Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 16:43 UTC, submitted by mwtomlinson
Novell and Ximian The Free Software Foundation is reviewing Novell's right to sell new versions of Linux operating system software after the open-source community criticized Novell for teaming up with Microsoft. "The community of people wants to do anything they can to interfere with this deal and all deals like it. They have every reason to be deeply concerned that this is the beginning of a significant patent aggression by Microsoft," Eben Moglen, the Foundation's general counsel, said on Friday. Update: The FSF claims this is being hyped.
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all the more evidence one needs
by REMF on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 17:08 UTC
REMF
Member since:
2006-02-05

......... to throw the evangelicals overboard.

Reply Score: 5

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Yes, let's get rid of those who refer to Linux users and free software developers as "pathetic", "zealots", "partisans", "Communists" and other such McCarthyite bulls^H^H^H^H^Hrhetoric. I couldn't agree more.

Reply Score: 5

dukeinlondon Member since:
2005-07-06

Get real. Microsoft is friend with noone and creating that negative buzz is probably part of what they were trying to achieve through that deal.

There is enough that is already restricted to opensource software (like drm material) that we should watch out for what's going on.

Reply Score: 5

FUD...
by jjezabek on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 17:15 UTC
jjezabek
Member since:
2005-08-07

What control does the FSF have over Linux? AFAIK none at all. OK, they can ban Novell from using new versions of GCC, binutils and the rest of the GNU userland tools. But they have absolutely no control over the kernel itself!

BTW - are they planning to change their license to explicitly disallow the use by Novell?

Reply Score: 5

RE: FUD...
by molnarcs on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:03 UTC in reply to "FUD..."
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Linux, in this context, means Linux the OS, not the kernel. And Linux as an OS would be pretty much crippled without the GNU tool(chain)s.

I think the Novell controversy will gain more attention as more and more free software projects switch to GPL v3 - which is design to prevent such patent deals that Novell entered with Microsoft. Which is a good thing imho - such patent deals runs contrary to the spirit of the GPL, though not the letter of v2.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: FUD...
by Hiev on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:09 UTC in reply to "RE: FUD..."
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

And in concecuense we will have more GPLv3 and less usuability in Linux, less formats for the user, forget about ipod compatiblity, etc, etc, and in concecuense less users meaning the dead of the main GPL project, Linux, companies can fork BSD or give to it more support, I say change all the software you can to GPLv3 and see how its popularity falls, just like GNUSense distro w/o the ability to use mp3, something users demands.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: FUD...
by rayiner on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: FUD..."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

What color is the sky on your planet? It would be nice to live in a world where programmers could concentrate solely on the code, but we don't. We live in a world of Rambus and SCO. We live in a world where slapping a lawsuit on a competitor is just as valid a tactic to gain market-share as releasing a great new version of a product.

Just because open-source projects are done voluntarily does not mean that they are immune to damaging legal tactics. The situation that tied up BSD for years wrangling with AT&T should be all the proof you need of the FSF's belief that free software needs strong legal protection. At the end of the day, Linux is competing with a convicted monopolist. Relying on their best intentions and neglecting to protect yourself is stupid, plain and simple.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[4]: FUD...
by Hiev on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: FUD..."
RE[5]: FUD...
by dylansmrjones on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: FUD..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Is like allowing gay marriage one day and then saying the other day "You know what, I think I gave you to much freedom so i'll revoke gay marrige".

That's exactly what the Novell-Microsoft deal is like. Incl. the spelling errors :p

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: FUD...
by Hiev on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: FUD..."
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Nope, I thinks that's the case of GPLv3, but hey, I won't get affected for it at all.

Reply Score: 1

v RE[6]: FUD...
by jango on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 22:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: FUD..."
RE[5]: FUD...
by rayiner on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: FUD..."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Having or not having gay marriage isn't something that impacts the protection of the community as a whole. A better example would be making a law that regulates the use of X-rays in machines. Before X-rays became widely used, such laws weren't needed. When X-rays were originally discovered, people used them very irresponsibly in machines, leading to numerous fatalities. Eventually, the government had to step in and set regulations.

This is analogous to the situation with patent terms in the GPLv3. Software patents weren't a major source of abuse 16 years ago when the GPLv2 was written. Now, software patents are a significant source of abuse, one one that is becoming more threatening over time. Again, IBM, Sun, and the Mozilla foundation all realized the importance of addressing software patents directly in the license. It's no surprise the FSF does too.

For everyone who thinks the FSF is alone in their thinking, try reading the OpenSolaris license sometime. The CDDL includes numerous patent clauses, and includes a termination clause that revokes your right to distribute a piece of CDDL'ed software if you claim patent infringement against the developer or any contributer to that software. This covers any patents at all, not just ones contained in the software in question.

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: FUD...
by Hiev on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: FUD..."
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Yes, but Novell never claimed copyrigh of any GPL software, just from the software they made that hapens to use GPL libraries, nothing more.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: FUD...
by DeadFishMan on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 22:19 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: FUD..."
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

Yes, but Novell never claimed copyrigh of any GPL software, just from the software they made that hapens to use GPL libraries, nothing more.

I'm wondering if you just lack comprehension skills or if you're just poking jabs for fun... If your software uses GPL libraries, it becomes GPL software automatically. Don't want to turn your software GPL? No problem. Just don't use the said libraries. Look elsewhere. There is plenty of LGPL/BSD/MIT /etc-licensed libraries out there that you can use. If you can't find one that suits your needs, you have the option to write one yourself.

But, from the moment that you decide to incorporate GPL code on your product, you have to abide to the upstream license.

Novell is stepping on eggs here because the copyright holder of a large and very important piece of their product is questioning whether they - Novell - have the rights to keep distributing their - FSF - software or not. If it turns out that the MS/Novell deal is indeed breaking the terms of the GPL, the FSF and other copyright holders can and should revoke Novell's rights to keep distributing their software. It is that simple.

I still am not sure if that will be a good thing in the end but Novell should know better what they were doing when they signed that deal.

Reply Score: 3

RE[8]: FUD...
by dostrowski on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: FUD..."
dostrowski Member since:
2006-11-10

Novell is stepping on eggs here because the copyright holder of a large and very important piece of their product is questioning whether they - Novell - have the rights to keep distributing their - FSF - software or not. If it turns out that the MS/Novell deal is indeed breaking the terms of the GPL, the FSF and other copyright holders can and should revoke Novell's rights to keep distributing their software.

Stallman has already stated that the Novell-Microsoft deal does not violate GPL2, which is, currenctly, what all GNU software and GPL software, for that matter, are licenced under.

Therefore they cannot revoke Novell's right to distribute from that perspective.

I'm not sure how the FSF hopes to accomplish what they're after.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: FUD...
by rayiner on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: FUD..."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Novell signed a deal with Microsoft to give patent protection to their users regarding Microsoft's patents. That's opens up everyone else who distributes Linux but isn't part of the deal to patent lawsuits from Microsoft.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[8]: FUD...
by Hiev on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:17 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: FUD..."
RE[9]: FUD...
by rayiner on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:25 UTC in reply to "RE[8]: FUD..."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

It doesn't matter if they can win. With Microsoft's resources, they could crush a competitor just by bringing the lawsuit. A small target (like RedHat), would run out of money before the case was even decided.

That is the legal system here in the US, where most cases never even make it to trial. People will regularly concede defeat just to avoid the legal costs of a trial.

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: FUD...
by butters on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 23:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: FUD..."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

It's really a shame that none of the current licenses are addressing the needs of the Linux kernel community:

We have the GPLv2, which is working very well for the kernel, but it leaves us open to patent claims.

We have the GPLv3, which addresses the patent claims but imposes usage restrictions that aren't appropriate for the kernel. Vendors selling services based on Linux require the use of digital means for enforcing their TOS. If you don't like the terms, don't buy the service. TiVo is a restrictive service provider, not a danger to free software in general. See more below.

We have the CDDL, perhaps the most compelling license for OSS developers. It has the patent protections, grants the developer exclusive rights to the IP in their original source files (yet they can't sue their downstream users), requires the availability of corresponding source code, and requires sharing of downstream modifications. Unfortunately, while it is a copyleft license, it is based on the source file definition rather than the link definition. Therefore, a distributor can add source files licensed under less protective licenses. This makes the CDDL inappropriate for the kernel, which must remain unified under one license.

The Linux kernel community requested that the FSF remove the anti-DRM clauses from the GPLv3 drafts. They would have seriously considered switching to GPLv3 in this case because of the patent protections. But the anti-DRM clauses were one of the FSF's primary reasons for drafting a new GPL. They only really apply to the kernel (try implementing DRM in userspace), and the Linux kernel community rejects the notion that Linux shouldn't be used by commercial service providers.

The kernel community embraces all users of Linux that respect its IP rights. There are so many possibilities and so many applications for free software as long as we keep it truly free. As soon as we start limiting what users can do with free software, our license stops looking like a free software license and starts looking like a EULA. TiVo isn't improperly distributing the kernel community's IP. They don't care if TiVo's customers are pissed at their service. That's between TiVo and their customers, and this shouldn't affect the way Linux can be deployed in other devices.

