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Novell Software Linux

Novell Worries About GPL v3 157

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the deliver-the-code-and-nobody-cares dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In its annual report for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2006, Novell expressed concerns over how the new version of the GPL may affect their business. Microsoft might stop distributing Suse coupons if the GPL version 3 interferes with their agreement or puts Microsoft's patents at risk, ultimately causing Novell's business and operating results to be adversely affected."
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Novell Worries About GPL v3

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  • by Scott Lockwood (218839) * on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:16AM (#19321111) Homepage Journal
    What shock!

    In other news, water is wet, fire still burns to the touch, and we still refuse to make a distinction between Microsoft, and those who harbor them.
    • by bigtomrodney (993427) * on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:20AM (#19321183)
      I agree. If you are going to follow the letter but not the spirit of an agreement then you can't expect anyone to come to comfort you. The GPL and the FOSS community may exist in a world where legalese prevails, but it is the heart and spirit of the community that drives it not profit. Novell tested the GPL and won. It's only fair that the community push back to defend themselves.
      • by sumdumass (711423)
        There is nothing in the GPL2 in letter or spirit that Novell violated. I don't understand this comment.

        And the first two GPLv3 drafts did nothing to make the Microsoft-Novell against anything in letter or spirit. It was specifically the GPLv3 draft three that addressed this to any degree. But now, we are open to attacks against free software using the GPLv3 as it stands. And I don't think the point of you agreeing or not with the FSF's actions on doing this reaches the validity of what they did. Of course I
  • by Anonymous Coward
    We should not have made this bargain.
  • by cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:20AM (#19321177)
    In these filings you have to state EVERYTHING you may ever think of that could even slightly affect your stock price, or bear the brunt of a multi-million dollar shareholder lawsuit later if it hiccups in the slightest. The fact that they stated this doesn't imply any amount of actual fear of the GPL, just that it's something they need to be aware of.

    Not quite "nothing to see here, move along" but definitely not a tabloid headline.
    • Exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

      by pavon (30274) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:30AM (#19321343)
      Note, that they also listed the SCO lawsuit as a risk in the report, and we all know how likely that is.
      • by Billosaur (927319) *

        Mind you, they failed to mention the imminent destruction of all life on Earth by the asteroid headed this way...

        • by jd (1658)
          That was in the fine-print, along with Earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass. If you expand the full stops, they turn out to be microdots containing the entire Book of Revelation, the Mayan calendar theory, the short story "The Nine Billion Names of God", and the script for the nuke war movie "Threads".
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by BobPaul (710574) *
          Stock prices can only change as supply and demand dictates. If the Novell execs are all dead, they can't release new stocks into the market and increase the supply. With the share holders all dead, there can't be demand to effect the price of the existing stocks in the market.

          Thus, the price would remain forever at whichever value was last recorded. That's why it's not in the report. It won't alter prices in the least.
  • by beheaderaswp (549877) * on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:21AM (#19321195)
    Par for the course.

    As a dying and irrelevant company, Novell aquires a linux distribution to save themselves, and summarily get in bed with Microsoft, who essentially would prefer to either cage or completely destroy FOSS. Within this "tasty little eggroll" is the fact that Novell seems to forget that FOSS isn't just software but a social movement.

    It is a software movement pushed forward by and large by the people who actually are responsible for running large segments of the internet and computer infrastructure worldwide. Linux has been taken well past Linus Torvald's initial vision because there was a *need* for an alternative in the data center.

    Novell should be worried- very worried. First, their distribution isn't all that good in my experience. Debian and Redhat basically bury it in important areas (cost, stability and Q&A- pick two). Second, they get in bed with Microsoft, a company that provides more frustration per byte than any other software company in history.

    I revert to a lame Star Trek quote:

    Spock: "They are dying" (in reference to the Klingons)

    Kirk: "Let them die!!"

    I've never used Suse, but have tested the distro, and talked with their reps. I never used them because I think their product is below par. The Microsoft deal again reinforces the decisions I made for clients who expend a great deal of money on data infrastructure and expect a minimum of frustration.

    Evolution works people. Sit back and grab a coffee.
    • by Hucko (998827)
      I used Opensuse 10,10.1 and was going to upgrade to .2 when they made this deal with MS. I had very good experiences with their software. Yast2 has to be the most comprehensive gui based admin tools I've used in any OS. (all hobby/curiosity, no problem solving) Port it to Debian and the difference between debian-based distros and windows will be 3d games.
      • Thanks for your comment Hucko.

