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.
Thread beginning with comment 179995
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
This is sad...
by grat on Wed 8th Nov 2006 15:56 UTC
grat
Member since:
2006-02-02

As I read through the various posts, I feel like I walked into a UFO conspiracy theorists' convention-- except their work is usually better researched than most of the uninformed drivel I've been reading on this topic.

Novell taking GPL code, and trying to make money from it-- How, pray tell, is this different from Red Hat creating a distribution containing GPL code, and advertising? No one screamed that Red Hat sold out because they offered to indemnify their clients.

Novell also offered to indemnify their clients, and now, they've gotten Microsoft to agree to it. Is it sneaky? Somewhat. Is it a sign that Novell is going to co-opt people's GPL code and create a Microsoft/Novell linux as more than a few have speculated? NO.

This is a 5 year window in which there is almost guaranteed to NOT be an IP lawsuit involving Microsoft and Linux. Novell's clients may be excluded from lawsuits, but Novell's *developers* aren't, and neither is Novell.

The problem is, there is a segment of the linux community that doesn't want their toy to be a commercial success. And the idea that Microsoft might be involved in making their toy a commercial success, causes them to start foaming at the keyboard.

Based on who pays how much, the only conclusion I can draw is that there is Unix and/or Linux code in Microsoft products, that they thought was covered by SCOSource. Now that it's obvious it won't be, they're looking for another method to cover their bets.

Reply Score: 1

RE: This is sad...
by dylansmrjones on Wed 8th Nov 2006 16:16 in reply to "This is sad..."
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The problem is not making money from GPL'ed sources. Go ahead and do it.

The problem here is Novell trying to look like a safe choice when it - in reality - can easily lead to either Novell violating the GPL or Novell having to cease distribution of Linux. Choosing Novell because it looks safe can be a very stupid choice, since Novell isn't protected in reality. They are protected against being sued by Microsoft, but they are not protected against being prevented from distributing GPL'ed software.

The long term problem is that this can undermine Open Source efforts to create freely accessible tools to compete and interoperate with the Windows world.

And that's the problem.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: This is sad...
by grat on Wed 8th Nov 2006 17:39 in reply to "RE: This is sad..."
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

The problem here is Novell trying to look like a safe choice when it - in reality - can easily lead to either Novell violating the GPL or Novell having to cease distribution of Linux.

Err.. No. You see, it can't, unless someone actually puts patent infringing code into a linux distro. And if they do, they can't license it for just themselves, they have to license it for everyone. Well, they could, but then they couldn't distribute it as GPL.

Strictly speaking, as long as the code isn't a derived work of the linux kernel, and isn't licensed under the GPL, there's no reason why a vendor can't develop a proprietary, patented application, and distribute it in any way they desire. It would come under the heading of 'non-free', and people would have to make their own choice, but that situation exists RIGHT NOW.

If Novell *were* to release any patent encumbered code as open source, it wouldn't be under the GPL. Oh wait-- they did that, and it's called "Banshee".

So, actually, someone has to embed patent infringing material in a GPL product, then license that patent for only themselves, THEN try to distribute it before section 7 kicks in.

And no one, including Novell and Microsoft, is stupid enough to do that.

Finally, please tell me which patents are being licensed by Novell. With specificity, folks. Otherwise, you're no better than Darl McBride.

Reply Parent Score: 0