Reply Score: 5

RE[7]: FUD...
by what on Sun 4th Feb 2007 14:57 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: FUD..."
what Member since:
2006-01-04

Here's what Ciarán O'Riordan of FSFE suggests : http://kerneltrap.org/node/7238

Basically, he says kernel devs could use the GPLv3 + additional DRM permissions.
It looks like a reasonable compromise to me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: FUD...
by twenex on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 20:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: FUD..."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

And in concecuense we will have more GPLv3 and less usuability in Linux, less formats for the user, forget about ipod compatiblity, etc, etc, and in concecuense less users meaning the dead of the main GPL project, Linux, companies can fork BSD or give to it more support, I say change all the software you can to GPLv3 and see how its popularity falls, just like GNUSense distro w/o the ability to use mp3, something users demands.

Actually, with top music companies experimenting with non-copy-protected MP3's and several European countries ruling that Apple's DRM is illegal, people engaged in the kinds of shenanigans that GPL3 is designed to prevent are soon going to find that the writing is on the wall anyway.

Reply Score: 5

RE: FUD...
by rayiner on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:28 UTC in reply to "FUD..."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

The kernel by itself doesn't do much good. The GNU user-land can function with a different kernel (see GNU/kFreeBSD), but you'd be hard-pressed to build a usable Linux desktop without any GNU software.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: FUD...
by Hiev on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:32 UTC in reply to "RE: FUD..."
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

You are right, but nobody is trying to avoid GPLv2 just GPLv3, now in embedbed devices the kernel is an important part.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: FUD...
by rayiner on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: FUD..."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

What license do you think GCC and glibc are going to be under? GPLv3, of course! The FSF owns the copyright to a ton of software, and they'll relicense it as GPLv3 when it comes out.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: FUD...
by h times nue equals e on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: FUD..."
h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

<sarcasm mode="on">And embedded devices are the largest market for enterprise distributions like RedHat and Novell, yeah, right.</sarcasm>

I don't know why everybody focuses on the kernel.

- Other POSIX conformant kernels can and - in the case of an worst-case-alike scenarios will be used (hardware support may be not there where we are used to it, but that could be fixed with time)

- As long as MS does not offer a detailed list of what parts of their "IP" portfolio are affected/invalidated(in the case of trade secrets)/infringed by which specific FOSS projects, that are typical parts of a Linux distribution like Novells, we will have to take their word for it. However, I doubt that MS itself would turn the cold patent wars into a hot one and I furthermore doubt, that the Linux kernel itself is the part with the largest number of "IP" issues (SAMBA, WINE, Mono are imho more likely candidates).

- Since parts of the kernel are under the "'strict' GPL v2 and not later" and no unified entity was choosen to hold the copyright, a relicensing of the Linux kernel itself was not a very likely thing to happen in the first place.

Neither Novell nor MS acknoledge, that they infringe upon IP of the other, the idemnify their mutual customers for the (unlikely) event, that one of them starts suing the other for the next four-and-a-bit years. Had they respect for the GPLv2, they would have made an agreement with each other in conformity of the GPL, but they choose to outskirt the license, that allows Novell to distribute software that Novell has no copyright to. Fair enough. I can see nothing wrong if the FSF (holder of copyright for a not-so-small part of the toolchain needed in most scenarios, that are intersting for Novell buisnesswise) decides to

- give software developers the option of a license, that disallows such deals
- eats their own dogfood.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: FUD...
by jango on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 21:39 UTC in reply to "FUD..."
jango Member since:
2006-11-22

gnome is owned by the FSF imagine if gnome was licensed under the gpl

Reply Score: 1

Joe User
Member since:
2005-06-29

This kind of reaction is getting pathetic. People who claim Linux and GPL are the most free alternatives should get rid of the people at the FSF, and while they're at it, lay off Stallman also. If they back these tyrans, then they should stop saying Linux is free, it's not as long as you cannot do what you want with it. With the BSD's you can use the code the way you want, no question asked.

Beside prejudicating Linux, I don't know what the FSF has in its mission statement. Shame on you, you're no better than M.$!

Edited 2007-02-03 17:30

Reply Score: 3

KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

If they back these tyrans, then they should stop saying Linux is free, it's not as long as you cannot do what you want with it.

You must be laughing and posting this tongue-in-cheek, because the logic is twisted in just the way logic is frequently twisted in jokes.

Stallman and FSF have very specifically itemized 4 freedoms that GPL is designed to protect. Linus and company willingly chose to put Linux under the GPL to protect those freedoms.

I'm not ready to give Novell a pass on their agreement because I don't understand Microsoft's intentions, and Microsoft has a documented history of devious behavior.

Reply Score: 5

KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

This also is twisted. Any author has the right to license his software however he chooses. The FSF provides a valuable service of offering a ready made license that's easy to use. But authors can always change there minds and license it however they want.

Reply Score: 5

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

As I understand nobody have the righ to say who can or who can't use GPL software, not even the FSF, so they are contradicting the GPL, the freedoms they protect.

Than you don't understand either the GPL or the situation very well (or both). Yes, the GPL permits running the software for whatever purpose you want (freedom 0) - but it restricts the way it can be distributed: basically, anyone who distributes free software must guarantee every right the GPL was designed to guarantee to anyone. Now the Microsoft/Novell patent deal implies that Novell customers get more rights (additional patent protection from Microsoft) than other customers (of the same GPL-ed software). This is patently (excuse me) wrong! That's what the GPL v3 will rectify. This was always in the spirit of the GPL (provide non-discriminatory access to the software) - and Novell violated the spirit, because the latter of GPL v2 allowed for workaround.

Now if the letter of the GPL v3 will prevent such workarounds, than Novell won't be able to distribute software distributed under v3. The FSF has every right to change the license of software copyrighted by them. That includes the GNU toolchain - without which any Linux OS is pretty much crippled. Others (like the SAMBA team) already made clear their intention to change to GPL v3 when it becomes final. In fact, Novell's actions became a catalyst for adoptation, because when the SAMBA team chose the GPL for the software they wrote, they certainly didn't want to have company X distributing their software make a deal that suggests that anyone who is not their customer is under legal threat from Microsoft.

Reply Score: 5

Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

I can tell you that GPLv3 software will be forked not only by Novell, but for the mayority, at then end GPLv3 versions will lose steam, Im sure of that and Im eager to see how it hapends, so, I'll just take some pop-corn and see how Linux gets distroyed by the FSF, It won't really affect me at all, but it will affect you.

Reply Score: 1

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

You are probably one of the most clueless person engaging in this discussion. You claim that GPL v3 will marginalize free software - which is rather funny in the light of recent developments. In all the history of GPL, the industry has been quite weary of adopting it - until SUN's historical move of GPLing JAVA. This was the single biggest contribution ever released under a free software license by a commercial company. And the same company is now considering releasing its premier os - Solaris - under GPL v3 - and they are not against the idea of moving to JAVA to v3 when it is finalized.

Often trolls label the FSF and Richard Stallmann a zealot - and speak about "religion" of free software. The best thing about the ideology (call it religion if you like) of the FSF - the sacred four freedoms if you wish - is what made free software ecosystem work and the GPL attractive for many developers. But when people think of these freedoms as merely ideologies, they disregard its practical aspect: when you read the GPL or the FSF's mission statement, you can interpret it as purely a practical description of a development model, and the "law" of an ecosystem that guarantees all the benefits of a free market (fierce competition) without capitalism's drawback (condensation of wealth for instance, for it constantly enforces a level playing field). It is basically the rule of the free software economics (a gift economy).

Novell by its actions threatens that level playing field - so far, free software companies competed on two major aspects of their offerings: quality of the software (how well tested and reliable is their distribution) and quality of support. Now Novell has another tool: patent threats with the help of Microsoft. This is exactly what the GPL tried to prevent from the very beginning, but Novell, with some help from Microsoft legal found a loophole in the current wording of the GPL. The legal climate has changed, company tactics has changed, and it is time to plug some holes in the current license. Nobody forces anyone to adopt GPL v3. The kernel probably won't, mainly for technical reasons (it is almost impossible to contact all the copyright holders). Others will. Even commercial entities like SUN, not to mention gcc and friends, SAMBA, etc.

Reply Score: 5

IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd just like to point out that Sun open sourcing Solaris and Java, GPL3 or not, is not because they actually care about open source or the ideals of the free software foundation. They did it because Solaris and Java were on a slippery slope to becoming irrelevent. Just like Novell jumping on the Linux bandwagon because of NetWare's demise, Sun is doing the same thing. Don't think for a second they're an ally of the FSF. They're doing exactly what they needed to do.

I don't know what the FSF is getting at with these latest comments, but there is no new evidence or news. It's the same old lines with nothing to back them up.

I'd like to get on a soap box for a second. Samba, while offering something the community needs, helps to proliferate Microsoft's server protocols. If or when Microsoft breaks current SMB/CIFS compatibility with Longhorn server, Samba will react, correct? If Microsoft is indeed the enemy, Samba continues to bring them relevence in the open source world. Why is that? Might it be because users need that functionality? I understand that Microsoft didn't "invent" SMB, but let's face it, it's their domain(no pun intended). I'm sorry, but I don't put too much stock into the moral objections of an organization that support and bring relevence to a major and closed source technology of "the enemy".

