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288 comments

[Offtopic] Wow. No posts after ten minutes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17011564)

I tried skimming through the article, but found the format bothersome.
But is the GNAA dead? No FP contest? Good show, then.

What is this? (5, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011580)

Nov 27 11:20:23 Novell claims to have not acknowledged any patent infringements
Nov 27 11:20:23 by Linux. But Novell is now paying a tax to Microsoft on the
Nov 27 11:20:23 Linux distributions it ships. What, exactly, is Novell paying
Nov 27 11:20:23 for?

Nov 27 11:21:05 We're paying for the promise that Microsoft made to our customers not to sue them

Nov 27 11:21:43 Not to sue them for *what*? For problems you don't acknowledge exist?

Nov 27 11:21:57 Well, we put together an agreement with MS to make Linux and Windows work better together
Nov 27 11:22:05 Now, as everyone knows, MS has spent the last 10 years saying negative things about Linux
Nov 27 11:22:11 including implying that there are IP issues in Linux
Nov 27 11:22:30 It didn't make sense for us to do a partnersihp with MS on interoperability issues and still have this patent cloud hanging around for our customers
Nov 27 11:22:39 and so MS asked us to put together a patent agreement as well.
Nov 27 11:23:00 And so, we promise MS's customers that we won't sue them and they promise the same thing to our customres
Nov 27 11:23:08 They pay us for our promise and we pay them for their promise
Nov 27 11:23:24 It doesn't matter if the allegations from MSFT are true or not

Microsoft asked Novell to "put together a patent agreement" so Novell could market that protection to their customers ... at a cost of $40 million from Novell.

Does Novell often pay millions of dollars for "protection" for its customers when it does not believe that the threat has any substance?

Microsoft is the one making the threats.
Novell is paying Microsoft to NOT follow through on threats that Microsoft has yet to substantiate.
Not to mention the patent battle that could erupt should Microsoft ever file a patent claim against anyone using Linux.

WTF?

Re:What is this? (0, Redundant)

134697 (1032700) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011620)

Exact thing I was looking at.

What's this about Microsoft paying for protection??

Re:What is this? (2, Interesting)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011644)

Using language like this, it makes it sound like a RICO case should be launched.

Re:What is this? (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012314)

Now you're getting it.

Re:What is this? (2, Interesting)

G Money (12364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011690)

The balance of payments are by far in Novell's favor from what I've seen. I don't remember the exact numbers but Microsoft is paying far more than Novell is paying them for the patent agreement. It isn't costing Novell anything to add the patent agreement, in fact, they're making a lot of money from Microsoft by doing it. It still seems like a weird deal but Microsoft is the one paying Novell not the other way around.

Look at what Microsoft is paying for. (5, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011828)

The balance of payments are by far in Novell's favor from what I've seen. I don't remember the exact numbers but Microsoft is paying far more than Novell is paying them for the patent agreement.

Yes, that is correct.

Microsoft is paying hundreds of millions of dollars for SuSE support licenses. Far more than Novell is paying Microsoft.

Now, when was the last time anyone tried to buy SuSE from Microsoft? Has anyone here tried to? No?

Okay, when was the last time anyone called Microsoft's tech support about a SuSE issue? Has anyone here tried that? No?

Well, it seems that Microsoft paid a LOT of money for licenses that it will probably never use and didn't seem to need in the past. You might want to look up the history of the SCO lawsuit and see how Microsoft also paid for SCO licenses that Microsoft will probably never use and didn't seem to need prior to that.

So, it looks like Microsoft paid for Novell's signature on that "patent agreement". Novell couldn't say "no" to that big of an instant payoff.

Now, go back and read about Microsoft's other "partners" and how Microsoft treated them. There isn't any reason to believe that Microsoft is suddenly going to play nice and fair with Linux (or Novell). Microsoft's who business model is based upon their monopolistic control of the desktop.

Re:Look at what Microsoft is paying for. (1)

idlake (850372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012630)

So, it looks like Microsoft paid for Novell's signature on that "patent agreement". Novell couldn't say "no" to that big of an instant payoff.

Yes, indeed. And that also makes the agreement pretty meaningless. "I give you a net amount of several hundred million dollars, together with a license to all my patents" simply does not demonstrate that someone's patents have any value.

Let's make Novell a similar offer (4, Funny)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011746)

If Novell will pay me a mere $4 million over the next five years, I'll promise not to sue any of their customers for any reason at all.

This offer is also open to any other companies who want to take me up on it.

Re:Let's make Novell a similar offer (0, Redundant)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011934)

If Novell will pay me a mere $4 million AU over the next five years, I'll promise not to sue any of their customers for any reason at all.

This offer is also open to any other companies who want to take me up on it.

Re:Let's make Novell a similar offer (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17011998)

"If Novell will pay me a mere $4 million over the next five years, I'll promise not to sue any of their customers for any reason at all."

The difference, of course, is that you're nobody. Better, you're an idiot.

Fuck, a brief glance over your posting history is enough to prove that: You're a 6-digit UID Slashdotter, and, your past posts are pretty much useless for the most part, which is pretty much a given for those of your UID generation.

You're not very smart, and, we'd all be better off if you didn't post here anymore.

So, please - do all of us a favor, and STFU?

Thanks,

The rest of us on Slashdot

Re:Let's make Novell a similar offer (4, Funny)

Victor Antolini (725710) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012128)

Bill, is that you?

Re:What is this? (4, Funny)

Bronster (13157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011756)

Protection money not to indulge in a SCO style SLAPP is what it smells like. "Nice server... pity if it should get turned off by an injunction for 3 years while we hit you with a bunch of non-specific claims about it"...

Re:What is this? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17011788)


Nov 27 11:18:07 I think it's a big step that MS is going out there and saying "we're not going to sue individuals"
Nov 27 11:18:11 and they're saying this in a legally binding way
Nov 27 11:18:15 * mchroust (n=chatzill@p57A30C0F.dip0.t-ipconnect.de) has joined #opensuse-project
Nov 27 11:18:19 some people have said "MS was never going to sue individuals"
Nov 27 11:18:22 but just look at the RIAA in the US
Nov 27 11:18:30 which is suing 15 year olds and 95 year old grandmas on a regular basis these days
Nov 27 11:18:39 So we're glad MS started from that sentiment


In addition, what exactly is the correlation between the the RIAA's idiocy and Microsoft's threats? There is a world of difference between distributing copies of someone elses copyrighted work and distrubuting copies OF YOUR OWN WORK!

