply Score: 1

mono is not free......
by collinm on Fri 3rd Nov 2006 23:10 UTC
collinm
Member since:
2005-07-15

novell reconize ms patent....

mono is not free and can't be include in a distribution...

Reply Score: 1

RE: mono is not free......
by twenex on Sun 5th Nov 2006 22:03 UTC in reply to "mono is not free......"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

That was modded down? Abuse!

Reply Score: 1

garymax
Member since:
2006-01-23

If there have been concerns about Linux and MS patents why did MS wait until Linux became a standard in the data center to start these deals? Sounds like mp3 all over again.

I do not think Linux will be able to stand up to MS in the face of patents. I do not agree with all of the senseless patents that software companies file; however, if MS starts to sue or bring litigation to other Linux distributors besides those who have the MS blessing, there is little anyone can do but sit back and watch these companies die at the hands of patents and litigation.

Linux as we now know it is doomed and will die a slow death from here on out.

As much as I love Linux and open source, the open source community should have been aware of these possible infringements. And we have no one to blame but ourselves.

And the FSF will have no ammunition to use in the face of patent litigation. GPL explanations by a small band of optimistic, volunteer lawyers will not be able to save Linux from patent litigation.

We may as well get used to the idea of Vista from here on out--it may be the only option after a few more months.

It's funny how MS can extract payment from an operating system that they neither originated nor contributed to.

Our patent system in the USA is broken and needs reform.

Linux: R.I.P

(Then again, I hope I am wrong about all of this!!!!!!!!!)

Edited 2006-11-04 03:42

Reply Score: 2

...
by deanlinkous on Sat 4th Nov 2006 06:34 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

[QUOTE]The distributors of other versions of Linux cannot assure their customers that Microsoft won't sue for patent infringement. "If a customer says, 'Look, do we have liability for the use of your patented work?' Essentially, If you're using non-SUSE Linux, then I'd say the answer is yes," Ballmer said.

"I suspect that [customers] will take that issue up with their distributor," Ballmer said. Or if customers are considering doing a direct download of a non-SUSE Linux version, "they'll think twice about that," he said.[/QUOTE]

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2050848,00.asp?kc=EWEWEMNL1030...

Reply Score: 1

PrimalDK
Member since:
2005-07-12

Microsoft has only ever tried to Mono-polize on everything to their own benefit, as most companies will do once they've grown beyond a certain size. The company's "goodwill" stretches as far as money can buy, no more, no less, and any opportunity to further their interests (income), be it crush an opponent or lie about "the facts", they will pursue relentlessly. This, they have proven time and time again.

Where some companies might wave a banner reading "Do no evil" and try their best to adhere to this rule, hard as it may be, others will wave their cape to gain the bull's attention, only to deal a lethal stab in its back once it's under the wing of Big Brother. Microsoft, to the best of my knowledge, belongs to the latter category, and I don't see any reason why this should have changed in the past week.

Reply Score: 2

If you can't beat em join em...
by Southern.Pride on Sat 4th Nov 2006 21:54 UTC
Southern.Pride
Member since:
2006-09-14

I think Novell did the right thing, at least they are working towards the customer instead of sticking their heads in the sand like RedHat.

Reply Score: 1