Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 19:53 UTC
Novell and Ximian We were well aware that Novell had put itself on the market, coyly winking at passers-by, displaying its... Assets. VMware was a contender, but things have played out entirely different: Novell has been bought by Attachmate Corp., with a Microsoft-led consortium buying unspecified intellectual property from Novell.
Order by: Score:
Microsoft now owns Unix
by -oblio- on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 19:58 UTC
-oblio-
Member since:
2008-05-27

Kidding? Maybe, but it seems true ;)

Edited 2010-11-22 20:02 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Microsoft now owns Unix
by churlish_Helmut on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:13 UTC in reply to "Microsoft now owns Unix"
churlish_Helmut Member since:
2010-04-12

Kidding? Maybe, but it seems true ;)


Well, that would be some news ;)

No, its not coming this way, but we will see ... For example: What will happen to mono?
Okay, its Mono, what means, it is nothing ;)

But Novell was involved in quite some important linux projects.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Microsoft now owns Unix
by righard on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft now owns Unix"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

Mono means one more then nothing ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Microsoft now owns Unix
by tyrel on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft now owns Unix"
tyrel Member since:
2009-04-03

Regarding Mono, according to a tweet from its creator Miguel de Icaza: "After the Novell acquisition, Mono continues as-is, but our paychecks will come from Attachmate instead of Novell."

And also "MSFT bought the patents, the products like mono go to Attachmate."

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Microsoft now owns Unix
by gnufreex on Thu 25th Nov 2010 06:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Microsoft now owns Unix"
gnufreex Member since:
2010-05-06

His paycheck comes from MSFT. But he can't admit that publicly.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Microsoft now owns Unix
by fran on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:21 UTC in reply to "Microsoft now owns Unix"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

The expiry of patents on the 1969 Unix could'nt be so far off?
If i'm correct industrial patents hold for 50years.
That means some of those code would be public domain in 2019?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Microsoft now owns Unix
by pgeorgi on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 21:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Microsoft now owns Unix"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

If i'm correct industrial patents hold for 50years.
That means some of those code would be public domain in 2019?

Patents have 20 years. Design patents (which are an _entirely_ different beast) vary, in the US they're 14 years.

What matters more is copyright on the original Unix code (some of which still lingers in most Unix systems).
Given that the BSDs freed the BSD line in the early 90s, and Sun managed to get much of the SVr4 stuff under weak copyleft via OpenSolaris, most issues around Unix copyrights should be clear now (except when relicensing incompatibly)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Microsoft now owns Unix
by segedunum on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 14:09 UTC in reply to "Microsoft now owns Unix"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't know why people are getting excited about this. UnixWare has no bearing on Linux because it was established that there was no Unix code whatsoever in Linux. However, it then transpired that SCO didn't even have the rights to allege what they were claiming and that's the direction things went in.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Microsoft now owns Unix
by elsewhere on Wed 24th Nov 2010 21:17 UTC in reply to "Microsoft now owns Unix"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Kidding? Maybe, but it seems true ;)


Novell has issued a clarifying statement confirming that the Unix copyrights will remain with them.

http://www.novell.com/company/ir/message.html

Edited 2010-11-24 21:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Exciting
by tyrel on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:19 UTC
tyrel
Member since:
2009-04-03

I am an Attachmate employee and a regular OSnews reader, and I probably can't say much here but I do want to say that I am very excited about this deal. Very excited. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Exciting
by segedunum on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 14:07 UTC in reply to "Exciting"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I wouldn't get excited unfortunately. Novell is going to be an absolutely horrendous company to amalgamate and do anything with and it will probably cost AttachMate more than the 2.2 billion they laid out to do that. It could put them under actually.

I sincerely hope those in charge have a clear vision for Novell they can sum up in one sentence and have the technology nous to not get the wool pulled over their eyes. Given that they intend to try and operate Novell and Suse as two separate units then I'd say they don't have a vision for anything.

Given that AttachMate now appear to be a VC firm effectively, or backed by VC firms and investors who are bankrolling this, I can't see it ending well. They did afterall lay off most AttachMate development staff while still collecting on the maintenance contracts because they've already been saddled with debt.

EDIT: In addition, now that Novell's 'IP' has been sold to Microsoft the chances of AttachMate being able to compete in any way with Microsoft or do anything with Novell is virtually zero.