I'm still not sure what to think of this Novell/Microsoft deal, but each time Novell representatives open their mouths they seem to add more ammo to the "stinks" conclusion.

burnin

Re:What is this? (5, Interesting)

Quantam (870027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011986)

Novell is paying for their customers' peace of mind. Regardless of what Novell says (or what may be true), MS says that Linux violates MS' IP, implying that MS might sue Linux coders and/or users. That makes Novell's users nervous. They want guarantees that either MS' claims are false, or MS will not sue them, even if they are true. This contract provides that guarantee.

While that does vaguely resemble mafia "protection" payments (though not as closely as many Slashdotters seem to believe), I really don't see why people are having such a hard time wrapping their heads around the reason for this deal.

This is also reminiscent of what was going on in the US during the cold war - everyone building bomb shelters, stockpiling food, etc. The reality was that none of this would have been able to keep anybody alive, had nuclear war broken out. But the fact that people thought it would put their minds at ease, and that made all the difference in the cold war.

Re:What is this? (3, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012284)

"(though not as closely as many Slashdotters seem to believe)"

Really? I need you to elucidate that for me. Please explain how Microsoft's overtures are substantially different from "Sure is a nice business you have there. Sure would be a shame if something were to...happen to it. Like, you know, a lawsuit. Funded by Microsoft."

How is that ANY different from a protection racket?

Re:What is this? (5, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012486)

While that does vaguely resemble mafia "protection" payments ... I really don't see why people are having such a hard time wrapping their heads around the reason for this deal.

Well, I think most people aren't having problems "wrapping their heads around the deal". They see it as unethical. This is very different from not being able to understand it.

Bruce

Re:What is this? (5, Insightful)

ForumTroll (900233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012026)

After reading the IRC logs, what bothers me the most is that Novell doesn't even seem to consider why Microsoft is interested in this deal. They only talk about how they will work on interoperability and that Microsoft is "acknowledging" Linux. Microsoft has never been worried about getting sued by Novell over patent infringement, so what exactly do they think Microsoft's motives are? If Microsoft simply wants better integration with Linux, they have all the means to do so without pursuing any patent deals.

It seems that Microsoft's true motive was shown only a few days after the deal when Ballmer continued to throw FUD about patent issues regarding Linux. Only now, he can claim that Novell has acknowledged the patent issues in an effort to make the claims appear to be more legitimate.

Re:What is this? (3, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012114)

I keep reading this. Seriously, I am going to go over to one of the many patent registry websites and search for Microsoft patents and post one or two that Linux violates if you people don't stop parroting this shit. There is absolutely, positively, no doubt that any given Linux distribution violates at least a few of Microsoft's patents. That's the whole freakin' reason why patents on software is a dumb idea. It is also the reason why Microsoft will never enforce their patents as you can say the same thing about Microsoft's products and IBM's patents. STFU about Linux not infringing on Microsoft's patents.

Re:What is this? (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012174)

Wasn't there initially a patent on the double-click?

I'm beginning to think that we need to seriously rethink the patent process on the whole.

There is a world of difference in lifting an entire screenplay, design document, or chunk of source code, and using the same small idea. We shouldn't allow patents on small, trivial concepts. But people have patents on trivial things.

I have no doubt whatsoever that various distros infringe on some small patents. And I also have no doubt that Microsoft stole countless ideas from innovators before them.

Re:What is this? (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012240)

Meh, copyright on source code is pointless too. Here's one of those unspoken ideas: take random open source project that is under a license you don't like. Study it. Once you understand it, think of 20 ways you could improve it. Rewrite it from scratch. How long does it take? Well, ask the OpenBSD team, they've done it half dozen times already. That asshat Darren Reed's ip filter was rewritten in under a week. How the hell can you do that? Well it really aint hard, you just gotta work. Whenever you run into one of those annoying problems that take ages to solve the first time you're writing a piece of software, just look at the original work. So long as you're not copying the text, just the ideas, copyright doesn't apply.

Does this mean a patent system would be better? Hell no. So what then?

Re:What is this? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012294)

Again, copying the source code outright should be protected against.

Taking the concept of how something is done, improving it, and doing it yourself from scratch is another story.

Re:What is this? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012438)

Which is what is so funny, because the source code isn't the crown jewels, it's the great ideas you had that you then embodied into that code. You *could* make a system that would protect that but it would be even more draconian than copyright.

Re:What is this? (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012466)

I think there's a crucial difference between copyright and patent, because copyright does not stand in the way of your creating a similar program if you are willing to do the work, while patent does.

Bruce

Let's be clear about software patents (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012458)

QuantumG is correct. There are simply so many software patents, on so many fundamental principles, that no non-trivial software program could exist that was licensed by all patent holders with claims reading on the algorithms used. This is regardless of whether it is proprietary or Free Software.

Bruce

Protest the Novell-Microsoft Patent Agreement [techp.org] .

Re:What is this? (1)

Kennon (683628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012682)

"Microsoft has never been worried about getting sued by Novell over patent infringement"

They may not be worried about it but Novell has recovered several millions of dollars from M$ on software patent issues and has a major case pending now even after this deal regarding MSOffice. In fact I think there is a truckload of money to be made by Novell for M$'s infringement of eDirectory with their Active Directory.

It is amazing how many times you have to say this but here it goes again...this deal only protects customers, M$ and Novell can and will continue to sue one another as companies until they are blue in the face.

Dumbass (2, Informative)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012122)

They clearly state that they are paying up to prevent frivolous lawsuits. Furthermore, in their GPLv3 conversation, they go on to say that Redhat and HP offer the same protection, only they are agreeing to pay for the legal costs if their customers are sued. Read the whole article first.

What Red Hat and HP offer is not the same (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012424)

Red Hat and HP are offering to help you if you get sued by a patent holder who is not them. In contrast, Novell has this friend "Big Mike" who was going to beat you up, but Novell made a deal with him so that Big Mike will now promise not to beat you up. Hopefully everybody can see the difference.

Bruce

Re:What is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17012136)

Not only that, if Novell puts it together and forgets to add something or doesn't think of what may come ( a more than probable outcome), Microsoft can sue them at a later course, a promise is only a promise when it's written down.

but what we all want to know.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17011584)

Is how MS can make linux a better OS!

Re:but what we all want to know.... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012024)

By staying the fuck away from it.

