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183 comments

heh. (0, Troll)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#20236931)

but Novell deserve praise for taking on the fight with SCO....

whilst they deserve a slap for entering into a pact with the devil?

Re:heh. (3, Insightful)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237035)

but Novell deserve praise for taking on the fight with SCO
More like f'ing pwning SCO and totally burying them!

Re:heh. (5, Funny)

iocat (572367) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237093)

The real victim in the case, at least now that it's resolved, is GrokLaw. What the hell are they going to do now, without this case to report on!?

Re:heh. (5, Insightful)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237579)

What the hell are they going to do now, without this case to report on!?

Oh come on! There's the Microsoft-shilling-ISO problem to report on yet, Groklaw is in the thick of that [grokdoc.net] ! Don't forget who funded the SCO attack [groklaw.net] , Microsoft are not yet defeated, that was just one maneuvre. Meaning there's the end-game of Microsoft's patent FUD attack [computerworld.com] on GNU+Linux to report, might even be a court case in it too.

I think the site is well established, too many people like PJ's pithy analysis for Groklaw to disappear. Although I doubt your post was serious, it's still worth pointing out all the things the site could do in the weeks, months and years to come. :)

Re:heh. (2, Funny)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237879)

The real victim in the case, at least now that it's resolved, is GrokLaw. What the hell are they going to do now, without this case to report on!?

They can report on all the cases involving the RIAA.

Quick - short sell groklaw! (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237997)

You'd better dump your stock in groklaw!

Re:heh. (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237097)

"Microsoft is the next SCO. They positioned themselves that way with their patent sabre-rattling..."

Good things are yet to come for those who wait.

Re:heh. (5, Funny)

Oddscurity (1035974) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237043)

Reminds me of that Bill Gates joke:

Bill Gates arrives at Heaven's gates and St. Peter tells him that he really doesn't know what to do with Bill. "I mean on one hand you've helped get computers into many homes, but on the other hand you released Windows. I'll give you the choice, heaven or hell?"

Bill thinks about this and asks to be shown both places to make an informed decision on the matter. And so Peter takes him to heaven, replete with clouds, angels, harps and what not. Bill barely manages to stifle a yawn before St. Peter takes him to hell, a fabulous beach with babes playing around. "I've decided I want you to send me to hell," Bill announces.

So a few weeks later St. Peter looks up Bill to see how he's doing. Gates is strung up against a cave passage somewhere, demons all around him whipping and branding him. "And Bill, enjoying yourself?"

Bill grimaces and says: "This isn't what you promised me!"

"Ah," says St. Peter, "you're right. That was the demo."

Re:heh. (0, Offtopic)

monk.e.boy (1077985) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237111)

That joke was so bad it made me want to dig my eyes out.

Re:heh. (1)

Timex (11710) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238369)

But it was funny. Admit it.

I laughed the first time I heard it, and I laughed when I read it a moment ago. I'll laugh again in a second, when I read it yet again.

Re:heh. (2, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237421)

"Ah," says St. Peter, "you're right. That was the screensaver."

There, fixed it for you.

Re:heh. (2)

sherms (15634) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237251)

In speaking with a friend who works at Novell. They really plan to hold true. Be glad they took them on. It has helped more that it hurt the OS battles.

Re:heh. (1)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238599)

They really plan to hold true. Be glad they took them on. It has helped more that it hurt the OS battles.
Besides, Novell has conflicting interests. They have SuSE on the one hand - a Linux distro, and OTOH they hold the rights to Unix.

Can't they technically port Unix code to Linux now?

Pact or Chess move? (2, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237377)

I'm not so sure anymore.

First, MSFT's mumblings about patents will likely go splat if a single MSFT voucher purchases a single copy of SuSE with GPLv3 code on it - at least for any patents covering those bits of code (I can imagine Samba w/ it's impending GPLv3 conversion wiping out plenty, if there are any).

Second, MSFT is rather stuck - While I don't know all the agreement details, I'm willing to bet that it will likely have the effect of cutting the legs out from under a lot of anti-competitive initiatives that MSFT might try. Hoveispan isn't exactly a stupid man.

Besides - as long as it doesn't compromise FOSS and the GPL any? Why not at least attempt to embrace the Beast, extend the Beast, then extinguish the Beast? It'd be one Hell of an ironic way to shove MSFT into obscurity.

