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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You're absolutely right. However, the point in this case is who I would rather have get the money. And the answer is: I would rather have a company like Red Hat or Sun make money thanks to their contributions of open-source software and their cooperation with other companies and the community, than have Microsoft and their closed-source tactics win. Why? Because **I** like money, too. Even though I may never be rich, at least I know that if open-source software wins, then I'll never have to pay to upgrade every two years just to be able to read my old documents or listen to my old music. Not something I can say about Microsoft's products.

Now, Novell is using tactics that share quite a resemblance to MS's--they're supporting patents and are pushing a paradigm they call "mixed-source". This tactic is rather similar to MS's embrace, extend, extinguish, except in this case it's even more insulting because Novell is locking other Linux companies out of the interoperability technology they're building--despite the fact that their distro is based off of those other companies' investments. On top of that, the fact that they're supporting software patents at all is counter to the entire philosophy and proper function of free software, dealing another blow to every other Linux vendor (excluding themselves). The fact is, OSS can't work like that--it can be a money-maker, but only if it prevents companies from duplicating effort. In this case, Novell is doing just the opposite.

Edited 2006-11-22 22:24

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