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Novell Worries About GPL v3

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the deliver-the-code-and-nobody-cares dept.

Novell 157

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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Wow, Novell is worried??? (4, Informative)

Scott Lockwood (218839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321111)

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.

Re:Wow, Novell is worried??? (4, Insightful)

bigtomrodney (993427) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

and Vlad still farted!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321621)

lol @ #buttes failures!

Re:Wow, Novell is worried??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19322301)

Hey! How about responding to Jhon in railgunners JE? Did you go back and see where you were wrong?

Re:Wow, Novell is worried??? (1)

Kiba Ruby (1037440) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322661)

Wee! Short sightness prevailed!

I like nerds (0, Offtopic)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321117)

The pet store was selling them for five cents a piece.
I thought this was odd since they were normally a couple thousand.
I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth so I bought 200 of them.
I like nerds.
I took my 200 nerds home. I have a big car. I let one of drive. His name was Taco. He was retarded. In fact, none of them were really bright. They kept punching themselves in the genitals. I laughed. They punched me in the genitals. I stopped laughing.
I herded them into my room. They didn't adapt very well to their new environment. They would screech and hurl themselves off the couch at high speeds and slam into the wall. Although humorous at first, the spectacle lost its novelty halfway into it's third hour.
Two hours later I found out why all the nerds were so inexpensive; they all died. No apparent reason. They all just sort of dropped dead. Kinda like when you buy a goldfish and it dies five hours later.
Damn cheap nerds.
I didn't know what to do. There were 200 dead nerds lying all over my room; on the bed, in the dresser, hanging from my bookcase. It looked like I had 200 throw rugs.
I tried to flush one down the toilet. It didn't work. It got stuck. Then I had one dead, wet nerd and one hundred ninety-nine dead, dry nerds.
I tried to pretend that they were just stuffed animals. That worked for awhile, that is until they began to decompose. It started to smell real bad. I had to pee but there was a dead nerd in my toilet and I didn't want to call a plumber. I was embarrassed.
I tried to slow down the decomposition by freezing them. Unfortuntely there was only enough room for two at a time, so I had to change them every 30 seconds. I also had to eat all the food in the freezer so it didn't go bad.
I tried to burn them, but little did I know that my bed was flammable. I had to extinguish the fire. Then I had one dead, wet nerd in my toilet, two dead, frozen nerds in my freezer, and one hundred ninety-seven dead, charred nerds in a pile on my bed,
The odor wasn't improving.
I became agitated at my inability to dispose of the dead nerds and I really had to use the bathroom. So I went and severely beat one of the nerds. I felt better.
I tried throwing them away but the garbage man said the city was not allowed to dispose of charred primates. I told him I had a wet one. He couldn't take it either. I didn't bother asking about the frozen ones.
I finally arrived at a solution. I gave them out as Christmas gifts. My friends didn't quite know what to say. They pretended to like them, but I could tell they were lying. Ingrates. So I punched them in the genitals.
I like nerds.

I like trolls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321373)

