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[3]: My thoughts.
by monodeldiablo on Wed 4th Apr 2007 03:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My thoughts."
monodeldiablo
Member since:
2005-07-06

I never said that developers adopting the GPL3 wouldn't affect users. I said that it's ultimately the developers' choice, regardless of what anybody else says. I don't hear you critiquing the "divisiveness" of Microsoft's onerous licenses, and they're a hell of a lot harsher on the user than anything in the FOSS realm. The GPL doesn't have to be "business-friendly" to be successful. The same arguments that people are using to attack v3 were used against v2... and yet Linux adoption and community growth are still exploding.

Secondly, the purpose of the GPL (no matter what version) is not to facilitate the uptake of software. Linux doesn't have to win any business wars, here, so your argument that the GPL3 might slow adoption (while specious in its own right) is irrelevant. That's not what it's about. That's the business world. FOSS has grown so quickly because it's unhampered by an obsession with uptake and market penetration. Business and users will adapt to meet the license requirements of the software authors, just as they have for other OSS and proprietary licenses.

Thirdly, no license will protect any software from being sued for patent infringement, be it proprietary, free or otherwise. GPL3 will, however, stop companies like Novell from legitimizing farcical claims that FOSS infringes on undisclosed "mystery" IP.

I'm going to close this up by saying that I think Microsoft won't start suing Linux, largely because, unlike companies, Linux is decentralized and not controlled by any one entity. Legally, they really don't have a case against the users of Linux and other open source software, either (after all, you can't sue owners of Ford trucks because Ford violated a Toyota patent... that's Ford's crime, not their customers'). And, the real nail in the coffin is that Microsoft and company have made overtures for years (culminating in Ballmer's recent threats) that Linux violates their IP, but they've taken no legal action and done nothing to substantiate their claims. In the legal world, this often implies tacit consent and can severely hamper any case that could go to court (which is more and more unlikely, thanks to SCO).

Microsoft is merely rattling the saber to scare pointy-haired bosses away from Linux and back to Windows. They know that a few will slip to Novell because of this "indemnification", but they also know that their accusations will cast doubt upon Linux and open source at large.

And, like the rest of their propaganda campaigns, this, too, will fail.

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