Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 16:43 UTC, submitted by mwtomlinson
Novell and Ximian The Free Software Foundation is reviewing Novell's right to sell new versions of Linux operating system software after the open-source community criticized Novell for teaming up with Microsoft. "The community of people wants to do anything they can to interfere with this deal and all deals like it. They have every reason to be deeply concerned that this is the beginning of a significant patent aggression by Microsoft," Eben Moglen, the Foundation's general counsel, said on Friday. Update: The FSF claims this is being hyped.
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archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

This kind of reaction is getting pathetic.

If Novell made a secret patent deal with MS that could affect *other* Linux users negatively, then it's not pathetic at all. I think it's a *good* thing that this is being discussed, so that we may know more about the ramifications of this deal.

People who claim Linux and GPL are the most free alternatives should get rid of the people at the FSF, and while they're at it, lay off Stallman also.

That doesn't make any sense. How do you propose we get "rid" of an independant, non-profit organization? Are you advocating coercion or violence against them? More to the point, who cares about what they have to say? Either Novell violated the GPL, or it didn't. This isn't a matter of opinion, but of law. If it is proved that it did, then it won't be able to redistribute the software that they graciously received under the GPL.

It seems to me *you* want to curtail the freedom of the developers who chose to license their code under the GPL by allowing others to infringe on their copyright.

If they back these tyrans, then they should stop saying Linux is free, it's not as long as you cannot do what you want with it. With the BSD's you can use the code the way you want, no question asked.

Okay, first, using words like "tyrants" really takes away all or your credibility. A tyrant has coercive powers. He can impose his will. This isn't like this at all: the FSF is simply reviewing if Novel has broken the agreement that allows them to redistribute GPLed software. The only thing the FSF can do is exercise the developers' copyright on their behalf.

Also, you seem to be confused about *use* and *redistribution* of software. The two have completely different meanings when talking about copyright, i.e. you cannot claim that redistributing the software is "using" it in some way. It isn't. The GPL cannot dictate how you *use* the software, but it does dictate how you can *redistribute* it. In no case is users' freedom better served by the BSD licence. As far as developers go, it is their choice - their freedom, if you will - to choose how their code can be redistributed according to their rights as guaranteed by copyright law.

Freedom is not an absolute thing. Someone's freedom often end where others' begins. For example, you are not free to steal or attack someone else. That is, in effect, a limit on your freedom, but only sociopaths would see this as negative. Similarly, the GPL imposes restrictions in redistribution to make sure the freedom of users (and of the code's original developer) is protected. So you cannot say that the BSD license is more free than the GPL, simply that they protect different types of freedom.

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