The pet store was selling them for five cents a piece.
I thought this was odd since they were normally a couple thousand.
I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth so I bought 200 of them.
I like trolls.
I took my 200 trolls home. I have a big car. I let one of drive. His name was Adolf. He was retarded. In fact, none of them were really bright. They kept punching themselves in the genitals. I laughed. They punched me in the genitals. I stopped laughing.
I herded them into my room. They didn't adapt very well to their new environment. They would screech and hurl themselves off the couch at high speeds and slam into the wall. Although humorous at first, the spectacle lost its novelty halfway into it's third hour.
Two hours later I found out why all the trolls were so inexpensive; they all died. No apparent reason. They all just sort of dropped dead. Kinda like when you buy a goldfish and it dies five hours later.
Damn cheap trolls.
I didn't know what to do. There were 200 dead trolls lying all over my room; on the bed, in the dresser, hanging from my bookcase. It looked like I had 200 throw rugs.
I tried to flush one down the toilet. It didn't work. It got stuck. Then I had one dead, wet troll and one hundred ninety-nine dead, dry trolls.
I tried to pretend that they were just stuffed animals. That worked for awhile, that is until they began to decompose. It started to smell real bad. I had to pee but there was a dead troll in my toilet and I didn't want to call a plumber. I was embarrassed.
I tried to slow down the decomposition by freezing them. Unfortuntely there was only enough room for two at a time, so I had to change them every 30 seconds. I also had to eat all the food in the freezer so it didn't go bad.
I tried to burn them, but little did I know that my bed was flammable. I had to extinguish the fire. Then I had one dead, wet troll in my toilet, two dead, frozen trolls in my freezer, and one hundred ninety-seven dead, charred trolls in a pile on my bed,
The odor wasn't improving.
I became agitated at my inability to dispose of the dead trolls and I really had to use the bathroom. So I went and severely beat one of the trolls. I felt better.
I tried throwing them away but the garbage man said the city was not allowed to dispose of charred primates. I told him I had a wet one. He couldn't take it either. I didn't bother asking about the frozen ones.
I finally arrived at a solution. I gave them out as Christmas gifts. My friends didn't quite know what to say. They pretended to like them, but I could tell they were lying. Ingrates. So I punched them in the genitals.
I like trolls.

Oblig Star Wars (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321141)

We should not have made this bargain.

Being paranoid is S.O.P in these things. (5, Insightful)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 (4, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321343)

Note, that they also listed the SCO lawsuit as a risk in the report, and we all know how likely that is.

Re:Exactly (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321479)

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

Re:Exactly (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322835)

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:Being paranoid is S.O.P in these things. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19322201)

You mean they are not worried like Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched?

        Abnerrrr!!!!!!...............

Can you feel the love? (3, Interesting)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can you feel the love? (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321413)

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.

Re:Can you feel the love? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322011)

Port it to Debian and the difference between debian-based distros and windows will be 3d games.
Eh? I play 3d games on linux. I even tried to write one for an OpenGL modeling class I took.

Re:Can you feel the love? (1)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322473)

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:Can you feel the love? (1)

lordtoran (1063300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19323287)

Port it to Debian and the difference between debian-based distros and windows will be 3d games.
Yast2 makes distributions look and behave like Windows? Then I'm glad I never touched it!

Re:Can you feel the love? (3, Funny)

R_Dorothy (1096635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321445)

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...

Re:Can you feel the love? (1)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321725)

Or getting Outlook to work correctly with IMAP....

I drink a lot of coffee.

Re:Can you feel the love? (1)

butlerdi (705651) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321455)

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.

Re:Can you feel the love? (4, Interesting)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321849)

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:Can you feel the love? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321883)

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.

Philosophy is important. It guides choices. Ultimately it builds civilizations, too.

The GPL isn't software, it is a philosophy expressed in the form of a set of copyright allowances. Those who use it generally do so for philosophical reasons. When they notice an incongruity of philosophies, they are going to respond.

I often think that many people get too hung up on the economics of it all and forget the part about philosophy, which IMHO is where this all began.

Re:Can you feel the love? (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322699)


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:Can you feel the love? (2, Informative)

beheaderaswp (549877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322953)

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.

oh no! (2, Insightful)

darth_linux (778182) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321199)

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.

Re:oh no! (0, Flamebait)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321865)

Ok so loose all corprate players and make sure all your work and effors in creating an OSS project goes unnoticed. It seems like many of you OSS guys have gotten beaten up from people who **Gasp** wants to make money. So you keep changing the rules to make sure that they can't. I know I avoid making any programs GPL because it takes away to many of my rights as a developer. GPL 3 is an attempt to try to keep people from doing "evil stuff" But all it will accomplish is detracting more people away from it. So they will do just as much "evil stuff" if not more, because they are not bound by the rules of GPL, where earlier versions which were more lax companies are more willing to comprimise and so some "good stuff" for it. But if you make it so strick that companies cant use it then GPL will Die. Myself would say when that happens Ill say good ridden.

