Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Nov 2006 23:05 UTC
Red Hat While Microsoft is hoping to enter into a patent deal with Red Hat similar to the one it has with Novell, the software giant has not ruled out going it alone and providing some sort of indemnification for its customers who use Red Hat Linux. Bill Hilf, Microsoft's general manager of platform strategy, acknowledged that it is an awkward situation having Microsoft's customers who use Novell's SUSE Linux covered by the covenant not to sue, while those Windows users running Red Hat Linux are not.
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This is the problem
by Priest on Thu 16th Nov 2006 02:54 UTC
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If they make a deal with someone for IP and agree to let them release said IP under GPL, they are consenting to have said technology released under the GPL license.

This means if I get MS a few million to let me release MS Word under GPL, the people who I sold it to can do what ever they please with the source and are not required to give MS a dime.

Because of this making a deal with just one Linux distributor exempts all the others who are distributing the same source code, so if this is an anti-GPL strategy it is a really poor one.

If you don't think MS knows this about GPL already you are wrong.

MS knows Linux is going to be around for a while, I believe they are covering their own asses by ensuring companies like Novell and RH can't sue them.

I think these agreements could be good because it generates some extra money for the major Linux players and removes some patent roadblocks allowing them to focus on their products rather than their legal strategy.

As for MS, every time they want to add a feature they need a team of lawyers to research who is going to sue them for it and these agreements are cheaper than losing court cases. They are just protecting their own asses.

When companies like this get tied up in multi-year court cases the only people that win are the lawyers, I think this is a mutually beneficial agreement (unless you are a lawyer).

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