Edited 2010-11-23 14:21 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Exciting
by gnufreex on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Exciting"
gnufreex Member since:
2010-05-06

Yeah, Microsoft will simply destroy all Novell products if Attacmate tries to compete. I see two possible outcomes:

1) Attachmate gets drawn into Novell 2.0 game since they have no choice. Since Microsoft practicaly owns ground they walk on, they will do same as Novell: growl at microsoft's feet. (sad parts is that Novell didn't have to do that; they sought that stupid deal). Attachmate will probably end up helping Microsoft trap people into .NET trap only to buy "Microsoft approved" sticker for their products. That will in turn result in continuation of boycott of SUSE by Free Software community and, due to lack of quality caused by lack of community, businesses too. So SUSE is in for quick path to nowhere, while other Novell "assets" are nowhere already. When Microsoft decides that it had enough of Mono, they will simply cancel a patent peace and force it underground like RMS predicted, and then send a invoice to all users together with proposition of migration path to Vista 8.

2) Attachmate sees the writing on the wall (basically all I described above) and decides to do quick asset striping. First jack up the prices of all propriatary assets who still have some user-base. Sells off SUSE to highest bidder (while it still worth something). Make Mono proprietary and very expensive and start milking money from those few overzealous users that might still use it. Then when last users have left it, kill it off or sell it to highest bidder. Selling SUSE and killing mono might piss off Micorsoft (they don't want real competitor to own SUSE, and they want to use their carefully set up Mono trap for GNU/Linux users, not see it killed prematurely by somebody else) so they might sue Attachmate for using Mono patents in the first place... or something. Or they might sue buyers of other assets making sales and asset striping harder for Attacmate.

Interesting times ahead, but anyway you put it, Attachmate is boned. They bought the undead which is draging them in the grave. SUSE is already a has-been distro, even those who used it till now will move to Red Hat since nobody likes uncertainty. Other asets are all declining and Mono is 100% dependant on Microsoft; there is simply no money to be made on that other that Microsoft shill checks. Will all atachmate employees shill for Microsoft? I hope they have some more pride than Novellers.

Reply Score: 2

Please no to MS having UNIX patents
by Sabon on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:34 UTC
Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

Today will be one of the darkest days in computer history of Microsoft ended up with the patents for UNIX. I hope Attachmate owns those and will sell to just about anyone else other than MS, if they ever sell them.

Reply Score: 4

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

What's Unix got to do with anything?

Reply Score: 3

patents?
by TechGeek on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:40 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Not sure which patents you think they have, but patents filed before 1995(?) are only good for 17 years. After that date they last 20 years. What SCO and Novell fought over was copyrights. Those last much longer. Of course this is all moot as Novell distributes Linux under the GPL. They couldn't argue someone stole the code from them as they argued in court that they owned it and freely gave it away. So really the only problem would be any existing projects. But its hard to say what will happen at this point.

Reply Score: 4

RE: patents?
by fran on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:47 UTC in reply to "patents?"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

I think I'm confusing copyright with patents.
I'm never quite sure whether software code fall under copyright or patents.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: patents?
by Praxis on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:54 UTC in reply to "RE: patents?"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

I think I'm confusing copyright with patents.
I'm never quite sure whether software code fall under copyright or patents.


The actual code is under copyright.

The ideas behind the code are under patents.

Patents area far more dangerous, you can always rewrite code, but hacking around very general concepts is much much harder.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: patents?
by lemur2 on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 22:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: patents?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"I think I'm confusing copyright with patents. I'm never quite sure whether software code fall under copyright or patents.
The actual code is under copyright. The ideas behind the code are under patents. Patents area far more dangerous, you can always rewrite code, but hacking around very general concepts is much much harder. "

Not quite right ... patents are not awarded for ideas, they are awarded for inventions.

What is the difference you might ask?

Patent titles almost always begin with "A method for <doing something>". What is patented is the particular method, not the idea itself of "<doing something>". You would be able to get a patent for a new type of nail gun (specifically, on the new method that your new nail gun design used to propel nails), but not for the idea of a nail gun itself, or nails, or carpentry for that matter.

As for Novel patents and free software ... Novel is a contributing member to the OIN and the Patent Commons.

http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/

http://www.patentcommons.org/

If a new owner tried to withdraw Novel patents, say from the Patent Commons, and then tried to sue a free software project over them, then the doctrine of promissory estoppel would surely apply.