Don't Get me wrong I am OK with GPL 2 but I more prefer the BSD license. But I feel GPL 3.0 just goes to far to be controlling, on what you can and can't do.

Re:oh no! (3, Insightful)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322399)

The GPL is about user rights, not developer rights. I think the GPLv3 is doing what it has to to protect end-users from DRM and other patent crap. Don't think of the GPLv3 as trying to control what developers can and can't do. Think of it as trying to make sure that end users get to have rights to the software. That should help put it in the right perspective.

Re:oh no! (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322631)

I'm not sure you have any idea what you're talking about, and you can't even spell small words.

I surely do feel sorry for them... (4, Informative)

loony (37622) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:I surely do feel sorry for them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321475)

You may feel sorry for Novel but that's irrelevant given that this story is about Novell.

Re:I surely do feel sorry for them... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322067)

Your feelings about Novell would seem to be of more interest for this story.

Why worry? (2, Insightful)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.

Re:Why worry? (1)

thethibs (882667) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321415)

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

Re:Why worry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321521)

gnu
But no one uses that, so it's ok.
</sarcasm>

Re:Why worry? (1)

l3mr (1070918) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321597)

Yes. It's called 'GPL v2 or later'.

Re:Why worry? (4, Insightful)

supersnail (106701) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.
 

Re:Why worry? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321955)


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.


Most of that is pretty mature stuff. Forking at GPL v2 and maintaining the fork really wouldn't be that big of a deal.

Also, an ENORMOUS amount of maintenance is done by the big players anyway. If RedHat, Novell and IBM got together to maintain a GPL v2 fork of whatever they needed, it would be interesting to see which side of the fork fell behind.

Re:Why worry? (2, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322041)

Most of that is pretty mature stuff. Forking at GPL v2 and maintaining the fork really wouldn't be that big of a deal.

Are you joking? There is probably more ongoing effort put into improvements to GCC than almost any other project I can think of. There are a lot of people (at various big companies) whose sole job is to improve GCC. The main advantage of GPL OSS over BSD is that you get continuing improvements from other players. Having to maintain all of that yourself in a fork means you might as well go with BSD licensed software in the first place. At least them you're not specifically generating ill will while losing the main benefit.

Re:Why worry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19322771)


There are a lot of people (at various big companies) whose sole job is to improve GCC.


And if there is a GPL version fork, which side will those big companies choose? There isn't much, if anything in GPL v3 for the corporate players to like. If it comes down to RMS on one side of the fork and the professional players on the other side, who will fall behind?

Re:Why worry? (3, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19323069)

And if there is a GPL version fork, which side will those big companies choose?

GPLv3. None of these companies are selling GCC. They use it as a tool. They don't want submarine patents in it any more than individual users do. It takes effort to switch to a non-standard fork and download from a new place. It takes effort to approve a new license within a company. Approving a new license, however, is a one time stamp from legal, while switching versions to non-standard ones has to be done for every project and has to be done by engineers within the company, who probably would prefer to stick with the RMS version. I'm betting if it comes down to a fork it will be Novell left out in the cold by themselves while almost everyone else goes GPLv3.

Re:Why worry? (1)

supersnail (106701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322299)

"Most of that is pretty mature stuff" - not really especially gcc,
If you want to take full advantage of the latest 64bit multicore hardware
you need a compliler that compiles to the latest instruction set.

Re:Why worry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19322009)

You are correct. There could also be a serious problem down the road with BSDs. We do need GNU tools for some parts of the system. It really depends what the final GPL3 says.

A few reasons... (2, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321675)

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 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.

Re:A few reasons... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19323351)

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, they surely took that into consideration before building the project and chose the GPL'd software anyway (Right...?). Therefore, they must have been fully aware that it would require the hardware to remain open in order to comply with the letter of GPLv3 (and the spirit of all previous versions).

Openness is the price of Free GPL code. If these companies thought they were getting something for nothing they were severely mistaken, and I have no sympathy for them.

Re:Why worry? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321481)

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.

