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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abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

You are wrong if you think Novell gave "more rights" to Linux users by signing deal with Microsoft since it pertains to NOVEL-SuSE Linux user ONLY and it's not extended to entire Linux community.
Now that's the violation of GPL simply because other Linux users ( RedHat,Debian and so on...) are EXCLUDED from the "peace treaty" signed by Novell and Microsoft.


Oh really? Can you show me exactly what clause of the GPL Novell is violating? You don't offer any proof whatsoever. Where does the GPL explicitly state that these kinds of agreements cannot be made? The best you could come up with is probably some legal gray area and I don't think that is the case. The GPL is about code sharing, not about sharing agreements made between companies.

Reply Parent Score: 3

nedvis Member since:
2006-01-02

WTF is wrong with you abraxas?

From GPL preamble:
"Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all."
=Can you show me exactly what clause of the GPL Novell is violating=
If it's not "exactly (the) clause" it's the "spirit" of the GPL

Reply Parent Score: 1

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

RMS has already said that that Novell/MS deal does NOT violate GPL2 (and yes, that includes the much ballyhooed "section 7").
http://www.osnews.com/story.php/16595/Stallman-NovelMS-Deal-Does-No...

But the FSF is considering crafting GPL3 in such a way as to *manufacture* a violation, but that would only apply to GPL3.

Rather than waste time with that, what the FSF *should* be doing is closing the web-app loophole, that allows parties to incorporate GPL code into their web apps, and release the web apps for use by the public, without disclosing their own code; because they are distributing browser-based web apps rather than local binaries, they are not required to disclose their code even if it makes use of GPL code. This very much violates the "spirit" of GPL. Right now, there is nothing preventing Microsoft from incorporating GPL code into an online version of Office and distributing that for use by the public without disclosing their own code. And Google may very well be doing this as we speak, as well as smaller players.

And this will only get worse as time goes on, as more and more apps are released as web apps rather than local binaries. As web apps become more and more prevelant, the GPL becomes more and more impotent unless this loophole is closed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

WTF is wrong with you abraxas?

I guess you are referring to the fact that I don't agree with you. Get used to it.

From GPL preamble:
"Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all."


That's all well and good but it means squat until someone proves that Linux has patent problems with Microsoft and Microsoft decides to sue. Novell did not acquire any patented software that they then GPLed and there is no proof that any GPLed software that they distribute has patent problems specifically with Microsoft.

Microsoft is the one that is really in trouble. They are distributing Novell software now. If they are releasing Novell from patent claims and then distributing Novell software (which obviously includes GPL software) they must either release all of their patents related to GPL software to the community of nullify their deal with Novell.

If it's not "exactly (the) clause" it's the "spirit" of the GPL

Tell that to the courts.

Reply Parent Score: 2

deanlinkous Member since:
2006-06-19

Tell that to the courts.
Why tell the courts - Micro/vell didn't violate the letter or else we probably would tell the courts.

As stated, they violated the 'spirit' or if you will the intention of the GPl and so the community will provide whatever chastisement they feel is reasonable. That is what is so great about free-software - power to the people! No courts needed....

Reply Parent Score: 2

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

As stated, they violated the 'spirit' or if you will the intention of the GPl and so the community will provide whatever chastisement they feel is reasonable. That is what is so great about free-software - power to the people! No courts needed...

Actually the article was about the FSF preventing Novell from distributing free software. That is a legal issue and the community has no power to stop Novell.

Reply Parent Score: 2