/P

Re:Pact... or fiction? (5, Funny)

penp (1072374) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237621)

1) Yeah, and someone will reverse engineer windows and call it something like Winws (Winws Is Not Windows, Stupid), and release it under the GPLv3, and new software will be written for it in GPLv3, and it will run in real Windows too, and then Microsoft will pay. 2) What? 3) If Microsoft has enough money to survive the melting Xbox360 debacle, I hardly think it will be anytime soon that Microsoft is shoved into obscurity. I mean, hell, they survived Windows ME, and I'm sure they'll survive Vista. Personally, I think there's just as much FUD out there about MS as there is about Linux. Oh, right. I'm on slashdot. Die, microsoft!

Re:Pact... or fiction? (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238421)

I cant decide on whether I want to mod you up... or mod you down :-|

so I'll comment instead :D

Re:Pact or Chess move? (4, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237751)

First, MSFT's mumblings about patents will likely go splat if a single MSFT voucher purchases a single copy of SuSE with GPLv3 code on it - at least for any patents covering those bits of code (I can imagine Samba w/ it's impending GPLv3 conversion wiping out plenty, if there are any).
I think MS would proclaim that the voucher doesn't cover GPLv3 code since it wasn't a license when they sold them. But that isn't what is worrying me. MS can effectively silence Samba to nothing now that it is going into GPLv3. All they would have to do is wait until it is accepted, create a mini novel out of everyone who buys their software by placing a covenant not to sue that only goes to MS customers and their immediate customers and then offer a product sans the license or covenant for 10 times the cost. The GPL's anti Novell clause would kick in and basically stop anyone who purchased MS software after that happened from participating in any GPLv3 covered efforts. It would also create some fud where MS could say if you are going to use linux with MS software you need to buy X version of the software which costs 10 times as much (10x$700=$7990 for OEM 2003 servers now?) because of feature in the regular version that would place you in violation of the GPLv3 that linux er Samba is under.

I hate to say it, But I think they have samba taken care of. And if the community decides for some reason that they won't enforce that part of the GPL, them all ms has to do is shoehorn some code into it and launch the complaints and lawsuits themselves. Maybe buyout someone who has contributed to the project in the past and have them lay claims to some copyright on code buried deep into it. Either way, it could damage both samba and the GPL.

Besides - as long as it doesn't compromise FOSS and the GPL any? Why not at least attempt to embrace the Beast, extend the Beast, then extinguish the Beast? It'd be one Hell of an ironic way to shove MSFT into obscurity.
I'm not sure that the community would destroy itself in the process. Look at how divided it is over Novell making a deal with MS in the first place. Now the GPLv3 is out and there is rifts there too. I think there are a lot of people associated with FOSS who are afraid of success too. It seems like every time there is a chance to go big they shoot themselves in the foot or something. It is almost like they want to be the underdog and need people workign against them in order to feel important or something.

I believe them... (4, Interesting)

chamont (25273) | more than 6 years ago | (#20236935)

Ok, first let me say that I believe Novell when they say this. I think that they're so beaten up right now by the open source community, that they're going to be walking on eggshells for a long time. Plus they've learned their lesson...What's to gain? Not much, since there's not much of a case (if any) in the first place.

A lot of people may not know that one of the reasons Caldera was started in the first place (SCO's parent) was that Ransom Love recuited a load of engineers to get Zen works to run on Linux. Internally, Novell rejected the idea after they saw a massively failed WordPerfect on Linux project, and thought they had better stay clear of alternative OS's for a while.

Both companies being located in Utah county, there was heavy Novell influence in Caldera internally. In meetings (yes, I worked there for a couple of years), you would always here..."At Novell, we did it this way...". People would come in from or leave to Novell here and there. They were actually very passionate about open source. I even got a t-shirt shortly after the merger was announced, hinting that they'd be opening the source code to UnixWare (silly, huh).

Anyway, once Caldera started all the layoffs after the dot-com boom and SCO merger, a good chunk of engineering ended up at Novell. They closed the German development office (Erlangen), and most of those fellows headed over to Suse.

Then Novell bought Suse. Wow, funny how things come together. So yes, there are plenty of the same people working for Novell as were at SCO for a time, but as far as I can tell, it's mostly (or all) non-execs. Every guy I worked with was passionate about open source, and making the world a better place, etc.

Re:I believe them... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20237325)

Every guy I worked with was passionate about open source, and making the world a better place, etc.
But the gals were traitors and harlots? That's too bad.