Re:Why worry? (1)

l3mr (1070918) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321527)

If it's 'GPL v2 or later', the recipient (client) gets to choose which license he wants to use.

Re:Why worry? (1)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321919)

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.

Re:Why worry? (1)

l3mr (1070918) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322147)

Yes, of course. But the good thing is that enough software already has the 'GPL v2 or later' clause; this will make Novell a distributor of GPL v3 software, even if they would choose to keep the last version released before GPL v3.

Re:Why worry? (1)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322215)

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.

Re:Why worry? (1)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322329)

Are all parts of the kernel GPLv2 only? There are tons of contributors, are they all required to do GPLv2 only?

Parts of the kernel are GPL2 or later (2, Informative)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322585)

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

Re:Why worry? (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321969)

Yes, but who is to say that all the software used in SUSE will remain GPLv2?

mod u0P (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321307)

How is the GNAA It'5 best to try arrogance was continues 7o lose Developers United States of To yet another

Re:mod u0P (1)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321945)

Whoa there champ. Is this in Klingon or something? Can some Trekkie translate for us? :-)

Re:mod u0P (1)

Joey Vegetables (686525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19323025)

Surely. "All you degenerate sub-Klingon p'tahks will die a lingering and dishonorable death, as each and every Open Source developer turns his face away from your disgusting targ carcass, and your customers forsake you one by one until there is nothing left of your worthless "honor" for us to piss on."

dogs (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321313)

Sleep with dogs, wake with fleas

Re:dogs (0, Redundant)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321427)

Damned AC beat me to it.

GPL2 vs GPL3 (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321347)

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 (5, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321703)

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 to the patents they add from MS "to enhance interoperability" so they can't give those rights to any other GPL customer.

Read Graklaw (reference the Notaduck).

Re:GPL2 vs GPL3 (2, Insightful)

supersnail (106701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321711)

To drastically over simplify the GPL3 -- you can't use it with patented software.

Sleep withy dogs (4, Funny)

xs650 (741277) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321371)

Dear Novell:

Didn't anyone tell you that if you sleep with dogs, you'll get fleas.

Re:Sleep with dogs. Fixed 4u. (1)

giafly (926567) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321715)

Dear Novell:
Didn't anyone tell you that if you sleep with dogs, you'll get fleas.
Dear Novell:
Didn't anyone tell you that if you sleep with Microsoft, you'll get fleeced.

Re:Sleep withy dogs (1)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321783)

That's right, Novell!
You buttered your bread, now lie in it.

Re:Sleep withy dogs (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322017)

Or, you know, there's always this [petshed.com] .

Not Novell's problem (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321501)

No returns. Thanks for the millions. Sorry you can't use the coupons as you intended. They make lovely wallpaper, though.

Re:Not Novell's problem (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321993)

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.

Let's do what Novell wants (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321515)

After all, how is Miguel De Icaza gonna be able to spend all his time on copying stupid MS tech?

Re:Let's do what Novell wants (1)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321773)

"Imitation is not inspiration and the least of man's original emanation is better that the best of a borrowed thought" - Albert Pinkham Ryder [msn.com]

Cross Licensing?? (1)

elwinc (663074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321559)

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 the zero dollars IBM collects from Linux sales. Ha ha! IBM's Linux money comes from support contracts; something MS has no patents on. I'm sure there's an error in my logic somewhere -- I hope the slashdot community is not too shy to help identify it.

Re:Cross Licensing?? (2, Interesting)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321651)

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 a burden to the market that should be thrown the heck out. it's a necessary licensing step to protect us from this sort of whackiness. I hope the Mono project can be re-licensed under GPLv3 to avoid repercussions from this sort of suit

This is why GPLv3 encumbers patents. the current insanity of software patents, and the risks of this kind of nuttiness, could be extremely nasty to lots of open source projects.

Re:Cross Licensing?? (2, Informative)

bulled (956533) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322181)

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.

IBM a linux distributor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19322219)

>That means that IBM, a Linux distributor

Do you have any evidence of this? Links to IBM distributing linux, or links where you can buy GNU/Linux from IBM (and only IBM, not one of their intermediates who I believe they use for the exact purpose of NOT becoming linux distributors. But I've been wrong before).