What's left is the patents issue. And I'm still unsure of where the problems exist. I'm not saying they don't but nobody, even the FSF's lawyer, has been able to explain it.

Edited 2007-02-04 02:49

Reply Score: 1

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

anyone who distributes free software must guarantee every right the GPL was designed to guarantee to anyone. Now the Microsoft/Novell patent deal implies that Novell customers get more rights

Amazingly enough, giving people more rights without restricting the rights supposedly protected by the license is not a violation of the license.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

What the Microsoft-Novell deal implies is that non-Novell customers have fewer rights than granted in GPL2 and only Novell customers have the rights granted in GPL2.

Reply Score: 5

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

What the Microsoft-Novell deal implies is that non-Novell customers have fewer rights than granted in GPL2 and only Novell customers have the rights granted in GPL2.

It only implies that to people who do not understand intellectual property law.

All a technology cross license agreement can do is grant access rights. It cannot legally remove any access right. All the GPL does is grant access rights. There is no way that a grant of additional access rights can remove already granted rights.

Reply Score: 2

nedvis Member since:
2006-01-02

Only equal rights are RIGHT !!!
You said: "...giving people more rights without restricting the rights s-u-p-p-o-s-e-d-l-y protected by the license is not a violation of the license."
You are wrong if you think Novell gave "more rights" to Linux users by signing deal with Microsoft since it pertains to NOVEL-SuSE Linux user ONLY and it's not extended to entire Linux community.
Now that's the violation of GPL simply because other Linux users ( RedHat,Debian and so on...) are EXCLUDED from the "peace treaty" signed by Novell and Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

You are wrong if you think Novell gave "more rights" to Linux users by signing deal with Microsoft since it pertains to NOVEL-SuSE Linux user ONLY and it's not extended to entire Linux community.
Now that's the violation of GPL simply because other Linux users ( RedHat,Debian and so on...) are EXCLUDED from the "peace treaty" signed by Novell and Microsoft.


Oh really? Can you show me exactly what clause of the GPL Novell is violating? You don't offer any proof whatsoever. Where does the GPL explicitly state that these kinds of agreements cannot be made? The best you could come up with is probably some legal gray area and I don't think that is the case. The GPL is about code sharing, not about sharing agreements made between companies.

Reply Score: 3

nedvis Member since:
2006-01-02

WTF is wrong with you abraxas?

From GPL preamble:
"Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all."
=Can you show me exactly what clause of the GPL Novell is violating=
If it's not "exactly (the) clause" it's the "spirit" of the GPL

Reply Score: 1

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

WTF is wrong with you abraxas?

I guess you are referring to the fact that I don't agree with you. Get used to it.

From GPL preamble:
"Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all."


That's all well and good but it means squat until someone proves that Linux has patent problems with Microsoft and Microsoft decides to sue. Novell did not acquire any patented software that they then GPLed and there is no proof that any GPLed software that they distribute has patent problems specifically with Microsoft.

Microsoft is the one that is really in trouble. They are distributing Novell software now. If they are releasing Novell from patent claims and then distributing Novell software (which obviously includes GPL software) they must either release all of their patents related to GPL software to the community of nullify their deal with Novell.

If it's not "exactly (the) clause" it's the "spirit" of the GPL

Tell that to the courts.

Reply Score: 2

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Beside prejudicating Linux, I don't know what the FSF has in its mission statement. Shame on you, you're no better than M.$!

What are you smoking? The FSF wants simply to enforce the spirit of the GPL - which is to guarantee exactly the same rights to every receiver of free software. The Novell/Microsoft patent deal created a situation when customers of Novell (receivers of free software) are led to believe that they get additional rights compared to other customers of other companies (additional patent protection). The FSF wants simply to make such deals impossible with GPL v3.

This situation was explained over and over again here on osnews and elsewhere (from groklaw through the Samba team to Eben Moglen and Perens) - but it seems that people still don't get it. Prejudicating linux? No better than M.$? How on earth did you arrive at such a ridiculous statements?

Reply Score: 5

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

And how do you call this non sense of FSF having the right to ban users? freedom?, I call it bs.

Jeez, the amount of misinformed comments in this thread is staggering.

FSF doesn't have the right to ban users, nor does it claims to have the right. This is about Novell's *redistribution* rights. If they have encumbered the license with patent conditions, or any other move not allowed by the GPL, then it will lose the ability to freely redistribute the affected GPL software (though it could conceivable get permissions from all the authors involved).

This is textbook copyright law, by the way. Novell gets to sell a whole bunch of software it didn't write without having to pay a cent for it *as long* at it complies with the license.

Whether or not it complied with the license is another matter entirely...until we know, I would advise all the rabid anti-GPL/anti-FSF posters to take a deep breath and actually understand the issue here before posting any more misinformed attacks.

Reply Score: 5

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

This kind of reaction is getting pathetic.

If Novell made a secret patent deal with MS that could affect *other* Linux users negatively, then it's not pathetic at all. I think it's a *good* thing that this is being discussed, so that we may know more about the ramifications of this deal.

People who claim Linux and GPL are the most free alternatives should get rid of the people at the FSF, and while they're at it, lay off Stallman also.

That doesn't make any sense. How do you propose we get "rid" of an independant, non-profit organization? Are you advocating coercion or violence against them? More to the point, who cares about what they have to say? Either Novell violated the GPL, or it didn't. This isn't a matter of opinion, but of law. If it is proved that it did, then it won't be able to redistribute the software that they graciously received under the GPL.

It seems to me *you* want to curtail the freedom of the developers who chose to license their code under the GPL by allowing others to infringe on their copyright.

If they back these tyrans, then they should stop saying Linux is free, it's not as long as you cannot do what you want with it. With the BSD's you can use the code the way you want, no question asked.

Okay, first, using words like "tyrants" really takes away all or your credibility. A tyrant has coercive powers. He can impose his will. This isn't like this at all: the FSF is simply reviewing if Novel has broken the agreement that allows them to redistribute GPLed software. The only thing the FSF can do is exercise the developers' copyright on their behalf.

Also, you seem to be confused about *use* and *redistribution* of software. The two have completely different meanings when talking about copyright, i.e. you cannot claim that redistributing the software is "using" it in some way. It isn't. The GPL cannot dictate how you *use* the software, but it does dictate how you can *redistribute* it. In no case is users' freedom better served by the BSD licence. As far as developers go, it is their choice - their freedom, if you will - to choose how their code can be redistributed according to their rights as guaranteed by copyright law.

Freedom is not an absolute thing. Someone's freedom often end where others' begins. For example, you are not free to steal or attack someone else. That is, in effect, a limit on your freedom, but only sociopaths would see this as negative. Similarly, the GPL imposes restrictions in redistribution to make sure the freedom of users (and of the code's original developer) is protected. So you cannot say that the BSD license is more free than the GPL, simply that they protect different types of freedom.

Reply Score: 5

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Well said as ever. Nice to have you on our side!

Reply Score: 1

nedvis Member since:
2006-01-02

You know what ,twenex, I definitely think both you and archisteel owe us some work at :
http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?fKeywords=linux
I mean : http://www.lulu.com/
Just put all your OSnews.com comments in the electronic book form and I'll be more that happy to spend 4-6 USD
for reading your "Complete Works"
Have nice weekend!
nedvis

Reply Score: 1

...
by Hiev on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 17:18 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

When everything else fail ... FUD.

There goes the last piece of credibility of the FSF.

Edited 2007-02-03 17:18

Reply Score: 1

RE: ...
by jango on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 21:44 UTC in reply to "..."
jango Member since:
2006-11-22

what did you expect from the people who brought you Gnome

long live Linus, GPL

Reply Score: 0

hmm
by Redeeman on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 17:24 UTC
Redeeman
Member since:
2006-03-23

it would appear that reuters calls the entire free set of software "Linux". perhaps they should learn abit more about what linux in reality is, they apparently call gnu software "linux software", just because it can run on linux.

Reply Score: 4

RE: hmm
by Joe User on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 17:33 UTC in reply to "hmm"
Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

Calling a Linux distro (Linux kernel + GNU software bundle) Linux doesn't mean you don't know what Linux is. Linux is a kernel, but there's nothin wrong calling a distro "Linux" just because it's got additional software.

Reply Score: 2

Reuters ...
by Moulinneuf on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 17:32 UTC
Moulinneuf
Member since:
2005-07-06

Follow up on the story from a trusted source :

The Free Software Foundation vs. Novell?

http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS6837365670.html

Reply Score: 5

Self Defeating
by jwwf on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 17:38 UTC
jwwf
Member since:
2006-01-19

This is ridiculous. If you are trying to convince enterprise customers that Linux is a safe choice over Solaris or HP-UX for a $250,000 installation, telling one of the only two enterprise vendors that they are "banned" from continuing their product line due to ideology and 'license issues' is really going to help.

Also, if having only two vendors to choose from is fun, having only one should be even more fun! Remember, if your software is certified only on RHEL and Novell, you're not using anything else if you want support.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Self Defeating
by KenJackson on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:05 UTC in reply to "Self Defeating"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

only two enterprise vendors

Huh?? There are a bunch of good reliable GNU/Linux distributions. I know that Mandriva, http://www.mandriva.com/en/enterprise/, and CentOS, http://centos.org/, also support enterprise distributions and I'm sure other do.

