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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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

Jody Member since:
2005-06-30 particular the attempt to circumvent the GPL..

Another unsupported accusation?

The GPL is a license to distribute software. If you make something at your house and don't distribute it, what does the GPL have to do with it in the first place?

Telling me I am allowed to do what I want at home is pointless, but it sure does not violate the GPL.

From "Microsoft will pay Novell a net amount of $108 million in an agreement under which both companies release each other from patent claims from past actions, Hovsepian.

This isn't really about protecting SuSE customers from a threat that never existed, it is more about MS protecting their investment by not being open to lawsuits from the mass amount of IP Novell owns.

MS bailed out Borland a while back, they settled their lawsuits with AOL, they purchased the greater part of SGI's graphics portfolio, they own a license for UNIX, they made a similar agreement with Sun, and now they just paid Novell to release them for possible litigation for past actions.

This about MS making deals with most of the companies that matter to lower the chanced that they might get sued from existence.

Don't forget which of the 2 companies shelled out the $108 mil.

Reply Parent Score: 2

b3timmons Member since:

circumvention != violation. The accusation is the attempted circumvention , although you claim everything is legal. Fine, but circumvention is legal, its attempt quite evident here, and hence the accusation is supported. There are many comments from Novell and Microsoft on this, e.g., the Novell FAQ #1 that shows how they try to get around it, plain as day. You can still argue that Novell has not tried to circumvent, but I suppose there are better ways to defend the deal overall.

Thanks for the background on the other MS deals--that did help to put things in better perspective. I am trying really hard to see Novell's POV, FWIW.

Edited 2006-11-12 01:42

Reply Parent Score: 2