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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{If worst comes to worst, Novell still owns their code. They could pull their code from the GPL (the GPL is many things, but as of v2.0 at least, it is neither pepetual nor exclusive) and continue to develop their SUSE, now without the Linux trademark, and possibly sue others who were still using SUSE code. }

You have a major misunderstanding here.

(1) Most of the code in the SuSe Linux distribution isn't Novell's code. It is GPL code, relatively little of it was even written by Novell.

(2) That part of GPL-licensed code in SuSe that does indeed originate from Novell and belongs to Novell (principally this is Mono) could indeed be made into a proprietary product by Novell ... but that wouldn't mean that the existing version of Mono would cease to exist as GPL code. There could be a "fork" - there would be a "free" Mono under the GPL, and a "Novell Mono for SuSe" that was closed, proprietary, and people had to pay for. Guess which one would win in the market?

(3) In the same way that Novell insist that they can continue to distribute code which they didn't write (GNU/Linux itself) since it is under the GPL, then GNU/Linux can continue to distribute Novell's GPL code (such as compiz, Mono, Yast etc), since it too is under the GPL. If FSF cannot "pull" GNU/Linux from Novell, then equally by the exact same reasoning Novell cannot "pull" compiz, Mono, Yast etc from GNU/Linux.

{I mean, it seems silly to me. Novell convinces the largest OS company on the planet to help develop and market Linux -- a possible step in Microsoft getting on the open-source bandwagon, which would be a enormous paradigm shift that would probably be welcomed by everyone but me -- and the community tries to prevent it. }

You again fail to understand. There is no attempt to prevent marketing and development of Linux ... there is only an attempt to stop Linux from being subverted into proprietary conditions ... such as any condition that you have to get Linux from Novell/Microsoft in order to be assured that you won't be sued. That last bit is the utterly unacceptable bit. After all, this is for the most part NOT Novell's code, and it is most certainly not Microsoft's code, so where do they get off trying to put conditions on its distribution? We "free market" GNU/Linux people recognise instantly that any move to a sole source supplier and/or cartel is intrinsically bad. This is an obvious truth that utterly escapes Microsoft supporters every time.

Edited 2007-04-04 02:31

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