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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RE[6]: FUD...
by butters on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 23:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: FUD..."
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

It's really a shame that none of the current licenses are addressing the needs of the Linux kernel community:

We have the GPLv2, which is working very well for the kernel, but it leaves us open to patent claims.

We have the GPLv3, which addresses the patent claims but imposes usage restrictions that aren't appropriate for the kernel. Vendors selling services based on Linux require the use of digital means for enforcing their TOS. If you don't like the terms, don't buy the service. TiVo is a restrictive service provider, not a danger to free software in general. See more below.

We have the CDDL, perhaps the most compelling license for OSS developers. It has the patent protections, grants the developer exclusive rights to the IP in their original source files (yet they can't sue their downstream users), requires the availability of corresponding source code, and requires sharing of downstream modifications. Unfortunately, while it is a copyleft license, it is based on the source file definition rather than the link definition. Therefore, a distributor can add source files licensed under less protective licenses. This makes the CDDL inappropriate for the kernel, which must remain unified under one license.

The Linux kernel community requested that the FSF remove the anti-DRM clauses from the GPLv3 drafts. They would have seriously considered switching to GPLv3 in this case because of the patent protections. But the anti-DRM clauses were one of the FSF's primary reasons for drafting a new GPL. They only really apply to the kernel (try implementing DRM in userspace), and the Linux kernel community rejects the notion that Linux shouldn't be used by commercial service providers.

The kernel community embraces all users of Linux that respect its IP rights. There are so many possibilities and so many applications for free software as long as we keep it truly free. As soon as we start limiting what users can do with free software, our license stops looking like a free software license and starts looking like a EULA. TiVo isn't improperly distributing the kernel community's IP. They don't care if TiVo's customers are pissed at their service. That's between TiVo and their customers, and this shouldn't affect the way Linux can be deployed in other devices.

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