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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molnarcs
Member since:
2005-09-10

You are probably one of the most clueless person engaging in this discussion. You claim that GPL v3 will marginalize free software - which is rather funny in the light of recent developments. In all the history of GPL, the industry has been quite weary of adopting it - until SUN's historical move of GPLing JAVA. This was the single biggest contribution ever released under a free software license by a commercial company. And the same company is now considering releasing its premier os - Solaris - under GPL v3 - and they are not against the idea of moving to JAVA to v3 when it is finalized.

Often trolls label the FSF and Richard Stallmann a zealot - and speak about "religion" of free software. The best thing about the ideology (call it religion if you like) of the FSF - the sacred four freedoms if you wish - is what made free software ecosystem work and the GPL attractive for many developers. But when people think of these freedoms as merely ideologies, they disregard its practical aspect: when you read the GPL or the FSF's mission statement, you can interpret it as purely a practical description of a development model, and the "law" of an ecosystem that guarantees all the benefits of a free market (fierce competition) without capitalism's drawback (condensation of wealth for instance, for it constantly enforces a level playing field). It is basically the rule of the free software economics (a gift economy).

Novell by its actions threatens that level playing field - so far, free software companies competed on two major aspects of their offerings: quality of the software (how well tested and reliable is their distribution) and quality of support. Now Novell has another tool: patent threats with the help of Microsoft. This is exactly what the GPL tried to prevent from the very beginning, but Novell, with some help from Microsoft legal found a loophole in the current wording of the GPL. The legal climate has changed, company tactics has changed, and it is time to plug some holes in the current license. Nobody forces anyone to adopt GPL v3. The kernel probably won't, mainly for technical reasons (it is almost impossible to contact all the copyright holders). Others will. Even commercial entities like SUN, not to mention gcc and friends, SAMBA, etc.

Reply Parent Score: 5

IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd just like to point out that Sun open sourcing Solaris and Java, GPL3 or not, is not because they actually care about open source or the ideals of the free software foundation. They did it because Solaris and Java were on a slippery slope to becoming irrelevent. Just like Novell jumping on the Linux bandwagon because of NetWare's demise, Sun is doing the same thing. Don't think for a second they're an ally of the FSF. They're doing exactly what they needed to do.

I don't know what the FSF is getting at with these latest comments, but there is no new evidence or news. It's the same old lines with nothing to back them up.

I'd like to get on a soap box for a second. Samba, while offering something the community needs, helps to proliferate Microsoft's server protocols. If or when Microsoft breaks current SMB/CIFS compatibility with Longhorn server, Samba will react, correct? If Microsoft is indeed the enemy, Samba continues to bring them relevence in the open source world. Why is that? Might it be because users need that functionality? I understand that Microsoft didn't "invent" SMB, but let's face it, it's their domain(no pun intended). I'm sorry, but I don't put too much stock into the moral objections of an organization that support and bring relevence to a major and closed source technology of "the enemy".

What's left is the patents issue. And I'm still unsure of where the problems exist. I'm not saying they don't but nobody, even the FSF's lawyer, has been able to explain it.

Edited 2007-02-04 02:49

Reply Parent Score: 1