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: Lower the boom!
by grat on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 19:38 UTC in reply to "Lower the boom!"
grat
Member since:
2006-02-02

Assuming that the FSF is unbalanced enough to totally remove the so-called escape clause, and "lower the boom", as you suggest, Novell would have two possible actions available to them:

1) Renegotiate with Microsoft to specifically exclude GPL licensed code from the Microsoft deal (Personally, I think they should have done this from the start).

2) File suit against the Free Software Foundation for using it's position to prevent Novell from being competitive. Telling Novell to write/maintain their own code doesn't cut it, as no other Linux distro has (currently) such a restriction.

Given the number of public comments by people from both the FSF, and others such as Bruce Perens, it would be almost trivial to prove that the latest draft of the GPLv3 was designed to deliberately harm and/or punish Novell's business.

I suspect that this is why the grandfather clause exists in the current draft anyhow, and may explain the repeated delays on this draft.

Regardless, organizations like ACT (Association for Competitive Technology) are already putting out the press releases that I expected, that say that "See? We told you GPL is anti-business". Whatever YOUR opinion of ACT is, the reality is that they're a lobbyist organization, and they know how to get their message to both Congress, and big business.

Finally, I find it ironic that a community that reacts with such outrage to the use of submarine patents would be in favor of using the GPL as a weapon retroactively.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Lower the boom!
by sbergman27 on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 20:19 in reply to "RE: Lower the boom!"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I hear what you are saying.

As a warning, I should say now that the rest of this is likely to wander off topic, so anyone who is not interested can feel free to exit now. ;-)

I am in a state of transition. For 19 years I've been a Unix (and later, Linux) admin and advocate. I am considering getting out of this business. And it is interesting how that is affecting my views on some topics.

I've always had the option of caving in and doing the Windows thing. It would have been advantageous to me financially. But it just never seemed right. And so I have always refused to "do Windows" and my employer understands that.

But now that I am considering freeing myself from dependency upon this field for my livelihood, it is interesting to note how it also affects my views regarding these kinds of issues that are in "gray areas".

I am finding myself ready to entertain ideas that I might have dismissed before. And I find myself wondering if the benefits of Linux going mainstream are really worth the costs.

As long as FOSS software and drivers do what I need, why should I care how many other people are using it?

I've always taken it as a given that more users are good. And I still feel that way; I do want more people to benefit from FOSS. But I also find that the balance is changing between how much I value more users and how high I perceive the cost of gaining those users to be.

Today, I'm wondering if the cost of allowing Novell to get away with their deal is not too high.

ACT cannot forbid us to write, distribute, and use free software. They can only try to keep it out of government. But I have absolute faith in the power of the OSS development model. It cannot be stopped, but can only be delayed.

I'm wondering if, perhaps, we are not better off sticking to our guns and waiting a little longer rather than worrying about PR, or taking any shortcuts with repercussions that may be with us for a long time.

All of this is quite tentative. The re-evaluation of one's own position on a major personal issue is always a bit disconcerting. (And FOSS *is* a major personal issue for me.)

But I guess that's how we grow.

Edited 2007-04-03 20:27

Reply Parent Score: 3