Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Nov 2006 11:24 UTC
Novell and Ximian Microsoft will pay Novell USD 348 million up front, but Novell will return USD 200 million of that amount over five years. The specific numbers came in an a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made by Novell late Tuesday. "The financial commitments Microsoft is making as part of this agreement are significant," company CEO Ron Hovsepian said in a statement. In related news, Microsoft has denied that its patent deal with Novell is in breach of the GPL or will automatically spread Microsoft's patent protection to other Linux distributions.
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It's a joke, except nobodyís laughing.
by Anon on Wed 8th Nov 2006 11:51 UTC
Anon
Member since:
2006-01-02

Microsoft has so much damn money to throw around, $500 million or so, is NOTHING. They probably make that in interest each week.

I mean, from face value, the whole concept of paying $348 to Novell, and then for Novell to just pay a portion of it back seems rather pointless given MS could have just paid less in the first place (basic present value math).

The point is though, Novell is a complete and utter joke. MS obviously wanted to see how easy it was to Ďplay withí the Linux community (or at least, a Linux Company), and as some other poster said, Iíll bet MS execs are shaking their heads in dismay at how easy it was. Ridiculous.

Red Hat might not be entirely right saying theyíll be the only real Linux Company around in a years time, but I canít see Novellís existence being much more than to sit around and pay MS back itís own money (especially after theyíve just alienated their last two customers).

Meh. Novell, you disgust me.

Reply Score: 5

stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

I mean, from face value, the whole concept of paying $348 to Novell, and then for Novell to just pay a portion of it back seems rather pointless given MS could have just paid less in the first place (basic present value math).

It's called investment-return. If Novell needs lots of capital for squashing RedHat (or something) then it expects to make a return on the money. Some(Most?) of this return will then be passwd back to Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

Why so hard on Novell?
by Jody on Wed 8th Nov 2006 11:53 UTC
Jody
Member since:
2005-06-30

People are saying that this deal is Novell giving legitimate reason to question Linux IP, but I don't think Novell was losing sleep over it anyway, I think for them it had more to do with ensuring MS would not go after them later on for their development role in Mono.

I think it was probably MS that went to Novell and not the other way around.

MS is looking to protect themselves as well as offer SuSE for their virtualization solutions. MS is going to be giving away coupons for SuSE/Novell Linux support as part of the deal.

Also, the $210 million Novell paid to acquire SuSE in the first place should put the $308 million MS threw into this deal into perspective.

Legal immunity from MS, a distribution deal, and $308 mil bonus, like if you owned Novell you wouldn't take that deal?

This would only violate GPL if Novell included proprietary software, I don't think there is any clause against "lets agree not to take each other to court over IP patents".

I was a little surprised to see some usually logical people like Parens and Havoc take such strong stances against Novell over this (although Havoc is employed by RH)

PS. CNET has some details on the deal here: http://news.com.com/Microsoft+paying+Novell+308+million+for+Linux+p...

Edited 2006-11-08 12:05

Reply Score: 5

RE: Why so hard on Novell?
by jakesdad on Wed 8th Nov 2006 12:41 UTC in reply to "Why so hard on Novell?"
jakesdad Member since:
2005-12-28

the FSF people think its all about them.. They dont realize when they start dictating the rules they are no better than the Proprietary companies... No matter who they are.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Redeeman on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Why so hard on Novell?"
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

and whom, from the FSF have dictated anything? please enlighten me

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Ford Prefect on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Why so hard on Novell?"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Are you joking?

How could the FSF do things like Vendor Lock-in, one of the main concepts of many proprietary companies? Just by setting up their rules they hope other people apply, too? Sure not.

The FSF is important as it has a critical watch on this stuff. Nothing less and nothing more - it can't prevent Novell from doing this deals or someone from _not_ using their new GPL version.


All the FSF does, wether you call it rules or not, are in fact nothing more worth than suggestions. And that's because the FSF gave away most of their rights (on the GNU software, that is) in the first place!

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?
by ThawkTH on Wed 8th Nov 2006 19:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?"
ThawkTH Member since:
2005-07-06

Just makes me wonder - can the FSF be guilty of vendor Lock-Out?

I mean, maybe there's no vendor lock-in...But...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why so hard on Novell?
by andrewg on Wed 8th Nov 2006 12:49 UTC in reply to "Why so hard on Novell?"
andrewg Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think his blog was harsh at all. From his blog

"In Novell's world, if I write something and GPL it, Novell will try to convince customers to buy support from Novell instead of from me (the original author) because of some nebulous, unspecified, almost-certainly-bullshit "IP issues" hinted at by Microsoft and legitimized by Novell for the price of $348 million."

Sounds right on the money to me.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Why so hard on Novell?
by 2fargone on Wed 8th Nov 2006 12:57 UTC in reply to "Why so hard on Novell?"
2fargone Member since:
2006-02-20

Because what they are doing it trying to make GPL software friendly for Novell customers and unfriendly to the community.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Jody on Wed 8th Nov 2006 13:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Why so hard on Novell?"
Jody Member since:
2005-06-30

Because what they are doing it trying to make GPL software friendly for Novell customers and unfriendly to the community.

That is pretty broad, could you give some kind of supporting logic for this opinion?

Are people walking around saying: "Well if MS isn't planning to sue Novell then I am going to quit using GPL"

At worst it could create a "grass is greener on the Novell side cause we are oh-so-afraid of MS suing us for using Linux" but if the sky rocket sales figures for SCO's Linux license are any indication I really don't think many companies are afraid using Linux would somehow become a legal liability.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?
by 2fargone on Wed 8th Nov 2006 13:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?"
2fargone Member since:
2006-02-20

The biggest problem is Novell uses the community's software but acted in a very negative way towards the community.

"At worst it could create a "grass is greener on the Novell side cause we are oh-so-afraid of MS suing us for using Linux" "

You answered your own question. The spirit of the GPL is sharing. How does this work with that spirit? If I take a copy of OpenSUSE and gut it, rebrand it as my distro, where's my protection? And as a patent violation, I can't even legally posess that software let alone use or distribute it. But not if I'm a Novell customer (because Novell has a short term no sue covenant with Microsoft (and what does Novell think is going to happen at the end of that SHORT TERM?! )) which may or may not be a violation* of Clause 7 of the GPL, a license Novell accepted to use the community's software.

That's what's wrong.

*If it is a violation, then Novell is screwed. If not, then MS can't use this FUD in the future because if they do, it'll prove this was a GPL violation and MS would be open to Novell suing them (cause you can bet Novell will never admit this was a patent license).

All in all, it's a community and Novell did something that was very anti-community. They shouldn't be too surprised the community in general is upset.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Bit_Rapist on Wed 8th Nov 2006 16:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?"
Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

The spirit of the GPL is sharing. How does this work with that spirit? If I take a copy of OpenSUSE and gut it, rebrand it as my distro, where's my protection?

You don't get any protection. The GPL grants you rights to the source code, which you've got.

The GPL dosen't grant you rights to any agreements between companies.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Redeeman on Wed 8th Nov 2006 16:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?"
Redeeman Member since:
2006-03-23

the gpl grants you that if the software is distributed, is covered by some patent, it must be licensed for ALL to freely use, or not at all.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Bit_Rapist on Wed 8th Nov 2006 17:00 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?"
Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

the gpl grants you that if the software is distributed, is covered by some patent, it must be licensed for ALL to freely use, or not at all.

I think that is the real confusion here for most people, the patent issue.

As of right now I know of no court case involving patent IP in linux. Its all speculation until a court case takes place.

Novell and MS can make agreements about not suing each other all day long, that has nothing to do with Linux or the GPL until its proven in a court of law that a patent is actually infringed by linux.