        Your reply illustrates marvelously the difference between what enterprise users need compared to their desktop peers.

        My apologies if I appeared to be commenting in the desktop direction. Ironically, I had to defend Linux use to a board of directors today. They had been FUD'd by an article in Fortune.

        Having been successful in that meeting, plans for the integration of Linux based desktops are still in the works. Although, Suse will not be considered.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by R_Dorothy (1096635)

      Evolution works people. Sit back and grab a coffee.
      Generally I sit back and grab a coffee when Evolution loses connection to the backend exchange storage process for the third time in half an hour...
      • Or getting Outlook to work correctly with IMAP....

        I drink a lot of coffee.
    • by butlerdi (705651)
      I really find this situation quite sad. I have over the past few years helped many customers move to Linux and they often had a preference for Suse (desktop) and Redhat for the server. In many cases Suse was chosen for it's German roots (German Customers). Novell has really cocked the whole thing up and pitted developers against each other based on distro's. I often think that the FOSS movement gets too hung up on the philosophy of it all and forgets the part about choice, which IMHO is where this all began
      • by Tuoqui (1091447) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:01AM (#19321849) Journal
        Well to be technical, Novell has 2 options... They can choose to continue using GPLv2 components and become obsolete over time or they can move to GPLv3 and realize the Microsoft deal is dead in the water.

        The FOSS community gets hung up on the philosophy because to be honest if you do not adhere to your original philosophy then you end up like Google's 'Do No Evil' philosophy. Basically it gets ignored or back burner-ed for the reasons of profit.

        Remember that the GPL was about making free software available to all. It was also designed to protect developers and projects from the overreaching commercial interests that the Microsoft-Novell deal basically puts into writing. Just look at the terms of it, they explicitly exclude Open Office, Wine and I think Samba... If Microsoft was serious about extending the olive branch to the OSS community they would not have made these glaring exceptions in the Novell deal.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by sumdumass (711423)

          Well to be technical, Novell has 2 options... They can choose to continue using GPLv2 components and become obsolete over time or they can move to GPLv3 and realize the Microsoft deal is dead in the water.

          Well, To be technical, Novell has a few other choices too. The staying with GPLv2 option can be divided into finding support to keep GPL2 ports going. And if they did it often enough and well enough, they would be driving the GPLv3 counterparts development. OR they could just fracture the FOSS community

    • by Bandman (86149)

      As a dying and irrelevant company, SCO aquires a linux distribution to save themselves, and summarily get in bed with Microsoft, who essentially would prefer to either cage or completely destroy FOSS. Within this "tasty little eggroll" is the fact that SCO seems to forget that FOSS isn't just software but a social movement.


      This all sounds so familiar...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by beheaderaswp (549877) *
      Jeesus....

      22 years of system engineering experience, a thoughtful commentary, and supported opinion get you modded down?

      Ack! I'll refrain from commenting further and go back to running my business.
      • by russ1337 (938915)
        I for one, appreciate your comment.

      • by XaXXon (202882)
        Dude, quit whining. No one with 22 years of engineering experience is that angsty or insecure. And your own company? Yeah, right.

        Next thing you'll reply to this saying "You'll never work for me."

        Grow up.

        Sorry for OT, I just hate this "I'm going to pretend I'm all important" response comments.
      • by BobPaul (710574)
        Jesus wasn't a system engineer.

        No wonder you got modded down!
      • You don't get to judge your own brilliance. Those are the rules.

        Go back to running your business and quit worrying about your slashdot mods. Does your business involve selling french fries?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Evolution works people. Sit back and grab a coffee.

      If you really used SUSE you would know Evolution doesn't work at all, at least not with Exchange. But seriously, Evolution (the app) sucks. It will begetting much better very soon however. As part of Novell's current program of kissing my CIO's ass they fixed most of the major bugs which made it useless in the enterprise. So the version he and I are running is actually quite decent. I can't wait till they distribute the patches so I can run it on a bette

  • oh no! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by darth_linux (778182)
    Please, OSS community, let us trample on your work product! What will we do if we can't leech of someone else? We need you. We need you to play nice with us and our task.. uh.. I mean business partners.
  • by loony (37622) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:24AM (#19321237)
    Ok, let me sum this up... Novel makes money selling Linux. They make money off the work of thousands of developers. Novel knew that the community as a whole dislikes M$... they knew that a large portion of OpenSource developers hate M$ with a passion... They enter into a contract with M$ anyway. Some people publicly call them traitors and worse and are now responding to the way Novel disregarded what they wanted. Licenses change and some projects stopped providing RPMS for SuSE. Its just fair - in a community we're in it together. If you do something I don't like, I have the right to do something you don't like. Or in other words, don't piss off the people on who's back you make money.

