Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th Nov 2007 17:33 UTC, submitted by WillM
In the News One year after sealing their surprise alliance, Novell and Microsoft have announced an expansion of their technical collaboration to 'link together the existing Windows and Linux frameworks'. The firms will extend their existing collaboration to focus on virtualisation, standards-based management, directory and identity federation and document format compatibility. As part of this process, Microsoft said that both companies are 'now working closely' at the Microsoft and Novell Interoperability Lab in Massachusetts.
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RE[7]: Good for Novell!
by sbergman27 on Thu 8th Nov 2007 22:21 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Good for Novell!"
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I believe this is incorrect. The BSDs went through something similar in the early 90s.

No. And this is an *extremely* important point to understand. The BSD lawsuit was about copyrights. The threats OSS faces today are about patents. That is a *completely* different scenario. One cannot simply rewrite sections of code to avoid infrindements. Whereas copyrights are about copying lines of code, patents are about implementing *ideas*. If we are found to be infringing, for the sake of argument, upon a patent which covers having a pointing indicator on the screen which one can control with ones hand, we cannot simply rewrite the code. We must stop using mouse pointers altogether and find a completely different way of interacting with the desktop.

Being called into question on copyrights is, at worst, a major inconvenience. Being found to violate certain patents could be absolutely *devastating*.

What is protecting us now is not necessarily that we are not infringing upon any patents, but that for various reasons, few actual players in the industry, short of pure-play patent trolls, dare to use their patents offensively.

If patent armageddon were, in fact, unleashed some day, OSS would be just a devastated as the closed source companies. Worse, perhaps, since other than Novell, we don't have much, if any, in the way of cross-licensing deals, and are not in a position to make them in order to save our skins.

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