Reply Score: 11

RE[4]: patents?
by grfgguvf on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 00:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: patents?"
grfgguvf Member since:
2006-09-25

but do you think some WordPerfect IP is worth 2 billion to Microsoft?

there must be more to it
i have the gut feeling they are planning on going after Android/Linux

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: patents?
by lemur2 on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 00:28 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: patents?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

but do you think some WordPerfect IP is worth 2 billion to Microsoft? there must be more to it i have the gut feeling they are planning on going after Android/Linux


Well, there is a lawsuit against Microsoft in progress at this moment over Wordperfect IP. This purchase may well kill that lawsuit.

However, having said that, your speculation could indeed turn out to be entirely correct.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: patents?
by vodoomoth on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 12:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: patents?"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

You didn't read the thing correctly. 2 billion is the price paid by Attachmate, not MSFT (or more precisely the consortium they are part of).

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: patents?
by elsewhere on Wed 24th Nov 2010 02:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: patents?"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

but do you think some WordPerfect IP is worth 2 billion to Microsoft?


The MS consortium is paying $450M for the IP, and it won't incude WordPerfect since Corel bought them from Novell long ago.

Novell holds patents that have always been a concern for MS, related to networking and directory-based technologies, among others. Novell was doing workgroup computing long before MS did. Those patents are very likely the reason that Microsoft's deal with Novell was a cross-licensing deal in Novell's favor, as opposed to the other companies like Xandros that simply wound up having to pay a license fee to MS.

Reply Score: 4

#1 Distro at distrowatch.com in 2011
by fretinator on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:44 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

MS Xenix - woohoo!

Reply Score: 11

stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

should have gone with WINix

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

should have gone with WINix

Xenix would be correct as that was a Unix* OS Microsoft released long before Windows Server (though I can't remember exactly when that was).

* I say "Unix", but though the code originated from Unix, it was never approved to be sold as "Unix" due to some key changes Microsoft made to their OS (IIRC).


Not sure if you missed the original joke or are just expending on it, so I apologise if I'm stating the obvious.

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Aahhh... SCO Openserver that is. Ironic, don't you think?

Reply Score: 2

Already doing it with mobile, so why not?
by Kroc on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:47 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

"Dear Red Hat customers.

Are you aware that you require a patent / copyright indemnity licence from Microsoft for each seat / server running Red Hat Linux? You’ll be glad to know that you can purchase these licences directly from Microsoft for the low price of just $199/seat.

Microsoft is also offering a special Windows migration licence for just $99/seat which includes the latest and greatest Windows 7 Professional for all your business needs and a completely free patent / copyright indemnity licence! Switch to Windows today and see how you can get your work done easier than before!"

Reply Score: 8

caulfie1d Member since:
2006-01-04

If only Red Hat had some sort of assurance program that came with their subscriptions.. Hmmm.

http://www.redhat.com/rhel/details/assurance/

Reply Score: 3

Lets hope attachment isn't stupid
by Praxis on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:49 UTC
Praxis
Member since:
2009-09-17

Like everyone else the patent transfer scares me a little, the last thing the tech industry needs is more patent lawsuits. However we don't know what got transfered, it would be very foolish of attachment to transfers stuff that could be turned around and used against them in a couple years, so lets hope they aren't that stupid. Or didn't sign some sort of agreement that only gives them immunity and no one else, that would be just about as bad.

Reply Score: 1

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I think they are called Attachmate and not attachment. Just wanted to point that out.

Reply Score: 3

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I think they are called Attachmate and not attachment. Just wanted to point that out.

LOL...

Reply Score: 2

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Damn it, ever since you pointed out the original poster's reading mistake, now I keep reading the company name as Attachment! Before then, I always read it correctly. Now I keep thinking for a couple seconds after reading the name, "wait, there's something wrong..." and then have to correct myself.

It is very similar though, don't know how or why pointing someone else's mistake caused endless mistakes the way I read it... I actually remember even misreading the original poster's "Attachment" as "Attachmate" before. Man, I must be all f***ed up now. LOL.

Edited 2010-11-23 16:10 UTC

Reply Score: 2

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Welcome to my world.

Reply Score: 2

Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

Damn it, ever since you pointed out the original poster's reading mistake, now I keep reading the company name as Attachment! Before then, I always read it correctly. Now I keep thinking for a couple seconds after reading the name, "wait, there's something wrong..." and then have to correct myself.


Its the typo that won't die. When I wrote it the first time I actually misspelled it attackmate, but then I noticed the error before I hit post and changed it....to another typo. Also I think this is the most replies a comment of mine has gotten and its over a typo.

