Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Dec 2006 22:29 UTC, submitted by John Mills
Novell and Ximian Jeremy Allison (of Samba fame) has resigned from Novell in protest over the Microsoft-Novell patent agreement, which he calls 'a mistake' which will be 'damaging to Novell's success in the future'. His main issue with the deal, though, is "that even if it does not violate the letter of the licence, it violates the intent of the GPL licence the Samba code is released under, which is to treat all recipients of the code equally." He leaves the company at the end of this month.
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This poses an interesting question...
by melkor on Thu 21st Dec 2006 22:45 UTC
melkor
Member since:
2006-12-16

If Jeremy has realised that this agreement is not in the spirit of the GPL, then what do we make of the Linux kernel developers, especially Linus Torvalds, who do not find issue with it? I think it speaks volumes about how the Linux kernel developers have now been bought out by corporate interests (and their anti GPL v3 stance).

Dave

Reply Score: 4

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

then what do we make of the Linux kernel developers, especially Linus Torvalds, who do not find issue with it? I think it speaks volumes about how the Linux kernel developers have now been bought out by corporate interests (and their anti GPL v3 stance).

Not so fast. First, I don't know if any of the Linux maintainers work for Novell, thus they can't resign from Novell if they don't. Second, the Linux kernel maintainers may truly believe this isn't a problem. I personally disagree with them, but we have a right to disagree with each other.

We're supposed to be lauding JA for using his mind and speaking it, not for being Blair to our Bush.

Reply Parent Score: 4

melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

I'm merely indicating the point that Jeremy is able to realise how dangerous the Microsoft/Novell deal is, and how it breaks the spirit and intent of the GPL.

Sure, the Linux kernel developers might not think that it doesn't break the spirit of the GPL, but in all honesty, they're at odds with the wider community. Doesn't that really make you question their motives? And to be honest, I think that I rightly have the right to question the intent and morals of the current Linux kernel developer community.

I also think it's quite fair to draw a parallel between what Jeremy sees is wrong and right, and what the kernel developers feel about the very same issue (they see no problem with the Microsoft/Novell deal as a generalisation). I can only reiterate that this is worrying.

Dave

Reply Parent Score: 1

SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

Ever heard of robert love? Last I checked... he wrote inotify much of the hotplug infrastructure... a few books on kernel programming... etc.

http://rlove.org

Reply Parent Score: 2

somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

I personally disagree with them, but we have a right to disagree with each other.

Damn, this one was on topic:) At the moment I read this, the famous "We agree that we disagree..." from MS answer to Novell popped in my brain and is there to stay for today:)

Reply Parent Score: 2

stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

As far as I can work out, the 'Covenant' doesn't break the GPL, or the spirit of it, but it is worthless.
Only if MS successfully sues any distro for Patent abuse, then Novell cannot legally continue distributing Suse under the GPL, unless they remove the patented code from Suse.

Reply Parent Score: 1

melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

I beg to differ, but then I've always been a FSF that does not care about corporations. You might want to also consider that the FSF WILL be changing the GPL v3 draft to make agreements like the Microsoft/Novell one invalid under the GPL.

I'm quite happy to see FSF utilities suddenly upgraded to GPL v3 and Novell not being able to use them because of this 'patent agreement'. It will send a clear message to the corporations that the GPL is not to be messed with. I don't care about Linux becoming 'mainstream', or 'popular', or 'popular with business'. I couldn't care one bit less. What I do care is that the GNU/Linux operating system wholly remains within the community, and that that community abides by the GPL, and the spirit of the GPL. I value GNU/Linux because of the values that the FSF extolls, nothing more and nothing less.

I couldn't care less if Novell did this type of deal with AT&T - it's still wrong, no matter who they do the deal with. My comments aren't so much anti-Microsoft based, but simply based on the fact that, like Jeremy, I believe that the spirit of the GPL has been broken by the agreement, and that Novell should realise this and ditch the agreement. Period. I see no such value in this agreement, other than for potential Suse users. I see many negatives for every other single distribution out there.

I can only hope that software patents in the US are abolished entirely, that would be a good step forward to all of this nonsense, and would open up TRUE competition.

Dave

Reply Parent Score: 5