Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 17:13 UTC, submitted by davidiwharper
Novell and Ximian "The Free Software Foundation has published a third draft of the GPL3 license. The FSF had indicated leading up to this draft that it would be addressing some concerns it had with the Novell-Microsoft agreements in the draft. Here's Novell's position on the new draft."
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RE[3]: My comment for Novell
by g2devi on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 21:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My comment for Novell"
g2devi
Member since:
2005-07-09

> Why would any sane company indemnify their customers
> when they know that the product they ship (Linux) has
> a possibility of infringing on an extremely rich
> company's patents?

And that is precisely the problem. Novell can contribute code to a GPLv2 application that no-one else will be able to use because of the M-N patent licensing. A clear consequence of this is that Novell doesn't have to care about doing its due diligence (heck they can even look at shared source code without fear of contaminating themselves) in ensuring that their software is safe (as RedHat, Sun, and friends would) so code from Novell should be treated with more suspicion than contributions from other sources that have something to loose through the patent deal.

In addition, they've legitimized Microsoft FUD that Linux is a patent mine field -- after all Novell licensed valuable Microsoft licenses -- if they didn't think there was anything to license then why did they do it? If you don't use "Microsoft Approved Linux"[TM] you're in trouble, and "I'd hate it if you had an unfortunate IP lawsuit 'accident'".

The Novell is the beneficiary of Microsoft protection money and it's in the community's best interests to make sure such appeasement is impossible, since as Ben Franklin said "We Must All Hang Together, Or Assuredly We Shall All Hang Separately".

Personally, I hope Novell comes back into the fold and renegotiates to remove the "Microsoft Approved Linux"[TM] protection racket clause, but if they don't,

I hope that GPLv3 (without grandfathering clause or only grandfathering before draft 2 the N-M deal was inked) forces them to show their hand (i.e. if they don't fork all GPLv3 projects they patch, they'll be opening themselves up to a major lawsuit from Microsoft. If they do fork, we'll know that they're lying and they'll have to bear the financial burden of maintaining a fork).

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