Novell (3, Informative)

loconet (415875) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011622)

Who else thinks Novell mis-underestimated the magnitude of the uproar due to this deal? This was a very bad move.

"mis-underestimate" (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17011780)

Please... "mis-underestimate" is not a word. The word underestimate implies a miscalculation, making the prefix popularised by a certain president redundant.

Re:"mis-underestimate" (1)

loconet (415875) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011938)

No kidding. Thank you for pointing that out. That is why keyboards shouldn't work after a certain number of hours of constant functioning.

Re:Novell (2, Insightful)

SmokedS (973779) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011858)

Well, for all intents and purposes, to anyone that really believes in FOSS and is informed about the deal, Novell is now a pariah.
I've lost count of the number of people calling for a boycott, or reporting that they have switched away from, or are in the process of switching away from Novell products.
I think that it is essential that this is continued. The community is the strength of FOSS. If we cannot stand together against what in essence is a form of corporate blackmail Microsoft will continue to drive wedges into the community. It's classic divide and conquer tactics.

We need to continue to spread the truth about this deal so that people have the information they need to see it for what it is, and shun Novell for he traitor in our midst that they have become. Hopefully Novell will come to their senses and abandon the deal. If not, the boycott needs to be as absolute as we can make it. We cannot allow stabbing the entire community in the back to be profitable. Currently, Novell is the new SCO, and should be treated as such.

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=200611030 73628401 [groklaw.net]
http://technocrat.net/d/2006/11/2/9945 [technocrat.net]
http://www.softwarefreedom.org/news/20061109a.html [softwarefreedom.org]
http://news.samba.org/announcements/team_to_novell / [samba.org]

Re:Novell (0)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011964)

Well, for all intents and purposes, to anyone that really believes in FOSS and is informed about the deal, Novell is now a pariah.
And to 99% of the business world the deal has only had a positive effect on Novell's image. I wonder who Novell is more concerned with? The business world or a few fan boys from slashdot?

Re:Novell (1)

SmokedS (973779) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012324)

Last time I checked, the majority of the large software businesses in the world have been very much involved in the Open Source community for some time. They have been stabbed in the back as much as the independent developers by this deal, and I very much doubt that they are happy about it. And if you think the support of enthusiasts and independent developers is not important to Novell you are less than well informed about how a Linux distribution functions. The great great majority of support come from the unpaid community. Also, a large part, likely the majority of bug reports, fixes, and enhancements also comes from the same community. And guess who is running the servers, and advising the management of businesses about FOSS.

If you are a player in the FOSS market, and you figure that stabbing the community in the back in return for short term profit you are apt to find that you've made a fatal miscalculation.

Re:Novell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17012482)

"Last time I checked, the majority of the large software businesses in the world have been very much involved in the Open Source community for some time."

If the linux market is limited to "large software businesses", than it's a very small market indeed. The vast majority of computer users are not in the software business.

Re:Novell (3, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012550)

The business world is concerned. I have been getting calls from Novell stock analysts, for example. Having the people who write and own the software turn upon Novell is a big deal to them. And they've watched SCO, and the last thing they would have wanted Novell to do would have been to follow in SCO's footsteps.

Bruce

Either we got nothing or you got nothing. (4, Insightful)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011646)

A few
Nov 27 11:43:05 <Nat_> We are collaborating with Microsoft on a few different interop areas
Nov 27 11:43:27 <Nat_> We'll be adding Open XML support to OpenOffice, building a virtualization shim to run SLES optimized on Veridian and Vista on Xen
Nov 27 11:43:44 <Nat_> We'll also be working together on WS-Management
Nov 27 11:43:46 <Nat_> All this code will be released open source
Nov 27 11:43:47 * cboltz (n=cboltz@88.134.58.13) has joined #opensuse-project
Nov 27 11:43:51 <Nat_> so everyone gets that, and can benefit from it
Nov 27 11:44:33 <Nat_> (By the way, in that process, we don't plan to add MS-patented code to our contributions)
Nov 27 11:44:42 <Nat_> (Our policy on that is unchanged -- and MS didn't give us the right to do that anyway!)



Hm, wow, I'm convinced.
So what was the point of the deal then?
Either you'll be contributing code that you couldn't have before, meaning no one else who doesn't have a similar MS deal can use, or you'll be contributing code that you could have easily added previously anyways.
I don't get it.

"MS-patented code" (1)

Augusto (12068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011712)

What in the world is "MS-patented code" or "patented code" in the first place?

A lot of software patents focus on the design, algorithm or architecture of a software "solution", not necessary on the fine grain details of the implementation (the code).
So if Amazon patents buying via one click, it means just that, you patented that feature (as stupid as it sounds) no matter what code implements it or not.

If MS patented a C# language feature, again, it doesn't matter how you implemented they patented something that is higher level (or even dumber, like a keyword).

Re:"MS-patented code" (2, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012614)

What in the world is "MS-patented code" or "patented code" in the first place?

Code which practices an algorithm or other technique which is claimed in a patent owned by MS. And MS knows it, and now it's in your program. Sounds risky.

Bruce

Think about that for a moment. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011728)

How does a coder know what the specs are?

#1. They hack them out the way Team Samba does (yay Team Samba!!!)

#2. They read the specs that are published

#3. They "clean room" the specs.

#4. They read the specs that they've just purchased the rights to.

Anyone have any other ways?

Now, which way are the Novell coders going to use to get specs ... that does NOT involve a potential software patent issue with Microsoft?

If you're thinking "Novell just partnered with Microsoft and Microsoft can share their specs with Novell now" ... that's the easiest way for Microsoft to get their software patents into Linux.

And anyone who thinks that Microsoft wants to play nice with Linux has NOT been reading the history here.

Re:Think about that for a moment. (1)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011982)

And when a monopolist uses illegal business tactics you use the law to ensure interoperability, cooperation, and a competative free market, you don't sign contracts or agreements with a corporation known to use illegal business tactics to destroy competition.

http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=19883&hed =Microsoft+Meets+EU+Deadline [redherring.com]

Re:Think about that for a moment. (1)

Phantombrain (964010) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012048)

Nov 27 11:44:33 Nat_ (By the way, in that process, we don't plan to add MS-patented code to our contributions)
Nov 27 11:44:42 Nat_ (Our policy on that is unchanged -- and MS didn't give us the right to do that anyway!)

