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SuSE Businesses Software Linux

Stallman Absolves Novell 101

A few days ago we linked the transcript of Richard Stallman's talk at the Tokyo GPLv3 meeting . Now bubulubugoth writes to point us to an analysis of what Stallman said in Tokyo. In particular, these quotes: "Microsoft has not given Novell a patent license, and thus, section 7 of the GPL version 2 does not come into play. Instead, Microsoft offered a patent license that is rather limited to Novell's customers alone." And, apparently resolving the conundrum of whether GPLv2 and GPLv3 licenses can be commingled: "There's no difficulty in having some programs in the system under GPL2 and other programs under GPL3."
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Stallman Absolves Novell

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  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:39AM (#17088240) Homepage Journal

    Doesn't seem logical but Novell won't discuss it preferring, it says, to wait and see what happens in the GPL3 negotiations, clinging to the notion that Stallman and company - anarchist fanatics said to be cut from the same all-or-nothing cloth as suicide bombers - won't do anything to derail Linux.
    Quite apart from the partial title, which is misrepresentative of the article, why would you post a link to anything that contained statements like this?

  • by Karaman ( 873136 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:09AM (#17088382)
    Stallman is some kind of a pope, and M$ are buying indulgence from him?
  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:20AM (#17088406)
    "Quite apart from the partial title, which is misrepresentative of the article, why would you post a link to anything that contained statements like this?"

    Because I guess that the editors know nothing about sys-con. I had sys-con blackholed for a while and last time I cleaned my hosts file, I took them out. Looks like they're up to their same old BS. Sys-Con (system of a con) is a troll organization and most of what I have ever read WRT their attitude toward Linux and the GPL in general has been inaccurate and just plain nonsense. There was _no_ "absolution" of Novell. There was a "It's a good thing they did this now, so we can disallow it in V3." Even the title of the article is a troll. They publish articles "for the clicks and the lulz" like Dan "Lyin'" Lyons and Rob "I'll give a keynote speech for SCO World drunk" Enderle. How articles like that wind up on Slashdot? The editors don't do the least amount of due-diligence - not even a cursory reading of the articles themselves, apparently.

  • by idlake ( 850372 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:27AM (#17088432)
    Doesn't seem logical but Novell won't discuss it preferring, it says, to wait and see what happens in the GPL3 negotiations, clinging to the notion that Stallman and company - anarchist fanatics said to be cut from the same all-or-nothing cloth as suicide bombers - won't do anything to derail Linux.

    This statement is ambiguous; is it saying that Novell made these statements about Stallman, or is it the journalist's own statement?

    Either way, likening someone who takes a principled stand on intellectual property to "suicide bombers" is highly irresponsible. By the same reasoning, you might liken the Founding Fathers, Microsoft Management, or the US Supreme Court to "anarchist fanatics ... suicide bombers".

    This sort of shitty journalism shouldn't be rewarded with ad impressions.
  • Re:Comingling (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:29AM (#17088440) Homepage Journal
    Of course they can be compiled together.
    Distributing that executable to the public is where the problems start...
  • trying to care... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:43AM (#17088510) Homepage

    I never really found a use for SUSE before, still haven't now. I use Gentoo. About as far off that I'll go is Fedora, and even then it's only for work. That RMS approves of it, or that it fits with GPLv3 doesn't really matter. RMS doesn't use SUSE. Why does he care?

    While I'm all for the FSF and what not, the GPL is just one of many licenses you can choose while supporting the notion of "free software." The BSD license also grants you the same four freedoms that is

    0 right to use as you see fit
    1 right to share
    2 right to modify
    3 right to share modifications

    OMG, wow, and the BSD license is less anal than the GPL (because frankly, there are commercial interests out there, and the purpose of writing free software is to make free software available, at least that's my goal).

    Of course I use the public domain as my release vehicle. Frankly, I couldn't care less if people proprietarize my code. I wrote it so people could use it.

  • Oh my (Score:1, Insightful)

    by bieber ( 998013 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:47AM (#17088524)
    It's almost funny that the author knows nothing about the GPL or free software in general, but it's actually far more sad, because other people who don't know anything about the GPL read this shit, and then they think that they do...
  • by bl8n8r ( 649187 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:02AM (#17088566)
    FTFA: ".. will create a schism in the open source community and fork Linux."

    What's the big problem with a fork? So you have Microvell Linux and the real Linux.

    Microvell Lizard Linux is going to be a pregnant toad injected full of politics, DRM and Microsoft IP. Microsoft will have the option that way of killing it then with litigation, or letting it stick around to sell to Windows people that think they are smart switching to (MLL) Linux.

    The real Linux will still be around, minus whatever Microsoft pays the courts to tell everyone they can't use anymore. The inevitability of all this is approaching like a garbage truck, so what is the problem with forking? M$ has been preparing for this for a long time buying up patents and everything else. Beginning over with a forked code base may be the only alternative. Either that, or put all your computer gear in front of the garbage truck and let it have it's way.

    Novell, we smell poniez: []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:31AM (#17088676)
    That's fine, but what do you mean by "available"?

    It is the GPL license of Linux that has forced companies like IBM, Intel, Sun, SGI, etc. to contribute valuable codes like enterprise-level schedulers and >128-way SMP support, RCU, great compiler optimizations, etc. Linux people aren't smarter than BSD (I'd even say it's the opposite), but GPL helps them to use the market forces to their advantage.

