Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 16:43 UTC, submitted by mwtomlinson
Novell and Ximian The Free Software Foundation is reviewing Novell's right to sell new versions of Linux operating system software after the open-source community criticized Novell for teaming up with Microsoft. "The community of people wants to do anything they can to interfere with this deal and all deals like it. They have every reason to be deeply concerned that this is the beginning of a significant patent aggression by Microsoft," Eben Moglen, the Foundation's general counsel, said on Friday. Update: The FSF claims this is being hyped.
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OK
by pierino on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:01 UTC
pierino
Member since:
2005-07-31

Well done FSF
Novell signed a crontract with Microsoft agreeing that Linux source code infringe some ms patents.
and btw FSF works for users not commercial entities.

Reply Score: 3

RE: OK
by Hiev on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:05 in reply to "OK"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

And MS also recognised they infringed Novell Patents, so it was a trade not a sell out.

And thx to the commercial entities Linux and the FSF are where they are right now and they can be fired by them forking or simple not supporting them, at these day we have more options, not just GNU options like the past.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: OK
by rayiner on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 18:37 in reply to "RE: OK"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

The question is, doesn't that suddenly put every non-Novell distribution at risk? It's not about freedom or ideology, it's about the legal system*. In signing the deal, Novell basically admitted to liability. They were covered from that as part of the deal, but since Novell ships the same code as every other Linux distributer, that calls into question the liability of all of them. It gives Microsoft (or a proxy agent) a stronger case for going against RedHat, who is not covered by the deal.

The FSF probably has no legal recourse against Novell, and they understand that as the updated comment from Moglen shows. However, this situation underscores the need for GPLv3, which has patent terms that would potentially mitigate a situation like this. And it's not only the FSF who recognizes that patents can be used to subvert free software --- IBM, Sun, and Mozilla all have patent clauses in their open-source licenses.

*) It should be noted that Moglen has his JD from Yale and is a professor of law at Columbia. He has strong beliefs about the freedom of software, but he's better-qualified to talk about the legal ramifications of the Novell-Microsoft deal than any of us posters on this forum!

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: OK
by SReilly on Sun 4th Feb 2007 16:36 in reply to "RE: OK"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

"And thx to the commercial entities Linux and the FSF are where they are right now and they can be fired by them forking or simple not supporting them, at these day we have more options, not just GNU options like the past."

That statement is one of the most uneducated statement I have read yet in this thread.

Mind how you tread least you forget that Linux is where it is today because of the efforts of tens of thousands of devs free time and code donations. This could never have been possible without the GPL, Stallman and the FSF.

All the big corps are nothing but jonny-come-latelys and to give them credit for the hard work of others is just disrespectful.

Shame on you!

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: OK
by deb2006 on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 20:55 in reply to "OK"
deb2006 Member since:
2006-06-26

Completely agree. Novell wants to play by Microsoft's rule and leave the other Linux vendors out in the cold. That's bad, bad, bad - why? Because Novell profits from OSS development. If others are able to share, Novell has to learn to share or simply vanish. I support this move of the FSF (well, if it's true). Keep on rocking, FSF!

Reply Parent Score: 4