If there are only two certification programs and there is a demand for more, I'm sure someone will step up and provide that service in this most excellent free market.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Self Defeating
by t4inted on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Self Defeating"
t4inted Member since:
2006-11-24

FFS get real!
Of course there are other distributions, but enterprises don't care. They buy software, from large enterprises. NO company I ever worked for would even consider to user some "voodoo community Linux". Sure, you and me, we know CentOS is 99% Redhat, but this doesn't matter to them. If an enterprise is going for some computer investment they want it protected by some entity they can blame if stuff breaks.

And mandriva ... well, enterprise is basically RedHat and Suse, other are not yet known and trusted enough.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Self Defeating
by KenJackson on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Self Defeating"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

... enterprise is basically RedHat and Suse, other are not yet known and trusted enough.

Well Novell just provided an excellent opportunity for another enterprise distribution to step up and be recognized as companies start to feel nervous about supporting Novell. That's the mechanism of the free market.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Self Defeating
by anda_skoa on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Self Defeating"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

Well Novell just provided an excellent opportunity for another enterprise distribution to step up and be recognized as companies start to feel nervous about supporting Novell. That's the mechanism of the free market.

Maybe this is one of the reasons HP recently announced full Debian support for their servers

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Self Defeating
by Hiev on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Self Defeating"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

tech support or just compatibility?

Customers don't give a damn about compatibilty w/o tech support.

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: Self Defeating
by anda_skoa on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:50 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Self Defeating"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

tech support or just compatibility?

You'll have to ask HP. Their respective press release says this: "...HP today announced that it has increased Linux distribution support options for customers and expanded its portfolio to include support for Debian Linux..."

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Self Defeating
by jwwf on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Self Defeating"
jwwf Member since:
2006-01-19

Huh?? There are a bunch of good reliable GNU/Linux distributions. I know that Mandriva, http://www.mandriva.com/en/enterprise/, and CentOS, http://centos.org/, also support enterprise distributions and I'm sure other do.

If there are only two certification programs and there is a demand for more, I'm sure someone will step up and provide that service in this most excellent free market.


You are completely missing the point. It's true that there are other good Linux distributions. It's true that distros like CentOS "support" enterprise software in the sense that it will usually run. Heck, I use and like Ubuntu. But...

If you buy a license for a software package like Oracle or VxVM that costs as much as a car or a house, you also buy a support contract. And that contract is useless unless you install said software on a distro that is supported by the application vendor. If they release a patch that makes the sw stop working on your unsupported distro, too bad. If their techs are busy and don't feel like helping with your unsupported distro, too bad.

As of now, there are only two Linux vendors that are generally validated for by app vendors, RHEL and Novell. If someone else "steps up" and "supports" Oracle on Ubuntu, who cares? Why would you want to save a few grand on the OS, throw away your Oracle support fee, and pay someone else an additional fee?

The best I have seen lately is IBM says Ubuntu 6.06 is "Validated" for DB2 but not "Recommended". Big deal.

I wish it wasn't so. It is.

Edit: fixed goofy italics screw up.

Edited 2007-02-03 18:54

Reply Score: 2

RE: Self Defeating
by elsewhere on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:17 UTC in reply to "Self Defeating"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Also, if having only two vendors to choose from is fun, having only one should be even more fun! Remember, if your software is certified only on RHEL and Novell, you're not using anything else if you want support.

Until, that is, Microsoft decides to announce that as part of their existing agreement with Red Hat/JBoss, they're extending equal patent protection to RHEL customers. Red Hat will, of course, claim that the existing agreement in no way was intended to provide patent indemnity for GPL products, but that doesn't matter any more than it did when Novell made the same claims.

Then Microsoft can have more fun by claiming that their patent cross-licensing agreements with IBM will extend to patent protection for IBM's linux customers. IBM can claim that they don't support any such assertion, but as we've seen, that's irrelevant.

I'm really interested in seeing just how the FSF thinks they're going to pull off such a restrictive licensing clause and actually make it enforceable.

Reply Score: 4

Once again, GPL not suited for businesses
by Joe User on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 17:43 UTC
Joe User
Member since:
2005-06-29

After the RH vs Oracle problem, now it's Novell's turn. I don't imagine such problems with Apple for using FreeBSD kernel in its operating system.

It would have to boost spending on research and development to upgrade its software without access to the latest versions of the open-source code provided by the Foundation.

Novell shares ended down 2 cents at $7.16 on the Nasdaq.

The stock is likely to trade down before the Foundation discloses its ruling as investors stay on the sidelines to avoid the worst-case scenario, analysts said.

"Investors don't like uncertainty," Egbert said.


Because of the whims of a bunch of idiots, Linux loses the little credibility it has gained over the years. FSF if you don't like companies to use the code of your code developers the way they see fit, say it loud, and investors will look somewhere else. Thanks for nothing.

Edited 2007-02-03 17:55

Reply Score: 1

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

After the RH vs Oracle problem, now it's Novell's turn. I don't imagine such problems with Apple for using FreeBSD kernel in its operating system.

Apple used the FBSD kernel in its OS because FBSD can be made proprietary. Linux users use Linux because it CANNOT be made proprietary. All things considered, it sounds like Linux is doing better than Apple so far.

Proprietary software deserves to go the way of proprietary hardware. Not only does it deserve to, but it also will.

Reply Score: 2

Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

All things considered, it sounds like Linux is doing better than Apple so far.

Ah ah!! That's funny. You must be living in a hole, or you're talking only for you.

Reply Score: 2

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

All things considered, it sounds like Linux is doing better than Apple so far.

Ah ah!! That's funny. You must be living in a hole, or you're talking only for you.


Well, let's see. Linux is shipped - shipped! - on 25% of servers, and nobody really knows how many servers it's installed on. Nobody really knows how many desktops it's installed on, either, but the most conservative estimates put that figure at 2.5%. Apple make up the rest of the non-Windows shipments, so if that figure is true then their desktop market share is roughly the same as Linux's. As for servers, nobody discusses figures for OS X shipments on servers, so they're probably negligible at best, non-existent at worst. So all in all, Linux has a verifiable marketshare of 27.5%, and a potential marketshare that's much larger, versus Apple's 2.5%. So unless Apple's stated goal is "to remain a niche player and a distant third behind Linux and Windows", I'd say that my original statement was correct.

Reply Score: 5

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Because of the whims of a bunch of idiots, Linux loses the little credibility it has gained over the years. FSF if you don't like companies to use the code of your code developers the way they see fit, say it loud, and investors will look somewhere else. Thanks for nothing.

Astounding how often those who have no credibility attempt to besmirch the credibility of others.

The simple fact of the matter is this: Microsoft have the right to do with their code "what they see fit", and everyone acknowledges this. The only reason this argument exist is because proprietary software companies only like open source code that they can steal for proprietary uses. Free software was created to be immune to that danger, and now that the patent threat has cropped up, efforts are being made to reinforce it.

If that pisses off proprietary software companies, too bad.

Reply Score: 5

OK
by pierino on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:01 UTC
pierino
Member since:
2005-07-31

Well done FSF
Novell signed a crontract with Microsoft agreeing that Linux source code infringe some ms patents.
and btw FSF works for users not commercial entities.

Reply Score: 3

RE: OK
by Hiev on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:05 UTC in reply to "OK"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

And MS also recognised they infringed Novell Patents, so it was a trade not a sell out.

And thx to the commercial entities Linux and the FSF are where they are right now and they can be fired by them forking or simple not supporting them, at these day we have more options, not just GNU options like the past.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: OK
by rayiner on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:37 UTC in reply to "RE: OK"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

The question is, doesn't that suddenly put every non-Novell distribution at risk? It's not about freedom or ideology, it's about the legal system*. In signing the deal, Novell basically admitted to liability. They were covered from that as part of the deal, but since Novell ships the same code as every other Linux distributer, that calls into question the liability of all of them. It gives Microsoft (or a proxy agent) a stronger case for going against RedHat, who is not covered by the deal.

The FSF probably has no legal recourse against Novell, and they understand that as the updated comment from Moglen shows. However, this situation underscores the need for GPLv3, which has patent terms that would potentially mitigate a situation like this. And it's not only the FSF who recognizes that patents can be used to subvert free software --- IBM, Sun, and Mozilla all have patent clauses in their open-source licenses.

*) It should be noted that Moglen has his JD from Yale and is a professor of law at Columbia. He has strong beliefs about the freedom of software, but he's better-qualified to talk about the legal ramifications of the Novell-Microsoft deal than any of us posters on this forum!

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: OK
by elsewhere on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: OK"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

In signing the deal, Novell basically admitted to liability. They were covered from that as part of the deal, but since Novell ships the same code as every other Linux distributer, that calls into question the liability of all of them. It gives Microsoft (or a proxy agent) a stronger case for going against RedHat, who is not covered by the deal.