Re:I believe them... (0, Offtopic)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237379)

Gals? Didn't you read his post, these aren't just geeks. These are geeks in Utah!

Re:I believe them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20237359)

Novel may not be SCO. But what if they are Caldera?

Re:I believe them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20237561)

Novell uses Yast, so they couldn't be Caldera. Duh.

Re:I believe them... (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237401)

Anyway, once Caldera started all the layoffs after the dot-com boom and SCO merge, a good chunk of engineering ended up at Novell.

I think that one phrase tells you a lot about why SCO sued people and Novell won't: Novell is a functioning business with a business plan.

The reason SCO sued, apparently, is because they were failing as a business and they went into meltdown-mode. The people running the show seemed to give up on any prospect of maintaining a sustainable business, and instead focussed on getting whatever they could as soon as they could, future of the company be damned. They made a deal with the devil and started attacking their own potential customers.

You can tell a business is in trouble if they start attacking their own customers. Even the most retarded businessman doesn't want his own customers to hate him.

Re:I believe them... (0, Troll)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237581)

Anyway, once Caldera started all the layoffs after the dot-com boom and SCO merge, a good chunk of engineering ended up at Novell.

I think that one phrase tells you a lot about why SCO sued people and Novell won't: Novell is a functioning business with a business plan.


Excuse me... but what has Novell engineered in recent years? It has engineered the acquisition of SuSE; and engineered an unholy suspicious contract with Microsoft.

None of these engineering efforts require technical acumen.

Re:I believe them... (3, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237951)

Errr... Ok, if you don't believe that Novell employees worked on anything the past few years, I don't know what to say to that. Perhaps a Novell employee could respond and describe all the non-work they've been doing?

In any case, they are a functioning business with a business plan, which was my only claim. Even if we assume that they've written no code and engineered no product, they were at least hiring people, which is a sign that they intended to.

Re:I believe them... (2, Insightful)

Nossie (753694) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238495)

As much as I dislike Novell for dealing with MS, I have to agree that apart from that they have contributed quite a bit to open source. A good chunk of their engineers work on open source software when they have their spare time at work. Not as much as the likes of Google but still a contribution to say the least.

Re:I believe them... (4, Informative)

jambarama (784670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238509)

Please do some research before absurd claims. Let me list a few of the Linux contributions Novell has made you might have heard of. 1. YaST 2. XGL/Compiz 3. Ximian 4. Mono 5. Beagle 6. Bandit 7. iFolder Plus the boatload of patches and drivers they've contributed, and the Linux devs they pay that write software for "Linux" not specifically SuSE. Novell is right there with Sun, Intel, Dell, Redhat, HP & the other big open source contributers. They give away SuSE (OpenSuSE), and not only that, IMO Novell has done more than any other firm to bring Linux to the enterprise desktop.

Novell could go that way too (1)

sacrilicious (316896) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238803)

The reason SCO sued, apparently, is because they were failing as a business and they went into meltdown-mode.

I think you're trying to be reassuring, but this is in fact one of the most problematic aspects of Novell's stated position that they won't sue: namely that Novell could likewise find its business failing at some point, and decide in a paroxysm of desperation to sue over unix copyrights. So don't wake me up until Novell wants to back up their nice statements today with maneuvers that legally bind them to said statements.

Re:I believe them... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237413)

Every guy I worked with was passionate about open source, and making the world a better place, etc.

Since Novell makes zero revenue with Netware these days, why don't they Open Source it? They can make a lot of money over Certifications, Implementations and Training... like RedHat does with Linux. The fact that they haven't done; and the Open Enterprise SErver is now moving to Linux, means they are not committed to the ideals of Open Source.

Their acquisition of SuSE has actually killed a big non-US distro - which is beneficial to Microsoft, not Linux customers.

Re:I believe them... (1, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237675)

Why Novel doesn't Open Source Netware it is probably because they can't. Espectially with the GNU. I am sure it is filled with stuff purchased from Microsoft, AT&T, IBM, perhaps even SCO, as well a bunch of other places. It will be way to expensive to put it out in open source and impossible with GPL and even more impossible with GPL 3.

Secondly security threw obscurity Because Netware isn't a huge market seller there probably isn't a lot of people trying to hack in it. But by releasing the source people see that there is a hole for a Master Password or something the systems with Netware running will be volnerable. But I doubt there will be enough comunity support to fix the bugs to make it a secure product.

