Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Nov 2006 11:24 UTC
Novell and Ximian Microsoft will pay Novell USD 348 million up front, but Novell will return USD 200 million of that amount over five years. The specific numbers came in an a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made by Novell late Tuesday. "The financial commitments Microsoft is making as part of this agreement are significant," company CEO Ron Hovsepian said in a statement. In related news, Microsoft has denied that its patent deal with Novell is in breach of the GPL or will automatically spread Microsoft's patent protection to other Linux distributions.
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RE[5]: Why so hard on Novell?
by twenex on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?"
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

Strange, I've heard of 27...

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

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

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

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

Edited 2006-11-08 15:39

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