I still hope that attachmate didn't make a deal that curses the industry into another decade over pointless lawsuits. It would certainly bias a good chunk of the industry against them, if you though the boycott Novel crowd is bad now, wait until they actually have something to bitch about. If this move does result in another round of lawsuits of course.

Reply Score: 2

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I think it's a terrible name for a company anyway.

Reply Score: 2

rms was right- as usual
by Barnabyh on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 21:16 UTC
Barnabyh
Member since:
2006-02-06

Isn't this what richard stallman warned about? And it happened quicker than expected, or at least it seemed far off back then.
I wouldn't count on stuff like mono and gnome not being affected and being used somehow to restrain software freedom, whether it's Attachmate or MSFT owning it now by proxy.
These guys are all suits, even if they look jovial and have loosened their tie and pulled their sleeves up for the presentation, and they are *only* interested in making money. When will people learn not to trust them?

Reply Score: 1

RE: rms was right- as usual
by Adurbe on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 22:16 UTC in reply to "rms was right- as usual"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

making money pays the wages. If you dont, your tech can be the best on the market, but you will fail.

Tech industry is littered with such companies, in just a few months we have lost Sun, Palm and now Novell. These were once THE market, let alone market leaders.

Reply Score: 4

RE: rms was right- as usual
by jpobst on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 22:21 UTC in reply to "rms was right- as usual"
jpobst Member since:
2006-09-26

I wouldn't count on stuff like mono and gnome not being affected and being used somehow to restrain software freedom, whether it's Attachmate or MSFT owning it now by proxy.


That's the good thing about open source software, even if Novell/Attachmate stops developing/distributing Mono or GNOME, the already released source code will always be there for people to use under the same license.

No one can retroactively change the license on the software people already have.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: rms was right- as usual
by lemur2 on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE: rms was right- as usual"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"I wouldn't count on stuff like mono and gnome not being affected and being used somehow to restrain software freedom, whether it's Attachmate or MSFT owning it now by proxy.
That's the good thing about open source software, even if Novell/Attachmate stops developing/distributing Mono or GNOME, the already released source code will always be there for people to use under the same license. No one can retroactively change the license on the software people already have. "

Parts of Mono do not have free software licenses. Most of it does (most of the framework CLI, C# etc is a standard allowed to be implemented by anyone), but critical parts of .NET, implemented in Mono, have been held back by Microsoft as proprietary technology.

Microsoft/Novel made a deal that allowed Novel to develop Mono and Moonlight ... for Novel's SLED customers. Microsoft still held the rights to the still-proprietary parts of Mono and Moonlight.

I see no reason for Microsoft to want to buy back from Novel rights that Microsoft already owned in the first place.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: rms was right- as usual
by TheGZeus on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: rms was right- as usual"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Dude, I don't like mono and I know this isn't true.
The 'key parts of .NET' of which you speak are probably the winforms elements and other things that aren't part of the C# standard.
Those _are_ free software, but they're not exempt from patent suits, because they're not part of the C# standard.
MS extended patent-violation protection to any complete C# implementation. I don't recall if said implementation can or cannot extend the standard (the problem is that their implementation _does_ extend the standard. You can be compliant or compatible).

So, over the past week or so, you've been incorrect, vitriolic, and annoyingly persistent.
Is there an equivalent to /ignore?

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: rms was right- as usual
by lemur2 on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 00:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: rms was right- as usual"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Dude, I don't like mono and I know this isn't true. The 'key parts of .NET' of which you speak are probably the winforms elements and other things that aren't part of the C# standard. Those _are_ free software, but they're not exempt from patent suits, because they're not part of the C# standard. MS extended patent-violation protection to any complete C# implementation. I don't recall if said implementation can or cannot extend the standard (the problem is that their implementation _does_ extend the standard. You can be compliant or compatible). So, over the past week or so, you've been incorrect, vitriolic, and annoyingly persistent. Is there an equivalent to /ignore?


The code of all of Mono is free software ... but there is no patent grant associated with its license.

The technology of most of .NET is a standard (e.g. CLI and C#) is able to be implemented by anyone, and it comes under Microsoft's open Specification Promise. These parts of Mono are not an issue.

However, there are indeed parts of .NET, which are implemented in Mono, which do NOT fall under Microsoft's open Specification Promise. These parts are Microsoft proprietary technology. These parts of Mono are an issue.