Third while it is probably a break even product it is better to keep your customers then loose them, just for keeping their contact information is valuable. At some point they may migrate off of Netware if you have a nice linux solution they just may go back to you and buy it. If Netware was open source you could loose some customers as contact and will just go free use only downloading without dealing with novel. Thus when they feel like they need to move off they have no alegence with novel and lost much of the contact information so their choices for competing products are equal.

Forth it is best not to keep all your eggs in the same basket. There are people who may not like the other offerings and they are still worried about Open Source so Novel has an option for them. Also if they are going to make a new product iNetWere that is closed source they still have private IP that they can use for the project, giving them a competivie advantage.
 

Re:I believe them... (2, Informative)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237873)

That's one possibility ... another possibility is that they don't own the copyright to all the pieces of Netware (which could be the case if they licensed some libraries or something), can't Open Source it without those copyrights, and is unable to obtain those copyrights.

Re:I believe them... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237469)

I belive them but not for the reasons you do. I don't think Novell is walking on "eggshells" because of the open source zealots. Novell had produced some of the very best FOSS out there and has for years. Evolution, Yast, Tomboy, Banshee, F-Spot, Beagle, and all of the love it or hate it Mono project. "I am not a fan but there has been some really good software written for Mono." They have been very friendly to open source and it was Novell that really killed the SCO case. The deal with Microsoft seem to have brought Novell some cash while not really helping Microsoft at all.

Open sourced Unix? (5, Insightful)

stinerman (812158) | more than 6 years ago | (#20236951)

Then it wouldn't hurt to put any and all software they own the copyrights to under the BSD license or even release them to the public domain. If they aren't going to sue anyone who infringes on their copyrights, then they might as well release the code under a permissive license

Re:Open sourced Unix? (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237039)

I agree. We've already got an open-source UNIX (Solaris), and a few Unix-likes (*BSDs, Linux, Minix, Hurd, etc.), but I believe it would be a great contribution to open up "the real thing". They would have to wait to be able to tear up their contract with SCOX though (which won't take long judging by their stock)

As an aside, would "classic" UNIX actually be useful on modern x86-based hardware?

Re:Open sourced Unix? (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237181)

As an aside, would "classic" UNIX actually be useful on modern x86-based hardware?
This is probably not what you meant but I would say that, yes, it would indeed be useful to a lot of people to have access to the source code for classic Unix (Classix? :-). It may not run as is on x86 but I'm sure a lot of code could be ported or at least used as a starting point for many useful things...

Re:Open sourced Unix? (4, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237155)

Essentially, they can't. Novell doesn't own all the copyrights to the Unix source code. Some of the code was developed outside of AT&T by outside vendors. And then there's the whole BSDi case, which has already put the copyrights that Novell does own in a tenuous position. The judge in that case was about this *thumb and forefinger* close to invalidating AT&T's copyrights due to attribution requirements (remember, much of the old code was written before the U.S. signed onto the Berne Convention, which removed attribution requirements) and that's the real reason AT&T/Bell Labs settled with BSDi.

But, the ancient Unix V7 sources were already released under BSD long ago by none other than Caldera.

Re:Open sourced Unix? (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237493)

Except that Caldera [the new SCO] (who got the "rights" from Tarantella, the old SCO) never had the copyright to begin with, as the judge just determined - so that leaves their release in a bit of a predicament.

Still, I would like to see a Unix derivative, with a BSD or GPL2 license, that actually works like System V. :/

-uso.

Re:Open sourced Unix? (1)

Raphael (18701) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237205)

Then it wouldn't hurt to put any and all software they own the copyrights to under the BSD license or even release them to the public domain.

It would be much more interesting if Novell would release that software under the GPLv3. Think about it.

Re:Open sourced Unix? (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238119)

You have to watch moving something to GPLv3. Your taking on a whole lot of liability when doing so. Not only can you get busted for a patent that someone else owns, you have and extremely large amount of culpability in inferring that others had a right to use it.

Not only could you get popped from a patent troll, they probably could increase the claimed damages because you represented it to others as yours as well as anyone else caught on it could likely come back to you for their losses. OR at least try anyways. With something like Unix under the GPLv3, I'm not sure how long and how many patents would need to be checked out first. It could possibly take decades looking for everything and making sure they had the rights to them.