Thats my take on the situation anyway

Edited 2006-11-08 17:14

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Because what they are doing it trying to make GPL software friendly for Novell customers and unfriendly to the community.

That is pretty broad, could you give some kind of supporting logic for this opinion?


They are allowing Novell to violate (alleged) patents (we haven't actually heard of ONE yet that Linux may be violating, which is odd considering the descriptions of patents are in the public domain) using code distributed under the GPL - the distribution whereof therefore cannot be restricted - whilst threatening other Linux companies over the same patents.

That's a bit like saying Person A is allowed to violate law 1 but Person B isn't, isn't it?

Not only that, but I can point to at least one patent that MS are violating if they haven't paid Apple a licence to use it - the patent for zooming (maximizing and minimizing) a window. So they are in breach of patent law already, but want to sue others for the same?!

What I'd like to know is exactly how MS thinks it is not violating Section 7 or any other of the GPL - "No we aren't" is not an argument. MS is also being much more tight-lipped on specifics than Novell - which may well be an indication that they know they've screwed Novell and/or the wider Linux community over, and they aren't telling. Indeed, if they haven't and their intent is honest, then they gain nothing by hiding it and everything, including credibility in the FOSS community, from showing their hand. OTOH, if they remain tight-lipped, they throw the Linux community into consternation, which, again, is clearly something they want to do given that they are picking and choosing who is going to be "allowed" to create "open source" software. Note to Ballmer: If you get to pick and choose, it isn't open source.

At worst it could create a "grass is greener on the Novell side cause we are oh-so-afraid of MS suing us for using Linux" but if the sky rocket sales figures for SCO's Linux license are any indication I really don't think many companies are afraid using Linux would somehow become a legal liability.

As to the SCO case, there were three ways in which that situation differed from this:

1. SCO was pointing to code and saying this-or-that violates copyright (not at first, but they were forced to point to any in court);

2. Over the course of however many years it's been, SCO hasn't been able to demonstrate a single copyright that Linux violates - in fact it's pretty clear that the concepts it was claiming had been violated were actually either in the public domain, or not owned by them.

3. MS is in the enviable position of being sneakier than SCO and yet (somehow) having more credibility. They aren't saying "We're taking RH or Xandros or someone else to court for violating our patent on {fred,barney,wilma}" - they're saying "Linux violates (some vague, unspecified, possibly not even valid) patents and if you're not Novell, we're going to sue your asses for it." Yet even if all the patent-violating code they allege the existence of does exist, and even if none of it was created by Novell, Novell are still liable under the GPL because they have been distributing that code and, under the GPL, must cease and desist in distributing any GPL'ed code that anyone else cannot distribute because it inviolates patents.

This is exactly the same situation whereby the SCO case was dead in the water, because they had been claiming that there was code which violated their copyrights which other people had been distributing under the GPL (which, by the way, they were claiming was "unconstitutional"), and yet they had themselves been distributing said code under the so-called "unconstitutional" GPL.

This being the case, the only thing that could make Novell "not liable" is, surprise surprise, an army of lawyers from some big company.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Vargol on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?"
Vargol Member since:
2006-02-28

They are allowing Novell to violate (alleged) patents (we haven't actually heard of ONE yet that Linux may be violating, which is odd considering the descriptions of patents are in the public domain)

Strange, I've heard of 27...

http://news.com.com/Group+Linux+potentially+infringes+283+patents/2...


What I'd like to know is exactly how MS thinks it is not violating Section 7 or any other of the GPL - "No we aren't" is not an argument

Novell has loads of code that is not GPL'd, some of it is in SLED. If Novell want to add software tainted with MS patents to their distro, they can, they just use a licence without a Section 7 equivalent, or even a propriety licence. If they already have software that is not GPL'd and is MS patent tainted then they are protected against MS suing them and their customers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Strange, I've heard of 27...

You've heard from someone who isn't Microsoft that Linux potentially violates twenty-seven MS patents. That is quite different from Microsoft saying "Linux violates these 27 patents of ours" in court - and someone standing up in court saying "product A from organization alpha potentially violates 27 unspecified patents from company beta, so we, company gamma, are suing company alpha" will not hold up in court.

Novell has loads of code that is not GPL'd, some of it is in SLED. If Novell want to add software tainted with MS patents to their distro, they can, they just use a licence without a Section 7 equivalent, or even a propriety licence. If they already have software that is not GPL'd and is MS patent tainted then they are protected against MS suing them and their customers.

Novell cannot legally unilaterally distribute code licensed under GPL-with-a-section-7 as code under the GPL-without-section-7. Also, MS is not saying that "if they already have software that is not GPL'ed and is MS patent-tainted then they are protected against MS suing them". They are saying that "if Novell distributes any software, GPL'ed or otherwise, that violates MS patents then Novell is protected and anyone who isn't Novell is fair game."

That's in direct violation of the licence for any software that cannot be distributed under a hypothetical GPL-without-section-7.

Edited 2006-11-08 15:39

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Vargol on Wed 8th Nov 2006 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?"
Vargol Member since:
2006-02-28

To re-quote your first post "we haven't actually heard of ONE yet that Linux may be violating". I've just shown you that there may be 27 MS ones and quite a few more non MS ones.
What happens if OSRM are right. That means under the terms of the GPL no one can distribute a LInux distro until that code has been removed.


Novell cannot legally unilaterally distribute code licensed under GPL-with-a-section-7 as code under the GPL-without-section-7.

No it can't, but show me anywhere in the Novell MS agreement that states that Novell are going do that. People seem to have it in their head that Novell are going to run around putting MS patented technologies in GPL'd software based on. From the Novell faq...

Q4. With this agreement, will Novell include Microsoft patented code in its contributions to the open source community?

No.


"if Novell distributes any software, GPL'ed or otherwise, that violates MS patents then Novell is protected and anyone who isn't Novell is fair game.".

If MS has got patents in Linux and want to get sue happy, all the Linux distributions are fair game anyway. As it is clearly stated above Novell have no intention of tainting GPL'd software with MS patents.
So your argument then becomes...

"if Novell distributes any non GPL'ed software that violates MS patents then Novell is protected and anyone who isn't Novell is fair game.".

And that is a business as normal patent licence, to give one company making a product an advantage over others making the same product.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Why so hard on Novell?
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 22:18 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Why so hard on Novell?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

To re-quote your first post "we haven't actually heard of ONE yet that Linux may be violating". I've just shown you that there may be 27 MS ones and quite a few more non MS ones.

No, you've shown me that you and someone else think there may be 27 unspecified ones. That isn't showing any of them in the flesh.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Mitarai on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?"
RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

We don't know what patents, if any, Linux is violating, though the likelihood is that it isn't.

MS are not saying what patents it alleges Linux violates. They are therefore clearly positioning themselves for FUD to do what courts couldn't, at least not withut great legal expense to themselves.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Mitarai on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?"
Mitarai Member since:
2005-07-28

If you already know MS tacticts then why is this surprising to you?

Is even a better reason to keep your head cold and not spread FUD, because doing it just makes MS stronger, not bacause you troll, whine, scream or cry a river in a forum will change anything, just feed your own ego.

Edited 2006-11-08 15:46

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Why so hard on Novell?
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Why so hard on Novell?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

If you already know MS tacticts then why is this surprising to you?

It ain't.

It Is even a better reason to keep your head cold and not spread FUD, because doing it just makes MS stronger, .

Good point.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Why so hard on Novell?
by eMagius on Wed 8th Nov 2006 16:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

MS are not saying what patents it alleges Linux violates.