    Yes, I surely do feel sorry for Novel.

    Peter.
  • Why worry? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jshriverWVU (810740) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:28AM (#19321299)
    Thought even after GPL 3 comes out authors had the right to choose which license they could use. People may very well stick to GPL 2, or dual license.
    • by thethibs (882667)
      That is a really relevant point. Is anyone actually publishing software under the GPL 3?
      • by l3mr (1070918)
        Yes. It's called 'GPL v2 or later'.
      • Re:Why worry? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by supersnail (106701) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:47AM (#19321599)
        I would pretty much guarentee that the core GNU tool set -- bash, gcc, nmake, emacs, GTK, GIMP etc. will go GPL 3
        as soon as is practical.

        These tools are written and maintained by RMS et al. who have an idealogical commitment to GPL 3 and Open Source and dont really care about market share etc.

        So if Suse want to distribute a linux minus the tools, the compilers and a major desktop environment good luck to them.

        Incidently there is a business principle so basic I dont think it is even mentioned in self help management books :- "Dont sue your customers" you may win the law suit but you will have an ex customer for sure. So the chances of a real cutomer being sued by MS are practicaly 0.
         
        • by Shotgun (30919)
          Incidently there is a business principle so basic I dont think it is even mentioned in self help management books :- "Dont sue your customers" you may win the law suit but you will have an ex customer for sure. So the chances of a real cutomer being sued by MS are practicaly 0.

          Unless you have monopoly power, in which case you may pretty much act as you please. Please reference "BSA" for more information.

        • by jZnat (793348) *
          Now that you mention it, I believe KDE will be going with GPL3 when possible, so it pretty much looks like Novell will be screwed out of any existing and evolved desktop environment if it doesn't want to use the GPL3.
        • There's another interesting aspect here. Many (by far the most, probably) programs that use the GPL say "[...]under the terms of the GNU General Public License[...]; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.". At whose option is that, really? Can the FSF decide that they want to sue someone for breaching v3 of the GPL, or can the receiver of the law suit choose that he wishes to use the program under v2 of the GPL and thus not be in breach?
          • by droopycom (470921)
            The problem is not for current release but for future releases.

            Future release may be "GPL v3 or (at your option) any later version." In that case, you cant go back to v2.

            The real question is who can decide to change from "GPL v2" or "GPL v2 or any later version" to "GPL v3" or "GPL v3 or any later version".

            The answer is:

            a) If the original license is "GPL v2 (only)" : all the copyright holders (ie: contributors past and present) need to agree.

            b) If the original license is "GPL v2 or later" : anybody can chan
      • A few reasons... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Frosty Piss (770223)

        That is a really relevant point. Is anyone actually publishing software under the GPL 3?

        Why would they be? It's "beta". But that's not the point. Of course anyone can publish their intellectual property under any license they feel like. But obviously, companies that are invested in the dreaded DRA and have associations with other companies that do, will be nervous.

        I think that hardware companies that use embedded OSS have the most to fear, as it opens up a huge can of worms for product liability and suppor

        • I think that hardware companies that use embedded OSS have the most to fear, as it opens up a huge can of worms for product liability and support, especially with the so-called "mission critical" applications. Many such companies feel the need to standardize and lock in on a specific set of often specially modified code that has been customized and tuned to their specific hardware. Allowing unrestricted modifications to the underlying software presents a spectrum of potential problems.

          On the other hand, th

          • On the other hand, they surely took that into consideration before building the project and chose the GPL'd software anyway (Right...?).

            Exactly. And they will continue to take it into consideration as the migrate to proprietary solutions, and away from OSS. Isn't this counter productive?

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by mrchaotica (681592) *

              No, it's not counter-productive, because having something merely called Free, but which actually isn't, doesn't do us any good anyway!