Re:Think about that for a moment. (2, Insightful)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012520)

You seem to be confusing trade secrets with patents. You can't use the "clean room" approach to avoid a patent issue. Either interoperability can't be acheived without violating MS patents or it can be. Whether Novell coders do or do not get specifications is irrelevent to the patent issue. You don't need to know anything about how Amazon implemented their one-click functionality to violate the one-click patent.

Re:Think about that for a moment. (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012576)

He may have one valid point, though. The difference between knowing infringement, and unknowing. Knowing infringement carries treble damages, unknowing only simple damages. I think it might be more difficult to claim unknowing infringement on code that comes from Novell now.

Bruce

Re:Think about that for a moment. (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012762)

I think that's a pretty big stretch. I seriously doubt a court would buy the idea that you were guilty of knowing infringement of any and all MS patents on the basis of an agreement not to sue between Novell and MS. It's a bit like IBM claiming that you knowingly infringed on one of their patents simply because you were aware that they have more patents than anyone else. The relationship is too indirect. Most likely MS (or IBM) would have to prove that you had knowlege that you were infringing on the specific patent in question.

Re:Either we got nothing or you got nothing. (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012462)

So what was the point of the deal then? Either you'll be contributing code that you couldn't have before, meaning no one else who doesn't have a similar MS deal can use, or you'll be contributing code that you could have easily added previously anyways. I don't get it.

I believe the "point", as they see it, is that they are being paid a lot of money to write this code. Sure, it might have been things they could have implemented anyway, but being paid enough to have lots of full time paid developers devoted to the task is more likely to (a) ensure the work actually gets done and (b) gets done more quickly than if you didn't have developers working on it full time.

This, of course, doesn't exonerate Novell - MS managed to slip the patent arrangement into the deal, and that part is certainly very fishy. My point is simply that they are actually getting something out of this.

Uh, huh... (1, Redundant)

Ekhymosis (949557) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011658)

When was the last time MS actually kept its promises, especially in the face of reaping millions? Hmmm?

protection racket (2, Insightful)

GeorgeS069 (956679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011662)

Does anyone else think this sounds very illegal?

If I walked into an office and told them they needed to pay me cause there's a possibility the place might get robbed
I'd be in jail so fast it would make my head spin.
Isn't this pretty much what MS has done here?

Re:protection racket (2, Interesting)

ewl1217 (922107) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011786)

That's completely wrong. Microsoft is suggesting that Novell needs protection from being sued. Unlike robbing someone, suing someone is a perfectly valid legal process. Legally, as far as I know and barring possible monopoly abuse, there's nothing wrong with what Microsoft is doing. Ethically, morally, logically, and ideologically, it's a completely different issue.

Re:protection racket (1)

GeorgeS069 (956679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012118)

IANAL but,as I thought I understood it,it's not exactly "legal" to "threaten to sue"
I was told that it was safer to suggest that you might "explore your legal options" and to never,ever use the word
sue or lawsuit.
Since a lawsuit against any and all Novell customers and possibly Novell itself would pretty much destroy the company
I'd say it is just as bad as robbing someone...or perhaps even worse.

Re:protection racket (1)

bblboy54 (926265) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012292)

If I walked into an office and told them they needed to pay me cause there's a possibility the place might get robbed I'd be in jail so fast it would make my head spin. Isn't this pretty much what MS has done here?

Did you have a degree in rocket science?

Another Take (5, Insightful)

Jack Action (761544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011666)

On the other hand, Novell may have done Free Software a great service.

All those who lambasted RMS for the explicitness of GPLv3 may now have to reconsider their opposition. This includes organizations like Red Hat and OSDL, who called the FSF approach "extremist."

Who's the extremist now?

Re:Another Take (1)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011826)

Only time will tell, the verdict is still not out on the legality of the deal the suits concocted.

Re:Another Take (1)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012474)

Only time will tell, the verdict is still not out on the legality of the deal the suits concocted.

This is part of the problem. Even if the deal is deemed to violate the GPL v2 how long will it take? How much money will it cost?
Even if Microsoft/Suse looses, they can make subtle tweaks to the agreement and try again.

If you want something to be against the terms of a contract, it's best to come right out and say it. If the issue becomes one of subtleties and the other party has orders of magnitude more money than you, you've already lost. At least in the US anyways.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17011958)

Personally, I find the software industry dominated by sociopaths like RMS and ridiculous and virulent software licenses like GPL3 far scarier than the patent cold war. GNU and the GPL have been a plague on the free software movement from day one. Holding proprietary driver code shops at gunpoint and telling them they are legally obligated to open up their modules effectively illustrates this point. nVidia/ATI doesn't need linux, linux needs nVidia/ATI. If people truly cared about 'freeing' software instead of control they would use the BSD license. The FSF is nothing more than a thinly veiled power grab. World domination indeed...

It is a damn shame that they have infected so many useful bodies with their lies.

--

Re:Really? (1)

SmokedS (973779) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012046)

Ah, it's so cute to see the little trolls having fun.
*pats the little troll on the head for a spirited, yet inane and obvious trolling attempt*

Re:Really? (0)

mAIsE (548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012070)

BSD makes sure the software is free to use
GPL makes sure the software is truly free

Stupid (4, Interesting)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011678)

Thanks to some opensource proponent (was it the FSF?), MS knows where to look to find infringing code in the kernel! Someone did an analysis (to prevent software patents, which was not going to work in the U.S.) to convince every linux user that patents were bad by demonstrating how the linux kernel potentially infringed on 200+ patents. You're going to say "potential," but NO opensource developer will have the $ to defend themselves against MS. I predict MS is going to start suing like a motherfucker and linux is going to go away.

Where will he go away? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17011830)

Mexico?
Cuba?
The south of France is wonderful this time of year
and so close to both the riviera and Barcelona.

Oh yes, please let it be that!

let that be where goes away .....

Go now little Linux...go on your merry way....

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17012008)

Right. Microsoft can sue all they want, but fat chance of Linux ever going away. I won't even guess how many copies of the Linux source code exist out there. And not just on the Internet, but everywhere anyone has ever stored it. We'll probably see law enforcement win the war on drugs (read: never) before Microsoft destroys Linux.

I'm not saying it's impossible that Microsoft spew lawsuits at Linux distributors. I am saying if/when they do, the rest of us can all giggle at the futility of it all.