No, it doesn't work that way. Novell ships their own proprietary, closed components with their enterprise linux distributions, and the agreement did not specify particular components. This is not unusual, because companies engaged in patent-cross licensing will rarely specify particular products or technologies, at least publically, because they are hesitant to actually admit the infringement.

But aside from that, even if Novell signed an agreement that said we're licensing patent no. 123456 from Microsoft to cover it's use in kernel process xyz, Microsoft would still have to prove the infringement if they chose to pursue any other distributors of the linux kernel. The fact that Novell licensed the technology would have no bearing. In fact, even the US courts have conceded that licensing a patent doesn't imply acceptance of that patent's relevance nor can the patent agreement necessarily prevent the licensee's right to dispute the patent anyways.

It should be noted that Moglen has his JD from Yale and is a professor of law at Columbia. He has strong beliefs about the freedom of software, but he's better-qualified to talk about the legal ramifications of the Novell-Microsoft deal than any of us posters on this forum!

And when push came to shove, after having NDA-access to the actual documentation, he couldn't find anything that was actually wrong with the agreement. He was looking for something that specified patent coverage for GPL'd products that he could point to, and he couldn't find it. Besides, Novell offered enterprise customers legal indemnity for linux software from intellectual property disputes long before any agreement with Microsoft was reached.

So rather than admit that the agreement was actually legally meaningless in terms of being a threat to the integrity of GPL software, they decided to call this a loophole because of the perceived threat and it now becomes the focal point for advancing the v3 agenda. They've also admitted the v3 simply serves to solidify patent provisions that were already implied in v2, so they're not actually accomplishing much beyond a little clarity.

Given the ambiguous terms of the Novell agreement, I cannot see a conceivable way that they can restrict Novell from distributing GPL protected software without impacting any other company that has non-specific trade agreements with Microsoft (or similar), and the industry is rife with those.

At this point, they haven't even been able to illustrate how they're going to add this provision, which will inevitably have a significant impact on how companies will have to consider v3 licensing, yet the license is now a month or two away from release. Will be interesting to see.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: OK
by SReilly on Sun 4th Feb 2007 16:36 UTC in reply to "RE: OK"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

"And thx to the commercial entities Linux and the FSF are where they are right now and they can be fired by them forking or simple not supporting them, at these day we have more options, not just GNU options like the past."

That statement is one of the most uneducated statement I have read yet in this thread.

Mind how you tread least you forget that Linux is where it is today because of the efforts of tens of thousands of devs free time and code donations. This could never have been possible without the GPL, Stallman and the FSF.

All the big corps are nothing but jonny-come-latelys and to give them credit for the hard work of others is just disrespectful.

Shame on you!

Reply Score: 3

RE: OK
by deb2006 on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 20:55 UTC in reply to "OK"
deb2006 Member since:
2006-06-26

Completely agree. Novell wants to play by Microsoft's rule and leave the other Linux vendors out in the cold. That's bad, bad, bad - why? Because Novell profits from OSS development. If others are able to share, Novell has to learn to share or simply vanish. I support this move of the FSF (well, if it's true). Keep on rocking, FSF!

Reply Score: 4

FSF
by happycamper on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:03 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

/* The community of people wants to do anything they can to interfere with this deal and all deals like it. They have every reason to be deeply concerned that this is the beginning of a significant patent aggression by Microsoft," */

i back up the FSF, they are trying to protect linux from being ruin by nasty rich corporations like ms and novell. I will start my personal boycott of anything that is related to novell and ms, by not stopping at novell's booth at the So Cal linux expo show.

Reply Score: 1

FSF wants to be RIAA of free software world?
by Kishe on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:15 UTC
Kishe
Member since:
2006-02-16

Bullying companies to adapt to their religion wont end up well...Bully Novel too much and they'll just take mono, gnome and everything else they own rights to out of GPL and tell rest of the community to screw it.

Trust me...taking GCC from Novel would hurt FSF and the community they claim to represent more than it would hurt Novel...

Reply Score: 1

t4inted Member since:
2006-11-24

Revoking Novells right to use the GNU Toolchain would probably kill Novell. They would have to fork everything and still maintain compatibility with the real GNU Toolchain.

OTOH the Community could probably fork Mono without too much effort.

But I'm just guessing, we'll see how it turns out.

Reply Score: 3

cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

No.

FSF is not a religion. There are many religions in the world. As far as I understand it the FSF is not a recognized religion anywhere. If you could give me more insight into this I would be interested.

Bully!?

Read the article...It says the FSF Novell can make the deal with Microsoft. Their not happy about it as are many users of Linux. When the new license is used you won't be able to do it with that software.

I can only see this strengthening support for the GPL3.

The reality of Novell has been a good supporter of Late in the FLOSS arena. Whats ironic is many of their particular projects are most at risk.

Reply Score: 5

Kishe Member since:
2006-02-16

well, hopefully Linus will never sign GPL3...

Reply Score: 3

I hope Novel covered the bases
by Bit_Rapist on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:34 UTC
Bit_Rapist
Member since:
2005-11-13

Hopefully (for Novel's sake) they wrote up the licensing agreements with MS in a way that only covers the current code base, or has an opt out option should this whole deal go through, by opt out I mean an exit plan cause the deal will mean nothing for novel should the GPL 3.0 put them in violation of the license due to this deal.

I'm not sure that what Novel did was wrong and I can't say that I'm against the FSF's moves in regards to Novel's actions. There is a bigger freedom at stake should patent deals be 'legal' under the GPL of the future, and that freedom may well be most of OSS as a whole if the FSF fails to address this now.

I can see both sides of it, Novel made a deal that gave benefit to their business model (I can't slight a company for that) and the FSF is reviewing how the GPL license is written due to the fear that these deals may well undermine the GPL down the road (can't say I'm against that either).

Edited 2007-02-03 18:35

Reply Score: 4

FSF
by marafaka on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:50 UTC
marafaka
Member since:
2006-01-03

The Free Software Foundation is protecting the rights of citizens in the information age. The Foundation has no means to enforce anything, but it can and it does protect themselves, their members and their property.

Everybody is free to sell their rights, kidneys and brains too. But please educate yourselves before doing so.

And yeah, you're not using linux, you're running the GPL licensed software on something you have no clue about it.

Reply Score: 2

So sad
by pandronic on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:11 UTC
pandronic
Member since:
2006-05-18

... and then the same people ask themselves why every year is not the year of desktop Linux. If they push away companies interested in building something on top of Linux, Desktop Linux will remain exactly what it is now: a hobby OS, with no mainstream support.

I've tested openSUSE 10.2 recently and I can honestly say that it is the first distribution that made me, even if only for a day or two, think that I could switch to Linux. And do you think that it's because of the community behind openSUSE? No, it's because of Novell. It's the same story as with OpenOffice. First thank Sun for it, and then the community.

Reply Score: 5

RE: So sad
by Hiev on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:13 UTC in reply to "So sad"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

+10 you are so right.

Reply Score: 1

RE: So sad
by rayiner on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:21 UTC in reply to "So sad"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

... and then the same people ask themselves why every year is not the year of desktop Linux. If they push away companies interested in building something on top of Linux, Desktop Linux will remain exactly what it is now: a hobby OS, with no mainstream support.

What alternate reality to do you live in? Linux is a multi-billion dollar product for a number of very big companies. Desktop Linux has comparable market-share to OS X. Even back in 2004, HP was shipping 100,000 desktop Linux machines per quarter, accounting for hundreds of millions in revenues. It's used on the desktops of movie studios from Weta and ILM to Disney, and millions of machines worldwide are being transitioned to it in the government sector. Linux went "mainstream" a decade ago. It is now the #2 client/server OS in the world.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: So sad
by pandronic on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 20:00 UTC in reply to "RE: So sad"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Well, I'm sure that my local PC Store can put FreeDos or Linux on your new system if you want to scrape a few bucks off the price, and then you go home and put your old Windows on it, or take the latest version from your favorite warez site. I know a lot of people do that. Sure, technically, in this case, you can add 1000$ (the price of the system) to your multi-billion figures.

As a long time Windows user, I ventured into the Linux world with the hope of getting a free replacement OS for Windows. After a few years, all I could accomplish was to set up some boxes with OpenOffice and Firefox for the most basic office needs. I started with an open mind, set to give Linux a fair chance, but I'm getting sick of meddling around with configuration files, goggling all day long to find out how to share a stinking folder, or reading endless forums to figure out the simplest of tasks. In my opinion Linux is either flawed, or designed for people with far more time than me ... or both.

Companies like Novell have proven to bring exactly what Linux lacked: a bit of logic and user-friendliness.

Excuse me if I like to play MP3s, view WMVs correctly, use Windows fonts, use my video card at all its potential, open DOCs reliably and so on. This is the only chance that Linux gets from me, and I applaud Novell for making a deal with MS, if that means even a 1% improvement in user experience.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So sad
by twenex on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 20:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So sad"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Well, I'm sure that my local PC Store can put FreeDos or Linux on your new system if you want to scrape a few bucks off the price, and then you go home and put your old Windows on it, or take the latest version from your favorite warez site. I know a lot of people do that. Sure, technically, in this case, you can add 1000$ (the price of the system) to your multi-billion figures.