Please link to evidence for your accusation that MS alleges its patent rights are violated by Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Why so hard on Novell?
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Why so hard on Novell?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

http://www.informationweek.com/software/showArticle.jhtml?articleID...

In particular, please note the followqing extract:
Microsoft promised not to sue Novell for patent infringement stemming from code currently in Suse Linux, or future technology codeveloped by the companies or contributed by third-party developers.

The deal is designed to alleviate business concerns that Microsoft could one day claim Linux contains patent-violating technology. But the "patent covenant" doesn't protect all Linux users, only Suse users. "Novell is acting as a proxy for its customers, and only its customers," Ballmer said. "If they [businesses] want patent peace and interoperability, then they'll have to look to Suse Linux."

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why so hard on Novell?
by manmist on Wed 8th Nov 2006 12:58 UTC in reply to "Why so hard on Novell?"
manmist Member since:
2005-12-18

I think it was probably MS that went to Novell and not the other way around.

Except that Novell clearly admitted that it went to MS first.


This would only violate GPL if Novell included proprietary software, I don't think there is any clause against "lets agree not to take each other to court over IP patents".


Except for GPL clause 7 that prevents patent cross licensing which is what a promise not to sue actually is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Marcellus on Wed 8th Nov 2006 13:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Why so hard on Novell?"
Marcellus Member since:
2005-08-26

Except for GPL clause 7 that prevents patent cross licensing which is what a promise not to sue actually is.

The promise not to sue does not cover Novell itself from being sued by MS, or MS from being sued by Novell.
Only Novell customers from being sued by MS, and MS customers from being sued by Novell.
No cross-licensing of patents there.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Jody on Wed 8th Nov 2006 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Why so hard on Novell?"
Jody Member since:
2005-06-30

"Except that Novell clearly admitted that it went to MS first."

Please provide a source.

"Except for GPL clause 7 that prevents patent cross licensing which is what a promise not to sue actually is."

I found this here:
http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft/faq_opensource.html


Q1. How is this agreement compatible with Novell's obligations under Section 7 of the GPL?

Our agreement with Microsoft is focused on our customers, and does not include a patent license or covenant not to sue from Microsoft to Novell (or, for that matter, from Novell to Microsoft). Novell's customers receive a covenant not to sue directly from Microsoft. We have not agreed with Microsoft to any condition that would contradict the conditions of the GPL and we are in full compliance.


PS GPLv2 can be located here if you are interested in reading that section: http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/info/GPLv2.html

Edited 2006-11-08 14:03

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?
by stestagg on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Doesn't this mean that Novell customers will break the GPL? If Novell are being sub-contracted by Microsoft to sell patent licenses, then Novell customers will break section 7?

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Jody on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?"
Jody Member since:
2005-06-30

Here is all of GPLv2 Section 7
Source: http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/info/GPLv2.html

7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot
distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this
License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you
may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent
license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by
all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then
the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.


If any portion of this section is held invalid or unenforceable under
any particular circumstance, the balance of the section is intended to
apply and the section as a whole is intended to apply in other
circumstances.

It is not the purpose of this section to induce you to infringe any
patents or other property right claims or to contest validity of any
such claims; this section has the sole purpose of protecting the
integrity of the free software distribution system, which is
implemented by public license practices. Many people have made
generous contributions to the wide range of software distributed
through that system in reliance on consistent application of that
system; it is up to the author/donor to decide if he or she is willing
to distribute software through any other system and a licensee cannot
impose that choice.

This section is intended to make thoroughly clear what is believed to
be a consequence of the rest of this License.



So to answer your question, Novel could not distribute something covered by a software patent to customers in the first place without breaking GPL. I have to parse through it again, but I think I missed where it says Novell can't continue distributing patent free GPL software.

Edited 2006-11-08 14:12

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?
by deanlinkous on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

Do you see a patent license anywhere? MS and Novell made sure to clarify this is a covenant not to sue and does not mention a patent license.

Microsoft does the FUD again with a similar SCO theme. Really, we have patents and IP and stuff that you are violating. All the while not revealing what IP/Patents they are talking about since this is simply a covenant.

They hold up Suse as "their" linux and says you are safe if you run this. So all the companies that want to use linux - guess what they choose?

Section 7 will be danced around because none of this is clearly defined as patent royalty payments of GPL software. It is about payment for hiring staff to work on the project, for "coupons", for money paid to agree to do this and so forth...

Skips around GPLv2 quite easily. I think v3 would be a bit harder to skip around but could probably be done also. But hopefully this highlights a need that we do need something a bit more defined to try and combat crap like this.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?
by stestagg on Wed 8th Nov 2006 16:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

The if all the software in a linux distribution is patent-free, what is the point of this 'covenant'?

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Why so hard on Novell?
by r_a_trip on Wed 8th Nov 2006 17:54 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

if all the software in a linux distribution is patent-free, what is the point of this 'covenant'?

Simple. FUD. MS wants to shoehorn all non-ideological GNU/Linux users into the SUSE "patent protected" straitjacket.They are seeking to use SUSE as a FUD stick to scare us into submission. When SUSE is the last GNU/Linux threat standing, it is easy to kill it off and shove MS World Domination down our throats.

Novell just sees temporary profit gains, as they feel their SUSE is now more "attractive" as it won't be harassed with FUD from MS and they hope it will lead to more sales.

Too bad for Novell. One does not ink a deal with the devil and get to walk away with a free soul.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Why so hard on Novell?
by NotParker on Wed 8th Nov 2006 18:01 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Why so hard on Novell?"
NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

Too bad for Novell. One does not ink a deal with the devil and get to walk away with a free soul.

Let me get this straight.

Novell (before it buys SUS) = Evil Proprietary Software Vendor

Novell (after it buys SUSE) = Heaven Sent Angel

Novell (after Microsoft deal) = Excommunicated Evil Scum


Do I have it right?

So if Microsoft buys RedHat they AUTOMATICALLY become GOOD?

Cool!

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?
by CrLf on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?"
CrLf Member since:
2006-01-03

Section 7 of the GPL reads,

"For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program."

If Novell's customers can't redistribute the patent grant to other users, then Novell itself can't distribute the software to its customers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?
by andrewg on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?"
andrewg Member since:
2005-07-06

Which basically means that as soon as Microsoft sues and wins an IP case against anyone distributing the same offending code that Novel uses then Novel's patent covenant means nothing in the sense that they won't be able to continue distributing the code just like everyone else.

Seems like patent covenants with individual companies don't work with the GPL. At least as far as the continued distribution goes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Why so hard on Novell?
by dylansmrjones on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:53 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Exactly.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?
by MollyC on Wed 8th Nov 2006 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I'm not a GPL expert, but isn't it the case that Novell's customers aren't subject to GPL unless they make code "derived" from Novell's and distribute it to the public?

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?
by stestagg on Wed 8th Nov 2006 19:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

I think you're right. But as another commenter pointed out:

Part of section 7 reads:
For example, if a patent
license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by
all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then
the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.


This means that Novell have to guarantee that if someone downloads a SUSE distribution ( and potentially re-packages it) that user/group cannot be sued by Microsoft for patent infringement. Therefore if MS tries to enforce soft patents on the Kernel, Novell are no better off than any other distro.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?
by manmist on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?"
manmist Member since:
2005-12-18

"Except that Novell clearly admitted that it went to MS first."

Please provide a source.

http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft/press-conference_transcript.h...

" QUESTION: How long have these talks been going on about this agreement, and who initiated it, essentially? Did Novell go to Microsoft, or Microsoft go to Novell, or did you just sort of get together spontaneously? How did that work?