Releasing the code for implementations of these parts under a free software license does not mean that they are free software. Microsoft has made no promise whatsoever not to sue over these non-Windows implemntations of its proprietary technologies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winforms
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asp.net
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Web application framework
License Proprietary

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADO.NET
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Software framework
License MS-EULA, BCL under Microsoft Reference License


Microsoft Reference License is a non-open-source, non-free license.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Reference_License#Non-Open_S...

These are all plain, simple, verifiable facts. There is no smear campaign here.

Edited 2010-11-23 00:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: rms was right- as usual
by TheGZeus on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 00:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: rms was right- as usual"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

HAHAH.
Yeah, because you can't re-implement libraries.
Only official AT&T Unix has libc!

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: rms was right- as usual
by lemur2 on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 00:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: rms was right- as usual"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

HAHAH. Yeah, because you can't re-implement libraries. Only official AT&T Unix has libc!


Well, this point is the very crux of the debate, isn't it?

Certainly Microsoft's PR and legal department would want you to believe that you can't re-implement libraries replicating Microsoft proprietary technologies without a paid-for license from Microsoft.

Who am I to argue?

But, more to the point ... why argue? Why not simply shun Mono and use decent alternative applications that are readily available and at least as functional? Much simpler.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: rms was right- as usual
by TheGZeus on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: rms was right- as usual"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

They've already re-implemented a large portion of winforms etc...
Christ...

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: rms was right- as usual
by dylansmrjones on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 02:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: rms was right- as usual"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

It is free software if it is under a free license. Lack of promises from Microsoft does not make it unfree - it only makes it potentially unsafe to use (in USA).

The rest of us live in countries without software patents and with low risk of ever getting software patents. To us the whole nonsens about mono is just that - nonsens.

That said, I strongly prefer solutions created in C, C++ and python (and whatever compiles to native binaries).

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: rms was right- as usual
by lemur2 on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 04:55 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: rms was right- as usual"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It is free software if it is under a free license. Lack of promises from Microsoft does not make it unfree - it only makes it potentially unsafe to use (in USA). The rest of us live in countries without software patents and with low risk of ever getting software patents. To us the whole nonsens about mono is just that - nonsens. That said, I strongly prefer solutions created in C, C++ and python (and whatever compiles to native binaries).


This is fair enough ... Mono is not a problem for you, and you don't prefer it anyway.

This happens to be EXACTLY the solution I would recommend to anyone and everyone. Don't install Mono, and don't run Mono applications.

Like so, if you run Ubuntu:
http://www.theopensourcerer.com/2010/10/10/how-to-remove-mono-from-...

An even better solution is simply to run a KDE desktop.

This way, if you are running if the BSA or equivalent come cap-in-hand to your company asking for a license fee from you for your alleged use of their members' IP, you can simply say to them that you don't run any software with their IP in it. Tell them you have no Microsoft software, and no contract with Microsoft. If Microsoft hit you with a lawsuit, you can hit them with a countersuit for extortion and harrasment.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: rms was right- as usual
by lemur2 on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 05:33 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: rms was right- as usual"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

This way, if you are running Linux when the BSA or equivalent come cap-in-hand to your company asking for a license fee from you for your alleged use of their members' IP, you can simply say to them that you don't run any software with their IP in it. Tell them you have no Microsoft software, and no contract with Microsoft. If Microsoft hit you with a lawsuit, you can hit them with a countersuit for extortion and harrasment.


BTW, this comment includes any claim that might be made in the future about Unix IP ostensibly being in Linux.

http://www.itworld.com/open-source/128493/the-end-penguin-not-nigh

The nightmare scenario is that CPTN (with Microsoft at the helm) starts trying to shut down all of the commercial Linux distributors based on some "infringed" patents or copyright. They would leave Novell alone, of course, because a special licensing agreement would have been part of the $450 million deal announced today. Red Hat, Canonical, and all the other commercial vendors would be forced to pay licensing fees which would ultimately slash their already thin revenues, unless they passed that cost to the users--thus negating the big price advantage Linux has over Microsoft products.

CPTN will even be able to knock on Oracle, IBM, and HP's collective door and start asking for licensing fees for their UNIX flavors.

That is very scary stuff, and it would be something to worry about, except for one teeny, tiny thing. A little detail that all the doomsayers seem to have forgotten.

What's the key fact people seem to be forgetting?