Re:Stupid (2, Insightful)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012086)

Even if Microsoft manages to pull off a spectacular legal coup d'état, I predict that their success in European and Asian courts will be... less than spectacular. Linux isn't going away anytime soon, and when it does go away it will be for technical reasons (i.e. 100+ years from now they finally rewrite the OS from scratch), not legal reasons.

Re:Stupid (1)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012508)

Even if Microsoft manages to pull off a spectacular legal coup d'état, I predict that their success in European and Asian courts will be... less than spectacular. Linux isn't going away anytime soon, and when it does go away it will be for technical reasons (i.e. 100+ years from now they finally rewrite the OS from scratch), not legal reasons.

Sure, Microsoft is unlikely to be able to kill Linux via this, or any similar route. If they can knock over the businesses backing a couple of major distributions, however, they can set Linux back a bit. Red Hat, for instance, contributes an awful lot of code. Yes the developers will still work on their projects, but they won't be paid to work on the full time anymore. New systems will spring up and Linux will keep rolling along. Potentially it can buy Microsoft more time in a comfortable monopoly position though, and I think right now that's all Microsoft cares about. The can try to leverage the monopoly into some other markets, or just buy themselves some breathing space. I think they'll be happy enough with that at this stage.

Re:Stupid (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012170)

NO opensource developer will have the $ to defend themselves against MS.

These guys IBM [ibm.com] already are; Groklaw [groklaw.net] .

They seem to be coping well enough.

Re:Stupid (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012734)

IBM really likes its patents. And its patents are in a different part of the company from Linux, and a part that can override the Linux department.

Remember, we have software patents in the U.S. because of a lawsuit brought by IBM.

Bruce

Re:Stupid (1)

bheekling (976077) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012512)

NO opensource developer will have the $ to defend themselves against MS.
Nov 27 11:16:50 Well there's definitely one thing that we've asked Microsoft to look at Nov 27 11:17:07 During the discussion with them we asked Microsoft to make a promise not to sue individual developers, ever, for patent infringement Nov 27 11:17:12 * benJIman_ (n=bw@compsoc.sunion.warwick.ac.uk) has left #opensuse-project Nov 27 11:17:21 * Bille (n=will@p54945687.dip.t-dialin.net) has joined #opensuse-project Nov 27 11:17:22 And we were pleasantly surprised that they were very open to doing this Nov 27 11:17:29 * benJIman (n=bw@compsoc.sunion.warwick.ac.uk) has joined #opensuse-project Nov 27 11:17:34 The "individual non-commercial" covenant that you can find on their web site is the result of that discussion
MS seems to have promised not to sue individual developers. And please don't say

Clarification: Questions in the wiki (2, Interesting)

invisik (227250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011774)


I was able to attend the meeting this morning and feel the text of this slashdot story is a little misleading.

People who are unable to attend can post their questions in the wiki before the meeting (the wiki link in the article). The questions in the wiki were reviewed during the meeting, and many were addressed. Some, however, were not specifically addressed as they were answered during the live Q&A earlier in the meeting. Therefore, all of the questions (live and on the wiki) were addressed in one way or another.

That being said, I think it was great to hear from Nat directly.

-m

Scripted by PR? (3, Interesting)

HiThere (15173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011784)

This think reads like it was scripted by the PR department.

Also, I notice that they had things rigged so that they could censor any questions they didn't like. (Reasonable, an open forum would have been a mad house, but not exactly a process that builds trust.)

They also didn't say anything about which of their customers could redistribute what. The short answer appears to be "We aren't interested in developers."

Re:Scripted by PR? (1)

invisik (227250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011894)

I believe it is standard practice for openSUSE meetings to have a moderator in control of the questions (eg, turning on one person at a time to ask questions). I'll find out for sure next status meeting! Anyone in attendance could pose their question to the moderator or to the wiki before to be included. I don't believe there was a hard time limit (although a 1 hour notice was posted, even thought the meeting went for almost 2 hours).

Also, I think it's reasonable to believe that Nat doesn't know everything about the deal. There were some questions that didn't get good answers as a result. (Like what happens is MS doesn't fulfill their end of the deal, etc). I hope Novell corporate is reading the transcript and is working to answer.

-m

Re:Scripted by PR? (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012062)

Kinda makes you think that half way through the log you'll see:
<DeveloperBob> Look, it's really not a big deal. This is just business stu.. RUN YOU FOOLS, IT'S A TRAP!!!
*** DeveloperBob has left IRC
<DeveloperSteve> ok, so next question please...
They've been taken over by the borg, man.

This statement might be wrong (1)

astrashe (7452) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011850)

Nat said, "We're glad they're talking about GPLv3, also, because it means that they don't think there are any incompatiblities between GPLv2 and the covenants issued by Novell and Microsoft."

But here [cnn.com] I read that, "Moglen offered no opinion on whether the Microsoft-Novell deal violates the GPL currently in effect (known as version 2), but merely pledged that version 3 would clearly bar such "discriminatory" deals."

Maybe the quote I've used here is wrong, or maybe it's been superceded by something Moglen has said since then. Or maybe Nat made an honest mistake.

But I think the Novell people should be as careful as possible not to misprepresent any of the facts in this situation -- once it seems like spinning, people will just tune Novell out.

Re:This statement might be wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17012736)


Nat said, "We're glad they're talking about GPLv3, also, because it means that they don't think there are any incompatiblities between GPLv2 and the covenants issued by Novell and Microsoft."


no more than you little deal with msft infers that msft has patents that linux breaks.

how can you guys be so thickheaded not to see how intellectually inconsistent you are?

this isn't some cheesy game here - you guys accepted bribe money to FUD linux until kingdom come - just so you could make a buck.

well, you'll never make a buck if i can help it until you renounce your moral relativism in a big way...

"our patent deal with msft doesn't infer anything, but if they talk about updating the gpl v3, it means were all good with v2" doesn't cut it.

oh, and why are you making $300 million deals if you don't even know if the deal may end your business model that is the foundation of the deal?

i hope the money was worth the heaping coals and damage you've done to the open source communities around the globe.

do tell me you got s big cut for toting the company line in such an inconsistent way...

skeetebug - /. wasn't letting me login tonight.

Samba? Mono? Moderators? (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011856)

All broke
has microsoft expressed any interest in cooperating inother compatibility areas? apart from xen and OOo?
Nov 27 12:21:44 say, samba or kerberos.. or wine
The three areas we already agreed on are the beginning, not the end. I am sure you will see more going forward.
Nov 27 12:22:50 hd41, let's say I worry because so far they haven't given the EU much useful documentation
isnt samba and mono covered too?
        Virtualization, OpenOffice and WebServicesManagement is where we begin.
        who are the moderators?
        We can't really comment on that.

