Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 7th Nov 2006 22:56 UTC
Novell and Ximian "Often cast as the peacemaker in free software disputes, Bruce Perens is on the warpath. When we caught up with him, he wasn't in a mood to be charitable to Novell. On Friday the Utah company, which markets the SuSE Linux distribution, revealed that it was entering into a partnership with Microsoft. Redmond would pay Novell an undisclosed sum in return for Novell recognizing Microsoft's intellectual property claims. Novell received a 'Covenant' promising that it wouldn't be sued by Microsoft."It's a case of 'Damn the people who write the software'", he told us. "Novell is in a desperate position - it has a smaller share of the market than Debian,"" he told The Register. Update: Novell responds to community's questions: here, here and here. Update 2: Havoc Pennington's take.
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RE[3]: But ...
by molnarcs on Wed 8th Nov 2006 01:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: But ... "
molnarcs
Member since:
2005-09-10

Novell in now way acknowledged that any particular code contains patent-infringing IP.

So, the mutual patent protection agreement is about ... what?

"Under the patent agreement, customers will receive coverage for Mono, Samba, and OpenOffice as well as .NET and Windows Server."

This is a direct acknowledgement of the possibility of MS patents in some opensource software that isn't even developed at Novell. The only way it could be more direct if Novell made a statement that openoffice.org is infringing on Microsoft's patents. Did you expect them to do that? I guess unless you see such a statement, you won't accept the fact that the quoted passage is< an acknowledgment of the existence of patent infringing IP. Why would you need such a deal otherwise? Why does this only apply to Novell customers?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: But ...
by somebody on Wed 8th Nov 2006 01:43 in reply to "RE[3]: But ... "
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

So, the mutual patent protection agreement is about ... what?

Yeah, exactly. Imagine, Novell customers will be protected against ... "what?".

No more silly walking into the store and buying ... "what?". No more fear to be sued against ... "what?"

Ok, let me be serious and explain. Or at least, what is my opinion about what was said in FAQ. There is a lot of FUD and Novell which probably made Novell harder to sell Linux. People wanted indemnification (even though they didn't even know against what), and that is one way to get them what they wanted.

This is a direct acknowledgement of the possibility of MS patents in some opensource software that isn't even developed at Novell.

Nope, in FAQ, they deny that possibility. And I for one am prepared to give them benefit of the doubt until this thing becomes more public, when either Novell put out concrete facts or other side shows evidence of foul play.

Personally, I would much rather see I was right than wrong.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[5]: But ...
by hal2k1 on Wed 8th Nov 2006 01:51 in reply to "RE[4]: But ... "
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//"This is a direct acknowledgement of the possibility of MS patents in some opensource software that isn't even developed at Novell."

Nope, in FAQ, they deny that possibility. And I for one am prepared to give them benefit of the doubt until this thing becomes more public, when either Novell put out concrete facts or other side shows evidence of foul play.//

Agreed that there is no "acknowledgement of the possibility of MS patents in some opensource software".

Don't know about giving Novell the benefit of the doubt, though.

http://linux-blog.org/index.php?/archives/172-Novell-is-Now-the-New...
"What should have happened? Novell should have called for Microsoft to take the club OUTSIDE and include everyone. There are licenses that protect Microsoft's proprietary pieces and intellectual property yet still allows them to share things."

IMO, that is why Novell don't have any benefit of the doubt.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: But ...
by molnarcs on Wed 8th Nov 2006 07:01 in reply to "RE[4]: But ... "
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

It is hard to give them the benefit of doubt when they write something like this:

"The financial commitments Microsoft is making as part of this agreement are significant," said Ron Hovsepian, president and CEO of Novell. "This will help drive Linux more rapidly into the enterprise and government arenas, broadly expanding opportunities for Linux and open source."

This is hilarious if you think about it. Does Ron Hovsepian really think that anyone would believe this? That Microsoft struck a deal so Novell can gain marketshare in precisely those sectors that are most important for Microsoft (government and enterprise arenas)?

"Nope, in FAQ, they deny that possibility."

Of course they deny it - what did you expect, really? That they would say: yup, we think that linux might have IP issues with MS? Of course they don't write that down, because they don't intend to alienate free software developers completely... The deal itself directly implies that MS might have patent claims in various important free software projects. Is that really hard to understand? Or is it just me (and well, some of the most important figures of the open source movement) who see a problem with the Novell deal?

Reply Parent Score: 1