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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They can still sue each other and as they said no licenses were transfered.

So in the phrase "covenant not to sue", the words "covenant" and "sue" are relevant but the word "not" is not? Not.

This is why I say Novell should put it in writting where it would stand if MS would sue some Linux company.

Since Novell clearly made this deal for their own benefit (which is their right), if MS were to sue some Linux company, Novell would plainly stand by, since MS has made it quite clear that it retains the right to sue other parties over things which it has promised NOT to sue novell over. Or do you really think that MS would sue RH, Novell would sue MS, and then MS and Novell would just go back to business?

Look a little bit from the other side. If no licenses were transfered, then MS is not having rights to Novells OIN patents by promise only, which would mean any OIN licensee could use them in court.

Why is it that every other big OS vendor besides Apple and MS has demonstrated a clear willingness to "play fair" by FOSS standards? Do MS and Apple hold some magic technique for making proprietary software better than FOSS software, to which they and only they are privy?

And since OIN is the owner of IP licenses in question, Novell would probably have to notify them about licensing those to MS.

I don't get this. OIN holds patents, not licences; if OIN hold them then MS does not have a right to sue over them unless it enters into an arrangement with OIN, not Novell.

If it looks like a dog and smells like a dog, it probably is a dog.

Even if it meows?

Au contraire, it's howling like a wolf. Which is a type of dog.

Edited 2006-11-08 01:45

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