              Personally, I don't give a shit about "Open Source" software. "Free Software," on the other hand, is important, as is keeping it Free. If those companies wanted to have their product be restricted, they should have used something BSD-licensed instead.

      • You may want to ask that question again AFTER GPLv3 is released.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Because many programs were created by GNU or signed over to GNU. So these programs will automatically be upgraded to GPL3.

      So unless Novell is going to fork all of these, and stick to using the outdated versions, there is not much that they can do.

    • by l3mr (1070918)
      If it's 'GPL v2 or later', the recipient (client) gets to choose which license he wants to use.
      • by JimDaGeek (983925)
        For current versions of software yes. However, if the software has one copyright holder, such as GNU tools, the next versions can say "GPL v3 or later". Which I am sure it will. Also, any new development can also only say "GPL v3 or later". Doing this over time will slowly make GPL v2 go away for a lot of Free software. Though, I doubt everyone will jump on board of the GPL v3. Last I heard, the kernel might stay at GPL v2 or later.
        • by Scarblac (122480)
          The kernel is at "GPLv2", not "GPLv2 or later". Basically, with the or later clause, distributors are bound by all later versions, so the work would effectively be under GPLv3 already; but since it isn't, we're going to have a problem with incompatibility for a while until Linus comes around.
          • by JimDaGeek (983925)
            Are all parts of the kernel GPLv2 only? There are tons of contributors, are they all required to do GPLv2 only?
            • Are all parts of the kernel GPLv2 only? There are tons of contributors, are they all required to do GPLv2 only?

              It looks like some 40% of the Linux kernel is GPL v2 or later.

              How much Linux kernel code is GPL v2 only? [blogspot.com]

              That is not to suggest that parts of the kernel can be distributed under the GPL v3. That would require some careful study of the licenses to work out whether it would be consider just an aggregation of parts.

              Cheers,
              Toby Haynes

              • What it means is that for the kernel to go v3, 60% of the code would have to be relicensed. While still very significant, it's at least easier to accomplish than 100%...

    • by C_Kode (102755)
      Yes, but who is to say that all the software used in SUSE will remain GPLv2?
  • dogs (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Sleep with dogs, wake with fleas
  • What is the exact loophole that Novel is using that GPL3 is supposed to fix? There seems to be several stories over the whole Novel/MS deal, but I have yet to actually read what about the GPL that was wrong that someone (assuming they did) abused it.
    • Re:GPL2 vs GPL3 (Score:5, Informative)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:51AM (#19321685)

      What is the exact loophole that Novel is using that GPL3 is supposed to fix?

      Patent abuse and using patents to threaten and intimidate.

      There seems to be several stories over the whole Novel/MS deal, but I have yet to actually read what about the GPL that was wrong that someone (assuming they did) abused it.

      MS made public statements to the affect that they have patents on unnamed technology used in Linux. In doing so, they may very well have caused some potential adopters of Linux to change their minds and go with Windows for their project. Further, MS agreed to some deal with Novell whereby they are selling coupons that are promises not to sue, if people use Novell technologies instead of more serious competitors to MS on the desktop.

      The idea behind the GPL is that you cannot include code you know is covered by a patent in GPL3 software, unless you agree to license that patent to everyone who uses the copyrighted code. It prevents submarine patents being hidden in GPL3 code and it prevents Novell from gaining customers through veiled threats of patent litigation from MS.

    • Loophole (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Although GPL2 states that if you give away code under GPL, anyone has the rights to the code under the GPL. Even if your code is patented (by you) you get the right to the patent (else the code is worthless: you can copy it but can't run it).

      MS/Novell are saying "MS aren't parties to the GPL because they aren't copying the code and Novell aren't licensing the patents" which means that MS don't have to allow GPL use of their patents in GPL code (because they didn't write it) and Novell don't have the right t
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by supersnail (106701)
      To drastically over simplify the GPL3 -- you can't use it with patented software.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mrchaotica (681592) *

        To oversimplify somewhat less drastically: you can use the GPLv3 with patented software, but you're required to license the patent Freely along with it (regardless of whether they got the GPL'd code from you or from anyone else).

  • by xs650 (741277) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:32AM (#19321371)
    Dear Novell:

    Didn't anyone tell you that if you sleep with dogs, you'll get fleas.
  • No returns. Thanks for the millions. Sorry you can't use the coupons as you intended. They make lovely wallpaper, though.