RON HOVSEPIAN: How it happened was I reached out to Kevin Turner in the April timeframe, the COO of Microsoft"

The argument that since the customers are getting the patent benefits, the GPL is not being violated is weasel wording. GPL mandates that everybody gets the same benefits.

http://lwn.net/Articles/208186/

Edited 2006-11-08 15:29

Reply Score: 2

RE: Why so hard on Novell?
by dylansmrjones on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:44 UTC in reply to "Why so hard on Novell?"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The patent protection is void of meaning. All Microsoft has to do to stop Novell is to sue somebody else, and then Novell cannot distribute anything without violating the GPL.

Novell is paying $200 million for nothing.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Mitarai on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Why so hard on Novell?"
Mitarai Member since:
2005-07-28

Then this won't affect the other distros like most of you are bitching, case closed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?
by dylansmrjones on Wed 8th Nov 2006 16:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Of course it will affect other distributions.

Many will think of Novell as a safe choice what it actually isn't. This will affect other distributions. Also, the patent protection does not include other distributions - this affects them too.

In the end, this means Microsoft has been given a great stranglehold on Linux and Open Source in general.

The only good thing to come from this, is that Europe may become a much greater center in the FLOSS-world.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Jody on Thu 9th Nov 2006 06:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?"
Jody Member since:
2005-06-30

Many will think of Novell as a safe choice what it actually isn't.

If companies were not afraid of using Linux in the first place, they are unlikely to be afraid now.

As I have stated in the past, the number of companies that went out and purchased an SCO Linux license (about 3) should give you an idea of how many are afraid of using Linux for IP reasons.

You are grasping at straws here.

Don't underestimate the GPL. Neither Novell or MS can distribute something as GPL and then claim they have proprietary rights to it later on. If Novell drops the ball, the community will take their contributions and move on.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why so hard on Novell?
by Rehdon on Wed 8th Nov 2006 16:54 UTC in reply to "Why so hard on Novell?"
Rehdon Member since:
2005-07-06

Have you read Havoc's blog thoroughly? He makes very good points. I agree that Novell has a) provided ammunition to Microsoft's FUD machine (just read Ballmer's interview to see how they'd like everyone to believe that there's MS IP in Linux and every Linux business should pay them to receive "protection") and b) has secured an unfair advantage for themselves ("look, we're the only one protecting you against MS").

So yes, shame on Novell on both counts.

rehdon

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?
by milles21 on Wed 8th Nov 2006 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Why so hard on Novell?"
milles21 Member since:
2006-11-08

unfair advantage if there is no threat there is no advantage. If there is not any infrindging IP then there is nothing to worry about. That is grade school attitude unfair advantage when you own such a small piece of the Linux Market.

There is no ammunition This deal is the same as health insurance proividers protecting the customers or doctors in that case. Unfavorable business decision yes unfair no!

Reply Score: 2

So in other words...
by siki_miki on Wed 8th Nov 2006 13:10 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

It seems as a probable outcome to me that Microsoft and Novell will develop closed-source applications for their Linux, which will be responsible for claimed interoperability with Windows, and vice versa. This will effectively prevent other linux competitors from reusing the same i.e. they will do this to obtain advantage over other distributions like RHEL or Ubuntu Server, in their bid to conquer the market.

So, in other words, possibly no more contributions to *NEW* projects like Mono or Samba, instead they will start developing their own proprietary stuff for many aspects and be limited by MS agreement.

And, btw., what happened to much lauded documentation that Microsoft this year released to EU commission? Will they finally publish it for everyone to read?

Reply Score: 4

RE: So in other words...
by PlatformAgnostic on Wed 8th Nov 2006 18:19 UTC in reply to "So in other words..."
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Those docs were never meant to be published openly. They were just meant to be available to European businesses on Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory licensing terms. The whole EU case was never about open-sourcing SMB/CIFS networking, which is why I think it was such a waste (they forced MSFT to produce a huge wad of docs that no one is seriously going to read, because it's always been easier to just build your own client-side redirector than to figure out someone else's complicated RPC protocol).

Reply Score: 1

Look at the history ...(CP/M, SCO,...)
by sathishmls on Wed 8th Nov 2006 13:14 UTC
sathishmls
Member since:
2005-11-13

Just imagine the status of Linux, if Section 7 of the GPL is not present. All the tough works dated from 1991 would have been killed by lack of a single section in the license.

Richard Stallman (GNU GPL) is far better than anyone in protecting Free/Open Source Softwares.

In Software Industry, a piece of code is a junk until it gets protection and support with interested people using a good license like GPL.

Corporations like IBM, Microsoft, Novell, ... are famous for Business decisions which will try first to help out the software, then suck profit out from that, bring another competitive product which they will own and kill the original one.

History:

even SCO is seems to fight with Linux, the actual fire of the problem is,

IBM was agreed with SCO to do "Monterey Project", a large 64bit OS Project.later cunningly left SCO, since profit was better from Linux rather than SCO UNIX.

The betrayal is the main cause for the SCO-IBM Lawsuit.

IBM,a large supporter of Software Patents which is/will_be the main killer of Free/Open Source Projects at any time(may be tomorrow or next) will kill Linux, if it finds anything else very profitable.

IBM, bought and killed Informix, a database which might be a problem for their DB2.

Microsoft, sameway killed CP/M (Digital Research), using QDOS, and made MSDOS.

Novell, sameway bought and killed DR-DOS(family of CP/M)

These companies are purely profit minded rather than Free/Open Source philosophies.

Reply Score: 4

As I have said
by deanlinkous on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:23 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

I think it is basically a way for MicroNov to create a linux that is, for all practical purposes proprietary.

I think that MS believes they can make novell the de facto standard commercial linux in five years using shared technology that other linux(s) will not be able to use. Also MS will use IP/Patent threats to keep any business from choosing anything besides novell linux. Then in five years MS will really only have one linux company to destroy at that time.

Novell thinks that with MS help it can become the de facto standard linux in five years and then go head to head with MS.

Reply Score: 2

What's wrong plz ?
by Manuel FLURY on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:37 UTC
Manuel FLURY
Member since:
2005-07-05

As a Linux user, can I expect a better interoperability between MS and Linux with this deal ?

Does the Linux community earn something, or is it just a way for Novell to get some money (Money has no smell) from something they don't own ?

Reply Score: 1

losing community faith
by milles21 on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:52 UTC
milles21
Member since:
2006-11-08

I am a long time community supporter however , more and more I am growing disgusted with the behavior and reactions. I mean it is like a this dictator organization, I mean nevermind the people who have contributed to numerous projects and spent long hours ensuring that their open source efforts would benefit both the Linux and the windows platform. Itís like screw that any company that works with Microsoft is evil. Nevermind that Novell has opensourced a number of projects nevermind the fact that they are contributing and I donít see the problem in them making arrangements to protect their customers. Criticize the business model all you want but it will open the doors of Linux to some rather closed minded decision makers. I am tired these people who supposedly represent the community spouting off as the entire voice and oppose anything other than what they deem as right and wrong
But the whole donít back Novell, donít support SUSE, stop using it crap is the same thing that keeps Linux from effectively penetrating the enterprise because no organization has taken the backs of the customers that Linux hopes to support

Reply Score: 2

RE: losing community faith
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:17 UTC in reply to "losing community faith"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Itís like screw that any company that works with Microsoft is evil.

That's how the GPL-haters are painting it, yes. In reality, there are clear paths to complying with the spirit of the GPL which MS are not taking. So of course they are getting heat from "the open source community" who, of course, use Linux because it is a viable open source solution.

There are those who have always spread the FUD that "you can't make money off open source Linux", despite the fact that Redhat et al. have been doing that for years - BUT Novell seemingly haven't been able to.

