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[3]: This is sad...
by dylansmrjones on Wed 8th Nov 2006 19:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: This is sad..."
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

It's not that difficult to put in infringing code. There are so many patents that nobody can see the whole image. There is already possibly patent encumbered code in pretty much all linux distributions - or possibly patent encumbered code is available through repositories.

Non-GPL'ed code is irrelevant. Of course they can ship proprietary code as well. But that isn't the issue. The issue is what happens _if_ Microsoft decides to sue Distro B for distributing patent encumbered code in some GPL'ed package. Then Novell has the choice between violating the GPL or cease to distribute that particular GPL'ed package. In which case the patent protection from MS is empty.

I haven't said anything about patents being licensed by Novell. They are not licensing any patents. What I said is that it _could_ lead to a possible GPL violation in case Microsoft _did_ sue another distribution.

The problem is that Novell isn't protected against the consequenses of Microsoft sueing another Linux distributor.

There is as such no problem in releasing patent encumbered sources under the GPL. The problem only arises if somebody _else_ is owning the patent, and only in countries that supports software patents.

If you own a software patent and releases GPL'ed software implementing the patent, then everybody can use that patent in GPL'ed applications, simply because you have implicitly allowed everybody to use the patent in any derivative.

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