It's this: to date, no one has proved Linux infringes on UNIX IP.

That's right. No matter how hard people have tried, no legal action has ever said that Linux had legitimate infringement issues with UNIX.

And oh, how they've tried.


Edited 2010-11-23 05:34 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: rms was right- as usual
by segedunum on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 14:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: rms was right- as usual"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The 'key parts of .NET' of which you speak are probably the winforms elements and other things that aren't part of the C# standard.

The 'C# standards' you speak of (which is probably the ECMA CLI specifications) are not exempt from being patented. If they are patented, now or in the future, the ECMA simply washes its hands of the standard.

In addition, the CLI specifications within the CLI give you pretty much nothing that allows you to get a practical and workable CLI implementation. Mono had to reverse engineer a certain amount.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: rms was right- as usual
by TheGZeus on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 15:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: rms was right- as usual"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

"The 'key parts of .NET' of which you speak are probably the winforms elements and other things that aren't part of the C# standard.

The 'C# standards' you speak of (which is probably the ECMA CLI specifications) are not exempt from being patented. If they are patented, now or in the future, the ECMA simply washes its hands of the standard.

In addition, the CLI specifications within the CLI give you pretty much nothing that allows you to get a practical and workable CLI implementation. Mono had to reverse engineer a certain amount.
"
I know these things.
I said these things.
Why are you correcting me when I agree with you?
what in "You can be compliant or compatible" confused you?

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: rms was right- as usual
by segedunum on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 16:52 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: rms was right- as usual"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I said these things.

No you didn't.

Why are you correcting me when I agree with you?

You're trying to make distinctions between the ECMA standard (which you mistakenly call the C# standard) and the rest of '.Net' which isn't in there when there is really no such distinction of safety. It is *not* exempt from patent claims as you imply:

Those _are_ free software, but they're not exempt from patent suits, because they're not part of the C# standard.


what in "You can be compliant or compatible" confused you?

I think you confused yourself. The purpose of the ECMA specification is that if you're compliant then you are compatible and you are covered and that's what people misunderstand every time about this.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: rms was right- as usual
by TheGZeus on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: rms was right- as usual"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

O_o
Dude, I never said Mono was safe. It's not.

You're inferring a meaning I didn't say.

How do you spell 'assume'?

ECMA is just a standards body, dude. It's not a standard in-and-of itself.
C# is a programming language. It has an ECMA standard. So does ECMAScript.

You're being angry at me for things I didn't say, and _trying_ to twist my words.
You don't understand the things about which you are talking enough to even undesrtand what I said.

He was claiming that the portions beyond the standard which Microsoft uses and have been re-implemented in Mono are proprietary. They're not. They're patented, and not covered by the patent protection 'promise'.
"compliant or compatible"
Compliant is sticking to nothing but the ECMA C# standard, which does not include winforms et al.
Compatible is what Mono is trying to achieve, which means implementing those libraries, which are patented.

These are simply facts. I never stated anything about "this is safe" or "these codebases have been separated".

I'm conveying information, not stating any opinion.

Edited 2010-11-23 21:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: rms was right- as usual
by TheGZeus on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 21:11 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: rms was right- as usual"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19


I think you confused yourself. The purpose of the ECMA specification is that if you're compliant then you are compatible and you are covered and that's what people misunderstand every time about this.

The winforms library et al which has been re-implemented by Mono is not part of the standard.
Without those libraries you are not 100% compatible with .NET.
Those libraries are patented.
The patent protection promise does not cover anything but the C# standard.

You can be compliant (only the C# spec)
You can be compatible (include the extensions)
You cannot be both.
If you are compatible, you are not under protection from a patent suit.

This is basic logic.

Reply Score: 2

RE: rms was right- as usual
by MollyC on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 23:54 UTC in reply to "rms was right- as usual"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Um, what was RMS right about?
If the assets in question were sold by one corporation to one or more other corporations, then that means that they were already owned by a corporation. Meaning, it already was the case that the assets in question weren't public domain.

Edited 2010-11-23 23:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Who owns Unix?
by Adurbe on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 22:18 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

Are we going to have to go through all of that again?

Pound to a penny Microsoft bought some integral part as part of the "unspecified intellectual property"

edit: yes I know... to late now

Edited 2010-11-22 22:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

PJ
by fretinator on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 22:28 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Paging Pamela Jones ... I repeat, paging Pamela Jones.