What happens when Novell say "we own that"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20238047)

a) Nobody does. Boo boo for Novell but no real consequence
b) They do. Fine.
c) Someone else says "no, I do". Big lawsuit time. Slander of Title, etc.

And how do they get to say what they own? Well, they'll have to backtrack and look at all the historical provenance of all their code and release it. Expensive.

Then someone comes along and patents something it does, so it isn't in the public domain any more.

Copyright is viral. For software, it didn't USED to be under copyright, so provenance wasn't a problem and that makes is a shitload worse.

Adn who pays for it? Who staffs it?

Hmmm. Not a good idea, unless you're offering to do it buck shee.

Re:Open sourced Unix? (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238699)

A more reasonable stance would be for them to certify that x.xx version or earlier of linux contains no code that they claim ownership of now or in the future.

Rebuilding goodwill (2, Insightful)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#20236971)

I guess they are trying to rebuild goodwill they lost with the MS deal. Oh well, in either case this is a welcome announcement so at least they can get some praise for that one. Seems they realise just how bad they screwed up at least ...

A promise is... (4, Insightful)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#20236985)

...legally binding? I had no idea.

Re:A promise is... (5, Informative)

Aim Here (765712) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237179)

Sure is. I take it you're being sarcastic, but you really are precluded from suing someone if they rely on your promise not to sue them. The legal doctrine is called 'promissory estoppel [wikipedia.org] ' and has been invoked by IBM in the SCO case already, IIRC.

Re:A promise is... (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237353)

And so, by making it public, Novell has pretty much sealed the deal. It would be kind of hard to go back on the promise after making it to so many people. Besides, there's no impetus to sue -- they can look at what just happened to SCO. Novell sure isn't going to ruin itself as a viable company by going on a patent-hunting, copyright-infringement lawsuit binge.

Re:A promise is... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237457)

But if Novell goes belly up and gets taken over by say Microsoft.

The new management is bound by the legal contracts Novell made, but are they still bound by that promise?

Re:A promise is... (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237687)

I would think so. If an end-user can argue that they relied on the promise and acted on it, then the promise becomes binding. Microsoft would inherit these sorts of obligations even as they inherit any assets should they buy Novell out. This is what often saves companies with massive problems from buyouts - nobody wants to buy the headaches even for a cheap price - a company with sufficient liabilities could have negative value.

Re:A promise is... (1)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238027)

I'm curious as to how often that sort of thing works though, for instance in this case Novel has personally promised me nothing but Jack and Sh*t. The article itself stands as hearsay only, and the ownership of patents and copyrights both suggest a long standing reservation of legal rights. I don't think they can lose those rights simply by saying "We promise we're not going to be stupid like SCO".

Well, now you do... (1)

Toby_Tyke (797359) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237403)

Promissory estoppel. [wikipedia.org]

Learn something new every day huh?

Admittedly, I'm being a little facetious there. A promise isn't legally binding as such, but if you rely on someones promise not enforce a copyright, and as a result of that reliance breach their copyright, they will almost certainly be prevented from enforcing that copyright by the doctrine of promissory estoppel.

I'm only familiar with the doctrine as it is applied in English law, but Wikipedia seems to indicate that US law is pretty similar.

Re:A promise is...A SIG LINE (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238327)

The RIAA should be talking to economists rather than lawyers.

Excellent sig line. Too bad the RIAA doesn't read Slashdot.

On the UNIX copyrights (2, Funny)

Haiku 4 U (580059) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237003)

If Novell is soooooo
cool, why don't they open source
UNIX already?

Re:On the UNIX copyrights (5, Interesting)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237109)

Unix *is* open source. Between *BSD and Solaris, pretty much all the Unix code you might want is available. Seriously - what useful code is in some version of Unix that Novel may hold copyrights for that isn't in *BSD or Solaris?

Re:On the UNIX copyrights (1)

Thyrteen (1084963) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238839)

Well, neither I nor you know what copyrighted code might be there, but why copyright and selectively close-source an aspect of the system with no gain over its original funcionality?

Re:On the UNIX copyrights (2, Insightful)

tloh (451585) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237125)

Why is that necessary when we already have GNU? Let the proprietary folks keep their gig. Diversity is supposed to be healthy isn't it? One ought to have options in both code ANDlicenses if one is truly free.

