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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About Novel, FSF, Microsoft and Everything
by n0xx on Sat 3rd Feb 2007 20:13 UTC
n0xx
Member since:
2005-07-12

Personally, I think it was a dumb move from Novell to singn the pact with MS.

Why did they choose to base their business strategy on Linux if they knew it came with strings attached (no negative connotation intended)? Why didn't they based their work on FreeBSD? It would have been far more flexible and business friendly? If you're business strategy involves adding tainted code to your project's source, then BSD is they way to go.

So I'll ask again: Why did they chose GNU/Linux on the first place?

These big IT companies don't just spent loads of cash in something just for kicks, they define a business strategy, do some market researching (betterdesktop.org anywone?) and act acordingly. I find it VERY hard to belive that they overlooked the fact that the comunitty would get up in arms because of such a move.

So why didn't they give a rat's ass about how the community would react?

There has been much talk about fundamentalism and the Spirit of Free Software. I for one, understand why the FSF is trying to push GPL3 as a way to enforce the SFS (acronym inversion...sweeeet), and I understand the need to adapt the GPL to the modern times.

Call me paranoid, but I can't help to think that Novel deliberately scrutinized the GPL, in the hopes of finding some kind of legal hole, and exploited the said hole once they found it. This is not uncommon, it happens all the time. If you have enough money to hire a high end law firm, those guys will pretty much get you out of anything by finding legal loop holes and exploiting them.

So that's that... If they wanted to just do their thing with MS and keep the peace with the Open Source crowd, they should have used BSD. And I'm placing my 2 cents worth of bet on my little conspiracy theory.

Be well.

Reply Score: 5

acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

You do realize that many of the programs/libraries they needed to build the whole system with development tools, interoperability and "who knows what more" are GPL, right?

Just to be a little explicit: samba, gcc, gdb, gnome, kde (multiple license) and many, many more (drivers and what more). Linux (the kernel) of course, is not included as you suggested to use BSD kernels.

Fact is, before Linux adoption Novell was a free fallen company without a direction, now they have.

So, really, doesn't matter that much which one they have picked. Would be almost irrelevant.

Now, I still think that FSF is looking at wrong target. Microsoft draconian OEM contracts is what should be beat. The control pressure they exercise on the computer industry, as in the documents formats and hardware specs non-disclosure contracts.

If they, FSF, insist on this path, to put away business support we all need, I fear we could end up with a consortium of companies forking the entire FSF base and keep the current Linux kernel, if they manage to keep it GPL2 only. Or worse, grab one of the current *BSDs and create a consortium around it too. Damn, I hope not (nothing against *BSD kernels, I'm a long time FreeBSD user, but we do not want one more BSD kernel fork).

Maybe, we shold stick with GPL2 and be calm. No matter what kind of DRM someone develops, as long as MS products can have access to them, it will end up with someone cracking it. Also, on many conutries they are already awake of the problems of DRM (as they try to enforce in USA) clauses, being many of them even invalid on some (talking about fair use).

I think we need to be patient. May take time, but the cost will push most of us to FOSS software anyway, at least when talking about general purpose software, the benefit is impossible to overlook and ignore.

Reply Parent Score: 1