Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Nov 2006 11:24 UTC
Novell and Ximian Microsoft will pay Novell USD 348 million up front, but Novell will return USD 200 million of that amount over five years. The specific numbers came in an a filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made by Novell late Tuesday. "The financial commitments Microsoft is making as part of this agreement are significant," company CEO Ron Hovsepian said in a statement. In related news, Microsoft has denied that its patent deal with Novell is in breach of the GPL or will automatically spread Microsoft's patent protection to other Linux distributions.
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RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Jody on Wed 8th Nov 2006 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Why so hard on Novell?"
Jody
Member since:
2005-06-30

"Except that Novell clearly admitted that it went to MS first."

Please provide a source.

"Except for GPL clause 7 that prevents patent cross licensing which is what a promise not to sue actually is."

I found this here:
http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft/faq_opensource.html


Q1. How is this agreement compatible with Novell's obligations under Section 7 of the GPL?

Our agreement with Microsoft is focused on our customers, and does not include a patent license or covenant not to sue from Microsoft to Novell (or, for that matter, from Novell to Microsoft). Novell's customers receive a covenant not to sue directly from Microsoft. We have not agreed with Microsoft to any condition that would contradict the conditions of the GPL and we are in full compliance.


PS GPLv2 can be located here if you are interested in reading that section: http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/info/GPLv2.html

Edited 2006-11-08 14:03

Reply Parent Score: 3

stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Doesn't this mean that Novell customers will break the GPL? If Novell are being sub-contracted by Microsoft to sell patent licenses, then Novell customers will break section 7?

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?
by Jody on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:06 in reply to "RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?"
Jody Member since:
2005-06-30

Here is all of GPLv2 Section 7
Source: http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/info/GPLv2.html

7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent
infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues),
conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or
otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not
excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot
distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this
License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you
may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent
license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by
all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then
the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.


If any portion of this section is held invalid or unenforceable under
any particular circumstance, the balance of the section is intended to
apply and the section as a whole is intended to apply in other
circumstances.

It is not the purpose of this section to induce you to infringe any
patents or other property right claims or to contest validity of any
such claims; this section has the sole purpose of protecting the
integrity of the free software distribution system, which is
implemented by public license practices. Many people have made
generous contributions to the wide range of software distributed
through that system in reliance on consistent application of that
system; it is up to the author/donor to decide if he or she is willing
to distribute software through any other system and a licensee cannot
impose that choice.

This section is intended to make thoroughly clear what is believed to
be a consequence of the rest of this License.



So to answer your question, Novel could not distribute something covered by a software patent to customers in the first place without breaking GPL. I have to parse through it again, but I think I missed where it says Novell can't continue distributing patent free GPL software.

Edited 2006-11-08 14:12

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?
by CrLf on Wed 8th Nov 2006 14:32 in reply to "RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?"
CrLf Member since:
2006-01-03

Section 7 of the GPL reads,

"For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program."

If Novell's customers can't redistribute the patent grant to other users, then Novell itself can't distribute the software to its customers.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Why so hard on Novell?
by MollyC on Wed 8th Nov 2006 19:21 in reply to "RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

I'm not a GPL expert, but isn't it the case that Novell's customers aren't subject to GPL unless they make code "derived" from Novell's and distribute it to the public?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Why so hard on Novell?
by manmist on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:25 in reply to "RE[2]: Why so hard on Novell?"
manmist Member since:
2005-12-18

"Except that Novell clearly admitted that it went to MS first."

Please provide a source.

http://www.novell.com/linux/microsoft/press-conference_transcript.h...

" QUESTION: How long have these talks been going on about this agreement, and who initiated it, essentially? Did Novell go to Microsoft, or Microsoft go to Novell, or did you just sort of get together spontaneously? How did that work?

RON HOVSEPIAN: How it happened was I reached out to Kevin Turner in the April timeframe, the COO of Microsoft"

The argument that since the customers are getting the patent benefits, the GPL is not being violated is weasel wording. GPL mandates that everybody gets the same benefits.

http://lwn.net/Articles/208186/

Edited 2006-11-08 15:29

Reply Parent Score: 2