    • by symbolset (646467)

      Just re-read the marketing agreement. Yup, this is the best thing that could happen for Novell. MS can't return the coupons. If they can't distribute them, MS can't compete with Novell in the same market with the same product. Like I said at the time, MS just bought some really expensive wallpaper for their Redmond office. I'm sure it will look lovely.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    After all, how is Miguel De Icaza gonna be able to spend all his time on copying stupid MS tech?
  • I've always wondered where patent cross licensing enters the debate. Almost certainly, Microsoft and IBM have cross licensing agreements that give MS access to all IBM patents and vice versa. That means that IBM, a Linux distributor, probably already has access to all of MS's patents including the the alleged 228 or 235 or whatever allegedly infringed but unidentified patents. So maybe IBM owes MS some percentage of the revenue on its sales of Linux. Oh yeah, I'll bet MS is more than welcome to half of
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      Microsoft and other big companies develop big patent portfoloes to protect themselves, and to use against our competitors with even vaguely similar projects.

      Open source developers have no such protection. It's exactly why Sendmail rejected using Microsoft's patented "SenderID", as described by Eric Allman here . And it's exactly why GPLv3 has all this complex and oddly writtten patent material (at ), as mentioned in other old Slashdot stories. Even if you think it's silly, or think that software patents are
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by bulled (956533)
      IBM is actually not a Linux distributor, only a contributor. IBM has also stated that they will not threaten any open source project with their patent portfolio but they have not mentioned using the same to protect OSS from anyone else.
    • Re:Cross Licensing?? (Score:4, Informative)

      by metamatic (202216) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @12:36PM (#19323339) Homepage Journal

      That means that IBM, a Linux distributor, ...

      I work for IBM. I run Linux. I contribute to open source projects in accordance with IBM guidelines. So I think I'm pretty informed on the topic.

      As far as I know, IBM does not distribute Linux, ever. As an IBM employee, I'm not even allowed to give you a free copy of Debian. IBM's position is that customers who want Linux should purchase it from SuSE or RedHat, or download it themselves.

      (Opinions mine, not IBM's. This is not an official statement of policy, just what I understand to be the case.)

  • I personally like SuSE, OpenExchange (Not covered by the MS agreement) and Novell's open source products. It is disappointing to see them needlessly jeopardize a great open source business model by continuing with this MS agreement farce. I would hate to see Novell tank because of this, but isn't inevitable when playing both sides of fence?
  • open source is open source, with or without a license... i generally dont really care about licenses...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Freed (2178)
      >open source is open source, with or without a license... i generally dont really care about licenses...

      Democracy is democracy, with or without laws...i generally don't really care about laws...
    • open source is open source, with or without a license... i generally dont really care about licenses...

      Meanwhile, in the real world, I'm responsible to people who trust me to make technological decisions for them. My boss "gets" the GPL because I've explained it to him, and he's OK with it. I'll be darned if I'm going to randomly incorporate Open Source code into our Free Software codebase and suddenly lose the right to redistribute it (or worse).

      I generally don't really care about licenses either, ex

    • by rubycodez (864176)
      nah, what good is a pile of source without the means to compile it (unknown build process), or any way to legally use it, or any way to distribute it (like a foot thick binder of source that doesn't scan well or would cost too much to duplicate)? Free software, public domain software, and bsd licensed software are much more useful forms of open source.
  • making business deals with microsoft is sort of like stepping in dog poo, it always stinks and nobody wants to be near you afterwards, and nobody wants you in their house or place of business with that on your shoes...
  • Basically Novell went over to Goatse's house with a big jar of vaseline and now they are wondering why they came out sore.
  • Microsoft might stop distributing Suse coupons if the GPL version 3 interferes with their agreement or puts Microsoft's patents at risk, ultimately causing Novell's business and operating results to be adversely affected

    Wow, what a crying shame that would be. The company that sullied themselves getting in bed with Microsoft being adversely affected. Excuse me while I work up a little tear.