Re:On the UNIX copyrights (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237523)

So you would rather us wait for HURD to be finished?* And by your own arguments, we would benefit more from having UNIX opened up.

Re:On the UNIX copyrights (2, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237151)

Yes, but what license shall they choose? BSD? GPL?

Let's assume they release it under GPL. What happens with the BSD-like OS's (including Mac OS X and beyond)? Will they have to adopt GPL, too? For this we would have to find out if they are indeed Unix derivative works and not just clean room implementations, and well, we really don't want to get into that, do we? So, I would choose to re-release Unix under the BSD license.

Re:On the UNIX copyrights (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238251)

Anything derived from before it went GPL would be lost in the wind. The GPL could go back in time and all the sudden effect that. But, any changes to Unix after it would have been GPLed would count so they couldn't take the new stuff after the license switch.

Re:On the UNIX copyrights (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238075)

+1, Haiku

I'm not sure anyone else noticed, though. Nobody responded in haiku, which leaves me in doubt.

Re:On the UNIX copyrights (1)

MajinBlayze (942250) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238809)

Not sure you noticed
No response as a haiku
This leaves me in doubt

Fixed that for you

Finally, Novell normally gets a raw deal (4, Interesting)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237019)

Novell has shown themselves consistently to try to do the right thing 1) for their customers, 2) for open source in general, and 3) for their shareholders.

They are constantly harassed by not being a "pure" open source company, but they have shown a tremendous dedication to working with the community on their Free Software. Their "deal" with Microsoft was an attempt to offer their customers something unique, the indemnification/license to protect them from Microsoft.

They were attacked, because private citizens felt that nobody should offer that, that's silly. That was Novell working to offer a unique value proposition.

When SCO turned on Linux, they COULD have hung other companies out to dry and claimed that as a unique advantage to Novell. They didn't. They defended the Free Software world against SCO.

I think that Novell has been a remarkably good citizens in short order, and should be given more slack when they announce a program that is good for their customers but isn't hurting the general movement.

If the Novell/MS deal gave Novell an edge than its because Linux IS infringing. If Linux isn't infringing, then their deal was nothing more than my promising not to sue you for using city roads, a meaningless offer. The attacks on them seemed unfair.

Re:Finally, Novell normally gets a raw deal (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237479)

They were attacked primarily because almost everyone outside of MS and Novell thought it was a mistake and a trap. We were watching someone good naturedly walking into what we believed (and most of us still believe) to be a minefield. In other words, the backlash they have received is more for being boneheaded as opposed to being malicious (as SCO received).

It wasn't unfair, it was worry.

Re:Finally, Novell normally gets a raw deal (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237545)

If the Novell/MS deal gave Novell an edge than its because Linux IS infringing.

I assume you're talking about the 235 patents, right?
No, it isn't. The deal gave Novell an edge because Microsoft's FUD has drawn everyone to believe it is.

Re:Finally, Novell normally gets a raw deal (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237555)

Novell has shown themselves consistently to try to do the right thing 1) for their customers, 2) for open source in general, and 3) for their shareholders.

You musta missed the java GUI with v5....

Why is that +5 Insightful? (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237585)

If the Novell/MS deal gave Novell an edge than its because Linux IS infringing. If Linux isn't infringing, then their deal was nothing more than my promising not to sue you for using city roads, a meaningless offer. The attacks on them seemed unfair.
...compare to...

Their "deal" with Microsoft was an attempt to offer their customers something unique, the indemnification/license to protect them from Microsoft.

So Novell tried to offer something that they felt would distinguish their product from others ... even though doing so would kind of admit that Linux was violating Microsoft's patents.

Novell has shown themselves consistently to try to do the right thing 1) for their customers, 2) for open source in general, and 3) for their shareholders.

But if Linux does NOT violate Microsoft's patents ... then Novell is marketing something that is not needed by their customers.

Yeah, that's doing "the right thing" for "their customers".

That seems contradictory to me. Why sign a deal with Microsoft if there isn't any violation?

Why not simply state that Novell offers "indemnification" for any and all violations of their products? Because Novell believes Linux is clean and Free. No deal needed with Microsoft.

And if Novell is so noble, why did they immediately start pushing their "protection" as something NEEDED by Linux users and ONLY available from Novell?

Re:Why is that +5 Insightful? (2, Insightful)

jambarama (784670) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238597)

You forget Novell also got a pile of cash from Microsoft. My bet is that Novell did it for the cash as much as for the indemnification they claim is worthless.