Someone help me out here. They can't comment on the moderators? They don't want to touch Samba, MS's broken kerberos or wine?

Give me some clue. I'm not getting the warm fuzzies based on these comments.

Real reason for deal revealed! (3, Interesting)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011880)

5. This deal does not violate GPLv2.
Eben Moglen read our agreement and hasn't said a thing about GPLv2 violation. It's abundantly clear that he doesn't think there is any.
Instead, he and Richard are using the community energy to try to get people to adopt the previously-controversial GPLv3 (which we support also)

Hey, this is actually a cool way to get GPLv3 accepted. Reading over the log, and seeing their responses, I feel a bit better about the deal. I'm still suspicious but I'm no longer at the point where I am ready to remove openSuSE from my system and install debian.

I really hope this works out, Novell has done a lot of great things in the past and I would like to see them continue their good work.

Doesn't Violate GPL2? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012356)

They seem to be so proud about having engineered this really circuitous granting of promises to each other's customers instead of to each other so that they could (maybe) fit within the letter of the GPL2 by a hair. They should be feeling shame for having screwed their partners that way. Because there's no question that they're way outside of the intent of the agreement that they entered with thousands of GPL programmers.

My open letter to Novell [techp.org] is still available for you to sign. There are 2245 signatures from angry people as I write this. That is an unprecedented number for anything like this, and shows a tremendous depth of anger in the Free Software community over this deal.

Bruce

rofl (3, Funny)

bouma (904871) | more than 7 years ago | (#17011988)

(The Vercotti brothers enter. They wear Mafia suits and dark glasses.)
Dino: (Terry Jones) Good morning, Colonel.
Colonel: Good morning gentlemen. Now what can I do for you.
Luigi: (Michael Palin) (looking round office casually) You've ... you've got a nice army base here, Colonel.
Colonel: Yes.
Luigi: We wouldn't want anything to happen to it.
Colonel: What?
Dino: No, what my brother means is it would be a shame if... (he knocks something off mantel)
Colonel: Oh.
Dino: Oh sorry, Colonel.
Colonel: Well don't worry about that. But please do sit down.
Luigi: No, we prefer to stand, thank you, Colonel.
Colonel: All right. All right. But what do you want?
Dino: What do we want, ha ha ha.
Luigi: Ha ha ha, very good, Colonel.
Dino: The Colonel's a joker, Luigi.
Luigi: Explain it to the Colonel, Dino.
Dino: How many tanks you got, Colonel?
Colonel: About five hundred altogether.
Luigi: Five hundred! Hey!
Dino: You ought to be careful, Co1onel.
Colonel: We are careful, extremely careful.
Dino: 'Cos things break, don't they?
Colonel: Break?
Luigi: Well everything breaks, don't it Colonel. (he breaks something on desk) Oh dear.
Dino: Oh see my brother's clumsy Colonel, and when he gets unhappy he breaks things. Like say, he don't feel the army's playing fair by him, he may start breaking things, Colonel.
Colonel: What is all this about?
Luigi: How many men you got here, Colonel?
Colonel: Oh, er ... seven thousand infantry, six hundred artillery, and er, two divisions of paratroops.
Luigi: Paratroops, Dino.
Dino: Be a shame if someone was to set fire to them.
Colonel: Set fire to them?
Luigi: Fires happen, Colonel.
Dino: Things burn.
Colonel: Look, what is all this about?
Dino: My brother and I have got a little proposition for you Colonel.
Luigi: Could save you a lot of bother.
Dino: I mean you're doing all right here aren't you, Colonel?
Luigi: Well suppose some of your tanks was to get broken and troops started getting lost, er, fights started breaking out during general inspection, like.
Dino: It wouldn't be good for business would it, Colonel?
Colonel: Are you threatening me?
Dino: Oh, no, no, no.
Luigi: Whatever made you think that, Colonel?
Dino: The Colonel doesn't think we're nice people, Luigi.
Luigi: We're your buddies, Colonel.
Dino: We want to look after you.
Colonel: Look after me?
Luigi: We can guarantee you that not a single armoured division will get done over for fifteen bob a week.
Colonel: No, no, no.
Luigi: Twelve and six.
Colonel: No, no, no.
Luigi: Eight and six ... five bob...

How does MS benefit from this deal? (1)

argoo (985622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012148)

How will MS benefit from interoperability with OO? MS Office is a cash cow for the company. Why would MS want to make it easier for customer's to dump MS Office? Virtualization interoperability makes more sense. MS wants to make sure that Xen, etc. can run Windows w/o a hitch.

what is this fairy shit? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17012154)

a bunch of linux fags sitting around butt fucking each other?

fucking dick sucking faggots. get a life and get away from the bath houses of the 2000's, the linux chat room.

hows it feel to take linus's dick in your faggot cornholes?

My Rant. (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012192)

" I think people have overreacted to this deal
  I guess because it involves the words "Microsoft" and "patents" "

BECAUSE, NAT, WE'VE GOT A FUCKING LAWSUIT THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR OVER THREE FUCKING YEARS ASSERTING THAT THERE IS FUCKING INFRINGING IP IN LINUX AND IT HAS BEEN NOTHING MORE THAN VACUOUS STATEMENTS BACKED UP BY ABSOLUTELY NOTHING SINCE FUCKING 2003! AND NOW YOU IDIOTS SIGNED A FUCKING CONTRACT THAT IS BEING SPUN BY MICROSOFT THAT THERE ARE PROBLEMS WITH INFRINGING IP IN LINUX! WELL, FUCK YOU! WHERE THE FUCK HAS NOVELL BEEN FOR THE PAST THREE AND A HALF YEARS? I FUCKING SWEAR THAT HOVESEPIAN CAN FUCKING MESS UP MAKING A FUCKING PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH!

I hope that's plain enough.

Goddamn, they _still_ do not get it.

--
BMO

Re:My Rant. (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012230)

I'm sure someone is going to mod you troll, but that doesn't take away from the veracity of your post.

A-fucking-men. (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012280)

And that's all I've gotta say.

Thanks Novell, for going after the quick buck. I hope you die a slow ass death much like SCO... burn, baby, burn.