    My guess would be that the only reason you share your code is because you have no business interest in it, so from your point-of-view it is commercially worthless. In contrast, GPL is both encouraging and forcing people to share even software that is of central commercial interest to them.

  • by Stalyn ( 662 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:42AM (#17088732) Homepage Journal
    You do understand that the Novell hackers frequently contribute code to many open source projects such as xorg, gnome and the Linux kernel. If you truly wish to separate yourself from whatever Novell touches you will have a hard time doing so and keeping a competitive modern desktop. Also it's totally unfounded that Novell is going to start injecting Microsoft IP into their code submissions.

    But if you are still designed on isolating Novell from the rest of the community I suggest you get on the devel mailing lists and argue for a fork. AFAIK no one other than the vocal minority at Slashdot has suggested such a thing.
  • sys-con trolling (Score:2, Insightful)

    by _dani3l ( 1034972 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @08:58AM (#17088796)
    More Sys-con trolling. This page is classified as "News," but how can any journalist use the phrase "said to be?" How can this be taken at all seriously: "...Stallman and company - anarchist fanatics said to be cut from the same all-or-nothing cloth as suicide bombers..." Three fallacies in one sentence: Ad Hominem, Ad Baculum, and the Appeal to the Unnamed Authority.

    Don't feed the trolls. As we found out last year, there is little point in complaining to the management of Sys-con: Another LinuxWorld Resignation []

  • by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @09:14AM (#17088870) Homepage
    All I'm saying is if you wrote the software to be truly free you'd not use the GPL. GPL is nice, but it's not free in the sense RMS claims.

    Part of being a magnanimous participant in the OSS movement means supporting people you don't like.

    I personally hate DRM and proprietary software. I hate it a lot. But I'll let them use my software just the same. I wrote it to be out there and used [because I think for the most part it does more good than harm and the stuff is of high quality].

    If I were to sit down and pick and choose who is "free" to use my software, it ain't free no more is it?

  • Re:Comingling (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kripkenstein ( 913150 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @09:31AM (#17088962) Homepage
    Stallman didn't actually give us ANY new information about GPL v2/3 compatibility. He only said that some programs could be v2, and some v3, and exist on the same system. He didn't say they could work together (they can), and he CERTAINLY didn't say their code could be compiled together (this is the issue, and I say they can't).

    Well, we can just read the GPL3 draft ourselves. Assuming no big changes in that area (and I doubt there will be any), it will not be possible to link GPL2 and GPL3 code together (except for cases of LGPL2 code or GPL3+a suitable exception).

    What Stallman was quoted as saying is the simple fact that a system can have various licenses on it, GPL2, GPL3, Apache, BSD, Python, etc. etc. Which is of course true. What we will see, in all likelihood, is a GPL2 kernel and GPL3 GNU tools (compiler, etc.), which virtually every Linux distro will use happily. Novell, on the other hand, will have some problems with the GNU tools.
  • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @09:31AM (#17088966)
    The editors don't do the least amount of due-diligence - not even a cursory reading of the articles themselves, apparently.

    Well, that's certainly true, but don't forget also that anything that's controversial is going to generate a lot of discussion, which generates a lot of page hits, which generates a lot of ad impressions.

    Don't forget that Slashdot is for-profit, and has been for years now.
  • Re:Comingling (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @04:41PM (#17092668) Journal
    I don't think GPL3 toold like a compiler would work with a GPL2 kernel. One of the things the GPLv3 was trying to address was the shirking around obligations imposed by the GPLv2. A compiler will depend heavily on the kernel and all it's libaries to work making the operations of a GPLv3 compiler contrary to it's own license when using a GPLv2 kernel.

    In my opinion, this is nothing different from TIVOs attempt to lock people out. If the GPLv3 can taint the hardware to the points it forces signed keys to become GPLed it will definatly tain a kernel running under a former GPL. I don't see why these requirments should be "waived" just because it is OSS people doing it and not TIVO.

    GPLv3 is bad news at it currently exists. It doesn't follow the spirit of the former GPL versions. It introduces too many unneeded problems and is more or less going to make the GPL weaker in the end. Some people are ok with that, some aren't. It isn't to hard to guess were i'm at on it.
  • Re:Comingling (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NickFortune ( 613926 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @06:29PM (#17093524) Homepage Journal
    So what, we can use scripts that will download source code and compile it for us, that is legal.
    Hard to say before the final draft of GPLv3, but that seems the most likely scenario. The GPL has never had a problem with people compiling and running software for personal use. It's just when they distribute that the GPL comes into play.

    Of course, you could argue that distributing such a download-compile-and-link program would be an attempt to violate the intent of the new licence, but I still think that's unlikely. The main point of GPLv3 seems to be aimed at hardware locked down against modification. If the user can compile the two lots of source together, I don't think GPLv3 has a problem. It's when you want to mod a GPLv3 program distributed with hardware, and the hardware won't let you run the result that you hit problems. Think "Tivo".

    Also, most GPL2 projects will simply relicense.

    Ones with the "...or later" boilerplate at the top won't need to, although I think some will explicitly re-licence as GPLv2 only. Not so many as I would have expected before recent shady dealings between MS and Novel, but some will. If nothing else, there are a lot of prominent FOSS devs being paid by large corporations. It's got to be difficult not to let something like that influence your thinking.

    The interesting question is which projects will prosper and which not, post GPLv3. Which will attract developers, which will be bundled, and which wil fal by the wayside. Interesting days ahead, I feel

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky