Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 18:16 UTC, submitted by anonymous
Novell and Ximian Novell and Microsoft recently entered into an agreement regarding software patents (really?) that betrays the rest of the Free Software community, including the very people who wrote Novell's own system, for Novell's sole financial beneift, according to Bruce Perens. Join Perens in signing an open letter to Novell's CEO Ron Hovsepian. "As the agreement stands today, it betrays the authors of the software you re-market and their users worldwide for Novell's sole commercial benefit."
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Bruce Perens ...
by tomcat on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 18:42 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

... is either blithely ignorant of the true nature of free software -- or he's deliberately twisting things for his own perceived benefit. Perens likes to talk about how wonderful it is to have a community that shares the benefits of free software. But he apparently doesn't want to accept the reality that a community is comprised of many different voices, some of which are ideologically driven (Perens), some of which are profit-driven (Novell, IBM, etc), and many others in the middle of the divide who are neither (us). Novell is protecting its own interests. This may be anathema to Perens, but Novell has a responsibility to its shareholders and, if Perens were honest with himself, he'd see that the potential IP minefield wasn't created by Novell but, rather, by the community, itself. And now, Perens seems genuinely offended that Novell has the audacity to try to make a profit from free software. This viewpoint represents the huge schism in the free software community today and, if people such as Perens truly want people to use free software without any consideration for profit, then Perens et al need need only promote GPLv3 and see where the chips fall. My bet, though, is that commercial interests will prevail over ideology.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Bruce Perens ...
by b3timmons on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 18:59 in reply to "Bruce Perens ..."
b3timmons Member since:
2006-08-26

"And now, Perens seems genuinely offended that Novell has the audacity to try to make a profit from free software. "

Red flag! Where did Perens ever bitch about Red Hat, MySQL, IBM, Google, etc.? I guess they have not profited from free software according to you.

Clearly he is not alone in being upset about this and an open letter with Novell is better than no dialog at all.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Bruce Perens ...
by jakesdad on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 19:02 in reply to "RE: Bruce Perens ..."
jakesdad Member since:
2005-12-28

It has more to do with who they are making money with me thinks... It's an anything but Microsoft kinda attitude.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Bruce Perens ...
by linux_yogi on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 19:02 in reply to "Bruce Perens ..."
linux_yogi Member since:
2006-03-21

i think People like Bruce Perens has taken a responsibility of protecting free software form abuse. if you just want to write free software then feel free to join the project and write your code. the question here is not just about writing the code. the community cannot accept that fact that the time and effort spend to develop all the software has been actually abused by the very company that tried to kill the community.

i feel like the philosophy of OSS is in jeopardy rather then few software programs. the most surprising fact is that OSS need a protection form Microsoft.

this pact has also put company like Red Hat is a really bad expositions. accept the devils proposal or we will go open telling the world that anyone who used Linux we will sue your ass. just this bad rap about suing company by Microsoft might cause some serious problem and give Novell an advantage.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Bruce Perens ...
by tomcat on Thu 23rd Nov 2006 05:03 in reply to "RE: Bruce Perens ..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

i think People like Bruce Perens has taken a responsibility of protecting free software form abuse.

The OSS community created the recipe for what's happening right now. It had to know that competing interests would emerge. Complaining about it is a little late -- and a little futile.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: Bruce Perens ...
by linux_yogi on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 19:07 in reply to "Bruce Perens ..."
linux_yogi Member since:
2006-03-21

i feel like tomcat is a true Novell employee who has been paid to post positive feeds about Novell and Microsoft

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Bruce Perens ...
by jakesdad on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 20:22 in reply to "RE[2]: Bruce Perens ..."
jakesdad Member since:
2005-12-28

so you take the exact opposite? Thats part of the problem. The free software groups dont want a middle ground..

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Bruce Perens ...
by ma_d on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 21:08 in reply to "RE[2]: Bruce Perens ..."
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

You'd think they could do better. At least someone with better writing skills...

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[3]: Bruce Perens ...
by tomcat on Thu 23rd Nov 2006 05:13 in reply to "RE[2]: Bruce Perens ..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I'm not a Novell employee. I'm simply a Linux user and, like you, an observer of what's happening. Neither Perens nor Novell represent me. I think Perens has a too narrow view of what's "acceptable" -- and what's not. Quite frankly, I think that many people in the OSS community have taken the view that the only intellectual property worth preserving is the IP which was produced by the OSS community -- but not that owned by other competing interests (ie. Microsoft, etc). Worse, they tend to assume that the only redress necessary for stealing other people's IP is "just point out the offending code and we'll change it". As if financial harm wasn't a consideration. I've read countless posts here that scoff at and deride people who point out such rank hypocrisy, and I'm getting sick of it. It stinks. Novell isn't pure by any stretch of the imagination, but I don't fault them for trying to profit from the work of the OSS community. Because that's the system that the OSS community created. No sense crying over it now.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Bruce Perens ...
by rajj on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 19:25 in reply to "Bruce Perens ..."
rajj Member since:
2005-07-06

If ideology is a collection of ideas, then to not be driven by ideology would mean that one is not driven by ideas. What exactly is the alternative? To be idealess? I'm not sure that is something you want to admit to.

You imply, by your statement, that profit motives are somehow non-ideological. I regret to inform you that the pursuit of wealth above all else _is_ an ideology, and your statement is nothing more than a superficial con to present Free Software in a bad light by manipulating semantics.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Bruce Perens ...
by tomcat on Thu 23rd Nov 2006 05:25 in reply to "RE: Bruce Perens ..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

If ideology is a collection of ideas, then to not be driven by ideology would mean that one is not driven by ideas. What exactly is the alternative? To be idealess? I'm not sure that is something you want to admit to.

The problem isn't ideology, per se. It's narrow-minded ideology, that won't consider the viewpoint of others. I think that few people would consider Perens to be anything other than a zealot. He doesn't like companies like Microsoft (and he was fired from HP for his stridency) and, consequently, he has allowed his opposition to cloud the legitimate interests of another member of the OSS community.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Bruce Perens ...
by ma_d on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 21:07 in reply to "Bruce Perens ..."
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Decisions benefiting the individual at the cost of the community aren't anathema to Perens, they're anathema to free software. I'm not sure how to explain it, but I think a read through the GPL might help. Notice how rarely it talks about the importance of developer's rights and how often it talks about the importance of user's rights.

Making agreements which may harm those whose work your business is founded on is not the only method of profit seeking. It seems that everytime a business makes any decision which is legal rather than productive and is criticized people run to the defense of the business shouting "making a buck." Capitalism is about capital, not law. You're supposed to produce wealth, not legally destroy it and then take what loot is left.

Profit isn't theft via lawyer, it's making money. Please stop confusing the two, one may imply the other but it is not a two way implication.

Also, paragraphs are your friend.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Bruce Perens ...
by tomcat on Thu 23rd Nov 2006 05:18 in reply to "RE: Bruce Perens ..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Decisions benefiting the individual at the cost of the community aren't anathema to Perens, they're anathema to free software.

Novell hasn't harmed anyone. That nagging feeling that you feel in the pit of your stomach is the sense of reality setting in. You and many others have grown too complacent with the notion that free software won't be challenged for theft of IP. I predict that we will see a lot more litigation (not less) in the years ahead, as competition stirs the pot.

Reply Parent Score: 1