This is unusual (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012526)

In what feels like 10 years of participating on Slashdot, I have never come upon a post which makes its point so excellently, and also contains so many F-words. Those two things have been mutually exclusive. Until now.

Do me a favor. Take your anger here [techp.org] for a moment and help me out, if you haven't done so yet. But no F-words there, please, it would detract from the document. Even if Novell tosses it off, it's point is already made to a lot of Novell users and VARs and investors and the press. They've been calling me.

Bruce

Re:This is unusual (2, Funny)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012586)

"I have never come upon a post which makes its point so excellently, and also contains so many F-words."

It was hand crafted from rare woods, with each syllable hand rubbed with fine oils to bring out the grain.

"Take your anger here for a moment and help me out ... But no F-words there, please "

Done.

--
BMO

Re:My Rant. (1, Interesting)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012634)

I think you proved their point. The deal essentially says that a lawsuit can happen but novell customers or noncommercial devlopers will not be sued. it does not contrary to your well thought out rant, provide any evidence that there is any infringing code and microsoft made it clear that they understood that to be novell's position. If you listen to microsoft's fud and take it as truth thats *your* fault. Emotion is ... not logical. Novell simply went one step farther than redhat or hp did by offering protection against lawsuits by actually getting a promise from a company. A potential lawsuit would kill mircorsoft as well if you read the transcript you would have been reminded of the microsoft linspire lawsuit that went so well for them. Also note that the much hates sco case has also gone along way in setting president. And its not looking good for people trying to "discover" infringing code in linux.

Re:My Rant. (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012758)

"The deal essentially says that a lawsuit can happen but novell customers or noncommercial devlopers will not be sued."

Which means that everyone else is left swinging in the wind. It means that members of OSDL are not protected because they are paid. Correct me if I am wrong. It means that every author that accepts a paycheck from his regular programming job is a target if he writes software that Microsoft doesn't like.

And it doesn't even have to be something that infringes. Just the threat of a lawsuit in a strongly worded letter from a Microsoft lawyer makes many people retract projects, because they simply can't afford to go up against a giant like Microsoft.

Oy, there is so much wrong with your assumptions that I don't know where to finish up.

"If you listen to microsoft's fud and take it as truth thats *your* fault."

I am not worried about _my_ ears. I am worried about the FALSEHOOD AND LIES that Microsoft is spreading around to be picked up by every PHB, Purchasing manager, and uninformed internal corporate lawyer. Novell has just signed a deal that _endorses_ Microsoft's behavior and agrees with their POV.

Get the facts, indeed.

*grumble*

--
BMO - SuSE Linux from versions 6.1 to 10 and no further.

very well said (3, Insightful)

toby (759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012770)

And IBM is pouring millions upon tens of millions into Linux's side of said vacuous case. While Novell crows about their 30 pieces of silver.

wow, is it just me? (4, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012250)

Everyone here knows what happens to people/companies that do a deal with MS... they very quickly become deceased or owned. This simply means the final end of Suse and Novell. MS will do this one distribution at a time... or have we not learned anything from their past behavior?

Surely, it is not just me that sees this as the first step in MS owning Linux? I KNOW how paranoid that sounds, but lets get real and deal with past history, real fact, actual behaviors...

I really don't care how this gets modded, it must be said that a tiger doesn't change it's stripes, so why is MS doing this? out of kindness, or out of a desire to own Linux? While that may be paranoid at this point, look at what they stand to gain if one distribution owns up to IP issues? It will tie up all the other distributions in litigation...

I have to say, personally, I find all this 'love fest' rather dangerous indeed

Re:wow, is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17012300)

If that happened, Microsoft would only "own" one particular distribution of Linux. It's really no different than if they made their own, except that SuSE users would either have to work with Microsoft or switch.

Novell likely looking for coverage for mono (1)

JohnnyCanuck (118426) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012290)

I think the real thing here is that they are looking for coverage of Mono is possibly infringing on .NET patents. I think this is the first time that software has done a cross-licensing deal for patents in the same way that a lot of hardware companies do (amd and intel have a cross patent agreement If I remember correctly). Novell has bet a lot on mono to build up apps that run on linux/windows and this is ensuring that. if there are some casualties that arent part of their business agenda so be it.

It does not matter what Novell's motivations were (2, Insightful)

mythz (857024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012296)

The issue is not what Novell intentions were or what they were thinking at the time when entering the deal, it's what the deal now allows MS to achieve. Novell just got pawned as they have now just strengthened MS ability to print FUD about Linux.

This deal was a trojan from the start. Before the ink was even dry Ballmer was screaming that they were finally getting economic return from the use of their IP in Linux and that anyone not using Suse will have an 'undisclosed balance sheet liability'. There was not a peep about how great this deal is that it now allows MS and Suse operating systems to work better, which was meant to be the *purpose* of the deal anyway.

insincere PR (1)

deego (587575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012362)

I believe their recent PR efforts to "correct any misconceptions" have been insincere. Here's my take on why I will boycott Suse and Novell: here it is [gnufans.net]

Frist sTop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17012364)

Head spinninG [slashdot.org], pallid bodies and Eulogies to BSD's may well remain diseases. The that *BSD 0wned. Fucking confirmed: GNAA (GAY NIGGER she had no fear

MS end run around the GPL. (2, Informative)

fuego451 (958976) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012380)

The single best place to go for information on this ms/novell deal, best estimates of what it means to the FOSS community and the GPL is Groklaw. PJ, as usual, has put a lot of effort into gathering information, explaining legal points, providing links to more information and getting opinions form many in the community. She has about four posts up on this subject and each is worth the read.

Just my two cents worth.

Ass kisser. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17012676)

Ass kisser.

"Our Customers" (2, Insightful)

LuYu (519260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17012504)

Q: Novell claims to have not acknowledged any patent infringements by Linux. But Novell is now paying a tax to Microsoft on the Linux distributions it ships. What, exactly, is Novell paying for?

Nat Friedman: We're paying for the promise that Microsoft made to our customers not to sue them.

Q: Not to sue them for *what*? For problems you don't acknowledge exist?