Now, tell me, is that because of a problem with open source or because of a problem with Novell?

So now they go to MS and together they say "yes - you can make money from open source! By making it proprietary!" It's AT&T Sys III all over again.

As for openSUSE, if they make a clear statement that they will do what they can to prevent any code involved in the deal getting into openSUSE (and thus possibly infecting other Linux distros), then I will be the first to switch back. But I will NOT use them if I see them as a backdoor to get MS-patented code into Linux and thereby stop the whole show.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: losing community faith
by milles21 on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE: losing community faith"
milles21 Member since:
2006-11-08

I agree with you on the perspective of Opensuse and ensuring that code involved in the deal does not make it into the project. I feel that will likely be a given seeing how this is really an enterprise deal. I however think we must not lose site of the goal and not always react with our emotions. The Novell deal does not change Linux and there really needs to be some differentiation between the distros more that package version.

I Think as a consultant and contributor the deal is a healthy on one that now allows some CIO security (No I am not implying patent infringement but commitment) Like it or not CIO's base their budgets on interoperability and that unfortunately means MS will be involved whether it is the organization or the customers.

I think it is time we accept that everyone will not be a Redhat just as HP is not a Dell. Dell has one model, HP has another, before recently Dell was all intel , HP were both AMD and intel. The model does not affect the end goal bring a great product to the end user. Novell and Redhat same goal bringing a great Linux product to the end user.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: losing community faith
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 16:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: losing community faith"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

The Novell deal does not change Linux

That remains to be seen.

I Think as a consultant and contributor the deal is a healthy on one that now allows some CIO security (No I am not implying patent infringement but commitment) Like it or not CIO's base their budgets on interoperability and that unfortunately means MS will be involved whether it is the organization or the customers.

Linux has always been well happy to interoperate with MS (and anyone else) which is why Linux or its apps can read FAT, .doc files, use DOS partitions, read Amiga filesystems, and so on. The three barriers to interoperability with Microsoft, as Andrew Tridgell demonstrated in court, have always been: 1. Microsoft. 2. Microsoft. 3. Microsoft. Now they are saying that yes, you can interoperate, but only if you're Novell.

I think it is time we accept that everyone will not be a Redhat just as HP is not a Dell. Dell has one model, HP has another, before recently Dell was all intel , HP were both AMD and intel. The model does not affect the end goal bring a great product to the end user. Novell and Redhat same goal bringing a great Linux product to the end user.

The question is not whether Novell or Microsoft is or will be or should be a Redhat or a Debian. It is whether MS is still MS and as such will attempt to bring about the defeat of anyone who can challenge MS. What we have so far on this forum is MS's apologists saying "MS is changing and is no longer the predatory company it once was", MS's detractors saying "Well it might change. But so far it's the same. And here's the evidence," and MS's apologists saying. "No it isn't. No it isn't! NO IT ISN'T!!!".

Edited 2006-11-08 16:11

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: losing community faith
by milles21 on Wed 8th Nov 2006 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: losing community faith"
milles21 Member since:
2006-11-08

As for your "That remains to be seen" comment Novell does not own Linux so again it does not change Linux. Also Linux is a kernel not the applications that run on top of it. No one is saying MS has change what they are saying is that collaboration is the key to the success of Linux.

Again I support the community I am a opensource advocate but I recognize the need for colaboration and also see the benefit in it. Everyone is so critical of Novell well yeah they opened this but they did not open edirectory. Again they are well within there right and they are a bridge company in itself having both opensource and proprietary applications.

Being a Redhat leaves your model vulnerable to Oracle Linux tactics and influences your revenues if say MS said well we now offer support for red Hat Linux. You need a effective collaboration plan and distinctive edirectory offering to set yourself apart) The big picture is Novell is still Novell they are still providing SUSE still contributing to the community.

SLES10 was such an advance for integration and now people want to throw it out because of their business model sound like the same people who criticize Red Hat when they change their model those same people are now praising red hat for their commitment Again community flip flop makes ordinary advocates such as myself question the value of community when they attempt to abandon great distros based on business model when they are not in violation of the GPL

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: losing community faith
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 17:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: losing community faith"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

As for your "That remains to be seen" comment Novell does not own Linux so again it does not change Linux.

It doesn't matter if Novell don't "own Linux" if the MS/Novell partnership manages to proprietarize their version of Linux.

Also Linux is a kernel not the applications that run on top of it. No one is saying MS has change what they are saying is that collaboration is the key to the success of Linux.

On the contrary, plenty of people on this forum are saying MS has changed.

Again I support the community I am a opensource advocate but I recognize the need for colaboration and also see the benefit in it. Everyone is so critical of Novell well yeah they opened this but they did not open edirectory. Again they are well within there right and they are a bridge company in itself having both opensource and proprietary applications.

I have no problem with Novell not opening eDirectory. I have no problem with cooperation. I do have a problem with moves that look suspiciously like "We will collaborate, but only with those whom we trust" which in the end, in such a lopsided partnership, is not really any different with "we will not collaborate".

Being a Redhat leaves your model vulnerable to Oracle Linux tactics and influences your revenues if say MS said well we now offer support for red Hat Linux. You need a effective collaboration plan and distinctive edirectory offering to set yourself apart)

Putting conditions on interoperability leaves everyone else vulnerable.
The big picture is Novell is still Novell they are still providing SUSE still contributing to the community.

SLES10 was such an advance for integration and now people want to throw it out because of their business model sound like the same people who criticize Red Hat when they change their model those same people are now praising red hat for their commitment

Some of those people will no doubt say that although RH have a strong commitment to the GPL, RH dropping desktop Linux has done nothing but hinder desktop Linux. The two opinions aren't contradictory, since anyone (including businesses) is capable of doing one thing right and another wrong.

Again community flip flop makes ordinary advocates such as myself question the value of community when they attempt to abandon great distros based on business model when they are not in violation of the GPL

We haven't yet seen whether that's the case. Considerable doubt remains (outside of Redmond and Waltham) over whether code contributed by MS-Novell will be compatible with the GPL and/or subject to patent litigation.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: losing community faith
by milles21 on Wed 8th Nov 2006 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: losing community faith"
milles21 Member since:
2006-11-08

Is it safe to assume that MS could contribute code to Novell and not have it included in SUSE as the case with e-directory and have it run on to of SUSE such as e-directory and make the license exclusive to Novell. Novell would still be in line with the GPL because the code is not included.

Is that not an option that you would view as acceptable on the behalf of Novell. That option seems to me one that would allow for the continued integrity of Linux as well as a strategic partnership!

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: losing community faith
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: losing community faith"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

The worry is this:

That MS will, in effect, create a proprietary Linux by, for example, launching a suit against RedHat which forces them to stop distributing GPL code for reading MS filesystems, and then allowing Novell to include code for reading MS filesystems, whether GPL'ed or not.

That will, in one stroke, create a significant barrier to interoperability between MS and any version of Linux distributed by anyone who isn't, to use a crude description, Microsoft's bitch.

Reply Score: 1

RE[8]: losing community faith
by milles21 on Wed 8th Nov 2006 18:18 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: losing community faith"
milles21 Member since:
2006-11-08

Again as long as Novell is not including the code in Linux and there is from the community no IP infringement code added in Linux then again How is the deal a problem. The MS code would have to run on top as is the case with Groupwise and eDirectory!

