Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Nov 2006 22:56 UTC
Novell and Ximian "Often cast as the peacemaker in free software disputes, Bruce Perens is on the warpath. When we caught up with him, he wasn't in a mood to be charitable to Novell. On Friday the Utah company, which markets the SuSE Linux distribution, revealed that it was entering into a partnership with Microsoft. Redmond would pay Novell an undisclosed sum in return for Novell recognizing Microsoft's intellectual property claims. Novell received a 'Covenant' promising that it wouldn't be sued by Microsoft."It's a case of 'Damn the people who write the software'", he told us. "Novell is in a desperate position - it has a smaller share of the market than Debian,"" he told The Register. Update: Novell responds to community's questions: here, here and here. Update 2: Havoc Pennington's take.
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Perens is wrong with hooping on GPL violation. Novell explains it clearly and I have to say it is a neat trick

I'm only sorry they haven't answered where would they stand if MS would sue some Linux company regarding OIN.

But their explanation is still very vague.

Update from their FAQ:

Q5. Novell's November 2 press release states that, "Novell will also make running royalty payments based on a percentage of its revenues from open source products." Are these payments for a patent license to Novell?

No. Novell has no license or covenant not to sue from Microsoft under this agreement. The payments are for Microsoft's covenant directly to Novell's customers. By the same token, Microsoft's customers receive the same covenant from Novell in return for payment from Microsoft to Novell.

It is only "no sue" agreement between MS and Novell customers and Novell and MS customers, but companies can still sue one another. Guess this explains my previous wish on OIN, although I still wish they would clear it up with example everybody is interested: If MS sues Linux company, where will Novell stand.

Edited 2006-11-08 00:04

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