Reply Score: 2

RE: PJ
by lemur2 on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 23:15 UTC in reply to "PJ"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Paging Pamela Jones ... I repeat, paging Pamela Jones.


PJ pontificating on this deal:
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20101122130625952

Her suggestion is that it might be about Wordperfect IP.

Edited 2010-11-22 23:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: PJ
by lemur2 on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 23:52 UTC in reply to "RE: PJ"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Paging Pamela Jones ... I repeat, paging Pamela Jones.
PJ pontificating on this deal: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20101122130625952 Her suggestion is that it might be about Wordperfect IP. "

PJ also identifies via a tweet from Miguel de Icaza that Mono goes to Attachmate.

This is an interesting outcome for the GNOME desktop given that a number of GNOME applications, such as FSpot, Banshee, Tomboy Notes, GNOME Do and Pinta, are Mono-based.

I can find no reference as to what happens to OpenSuSe.

Edited 2010-11-22 23:53 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: PJ
by TheGZeus on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 23:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: PJ"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Of those programs, only one of those doesn't have a >= GTK equivalent: GNOME Do.

Probably wouldn't take a year to re-implement it in some other language. Crap, write a mono program that translates to some other language, and use that as a stop-gap.
That's just the worst-case scenario: A patent lawsuit happens, MS wins, and there's no more FOSS C#.
Whoopdie-shit.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: PJ
by lemur2 on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PJ"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Of those programs, only one of those doesn't have a >= GTK equivalent: GNOME Do. Probably wouldn't take a year to re-implement it in some other language. Crap, write a mono program that translates to some other language, and use that as a stop-gap. That's just the worst-case scenario: A patent lawsuit happens, MS wins, and there's no more FOSS C#. Whoopdie-shit.


Agreed, mostly.

The Mono applications in GNOME that I know about which are frequently distributed are these:
FSpot, Banshee, Tomboy Notes, GNOME Do and Pinta


In order, comparable FOSS alternatives which do not depend on Mono would be:
digikam, Amarok, Basket Notes, krunner and Krita.

Personally, I prefer the second set anyway.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: PJ
by TheGZeus on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 15:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PJ"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

I like that this got voted down, probably because I said that there are alternatives.
That wasn't always the case, and... it's true.
I'm just relaying information, so you don't freak out should MS destroy Mono.

You're welcome.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: PJ
by lemur2 on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: PJ"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I like that this got voted down, probably because I said that there are alternatives. That wasn't always the case, and... it's true. I'm just relaying information, so you don't freak out should MS destroy Mono. You're welcome.


You possibly got voted down because you claimed (and still claim) that "it wasn't always the case" that there are FOSS alternatives to Mono applications on Linux.

Actually, it is always the case. There are no Mono applications for Linux for which there are no good alternatives which don't use Mono.

Every single Mono application for Linux has an at-least-as-good not-Mono alternative.

Linux users simply do not need to run Mono.

Since they don't need to run Mono, and since they cannot get a license to run Mono legally anyway (unless they run SLED), then why on earth SHOULD Linux users run Mono? There is no possible sane justification.

Edited 2010-11-23 22:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: PJ
by TheGZeus on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: PJ"
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

I never said any of this.

Don't put words in my mouth.

I said THERE ARE alternatives, so it's not the end of the world if Mono goes away.

Stop... typing... forever.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: PJ
by Soulbender on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 00:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: PJ"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I can find no reference as to what happens to OpenSuSe.


Will be spun off:
http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS7620954743.html

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: PJ
by lemur2 on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 00:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PJ"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"I can find no reference as to what happens to OpenSuSe.
Will be spun off: http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS7620954743.html "

The article you linked says that SLED will be spun off, but it has only this to say about OpenSuSe:
Among the many questions surrounding the deal is what will happen with Novell-back projects such as OpenSUSE, which maintains a popular, open source desktop distro and upstream contributor to SLE. The community-driven OpenSUSE Project is also preparing a MeeGo version of the distro.


SuSe (a.k.a SLED) <> OpenSuSe.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: PJ
by segedunum on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 14:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: PJ"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Maybe some ex and soon-to-be ex Suse employees will be able to rewind the clock seven years and do something useful with it?

Edited 2010-11-23 14:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: PJ
by segedunum on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 15:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: PJ"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Yer, it means their paychecks are now coming from a consortium of Microsoft controlled companies.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: PJ
by elsewhere on Wed 24th Nov 2010 02:04 UTC in reply to "RE: PJ"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

"Paging Pamela Jones ... I repeat, paging Pamela Jones.