Microsoft does not have a leg to stand on as long as the community stays true to innovation and creativity. Opposing this deal often seems like a way for the community to potentially include the code and ask vendors to duke it out vs. being accountable for the code that is included. Again Because Novell does not own the Linux I see nothing wrong with collaborating to have applications run on top of Linux It could be exchange for all I care as long as the Linux remains Linux. I do believe this will be the case

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: losing community faith
by elsewhere on Wed 8th Nov 2006 18:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: losing community faith"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Being a Redhat leaves your model vulnerable to Oracle Linux tactics and influences your revenues if say MS said well we now offer support for red Hat Linux. You need a effective collaboration plan and distinctive edirectory offering to set yourself apart) The big picture is Novell is still Novell they are still providing SUSE still contributing to the community.

Actually, the thing everybody overlooks about the Red Hat/Oracle thing is that companies basing a business model entirely on OSS are effectively committing to having to provide the best possible level of support for customers. They will live and die by whether customers feel they are receiving value for their contract fees. If customers can go somewhere else for what they feel is a better value for an otherwise identical product, then all the more power to them. It keeps Red Hat honest and innovative. That's precisely what we need, and that's the benefit of commercial OSS software.

Vendor lockin, proprietary techniques etc. subvert that ideal and give vendors the ability to cut corners in acquiring customers without necessarily needing to provide the best value. Once you've committed yourself to a proprietary platform, there is absolutely no incentive for the vendor to improve that platform or level of service until the point at which the cost involved in migrating to a new platform becomes viable. In most cases the competitive nature of the free-market often takes care of itself in this regard, but such is not necessarily the case with Microsoft.

And that's the whole drub with Microsoft, they're not opposed to linux as much as they're opposed to the thought of enterprises truly embracing the concept of an OSS-driven software model where core technologies are commoditized and vendors differentiate over the level of service, support and innovation they can provide.

Red Hat has built a successful OSS model despite the fact that you can clone and distribute Red Hat products as CentOS and now Oracle do. That alone is implicit validation that organizations value service and support over license fees. Would Microsoft be able to survive by allowing free-distribution of Windows and Office, even under a non-GPL type license, and rely strictly on customers finding value in paying for service and support? They're beginning to wonder themselves, hence their non-commital exploration of service/subscription based services.

I'd like to see a model where the majority of software I rely on was OSS. Not because I have a fundamental opposition to proprietary software, I sell it for a living, much of it running on linux. I don't think proprietary has to equal lockin and lack of choice, which is what I'm really opposed to. I believe more in a free market and the right to vote with my wallet than I do in robbing others of the right to profit from creating something others may find value in. But I'd like to see an OSS model in commercial software because I believe it would ultimately force vendors to work their asses off in delivering value for my hard earned money, rather than taking it for granted. I don't mind paying, I just want value, and I'm not sure I'm necessarily receiving it in a world where large monopolistic organizations can play havoc with patent laws and standards to try and rob me of my ability to find uncompromising value. Yes, I'm a free market idealist that way but I think there is a reasonable balance between OSS and proprietary software that can benefit all.

So let Oracle support Red Hat. They are hardly the first vendor to bundle a cloned version of RHEL with their linux-based software to diminish the impact of license fee for the proprietary software running on top of it. Red Hat has survived, and will continue to survive as long as their customers receive value. And if somebody can do Red Hat better than Red Hat can, well then natural market forces will come into play and level everything out.

This is where Novell has failed, in building a true OSS-based services delivery model as they ultimately wanted to do, at least not one that could compete with Red Hat's brand value. So in the absence of successfully competing on service/support, it's only natural that they would fall back towards strategies that are more closed and proprietary than open. Linux will remain free regardless, and the market will ultimately decide whether Novell succeeds or fails, as it should.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: losing community faith
by NotParker on Wed 8th Nov 2006 18:06 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: losing community faith"
NotParker Member since:
2006-06-01

And that's the whole drub with Microsoft, they're not opposed to linux as much as they're opposed to the thought of enterprises truly embracing the concept of an OSS-driven software model where core technologies are commoditized and vendors differentiate over the level of service, support and innovation they can provide.

Microsoft is against all those who think closed sourse is automatically unethical (there are many on this site who support that idea).

Microsft is against those who wish to lie about the history of the internet (see my previous posts about Netscapes theft of Mosaic ang giving it away).

Microsoft is against those who wish to take away Microsoft market share by legislating the use of PDF/ODF claiming both are more "open" and "free" than Office - while ignoring PDF/ODF patents held by Adobe/Sun and would prefer to compete on the features in the software, not whether the software is part of the OSS cult.

Edited 2006-11-08 18:06

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: losing community faith
by elsewhere on Wed 8th Nov 2006 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: losing community faith"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Microsoft is against all those who think closed sourse is automatically unethical (there are many on this site who support that idea).

I think you're confusing closed source with closed standards, which to a certain extent are unethical because their sole raison d'etre is to eliminate choice and enforce lockin. I'm not aware of anyone in the real world that would sit there and call closed source unethical, and if you haven't figured it out yet this forum does not accurately depict the real world. Any more than the FSF does.

Microsft is against those who wish to lie about the history of the internet (see my previous posts about Netscapes theft of Mosaic ang giving it away).

I'm pretty sure you're the only one who's still hung up on this. I don't think Microsoft really gives a flying f!ck one way or the other.

Microsoft is against those who wish to take away Microsoft market share by legislating the use of PDF/ODF claiming both are more "open" and "free" than Office - while ignoring PDF/ODF patents held by Adobe/Sun and would prefer to compete on the features in the software, not whether the software is part of the OSS cult.

Microsoft is against governments suggesting their citizens should be able to view public documents now and in the future without having to pay for the privilege. You can bring up all the technicalities you want about the licensing of pdf, odf and openishXML, but at the end of the day only two of those three standards are useable on a wide variety of platforms without any requirement of special licensing or fees.

If Microsoft wants to put that one to rest, then they can state once and for all that openXML and the embedded binary formats that go with it for document presentation will be licensed for use by the OSS community. They have yet to, even with all the hubbub and FUD surrounding the debate. I don't care if they hold patents or not, as long as they refrain from exherting them. Right now the openXML is open argument holds as much water as Novell's assertion that mono is unencumbered; the core technology might be, but the little add-on bits that make it useable for it's intended purpose aren't. And the fact that MS has tied in openXML interoperability as part of this ambiguous agreement with Novell simply clouds the issue of openness even further IMHO.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: losing community faith
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 18:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: losing community faith"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I think the bottom line is you think FOSS software wouldn't exist if you could get proprietary software with excellent service and no vendor lock-in. I agree completely and well said.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: losing community faith
by elsewhere on Wed 8th Nov 2006 22:06 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: losing community faith"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

I think the bottom line is you think FOSS software wouldn't exist if you could get proprietary software with excellent service and no vendor lock-in. I agree completely and well said.

Not really, I don't deal in absolutes like that. Microsoft could give Windows away and offer to send a tech onsite for every little problem that arises, and there would still be people with requirements that Windows just couldn't meet. I'm talking about customers needing a competitive market to achieve the best value, and OSS being an enabler for that competitive market by offering a viable alternative, not the only viable alternative, to proprietary software with crappy support or inherent lockin. Besides, free software far predates Windows whether considering public domain, shared source, freeware, shareware, what have you. It will always exist, it's human nature to create and try and improve. The existence of proprietary software has nothing directly to do with that, though perhaps indirectly in that it inspires others to try and do better one way or another.

The problem with advocates and zealots on either side of the argument is that they tend to superimpose their requirements and objectives onto the general public. Some people choose free software because they resent paying for something they believe should be free, some people choose linux because they want the flexibility it can offer over Windows even knowing that it may require compromise, whereas some people just need their software and hardware to work together above all else and are happily willing to pay for that. Some people want the best supported product, some want the cheapest and will gamble on fixing it if something goes wrong. Some people value gaming at 15000 fps as being more important than not having to install A/V software. Nobody's requirements or value definition is right or wrong, it's for them to determine and what I believe is important is that everyone have the ability to select the products that offer the best value matching their requirements. Be it FOSS, OSS, or unabashedly proprietary.