    How's that old saying go? Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

  • I had a lot of hopes for Novell.. but.. they thought they could work around that pesky GPL. Let that be a lesson to em..
  • by Freed (2178) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:24AM (#19322193)
    Had the deal been with Red Hat, IBM, or whoever, Novell would still be rightly shunned. The patent agreement itself is what stinks. (Although Microsoft admittedly adds stink in their own unparalleled way.)
  • by rs232 (849320) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:27AM (#19322257)
    "If the final version of GPLv3 contains terms or conditions that interfere with our agreement with Microsoft or our ability to distribute GPLv3 code, Microsoft may cease to distribute Suse Linux coupons in order to avoid the extension of its patent covenants to a broader range of GPLv3 software recipients," Novell stated in the document"

    Well DOH, the 'covenant' only applies to a very restricted set of NOVL customers and specifically excludes downstream providers or developers of 'Original Work'. The pledge also lays claim to 'Original Work' and excludes openSuSE developers from working on their own code in company time. Any such work must also be rolled back into Novell SuSE. Not much of a covenant then.

    Wow there, I just noticed something, it don't say original code, but original work, thereby extending the coverage to properties and methods? If this was cricket that would be know as throwing a googly .. nice.

    '1.10 "Customers" means an enterprise or individual that utilizes a specific copy of a Covered Product for its intended purpose as authorized by a Party in consideration for Revenue'

    What is the definition of 'intended purpose' and 'utilizes' in the current context. Who defines 'intended purpose' and 'utilizes'. If these terms are not defined (I can't find them) or can be arbitarly changed by either party at a future date then of what use is it to me the 'customer' as a legal document. I'm not a lawyer, but this says to me the 'pledge' can be revoked at any time. By either party I assume. I do assume the NOVL lawyers got one too. I can't see it! I do assume the NOVL lawyers actually read it before signing!

    "In addition, Microsoft reserves the right to prospectively update and revise the terms of this pledge"

    A close reading of the 'covenant' and associated documents reveals its true purpose, to drive a wedge between the Commercial Sector and Open Source developers.

    MICROSOFT - NOVELL PATENT COOPERATION AGREEMENT [sec.gov] --

    translation: I pledge not to sue you for indeterminate IP violations for a period that can be arbitrary revised, extended, canceled by me at any time. You agree that I own your own original work - not just code ;).
  • The distros should just follow Debian's lead with "non-free" and sequester all GPL3 apps to their own optional disc. That should alleviate any fears from corporate users and resellers.
    • I don't think the distro would work to well with the toolchain and half the basic userland (bash, etc.) being "optional."

  • "or puts Microsoft's patents at risk, "

    they are worried about Micro$oft.
  • Yes, but... (Score:5, Funny)

    by nagora (177841) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:41AM (#19322471)
    "Microsoft might stop distributing Suse coupons if the GPL version 3 interferes with their agreement or puts Microsoft's patents at risk, ultimately causing Novell's business and operating results to be adversely affected."

    ...surely there's a down side too?

    TWW

  • Too bad. (Score:2, Informative)

    by walter_f (889353)
    Some time after the introduction of GPL v3, Novell might end up as the only company in the Linux distribution business that is not permitted to distribute kernel 2.6.xx in any form.

    Business adversely affected? You bet.

    Nobody (except MS people) has told little Ron and his colleagues to sign this foolish deal with Microsoft.

    Next time, Novell, you better look before you leap.

    But wait - there won't be a next time for you and your company? Too bad.
    • Some time after the introduction of GPL v3, Novell might end up as the only company in the Linux distribution business that is not permitted to distribute kernel 2.6.xx in any form.

      Between the huge amount of time and effort it would take and the desire to avoid confusion, I'd bet that if the kernel switched to GPLv3 the version would be bumped to 2.8 (or later).

    • by petrus4 (213815)
      Some time after the introduction of GPL v3, Novell might end up as the only company in the Linux distribution business that is not permitted to distribute kernel 2.6.xx in any form.

      I sincerely hope so. If the FSF are mad enough to start a GPL blacklist, it'll be the beginning of the end of both credibility and relevance for them.

      I'm really looking forward to when the FSF starts banning people they don't like from using GPL licensed software, because then there will finally be a tangible example to everyone
  • Dig your own grave (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Danathar (267989) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @12:11PM (#19322967) Journal
    When you dig your own ditch you have to be careful not to fall in. NOVELL should of known better.
  • It's the long goodbye to Novell.

    The sole reason why Novell made this deal is because some executive at Novell got desperate and thought a deal with Microsoft would give them the warm fuzzies and get Novell competitive advantage. The only problem is that the reason why Novell are doing badly is because Microsoft are Novell's main competitor, they're taking customers away from them and are busy beavering away getting Netware and eDirectory replaced in many companies with Windows and AD. They've been doing

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