Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 11th Nov 2006 16:53 UTC, submitted by deanlinkous
GNU, GPL, Open Source "The Software Freedom Law Center's CTO Bradley Kuhn has issued a statement regarding the Novell-Microsoft agreements and how they will impact FOSS developers. They have analyzed in particular Microsoft's Patent Pledge for Non-Compensated Developers and see little value and in fact say it's worse than useless, because it creates an illusion of safety and because it limits severely what that developer is allowed to do with his work."
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Look at the big picture: the lawyer behind the GPL has been down on the Novell thing and vows that v3 will not fall prey. Now the SFLC is getting involved. The agreement is, in effect, FUD. Ballmer unsurprisingly is coming off as a clumsy thug. Then there is the guilt by association with the track record of MSFT, the source of the money for Novell.

Not all of the above bad perception of Novell/MSFT is necessarily justified, but anyone can understand why the perception itself exists and the burden is now on Novell/MSFT (with help from the SFLC) to prove that perception to be false. So this is not as simple as kool-aid.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Jody Member since:

You are talking but what are you saying? You completely avoided countering the point I made in my post which was that the non-distribute clause that the SFLC says makes this agreement worthless is the same clause that means it complies with the GPL section 7 which prohibits passing patents downstream.

If I am wrong please counter my point with a more solid reason than Ballmer is a thug and anyone who deals with MS is bad.

Reply Parent Score: 2

b3timmons Member since:

My comment was about the negative perception in general.

I will not counter your point at the moment for two reasons:

(1) IANAL and am undecided about the legality and await more substantial reasoning, say of lawyers from a third-party, such as the SFLC.

(2) I am unsure how important your point really turns out to be. Even if your point stands and more generally all is legal, people will still want to see why this deal, in particular the attempt to circumvent the GPL, should not be considered unethical when Novell positions itself as having not only customers but also a community. Such considerations are important to some. Even for the others, the GPL comes out not looking as strong and perhaps not serving their interests as well.

One could assume that all is legal right now, and proceed to make the ethical case--not that I want to take you away from coding *grin*.

Reply Parent Score: 5