I hate to break it to you, but millions of computers sold on the basis of their hardware configuration and/or price, which come preinstalled with Windows against the wishes of their purchasers, get wiped by people who want nothing to do with it and installed with some flavour of Linux or BSD.

Excuse me if I like to play MP3s, view WMVs correctly, use Windows fonts, use my video card at all its potential, open DOCs reliably and so on. This is the only chance that Linux gets from me, and I applaud Novell for making a deal with MS, if that means even a 1% improvement in user experience.

Well gee, I can do all that on my Linux machine, and the fonts and themese I have on it look better than most Windows machines I see.

All this MS deal will mean, if it is successful, is that MS gets to steal Linux.

Edited 2007-02-03 20:27

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: So sad
by pandronic on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 21:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So sad"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Well gee, I can do all that on my Linux machine, and the fonts and themese I have on it look better than most Windows machines I see.

Well gee, so have I ... three days and a lot of goggling later. But still my remote control doesn't work, Macromedia Flash kind of runs in Wine, my PPPoE connection doesn't disconnect by itself ... well most of the time, Banshee crashes when I play something, so I'm runing Exaile and I could go on. Everything ... kind of works.

I'm not trying to make Linux look bad, all I'm saying is that the community shouldn't dismiss companies that pour money into Linux development, and shouldn't put their view of freedom over functionality at all cost.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: So sad
by twenex on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 21:38 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So sad"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Well gee, so have I ... three days and a lot of goggling later. But still my remote control doesn't work, Macromedia Flash kind of runs in Wine, my PPPoE connection doesn't disconnect by itself ... well most of the time, Banshee crashes when I play something, so I'm runing Exaile and I could go on. Everything ... kind of works.

I wonder what distribution you are running. My first thought would be Gentoo, because it takes time to set up, but then it does have a disclaimer on it saying don't use this if you don't want to do things manually. And it also doesn't break like you describe.

Macromedia Flash might "kind of run" in Wine, but it DEFINITELY runs in Firefox. I find Amarok the best Linux music player - heck, no, I've never used any Mac music player, but unless they're even better, then it's probably the best damn music player in the biz.

In my experience your "everything...kind of works" comment is best suited for Windows, except for newer versions, when it will only "kind of work" if, in addition to taking your money, the media company you bought that shiny new DVD off feels in a good enough mood to let you use it today, too.

I'm not trying to make Linux look bad, all I'm saying is that the community shouldn't dismiss companies that pour money into Linux development, and shouldn't put their view of freedom over functionality at all cost.

The idea that "the linux community dismisses companies that pour money into linux development" is just FUD. What they dismiss is companies that try to syphon Linux off to use for their own needs without giving back. I think it's down to a basic lack of confidence. Microsoft make sure you keep purchasing Word by making sure only Word can understand successive gratuitously-changed versions of the .doc format (and sometimes they even forget about old versions). Hovis didn't become the leading bread company in the United Kingdom by forcing you to buy a Hovis toaster if you want toast and Hovis butter if you don't want your toast dry; they did it by making damned good bread.

Oh yes, and the "in Windows, all software works" argument: That's only been true in the last few years. Unless Vista is the complete flop reviews suggest it should be - which given Microsoft's titanium grip on the OEM market it's unlikely to be - that's not going to be true for Windows software soon anymore anyway. Soon there will be "XP" versions and "Vista versions", just like there used to be Win9x versions and other versions.

I'm not trying to make Linux look bad, all I'm saying is that the community shouldn't dismiss companies that pour money into Linux development, and shouldn't put their view of freedom over functionality at all cost.

As Ben Franklin might have said if he were a software writer, "those who would sacrifice essential liberty to gain temporary functionality, deserve neither liberty nor functionality".

Edited 2007-02-03 21:42

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: So sad
by pandronic on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 22:12 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: So sad"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

This kind of discussions are like pissing in the wind ...

And BTW I don't think that Macromedia Flash (you know, the authoring tool, not the player - there is a slight difference) works in Firefox.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: So sad
by twenex on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 22:30 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: So sad"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

This kind of discussions are like pissing in the wind ...

Makes me wonder why you participated in it then.

And BTW I don't think that Macromedia Flash (you know, the authoring tool, not the player - there is a slight difference) works in Firefox.

Ah, now I understand. I can certainly see the value of running Windows if you have a Windows-only application, but then that doesn't mean Windows is the best operating system. Right now, for instance, Amarok doesn't work in Windows to the best of my knowledge, so if I want to run it I have to run Linux. As for Wine, it's no secret that its compatibility with Windows is not 100%, but then again, it IS trying to keep up with a moving target for which no source code, and allegedly not all API's, are legally available.

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: So sad
by Coxy on Sun 4th Feb 2007 20:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So sad"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

This has been my experience of Linux too. I see it's generated the usual responses here: 'My distro works fine, it must be something your doing wrong...' ;-)

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: So sad
by cyclops on Sun 4th Feb 2007 21:19 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: So sad"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Off topic
=========

"This has been my experience of Linux too. I see it's generated the usual responses here: 'My distro works fine, it must be something your doing wrong...' ;-)"

The differences, by the very nature of a distribution, are minor. The real difference is in the support and how the support is delivered.

The reality is in computing *most* of the time if you have a problem *you* are doing something wrong. It is possible one distribution contains never versions of the software...or is set to *better* defaults.

The solution to the problem is often a *polite* post in the forum; chat on irc; or a phone call away....thats without *paid* support being available from certain vendors.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: So sad
by Bounty on Mon 5th Feb 2007 22:22 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: So sad"
Bounty Member since:
2006-09-18

The reality is in computing *most* of the time if you have a problem, it's poor design. If certain versions of certain software were cars, we'd be steering with rope..... and the mechanics would blame us for not whacking our hands against the wall to toughen them up. I've used many systems, so I know good design can happen.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: So sad
by nedvis on Sun 4th Feb 2007 06:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So sad"
nedvis Member since:
2006-01-02

"...Excuse me if I like to play MP3s, view WMVs correctly, use Windows fonts, use my video card at all its potential, open DOCs reliably and so on. "
OK , I'm with you,but what Novell did specifically to improve your Linux experience regarding mp3, MS Word *.doc document format and with your video card.NOTHING!!!

You should try Vector Linux 5.8 or DreamLinux-Multimedia or PSLinuxOS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So sad
by deb2006 on Sun 4th Feb 2007 14:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So sad"
deb2006 Member since:
2006-06-26

I'd prefer if they sold PCs with FreeDOS. That way Linux could seriously compete with Windows.

There are at least four distributions that offer just that: openSUSE (the version one can buy in the store), Ubuntu, Linspire, and PC Linux OS.

Linux distributions are not responsible for license issues of Frauenhofer or Microsoft. And some have solutions to this dilemma. The solution is not - IS NOT - to make special deals with Microsoft. The source is and remains open. As long as Novell doesn't have a clue of how the ;Linux community ticks, they'd better stay away from a Linux distribution.

Reply Score: 1

omg stupid!!
by SK8T on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 19:49 UTC
SK8T
Member since:
2006-06-01

as steve jobs said: "Relationships, that are destructive, don't help anybody in this industry as it is today."

So in my opion, the relationship between novell an Microsoft is good for linux, good for linux market share, good for the end user.

Reply Score: 2

RE: omg stupid!!
by twenex on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 20:29 UTC in reply to "omg stupid!!"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

as steve jobs said: "Relationships, that are destructive, don't help anybody in this industry as it is today."

Indeed. So since MS wants to destroy the non-MS Linux industry, the best thing to do is steer well clear of this "relationship".

Reply Score: 4

RE: omg stupid!!
by david g on Sun 4th Feb 2007 02:20 UTC in reply to "omg stupid!!"
david g Member since:
2005-07-08

So in my opion, the relationship between novell an Microsoft is good for linux, good for linux market share, good for the end user.

How about the developers? You know - the guys and gals that have put so much effort into writing the software that Novell sells. Don't they deserve some consideration? Before you say it, "market share" is not necessarily what these people are after - at least, not at the cost of freedom.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: omg stupid!!
by nedvis on Sun 4th Feb 2007 06:45 UTC in reply to "RE: omg stupid!!"
nedvis Member since:
2006-01-02
About Novel, FSF, Microsoft and Everything
by n0xx on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 20:13 UTC
n0xx
Member since:
2005-07-12

Personally, I think it was a dumb move from Novell to singn the pact with MS.

Why did they choose to base their business strategy on Linux if they knew it came with strings attached (no negative connotation intended)? Why didn't they based their work on FreeBSD? It would have been far more flexible and business friendly? If you're business strategy involves adding tainted code to your project's source, then BSD is they way to go.

So I'll ask again: Why did they chose GNU/Linux on the first place?

These big IT companies don't just spent loads of cash in something just for kicks, they define a business strategy, do some market researching (betterdesktop.org anywone?) and act acordingly. I find it VERY hard to belive that they overlooked the fact that the comunitty would get up in arms because of such a move.

So why didn't they give a rat's ass about how the community would react?

There has been much talk about fundamentalism and the Spirit of Free Software. I for one, understand why the FSF is trying to push GPL3 as a way to enforce the SFS (acronym inversion...sweeeet), and I understand the need to adapt the GPL to the modern times.