I do believe that OSS has an important role in commoditizing technologies that dominant companies would otherwise resist in an effort to extract every possible dollar of revenue out of, something that normally would not be possible in a competitive free market but is possible when dealing with staggering monopolies, ambiguous patent laws and questionable competitive practices, all of which at least partially fly in the face of a free market.

Besides, I'll be the first to admit that OSS isn't always the better alternative. Low priced doesn't always equate to cost effectiveness, and in terms of TCO and ROI sometimes you have to spend more money up front to save money in the long run. I think the whole issue gets clouded with the concept of linux being gratis versus Windows being $400, when the issue and value equation can be far more complex than that.

I just want to ensure I always have viable choices. That's what I believe in. I don't mind voting with my wallet, I just want to make sure there's more than one name on the ballot regardless of which way I vote.

Reply Score: 2

RE[8]: losing community faith
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 22:15 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: losing community faith"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Remember, "free software" != "freeware"! Freeware is free as in price, free software free as in freedom.

Reply Score: 1

RE: losing community faith
by ACarlow on Wed 8th Nov 2006 18:59 UTC in reply to "losing community faith"
ACarlow Member since:
2005-10-18

I couldn't agree more. The only thing I'd add is that it is not the whole "community" but rather a portion of it that seems so "upset." I for one think this was an incredibly smart move on Novell's part and perhaps even on Microsoft's part though for entirely different reasons of course. There is also a certain amount of irony criticising Microsoft for working towards better interoperability with a Linux vendor. Kinda makes me chuckle at those are are frothing at the mouth with anger or becoming paralyzed with fear.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: losing community faith
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 19:13 UTC in reply to "RE: losing community faith"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I couldn't agree more. The only thing I'd add is that it is not the whole "community" but rather a portion of it that seems so "upset." I for one think this was an incredibly smart move on Novell's part and perhaps even on Microsoft's part though for entirely different reasons of course.

I think it's "probably not" a smart move on Novell's part. Definitely a smart move on Microsoft's.

There is also a certain amount of irony criticising Microsoft for working towards better interoperability with a Linux vendor. Kinda makes me chuckle at those are are frothing at the mouth with anger or becoming paralyzed with fear.

Well, you see, for the FOSS community, Linux is kinda sorta not the point. The point is ensuring interoperability for all players, so that none can dictate. Linux has just been FOSS's biggest strategic weapon on that front with the possible exception of the Net and/or Firefox. If that changes, we'll have to find another one.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: losing community faith
by IanSVT on Wed 8th Nov 2006 20:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: losing community faith"
IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, you see, for the FOSS community, Linux is kinda sorta not the point. The point is ensuring interoperability for all players, so that none can dictate. Linux has just been FOSS's biggest strategic weapon on that front with the possible exception of the Net and/or Firefox. If that changes, we'll have to find another one.

As was mentioned above, edirectory, groupwise, zenworks; all are proprietary and closed source products which Novell has been offering on Suse and Redhat for years. However, you can't run either on Gentoo, Ubuntu, Debian. Where was all the uproar about this years ago?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: losing community faith
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 20:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: losing community faith"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I think you know why there wasn't any: Novell doesn't have much of a history of turning competitors' products against them (or if it does, most people don't know about it). MS certainly does.

It's highly likely that if MS DOES fork Linux, it will be the only vendor to do so - although it may increase the likelihood of others following suit. But even one fork (a la AT&T Unix vs BSD) is one too many in my opinion and, I suspect, in the view of many others. This is precisely the problem with UNIX that Linux was supposed to avoid, and why so many people have been getting on the bandwagon. It's also why so many people are suspicious of the whole MS-novell-fud-licensing("covenant")-patent-lawsuit-thang.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: losing community faith
by Shkaba on Wed 8th Nov 2006 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE: losing community faith"
Shkaba Member since:
2006-06-22

"There is also a certain amount of irony criticising Microsoft for working towards better interoperability with a Linux vendor"

I can't see where the irony is. What the community hopes for is for interoperability with the community, not Linux, and most certainly not a linux VENDOR. Interoperability is very easy to achieve you just adhere to published standards, and if you must re-invent the wheel so as to make slightly elliptic that you publish the focal points for everyone to be able to use, and not by signing "no-sue" agreements. Simple as that.

Excuse the irony ... pun intented.

spelling edit

Edited 2006-11-08 19:35

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: losing community faith
by hal2k1 on Thu 9th Nov 2006 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: losing community faith"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//I can't see where the irony is. What the community hopes for is for interoperability with the community, not Linux, and most certainly not a linux VENDOR. Interoperability is very easy to achieve you just adhere to published standards, and if you must re-invent the wheel so as to make slightly elliptic that you publish the focal points for everyone to be able to use, and not by signing "no-sue" agreements. Simple as that. //

Exactly.

If Microsoft really wanted interoperability with Linux, all they needed to do was have a look at the code in Linux systems (Samba, Linux, Mono & OpenOffice) and submit a few modifications to those projects.

Presto! Instant interoperability, at zero cost.

What this deal really seems to be about is that Microsoft has gone out of their way to obscure things so that Samba, Linux, Mono & OpenOffice can not fully interoperate with Microsoft products. Microsoft have made a deliberate secret here, to PREVENT interoperability.

So now, what Microsoft/Novell want to do, is to put some proprietary binary layer of code in SuSe Linux to achieve the interoperability that Microsoft themselves deliberately prevented by obscuration, and they want to charge Linux users a license fee for that binary layer.

This isn't about interoperability per se. It is about Microsoft finding a way to derive an unearned revenue stream from Linux via their customers' desire for interoperability.

Reply Score: 1

SCO/Novell Ownership of Linux
by slashdev on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:09 UTC
slashdev
Member since:
2006-05-14

Does anyone know what was decided between SCO and Novell? The proceeding seemed very scary, because the argument (Between SCO and Novell) basically came down to saying "Novell owns Linux (Unix?), not SCO. Novell did not transfer ownership of Linux (Unix?) over to SCO"

Is this were the argument was left? Anyone know of a site that explains what happened? Was there some resolution pointing out that Novell cant pull a SCO and charge fees for linux usage in some distant (or near) future....

Reply Score: 1

RE: SCO/Novell Ownership of Linux
by Kishe on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:13 UTC in reply to "SCO/Novell Ownership of Linux"
Kishe Member since:
2006-02-16

I thin Microsoft is creating second apple from Novel...soon you'll see microsoft buying whole lot of Novell shares and then give Novel all freebies that makes linux - windows interoperatibility(sp) top notch and ensure novel crushes any chances for other linux companies to grow while decoying their monopoly by having a "strong competant" that they net money from tough.

Reply Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Linux isn't Unix.

Go check Groklaw for more information on SCO Group (formerly known as Caldera Linux) vs. Novell - and of course checking out Novell vs. SCO Group at the same time.

There is nothing in the SCO cases to be worried about, since any Unix code in Linux would be free for use anyway.

Reply Score: 1

Void of meaning...
by dylansmrjones on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:43 UTC
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

This is just a bunch of empty words. "We made sure... - we checked this... - we checked that... - this is not a..."

Since Microsoft denies the patent protection spreads automatically to other distributions, this means there is no protection in it at all for Novell.

If another Linux distribution is sued by Microsoft, Novell will lose the right to distribute the sources under the GPL - or Novell will be in violation of the GPL.

So basically Novell will have to pay for nothing.

