Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 17:13 UTC, submitted by davidiwharper
Novell and Ximian "The Free Software Foundation has published a third draft of the GPL3 license. The FSF had indicated leading up to this draft that it would be addressing some concerns it had with the Novell-Microsoft agreements in the draft. Here's Novell's position on the new draft."
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RE[2]: Reading carefully,
by h times nue equals e on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 18:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Reading carefully, "
h times nue equals e
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The grandfather clause (or get out of jail card for Novell) is in brackets and is therefore subject to review. If there is enough negative feedback about it then that clause will be removed.

Yes, I know this. I was just in awe of the carefully constructed sentence I quoted in my OP. If I had not read the draft of the GPLv3 myself (or had not followed the discussions around it, or read somewhere else about it, or ... well, basically, what if I would have acted like a not-so-interested-in-this-technical stuff customer of Novell instead?) I would feel perfectly confident, that this whole GPLv3 thingie was a big tempest in a little teapot.

Indeed, the point further down in the Novell pulications

If the final version of the GPL3 does potentially impact the agreement we have with Microsoft, we’ll address that with Microsoft.

(emphasis mine)

is a masterpiece in the art of bending sentences around inconvenient facts. Given the current draft (and the direction of the drafting process), I can not think of a situation, where the (existing) Novell-MS deal is only potentially impacted by the license. Either it is, or it isn't, as this is not quantum mechanics, where Schroedingers cat could be in superposition of mutually exclusive states until it is measured. The only problem is, that every distribution of GPLv3 software is (in the terms of the license) a measurement.

I (personally) would not object to remove this clause, but I can also relate to the feelings of those, that are in favor of keeping it in, who essentially argument along the "we have to be fair even to those parties, that are not really (Novell) fair to us or threaten us openly (MS / Ballmer)" line. As neither of us has read all the small-print of the MS-Novell deal, I (as in IANAL) would prefer to word the grandfather clause so, that it explicitly rules out the possibility to renew existing agreements, if it stays in. This way, it would be ensured, that this deal was only a temporary installation.

Edited 2007-04-03 18:49

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