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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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  • Re:trying to care... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bmo ( 77928 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @09:25AM (#17088650)
    "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?"

    Because there are programmers at Novell that write stuff that winds up in _all_ distributions. Don't forget that Novell has the Mono and Ximian crew. Other distributions using Mono and Ximian software are downstream from Novell (such as Gentoo). Since Microsoft is saying "we won't sue you or your customers, but we're thinking about suing other people" tells everyone else that maybe they're tainted because they've got code that Novell employees wrote for Gnome and Mono. Whether that matters or not remains to be seen, but the chair throwing howler monkey that is Steve Ballmer has everyone involved with this stuff looking askance, to say the least.

    So just because you're not a SuSE user doesn't mean that you're unaffected.

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

    You forgot

    4. Right to restrict downstream users/programmers rights, which the downstream doesn't participate in 0 through 3.

    Suppose I make AnAwesomeProgram and distribute it freely under the BSD license, thus releasing it to the world uninhibited. SomeoneElse comes along, takes the code he didn't write, adds some trivial functionality, and resells for $$$$, but doesn't allow his customers the same rights he had (thou shalt not reverse engineer, thou shalt not decompile, thou shalt not redistribute, thou shalt worship only me and live).

    To me, that would be unacceptable.

    In a perfect world, the BSD license would be ideal, but the world is neither perfect and not all people have good intentions, imo. That's why there's the GPL. The world is also full of choices, which is why there's more than just the GPL.

  • Re:trying to care... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <tomstdenis@gm a i> on Sunday December 03, 2006 @09:34AM (#17088686) Homepage
    See that's the difference. You write software to prop up a cause. I write software to solve problems and have the software out there.

    More often than not, a lot of my fixes come from users who stick my software in places you can't even imagine (from IPMI controllers, DSL modems, video games, etc...). Their improvements make it into the public domain code which benefits everyone (even GPL/BSD hippies).

    I don't write my software to make GNU or FSF more popular. To me, free means just that. Free. As in, fuck off with your "this is what you can do with my software, but it's free" bullshit.

    It's not free, it's just "more accessible". Freeer is probably a more correct term. Heck you get to keep the acronym FSF!

  • by Coeurderoy ( 717228 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @10:02AM (#17088820)
    Stallman might be a sort of pope, but he is not selling indugence to M$.
    Well I guess that if the bill and melinda fondation would offer to give him ALL their money, he would at least think about it.

    Of course the way he would be using this money might be even more irritating to the current US rulers thant what he is currently doing,
    since I suspect that he would still have the same choice of entertainments (playing irish flute in front of a large crowd rather than buying a large mansion in beverley hills :-)).

  • by KillerDwarfFromHades ( 1034984 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @11:21AM (#17089230)
    And it magically disappeared.

    First the "Feedback" page disappeared, interestingly less than 15 minutes after I posted there that the true author of the drivel was Maureen O'Gara.

    Now the entire story is gone.

    The power of proving hypocrisy strikes again!
  • by Mostly a lurker ( 634878 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @04:12PM (#17091932)
    As I understand it, the Novell-Microsoft agreement does not protect either Novell or Microsoft directly. It only states that Novell's customers will not be in the firing line if Microsoft goes after Novell or Redhat, for instance. This advantage that Novell's clients would have is seen by some open source advocates as against the spirit of the GPL which, apparently, is that everyone should be equally vulnerable. I am sort of curious. Let us say that Microsoft unilaterally decides to offer protection to Red Hat's clients, but not any downstream recipients of those clients. Does Red Hat suddenly have responsibility to provide protection for those downstream recipients that they would otherwise not have? If the answer is "no", then presumably the problem with the Novell-Microsoft deal is not that some users are at less risk, but purely that this is as a result of an agreement between the parties. The fact that non-Novell customers are in precisely the same position they would have been if this agreement to which they are not a party did not exist appears irrelevant. I can understand why some free software extremists dislike the Novell-Microsoft agreement, but I am bound to say that I do not find their position very logical.
  • Re:trying to care... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Sunday December 03, 2006 @07:07PM (#17093304) Homepage Journal
    I run Linux almost exclusively, or did until very recently (until I get Myth and my PVR-150 and TV@nywhere to cooperate on SuSE I boot Windows frequently now, running it while posting this in fact since I am recording a movie in the background). I have NO problem with running proprietary software. I LIKE Diablo, I LIKE Return to Castle Wolfenstein, I LIKE Video Wave and Media Studio Pro (cinelerra and klives both suck, VideoWave is great for very simple edits, and MediaStudio Pro blows the hell out of Adobe Premier and anything else I have tried at the consumer price level).

    What I DIS-like is proprietary operating systems and proprietary formats.

    What I dislike about proprietary operating systems such as Windows is:
      - The tendency to be available in any color I like, so long as it's blue, or a Microsoft-approved alternate theme (or hex edit Windows binaries to eliminate the DRM which will then allow me to create my own theme, at the risk of introducing incompatibilities)
      - Vendors' insistance that ONE license is tied to ONE machine, so if I upgrade a motherboard, I'm forced to buy a new license according to the EULA (illegal since it's a commodity good, not a work for hire under contract, and first sale doctrine applies, thus such tying is not legal, EULA or not)
      - The ability of the proprietary vendor to disable my machine at whim, or by mistake (e.g., upgrade from a M$-supplied video or NIC driver triggers activation, resulting in waiting on hold TWICE for twenty minutes but getting my call dropped due to their fluky system, then calling PSS and telling them I want to be transferred to a SUPERVISOR in the activation department so I can talk directly to a human)
      - The lack of support for ancient or newer hardware (If I want to run an ancient device from a vendor which went belly-up during the dot-bomb, there's a 99.999% chance that hardware supported by the 1.xx Linux kernels is supported even in 2.6.19, and likewise, if I keep this machine I'm on now when the Linux 3.0.0 kernel and Xorg 38.1.5 comes out, this hardware will STILL run very happily, AND it will STILL make a great HTPC)

    In short, I hate forced obsolescence and forced upgrades, because while I usually do periodically build a new bleeding-edge PC (I'm chomping at the bit for 2.6.19 so I can finally get full hardware support on my new machine), it's nice to be able to run new software on ancient machines. Older != useless for every task.

    Now, the MAIN reasons I hate working in Windows is:
      - Explorer sucks as a file manager. Konqueror is downright orgasmic by comparison because it's so fast, flexible, and extensible

      - Explorer (the GUI) sucks because Microsoft has it locked down so tightly. I know about Windowblinds, WinFX, and so forth, but when you come down to it, those are hacks. In kwin (or even metacity) I can make KDE look like an artsy-fartsy wet dream, I can make it look like Windows 95 or even Windows 3.1, or I can make it look exactly like the latest Windows Vista builds. I stick with the plastik theme unless running XGL, but the flexibility is there to do ANYTHING I want with it, without having to pay Microsoft additional fees for the right to modify MY OWN SYSTEM, or without having to "violate" the EULA by hex editing system libraries to enable unsigned themes to be installed.

      - The command line environment sucks wind. Powershell would have been a nice inclusion in Vista (that and WinFS would have been the main selling points for me) but sadly it was dropped, and it's probably not as comprehensive as bash on Linux or BSD. The reason? On *nix everything maintenance-oriented is a CLU, and apps are usually front ends for the CLI. on Windows, even with Powershell, the CLI is an afterthough, and the CLUs are generally calls to the COM interfaces, and not standalone utilities of their own, forcing one to learn COM anyhow. If you need to go through that trouble to begin with, why don't they just tell everyone to hard-code C++ utilities for maintenance tasks?

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