Reply Score: 2

This is sad...
by grat on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:56 UTC
grat
Member since:
2006-02-02

As I read through the various posts, I feel like I walked into a UFO conspiracy theorists' convention-- except their work is usually better researched than most of the uninformed drivel I've been reading on this topic.

Novell taking GPL code, and trying to make money from it-- How, pray tell, is this different from Red Hat creating a distribution containing GPL code, and advertising? No one screamed that Red Hat sold out because they offered to indemnify their clients.

Novell also offered to indemnify their clients, and now, they've gotten Microsoft to agree to it. Is it sneaky? Somewhat. Is it a sign that Novell is going to co-opt people's GPL code and create a Microsoft/Novell linux as more than a few have speculated? NO.

This is a 5 year window in which there is almost guaranteed to NOT be an IP lawsuit involving Microsoft and Linux. Novell's clients may be excluded from lawsuits, but Novell's *developers* aren't, and neither is Novell.

The problem is, there is a segment of the linux community that doesn't want their toy to be a commercial success. And the idea that Microsoft might be involved in making their toy a commercial success, causes them to start foaming at the keyboard.

Based on who pays how much, the only conclusion I can draw is that there is Unix and/or Linux code in Microsoft products, that they thought was covered by SCOSource. Now that it's obvious it won't be, they're looking for another method to cover their bets.

Reply Score: 1

RE: This is sad...
by dylansmrjones on Wed 8th Nov 2006 16:16 UTC in reply to "This is sad..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The problem is not making money from GPL'ed sources. Go ahead and do it.

The problem here is Novell trying to look like a safe choice when it - in reality - can easily lead to either Novell violating the GPL or Novell having to cease distribution of Linux. Choosing Novell because it looks safe can be a very stupid choice, since Novell isn't protected in reality. They are protected against being sued by Microsoft, but they are not protected against being prevented from distributing GPL'ed software.

The long term problem is that this can undermine Open Source efforts to create freely accessible tools to compete and interoperate with the Windows world.

And that's the problem.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: This is sad...
by grat on Wed 8th Nov 2006 17:39 UTC in reply to "RE: This is sad..."
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

The problem here is Novell trying to look like a safe choice when it - in reality - can easily lead to either Novell violating the GPL or Novell having to cease distribution of Linux.

Err.. No. You see, it can't, unless someone actually puts patent infringing code into a linux distro. And if they do, they can't license it for just themselves, they have to license it for everyone. Well, they could, but then they couldn't distribute it as GPL.

Strictly speaking, as long as the code isn't a derived work of the linux kernel, and isn't licensed under the GPL, there's no reason why a vendor can't develop a proprietary, patented application, and distribute it in any way they desire. It would come under the heading of 'non-free', and people would have to make their own choice, but that situation exists RIGHT NOW.

If Novell *were* to release any patent encumbered code as open source, it wouldn't be under the GPL. Oh wait-- they did that, and it's called "Banshee".

So, actually, someone has to embed patent infringing material in a GPL product, then license that patent for only themselves, THEN try to distribute it before section 7 kicks in.

And no one, including Novell and Microsoft, is stupid enough to do that.

Finally, please tell me which patents are being licensed by Novell. With specificity, folks. Otherwise, you're no better than Darl McBride.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: This is sad...
by milles21 on Wed 8th Nov 2006 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is sad..."
milles21 Member since:
2006-11-08

I agree totally well said!

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: This is sad...
by dylansmrjones on Wed 8th Nov 2006 19:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is sad..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It's not that difficult to put in infringing code. There are so many patents that nobody can see the whole image. There is already possibly patent encumbered code in pretty much all linux distributions - or possibly patent encumbered code is available through repositories.

Non-GPL'ed code is irrelevant. Of course they can ship proprietary code as well. But that isn't the issue. The issue is what happens _if_ Microsoft decides to sue Distro B for distributing patent encumbered code in some GPL'ed package. Then Novell has the choice between violating the GPL or cease to distribute that particular GPL'ed package. In which case the patent protection from MS is empty.

I haven't said anything about patents being licensed by Novell. They are not licensing any patents. What I said is that it _could_ lead to a possible GPL violation in case Microsoft _did_ sue another distribution.

The problem is that Novell isn't protected against the consequenses of Microsoft sueing another Linux distributor.

There is as such no problem in releasing patent encumbered sources under the GPL. The problem only arises if somebody _else_ is owning the patent, and only in countries that supports software patents.

If you own a software patent and releases GPL'ed software implementing the patent, then everybody can use that patent in GPL'ed applications, simply because you have implicitly allowed everybody to use the patent in any derivative.

Reply Score: 1

Monomonomonomonomono
by elsewhere on Wed 8th Nov 2006 16:37 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

Can we let go of the section 7 violation conspiracies? There's no infringing code in linux that anyone with credibility can point to. Until someone can point out otherwise, someone can address code that organizations like HP and IBM themselves haven't been able to find, then we can talk otherwise it's pure FUD. Unless the agreement is specifying a specific GPL-protected application or technology, there's no violation of section 7.

This is clearly, no holds-barred, about mono. Novell has banked their enterprise strategy on mono. They're porting their enterprise tools to mono. They're desperate for industry validation for mono. They want customers to believe that mono is the transparent, no-strings-attached pathway to porting applications from Windows to Suse Linux. They've effectively screwed the community by tainting the project now, but they don't care. They're the only organization bankrolling it and building on it so what do they have to lose? They own all copyright attribution and can easily relicense the MS-friendly components under a non-GPL license with throwing the community a bone with the core mono components remaining under LGPL, and no doubt we'll eventually see that.

This has nothing to do with linux in general, other than Novell's sinking credibility with the community, whether justified or otherwise.

Reply Score: 2

Gang pile on Novell
by Get a Life on Wed 8th Nov 2006 17:47 UTC
Get a Life
Member since:
2006-01-01

Down with the blood-traitor!

Until there's any legal chicanery this is merely a propaganda battle. Novell staves off irrelevance with a money infusion and Microsoft gets a passive-aggressive FUD tool. But drama is more appealing than discussing technical matters, I guess. The barrier to entry is much lower.

Reply Score: 1

me too
by deanlinkous on Wed 8th Nov 2006 17:53 UTC
deanlinkous
Member since:
2006-06-19

I think it is basically a way for MicroNov to create a linux that is, for all practical purposes proprietary.

I think that MS believe they can make novell the de facto standard commercial linux in five years using FUD, money, IP/patent threats. shared technology that other linux(s) will not be able Then in five years MS will really only have one linux company to destroy at that time.

Novell thinks that with MS help it can become the de facto standard linux in five years and then go head to head with MS.

Then again, maybe MS plans to get novell about halfway along then drop them like a used rubber and cause them to crash and burn again.

Or maybe Novell just plans on making some good money for five years, hurt or totally kill other commercial distros, then sellout to MS and close down making a load of cash on both parts.

Reply Score: 2

It's all about chess
by bibe on Wed 8th Nov 2006 18:07 UTC
bibe
Member since:
2005-07-09

I think Ms has a hard time compeeting with linux now because linux companies fight on a different level, they want to bring them in their ring on teir playfield and Novell is just a means to a goal. Pay some money loose a battle, win the game, MS has a long breath and can easy plan 5 turns ahead.

Reply Score: 1

That's nice
by Sphinx on Wed 8th Nov 2006 19:29 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

At least they didn't sell us out for nothing.

Reply Score: 1

walterbyrd
Member since:
2005-12-31

This is exactly what msft did before. Expect before it was Sunw Linux that was the only legal linux.

I guess the morons in Lindon botched the first effort.

Reply Score: 1