Call me paranoid, but I can't help to think that Novel deliberately scrutinized the GPL, in the hopes of finding some kind of legal hole, and exploited the said hole once they found it. This is not uncommon, it happens all the time. If you have enough money to hire a high end law firm, those guys will pretty much get you out of anything by finding legal loop holes and exploiting them.

So that's that... If they wanted to just do their thing with MS and keep the peace with the Open Source crowd, they should have used BSD. And I'm placing my 2 cents worth of bet on my little conspiracy theory.

Be well.

Reply Score: 5

acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

You do realize that many of the programs/libraries they needed to build the whole system with development tools, interoperability and "who knows what more" are GPL, right?

Just to be a little explicit: samba, gcc, gdb, gnome, kde (multiple license) and many, many more (drivers and what more). Linux (the kernel) of course, is not included as you suggested to use BSD kernels.

Fact is, before Linux adoption Novell was a free fallen company without a direction, now they have.

So, really, doesn't matter that much which one they have picked. Would be almost irrelevant.

Now, I still think that FSF is looking at wrong target. Microsoft draconian OEM contracts is what should be beat. The control pressure they exercise on the computer industry, as in the documents formats and hardware specs non-disclosure contracts.

If they, FSF, insist on this path, to put away business support we all need, I fear we could end up with a consortium of companies forking the entire FSF base and keep the current Linux kernel, if they manage to keep it GPL2 only. Or worse, grab one of the current *BSDs and create a consortium around it too. Damn, I hope not (nothing against *BSD kernels, I'm a long time FreeBSD user, but we do not want one more BSD kernel fork).

Maybe, we shold stick with GPL2 and be calm. No matter what kind of DRM someone develops, as long as MS products can have access to them, it will end up with someone cracking it. Also, on many conutries they are already awake of the problems of DRM (as they try to enforce in USA) clauses, being many of them even invalid on some (talking about fair use).

I think we need to be patient. May take time, but the cost will push most of us to FOSS software anyway, at least when talking about general purpose software, the benefit is impossible to overlook and ignore.

Reply Score: 1

By doing so...
by cozby on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 20:26 UTC
cozby
Member since:
2006-03-08

This is doing more damage than good to the Linux community.

Reply Score: 1

Novel is the new apple.
by Kishe on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 20:50 UTC
Kishe
Member since:
2006-02-16

Few decades ago when there was alot of computer systems and os'es microsoft started to pour ernomous amounts of money on apple and by so ensured that there was competition but not too much of it...


Microsoft will support Novel, and suse will become great OS, this will again kill all other linux variations who doesnt have multi-billion support and Microsoft can say to courts "See! We have competition...we're not a monopoly!"

Reply Score: 2

v GPL is like communism.
by Kishe on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 20:53 UTC
RE: GPL is like communism.
by SReilly on Sun 4th Feb 2007 16:55 UTC in reply to "GPL is like communism."
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Please tell me how you have come to consider that statement to be even remotely true?

All the stats speak for the fact that the GPL is the means by which development is possible for the second largest market share operating system in the world.

Me thinks you talking out of your rear end.

Reply Score: 1

RE: GPL is like communism.
by ubit on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 20:58 UTC
ubit
Member since:
2006-09-08

"
GPL looks great on paper and sounds nice as ideology but in use it stinks big time
"

Can you expand on that a bit?

Since Novell does sell a GPL-licensed product, I'd say it's doing pretty well considering a few years ago companies like Novell and IBM were all about the proprietary.

Reply Score: 4

Rock, meet hard place
by Cloudy on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 21:44 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

The FSF made a mistake. Moglen clearly left the Reuters reporter with the impression he intended to leave: that FSF was going to "do something about Novell." He is back pedalling now because he has realized that the only thing that the FSF could do would be to revoke Novell's license, which would be very counterproductive.

Why would it be counterproductive? Because if FSF revoked Novell's license to the software that the FSF owns it would make it clear to all but the most rabid fanboys that the GPL is just another revokable license and doesn't guarentee any "freedoms" at all.

More than that, it would cause companies like IBM and HP, who have invested large amounts of money into Linux to question the wisdom or relying on the few Linux components that the FSF controls. IBM, after all, has been in the compiler business for fifty years, and would have no problem at all replicating GCC.

Reply Score: 4

The code is open ...
by aGNUstic on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 21:54 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

The code is open. Read it. Point out the code that `allegedly` infringes in this ongoing publicity game.

If such an infringement does exist, which I doubt, then point it out so the open source community can purge your filth.

So, in short, Bill and Allen ... put up or `STFU`.

Edited 2007-02-03 21:58

Reply Score: 3

RE: OK
by npang on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 22:03 UTC
npang
Member since:
2006-11-26

As far as I know, the FSF doesn't have any right to Linux as the FSF doesn't have any code in Linux! The FSF has rights to all the GNU software as well as rights to revoke distribution of GNU.

In my opinion, this is yet another vindication of Stallman's issue about the GNU/Linux name. GNU is not Linux software. GNU is an important part of the GNU/Linux distro. Linux is an important part of the GNU/Linux distro.

Reply Score: 1

There is a lot of misunderstanding here
by abraxas on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 23:57 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

Point 1: Linux is only the kernel and itself is in no danger of being illegal for Novell to redistribute because Linux has made it clear that the GPLv3 will not be adopted by the kernel

Point 2: It is apparent that most of the people who replied to the articles haven't actually read the articles. The FSF isn't trying to stop Novell from distributing Linux per se. They are attempting to incorporate language in the GPLv3 that ensure that deals like the one Novell agreed to will be against the future licensing terms.

Point 3: Open source is still open. Novell still has the rights to all GPLv2 software which is the majority of software out there, including previously GPLv2 licensed software copyrighted by FSF. It would be difficult to independently develop all the software that the FSF releases but if the license is such a big issue I'm sure others would join in to develop these versions. If the majority prefer the old licensing the FSF will lose all control as the GPLv2 versions will be the only ones still being actively developed.

Point 4: Even if the GPLv3 incorporates this language it may actually have no effect on Novell other than forcing them to nullify their contract with Microsoft.

There is a lot of talk in the comments section that have no basis in reality and are just knee-jerk reactions to a sensational headline. Despite what most people are saying this is actually the good part of open source. If people want the new license they will use it. If they don't they won't. It is a truly democratic system.

Edited 2007-02-04 00:00

Reply Score: 5

FSF, please be smart
by JeffS on Sun 4th Feb 2007 01:10 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

It would be both stupid and catastrophic if the FSF attacked Novell and disallowed them to redistribute the GPL tool chain (which will be under GPL3 by that time). That would only help destroy a strong Linux distributor and fierce competitor to MS. It would also divide the community, and make Linux far less attractive to businesses and casual users alike.

If fact, I'm sure that MS is hoping, even praying, that the FSF does exactly that - ban Novell from redistributing the GNU tool chain. They'd be rid of a competitor, and the Linux threat would be greatly weakened.

Steve Ballmer will be laughing his @ss off if this scenario comes to play, and thanking the FSF profusely.

The FSF would be playing right into the hands of MS's divide and conquer strategy.

But hopefully the FSF, as well as the free software community, will be smart.

The smart thing to do is to declare all patent amnesty claims by MS to Novell, in regards to GPL'd software, by definition now is granted to all users, developers, and distributors of GPL'd software, as defined by the GPL3.

They could give MS the chance to pull out at any time.

But going forward upon the release of the GPL3, all relevant GPL'd software, under any circumstances, will be immune to MS patent claims against it, so long as the current patent agreement between MS and Novell is in effect.

This would put the real problem/threat, Microsoft, in the hot seat. They will be forced to put up or shut up.

Of course, they could pull out of the agreement if they wish. But doing so would cause them to alienate their customers, particularly the ones who have already received the purchased SuSE coupons from MS (16,000 and counting).

In other words, MS would be forced to either alienate current customers, or to simply declare Linux immune to all relevant MS patents.

In either case, we win.

And the GPL, as well as Linux, would be strengthened.

Reply Score: 4

RE: FSF, please be smart
by pepa on Sun 4th Feb 2007 06:39 UTC in reply to "FSF, please be smart"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

Your suggestion to declare patent amnesty to all GPL software is intriguing, but I have a feeling it won't work legally. Patents are a legal reality (in some jurisdictions!), but I strongly sympathize with the FSF's antipathy against them.

Reply Score: 2

Emotions
by systyrant on Sun 4th Feb 2007 02:00 UTC
systyrant
Member since:
2007-01-18

I'm trying very hard to keep my emotions in check with this because I like Novell and I like what they've done with the version of Linux they sell. It would be extremely easy to go off bashing the GPL v3 or the FSF and end up just another somebody throwing out crappy opinions.

If, somehow, Novell was stopped from selling Linux then I feel it would be a tragedy for the entire community. With that said I would suspect that if it did not cause irreparable damage to Novell as a company that they would fight for the right to continue selling Linux. Although I'm sure, for the most part, that Novell as a Linux distributer would effectively be over regardless of the outcome.

My hope is that Novell would then turn it's sites to BSD. At the very least it would give Novell a strong platform to develop on and I'm sure it would drive up the adoption of BSD.