PJ pontificating on this deal:
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20101122130625952

Her suggestion is that it might be about Wordperfect IP.
"

Novell sold WordPerfect to Corel long ago, but Novell still has an anti-trust case against MS from when they owned it. MS may be paying off Novell to end the suit as part of this purchase, but they won't be obtaining the IP.

Reply Score: 3

Big thing here deal over .net will be off.
by oiaohm on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 05:00 UTC
oiaohm
Member since:
2009-05-30

No longer then end of 2011. It will be as soon as the ink is dry on this deal.

No where did the Novell-MS deal include a transfer event.

It is going to be fun to watch this play out.

Reply Score: 1

Unspecified "IP" ?
by gnufreex on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 09:29 UTC
gnufreex
Member since:
2010-05-06

It is not so unspecified, SEC filling tells it all

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/758004/000119312510265964/d8...

"Also on November 21, 2010, Novell entered into a Patent Purchase Agreement (the “Patent Purchase Agreement”) with CPTN Holdings LLC, a Delaware limited liability company and consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft Corporation (“CPTN”). The Patent Purchase Agreement provides that, upon the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Patent Purchase Agreement, Novell will sell to CPTN all of Novell’s right, title and interest in 882 patents (the “Assigned Patents”) for $450 million in cash (the “Patent Sale”)."

882 patents sold to Microsoft, to scare companies who use GNU/Linux in their products.

http://www.the-source.com/2010/11/novells-final-betrayal-800-patent...

Reply Score: 3

Why is it always about Mono?
by abraxas on Wed 24th Nov 2010 11:44 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

It didn't take long for this thread to turn into a mono bashing parade. Every time Novell makes the news there is all this conjecture on what will happen with Mono and all the usual suspects come out claiming the sky is falling. Meanwhile I continue to use Mono apps and continue to believe that this is a whole lot to do about nothing. Only time will tell but in all the years it has been since Mono was introduced and people started frothing at the mouth about its connections to MS I haven't once been prevented by MS from using Mono software. "Ah but what about the future" they say. We'll see. I'm not too worried.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Why is it always about Mono?
by gnufreex on Thu 25th Nov 2010 09:59 UTC in reply to "Why is it always about Mono?"
gnufreex Member since:
2010-05-06

Only time will tell but in all the years it has been since Mono was introduced and people started frothing at the mouth about its connections to MS I haven't once been prevented by MS from using Mono software. "Ah but what about the future" they say. We'll see. I'm not too worried.

It would be very stupid of Microsoft to prevent you from using Mono now, when nothing of importance depend on it. What would they gain? They would just ruin their carefully set up trap and make no damage in the process.

They are still in the bait faze, switch comes later whem de Icaza realize his dream to base GNOME 4.0 on Mono. When entire user experience depends on Mono. That is they aim of Team Apologista and Microsoft astroturfers all over the internet. Read "Evangelism is War" sometimes. Also you could read this to see how Microsoft operates and how they think of "open source"

http://www.the-source.com/open-source-at-microsoft/

If we all do the right thing and don't take the bait, "switch" phase will simply never come. Mono will simply fail to get critical mass needed to do any serious damage, and Microsoft will give up; they would go to set up another trap. You would probably say "I told you so, they wont sue" but I wouldn't mind as long as threat is removed.

What I would hate is seeing situating when we were right like this time, when Novell's sells its patents to Microsoft. Practically last Novell's move before it's death is another treason. That reassures we were right all along but I am not liking it. It sucks to be right sometimes.

Edited 2010-11-25 10:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Phase.
Sorry, but that misspelling made me smirk.

Reply Score: 2

Attachmate, who the f**k is that?
by Moochman on Thu 25th Nov 2010 04:00 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

I never heard of Attachmate before in my life, but based on what I read on Wikipedia the CEO Jeff Hawn is a complete douche. He and some hired help shot 32 of his neighbor's bison that had wandered onto Hawn's ranch, and just left their carcasses to rot, apparently to send a message to the neighbor. He even turned himself in for it. Now that's the kind of guy I want running my company!

Reply Score: 2

MadRat
Member since:
2006-02-17

If Microsoft owns the patents for eDirectory (Netware Directory Services) then that effectively rids the landscape of Active Directory competitors. That's not a good thing.

Reply Score: 2