Nat Friedman: We put together an agreement with Microsoft to make Linux and Windows work better together. Now, as everyone knows, Microsoft has spent the last 10 years saying negative things about Linux, including implying that there are IP issues in Linux. It didn't make sense for us to do a partnersihp with Microsoft on interoperability issues and still have this patent cloud hanging around for our customers, so Microsoft asked us to put together a patent agreement as well. And so we promise Microsoft's customers that we won't sue them and they promise the same thing to our customers. They pay us for our promise and we pay them for their promise. It doesn't matter if the allegations from MSFT are true or not. People can sue each other anyway, and a patent lawsuit is very expensive to defend against.

This "our customers" language is typical of Novell's statements surrounding this issue. They constantly speak of their customers but do not speak of the wider impact on the FOSS community itself. This might sound like a non-customer asking for a handout, but the fact remains that the majority of Linux developers and users are not associated with SUSE or Novell. The fact also remains that Novell relies on the FOSS community for its development. Therefore, a patent lawsuit that caused, say, X or kernel development to be halted or altered would affect Novell as well, even though MS could claim that they have not violated the agreement.

It goes without saying that Ballmer's statements have caused harm to the FOSS community and that many more people were exposed to Ballmer's statements than Hovespan's.

I think the reason that RMS and Moglen are so incensed about this agreement is obvious. This agreement to create a de facto ownership of Linux by suing anybody who competes with Novell. If MS sues successfully for patent infringement in Application A, Novell can continue to use it without being sued, but no one else can. In this way, they can become the only non-MS people to be able to use it in consequence of their "get out of jail free" card. It is an end run around the GPL.

Both MS and Novell benefit from this. Novell destroys its competition in the Linux arena and becomes the only "legitimate" Linux vendor. MS reduces its competitors to one complacent one which it can dispatch at its lesiure or use to prove that MS is not a monopoly.

In light of this, Novell only has two options if it truly believes in FOSS:

  1. Require MS to agree not to sue any FOSS project for patent infringement.
  2. Back out of the deal and admit Novell did not have the consent of all of its developers when it entered this contract.

Whether Novell sees this future or not, it is screwing the Linux community. And garbage like this [novell.com] :

Ubuntu's open week sounds like a really good idea. I'm just surprised that it is done to get users away from openSUSE as Mark Shuttleworth announced on the opensuse mailing lists.

Mark, let me reiterate that the openSUSE community and the Ubuntu communities share the same goals. We might put different emphasis on some of them, so let me speak just about one where I see a different focus.

. . .

Mark, I'd like to invite you to discuss what possibilities we have to work together against the domination of Microsoft on the desktops and servers - instead of fighting against each other.
... is just proof that the Novell developers do not understand the issue. They do not have the same goals. Novell is actively developing a caste system where there are Novell customers and ordinary Linux users. Ubuntu is not excluding anybody. This is not infighting, it is resistance against division, Novell's attempted division of the FOSS community into customers and non-customers. Novell developers have to realise that what is good for the FOSS community is more important than the random thoughts of their corporate masters or even their jobs. Is it right to hurt millions of people to keep one's job?

Blame Miguel De Icasa (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17012726)

All this bullshit double talk started with Miguel De Icasa and his total shit-of-mouth sales pitch on Mono. You practically have to beat them up to say anything other than how all mono libs are "standardized". Only then will they admit that they were submitted as standards but didn't cede the right to charge a "reasonable" fee. Then they will squirm like mad before admitting that the application of such a fee would result in the instant death of any project that had swallowed the mono hook too deeply. But even then they claim Microsoft gave them permission and promised to never charge a fee. Well no matter how badly you badger them or beat them up they will never, ever admit that the "permission" they received was nothing more than an email on a mailing list from one one of the developers of mono (admittedly and important one but no one with any authority from MS). This double talk has a long history and you can trace it all back to one guy. Miguel. Well fuck you Miguel and your recklessness. I hope Mono finally dies the horrible death it should (not that it is a bad product, just dangerous, too dangerous and Miguel you sold it to us like it was playdoh instead of c4, nice ass hole, nice).

If MS actually had any intention of freeing Mono they could have and would have easily issued a legally binding official statement to that effect. Now I really don't understand how they got everyone to agree to this self-assured-mutual-destruction tactic for safety with Mono. Even if it works, that is completely against the spirit of OSS. Why don't we just rip off everyone's software (nvidia, google, adobe, etc) and just use the same logic that we will outsue them with our collective portfolio? What a completely idiotic, dumb dumb argument. I can't believe Redhat and the rest fell for that crap.

I actually feel sorry for the board and the OSS ignorant CEO of Novel because I bet it was Miguel, who they trusted, who sold them on this dumb ass patent deal and now they are confused and he is telling them how we are all crazy zealots. Miguel, you always say, so innocently, so convincingly, how you only want mono to build a better platform for development on Linux so you don't care if the windows only libs are never free. But then you spend all your efforts implementing Winforms and other libs that are specifically not protected or directly usable to develop gnome. Um, what? Did you think no one would notice the contradiction between your words and your actions? Miguel De Icasa is a liar and has betrayed the project he started and the whole OSS community.

Maybe Miguel doesn't know it himself. Maybe he buys his own shit. Maybe Dick Cheney and George W Bush are nice guys deep down. Maybe. If so then I feel bad for them but it doesn't change the fact that they should be rejected and judged with the most extreme skepticism always.

Game Theory Wise... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17012780)

its quite simple what Microsoft is up to....you see, according to game theory, a threat is only going to change the course of someones actions if it is credible, i.e. the other person thinks you will carry it out...so, in a lot of scenarios, the default textbook example being used being a nuclear holocaust scenario, a superpower using its nukes in response to some small event is not credible....for the simple reason that the other side will nuke back and the payoffs just dont make sense...or for instance when a child threatens to jump off a building cause it didnt get ice cream for pudding...te payoffs for it are so bad, that its threat isnt credible.

So, what to do what to do in this situation where my drastic course of action is not perceived as credible, being too over the top with horrendous payoffs? Simple. I scale down the size of the threat until it becomes credible that i might do it by making it a probabilistic threat...i.e.

"If you guys are not covered by my uber shiny end user patent agreement covenant there is the possibility that i might sue you...i dont know, i might, i might not...etc etc"....

That ladies and gentleman, plain and simple is what Microsoft is trying to do...they know a threat to sue linux developers or end users is not feasible because IBM would serve their rectums up to them on a plate for breakfast (owning as many if not more patents than they do) (i.e. that threat is not credible)...so they scale down the threat by introducing the possibility that end users might get sued (maybe, maybe not who knows)....voila the threat is a credible one, and theyve made a threat which might discourage end users from using linux....
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