Re:Cross Licensing?? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322295)

You're assuming an awful lot about the structure of the cross licensing. I find it doubtful that Microsoft gave IBM the right to sub-license the patents, so if they have put code under the GPL that is related to the patents, they might be in violation of the agreement, etc.

Re:Cross Licensing?? (3, Informative)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#19323339)

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.)

Poor Novell (1)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321585)

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?

Re:Poor Novell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19322225)

The whole reason Novell took this deal is they were going broke while selling/supporting Open Source software.

How is going broke while doing business exactly a "great open source business model"?

Re:Poor Novell (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322475)

Ignorance and Novell board greed has shown that these people are fools. As a former 'Suse box house' (pre Novell) we bought Suse because it was European.

I have to respect Steve Balmer who sold Novell board absolutely nothing and got all the benefit. It would be sorry to see all the talent that Novell has in the trenches 'go to waste' but I'm sure theres life beyond dumb ceo's and a name called Novell.

Re:Poor Novell (1)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322779)

I have to respect Steve Balmer who sold Novell board absolutely nothing and got all the benefit

Uh, you've got it backward. Microsoft paid Novel hundreds of millions of dollars to sign this deal. We don't know yet if MS got anything other than FUD fodder out of it.

Re:Poor Novell (1)

sjwest (948274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19323121)

I part disagree - Its One less competitor in the directory arena as Novell have had to say some rather bad things about there other (non Suse)products being that 'compatibility' is everything.

Its sowed the seeds nicely for Novells collapse with its present management.

Thats Balmers genuis.

I think I speak for all of us here when I say... (2, Funny)

greenguy (162630) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321747)

Good.

open (1)

PipoDeClown (668468) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321767)

open source is open source, with or without a license... i generally dont really care about licenses...

Re:open (2, Insightful)

Freed (2178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322059)

>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...

Suse coupons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19321795)

whats a Suse coupon?

dealing with microsoft (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321847)

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...

Who's Afraid of Sarbanes-Oxley? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 7 years ago | (#19321917)

Great that Novell now has to "express concerns" in its annual report.
What fun they could have had with MS as an affiliate.

Heh (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322125)

Sorry about your luck, Novell.

Prescient Quotation Request (not trolling) (1, Offtopic)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322133)

slightly OT but a few moons ago there was an article where a high level microsoftie posibly Gates or Ballmer gave a quote something like (paraphrasing from distant memory):

"we didn't know how to fight linux, its like some strange alien thing to us, then novell bought suse, and we smiled - because beating novell is something we have done before, they are suckers, its gonna be easy"

A while back i decided this would make a great sig and googled high and low, but to no avail. Perhaps it was on an MS friendly news-site and has subsequently been purged. Does this ring any bells? Does anyone have a link to an article with a quote vaguely similar? It would be much appreciated thank you please.

Is Novell brain dead? (1)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322149)

Basically Novell went over to Goatse's house with a big jar of vaseline and now they are wondering why they came out sore.

And this would be a bad thing...how? (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322177)

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.

Too bad for Novell (1)

k1e0x (1040314) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322185)

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..

That they dealt with Microsoft is not the issue (4, Insightful)

Freed (2178) | more than 7 years ago | (#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.)

what the covenant really means .. (4, Interesting)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#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 ;).

Add a GPL3 disc to distro (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322343)

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.

how sweet! (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322355)

"or puts Microsoft's patents at risk, "

they are worried about Micro$oft.

oh weird (1)

Dragonfire00 (1099913) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322467)

Oh weird, you sold your soul to the devil and now everyone thinks your a traitor and hates you. Weird.

Yes, but... (4, Funny)

nagora (177841) | more than 7 years ago | (#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. (2, Informative)

walter_f (889353) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322815)

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.

Dig your own grave (2, Interesting)

Danathar (267989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19322967)

When you dig your own ditch you have to be careful not to fall in. NOVELL should of known better.
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