Although I'm sure a few of you would agree with me and most of you won't I just want to lend my support to Novell. I also want to say that it's been disturbing to me to read all the negativity from the Linux and Open Source community about the Novell/Microsoft deal. From where I sit it looks like nothing more than blind hatred of Microsoft over shadowing any potential good that might arise for the deal. Don't get me wrong I to know that Microsoft doesn't do anything without finding some why to hurt somebody else, but I just can't help but see that most people simply respond to the fact that it's Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Emotions
by pepa on Sun 4th Feb 2007 06:13 UTC in reply to "Emotions"
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

There is no reason for Novell to turn to BSD, as the Linux kernel will most likely stay GPL2 anyway.

I think it's not blind hatred of Microsoft that makes people negative towards Novell, it is how Novell has brought in Software Patent issues to bear on GNU/Linux code.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Emotions
by systyrant on Sun 4th Feb 2007 16:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Emotions"
systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

As long as software patents exist they will always be a problem for Linux and other software.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Emotions
by SReilly on Sun 4th Feb 2007 17:11 UTC in reply to "Emotions"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I don't know if most people reading/posting this tread share my view but I'm willing to give Novell the benefit of the doubt. I'm not at all pissed at Novell, I think they got snared in a typical MS deal. I think they're crazy to have negotiated it in the first place but that hardly qualifies them for out and out bashing on my part.

I am very angry at MS though and so should allot of people. Their tactics stink and always have. Trying to split and turn the community against itself by using double speak seems to be the tactic at the moment. Frankly, that's unethical.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Emotions
by systyrant on Mon 5th Feb 2007 04:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Emotions"
systyrant Member since:
2007-01-18

After listening to Richard Stallman explain what he means by Free Software I have to say that I know understand why FSF and many other are upset with Novell. Although I still think Stallman is a nut job it doesn't mean he's not right.

However, I still support Novell and I still think that many of the negative comments, especially at first, were nothing more than blind hatred for Microsoft. I should point out that the comments I'm referring to are comments like the one you are reading now and not those made by people like Stallman.

I suppose I've been shown a new way of thinking about Free Software and Open Source so please forgive me if I sound contradictory to any of my previous statements. I won't say I get it, but at least I'm trying.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Emotions
by SReilly on Mon 5th Feb 2007 10:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Emotions"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I know what you mean. I'm not Stallman's biggest fan but I think he's right in this case. For once I see the pragmatic side of him that allot of people that have met him speak about.

As for knee jerk statements, isn't that always the case? It's been my experience in situations like this people let they're emotions take over, fly off the handle and spout venomous hate without first thinking the situation through.

I know it looks really detrimental to GNU/Linux and I understand why people are out for blood but the bottom line seems to be that the FSF is acting in a positive manner and trying to prevent such deals from being made in the future. Hopefully Novell will have learned their lesson and we can get on with revolutionising the IT industry ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Emotions
by deanlinkous on Mon 5th Feb 2007 13:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Emotions"
deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

RMS is great - when taken as a whole and when allowed to fully explain and answer questions to the fullest.

If you only get the snippets, then yes he seems unreasonable and not quite in touch with reality. But IMO he is a realist and a idealist, and when you really listen to what he says it all starts to make sense. Not a brainwashing type of "sense" but a real, honest to goodness - "hey I get it" type of sense. At least it does for me....

Actually, you should be able to realize this "sense" on your own and not need it explained but we have been brainwashed so long to not demand that things make sense that we accept it as normal now and anything else seems contrary to this is dismissed as crazy talk.

There are really only a few "ideals" you need to grasp to truly "get it" and then you will apply them across the board and it will all start making sense.

gNewSense - it is not just a distro it is a way of thinking! ;)

Reply Score: 3

GPL???
by cfaak on Sun 4th Feb 2007 02:28 UTC
cfaak
Member since:
2006-07-13

Everyone agrees that Novell has not violated the GPL - they, they did not in any way license any patents to or from MS - these two firms just agreed not to sue each others customers!!! In reality there is no Patent agreement between MS and Novell in the normal sense of the concept. Novell did not get the rights from MS to use any MS patents in this agreement. This agreement will not violate will not GPL3.

This has not changed MS's ability to sue other Linux distros customers - if they should so chose. Nothing has changed except that the major holder of UNIX patents has agreed not sue MS customers for violatons of UNIX patents (you do remember that Novell holds rights to all UNIX patents). Note that Novell did not make any promises about patent enforcement against MS directly.

The rest of the agreement does not differ from ohter agreements that have been entered into by other Linux distro developers.

In fact the rest of the agreement may well make Patent actions by MS against any Linux user much more dificult. As they sell Linux and take no actions against Novell for any patents they feel were infringed and they continue to sell the Linux they may soon face the "Dirty hands" defense.

The next part of the problem is if the GPL have not been violated then on what growns can any holder of GPLed software can ask Novell to stop distrubiting of the GPLed software. In fact any attempt to do this may well place the FSF in violaton of the free distrubition clauses of the GPL.

Reply Score: 2

RE: GPL???
by SReilly on Sun 4th Feb 2007 17:20 UTC in reply to "GPL???"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Not so. The agreement is null and void as you cannot sue a customer due to patent infringement.

It has and always will be the responsibility of the product developer/manufacturer to verify if they are infringing on any patents.

Think of the amount of confusion and uncertainty it would cause if suing customers for infringement where the case. It would damage all industries ability to sell in their product in a free, open market. No body, not even MS, wants this.

Reply Score: 2

GPL???
by cfaak on Sun 4th Feb 2007 02:38 UTC
cfaak
Member since:
2006-07-13

Everyone agrees that Novell has not violated the GPL.

They did not in any way license any patents to or from MS - these two firms just agreed not to sue each others customers!!!

This has not changed MS's ability to sue other Linux distros customers - if they should so chose. Nothing has changed except that the major holder of UNIX patents has agreed not sue MS customers for violatons of UNIX patents (you do remember that Novell holds rights to all UNIX patents).

Therefore all these people so mad at Novell are angry with Novell because they are not going to sue - users of Windows!!!!!

The rest of the agreement does not differ from ohter agreements that have been entered into by other Linux distro developers.

In fact the rest of the agreement may well make Patent actions by MS against any Linux user much more dificult. As they sell Linux and take no actions against Novell for any patents they feel were infringed and they continue to sell the Linux they may soon face the "Dirty hands" defense.

Reply Score: 0

codehead78
Member since:
2006-08-04

0) There is not one program that does anything useful that does not infringe upon a patent. There are violations on all sides.

1) The novell deal is basically saying, let's not fight over this. Saying that novell "admits there are violations" is meaningless. So what, microsoft is in violation too. remember _this is why software patents are bad_ at least as things stand now.

2) The GPL3 solution is basically, if you give code, you can't sue. You're with us or against us.

So which is better?

A "truce" or drawing a line in the sand?

Reply Score: 1

sad
by milles21 on Sun 4th Feb 2007 06:23 UTC
milles21
Member since:
2006-11-08

You want to know what is sad is that people like Miguel created gnome and contributed to the success of linux they are on board with Linux and now some foundation is attempting to stiffle the growth of a company which they now endorse. Blocking the Linux userland when Nat and miguel gave us Gnome, evolution, part of the reason that XGL exits and this is how the FSF pays them back!

Reply Score: 2

Ah...
by Sphinx on Sun 4th Feb 2007 16:14 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Justice.

Reply Score: 2

The patent agreement is null and void..
by linux-it on Sun 4th Feb 2007 19:17 UTC
linux-it
Member since:
2006-07-13

"Not so. The agreement is null and void as you cannot sue a customer due to patent infringement. "

which leaves the deal about interoperability -- so again the question stays: why would it be a problem? If Novell changes code to GPL code, by using MS information, it has to release that code too.

Any efforts to try to stop this kind of deals basically translate into: "hey I do not want interoperability!" and that exactly is what FSF for whatever reason is aiming at.

How good can that be?

Novell always has adhered to the GPL stuff and has given back all kind of changes. There is no reason to believe that it will do different anytime soon.

There are pragmatic people and idiologists. These two streams are growing apart quite a bit. Do we reallyw ant that?

Reply Score: 1

cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"There are pragmatic people and idiologists"

Wrong argument wrong place. There are arguments around Linus' pragmatic view when it comes to binary blobs in the kernel...or using bitkeeper.

You could even argue that using GPL2 for the kernel instead of GPL to allow *possible* wider adoption of the Linux kernel is pragmatic.

How and why? does pragmatic apply.

The only think pragmatic here is the move from GPL3...so this Novell nonsense will not happen again.

Currently there is *nothing* wrong with what Novell has done, and thats a problem for Novell users in a few years and other Linux users now.

Your comment is more bizarre when I *Samba* quite a well know product for interoperability is going GPL3.

Reply Score: 2

A Novell Response
by WillM on Tue 6th Feb 2007 18:49 UTC
WillM
Member since:
2007-01-19

Bruce Lowry of Novell gave a response to this article in CRN: http://www.crn.com/sections/microsoft/microsoft.jhtml?articleId=197...

Reply Score: 1