Re:Finally, Novell normally gets a raw deal (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237641)

[Novell] are constantly harassed by not being a "pure" open source company

I don't think I've seen anyone attack them for not being a "pure" open source company.

A lot of Free Software developers did get upset at Novell's attempts to circumvent the clear intent of the GPL. And when those developers objected, Novell's response was was essentially "it's legal and you can't stop us - so nyah!".

This in turn led to a lot of people questioning Novell#s trustworthiness. bad enough that they demonstrate such contempt for the developers whose hard work had created Novell's principal product. But they did this in the process of snuggling up to Microsoft - a company that has proven consistently hostile to open source in the past.

None of this has anything to do with Novell not being "pure". There are however issues of respect and trust that have yet to be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.

Re:Finally, Novell normally gets a raw deal (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237955)

They were attacked, because private citizens felt that nobody should offer that, that's silly. That was Novell working to offer a unique value proposition.

No. They were attacked because their agreement with Microsoft:

  1. encouraged Microsoft to expand or continue its FUD campaign.
  2. could be used as evidence by Microsoft to support their IP claims.
  3. unfairly tipped a balanced playing field in the open source markets.

Taco, SCO SUED them. They HAD TO. Seriously! (2, Insightful)

JosefAssad (1138611) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237063)

Perhaps they had no option, but Novell deserve praise for taking on the fight with SCO

This is why I read slashdot. Where else do you find editors with such mental agility that they can completely contradict themselves in the mere space of 16 words?

From the mysterious future, I bring you this headline:

Sweden launches nubile virgins straight into the heart of the Sun. After all, it shines on us every day. I mean, it doesn' exactly have much else to do, but we need an empty reason to express gratitude. Thank you Sweden for honoring the Sun's contribution to our civilization.

Re:Taco, SCO SUED them. They HAD TO. Seriously! (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237199)

Sure, SCO sued them after they asserted ownership of the UNIX copyrights. Novell could have sat back and watched the show if they wanted.

Re:Taco, SCO SUED them. They HAD TO. Seriously! (1)

E5Rebel (1103761) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237391)

I am all for praising the mental agility of the Slashdot editors - they pick some good articles and spark some great debate, but was me that made the comment about Novell taking the fight to SCO and writing 'perhaps they had no option' so don't blame them for some ambiguity in what I wrote. The no option was about Novell promising not to sue over Unix. They had no option after declaring so clearly that there was no Unix in LInux and then defending htemselves (and as a result the rest of the Linux community) in court. Novell did though have plenty of options about how they took on SCO and they went for a total victory, something the whole Linux community wanted and needed. Have you never heard the phrase "settled out of court"? It means a compromise that both could live with. Novell could certainly have lived with a compromise but they stuck to their (our?) guns. You don't have to have any illusions in the companies that market Linux to say, occasionally, that the have done something useful to us. Isn't the heart of open source about collaborative working and doesn't that mean giving credit where credit is due occasionally?

Re:Taco, SCO SUED them. They HAD TO. Seriously! (5, Funny)

doxology (636469) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237559)

Sweden launches nubile virgins straight into the heart of the Sun.

That's it, I'm switching to Solaris.

Re:Taco, SCO SUED them. They HAD TO. Seriously! (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237725)

Novell had an option: They could have done nothing. SCO sued them because they stood up to SCO's claim that they owned UNIX. The SCO vs. IBM case would have fallen apart for SCO anyway (as most of the "infringing" stuff is POSIX and/or header files). And it may have even come out that SCO didn't own UNIX (and Novell could have simply filed an amicus curie brief or something).

The straight-up fact is that they set themselves up to get sued by SCO for the purpose of defending their copyright and defending the community. They could have wussed out without any major consequences, but they didn't.

Re:Taco, SCO SUED them. They HAD TO. Seriously! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20238019)

Sweden launches nubile virgins straight into the heart of the Sun.
Wrong; there are no virgins in Sweden.

Re:Taco, SCO SUED them. They HAD TO. Seriously! (1)

JosefAssad (1138611) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238515)

That is freaky. I wrote the precise same thing in my CC licensed novel [sancairodicopenhagen.com] which I just launched online a week ago!

Re:Taco, SCO SUED them. They HAD TO. Seriously! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20238467)

Perhaps they had no option, but Novell deserve praise for taking on the fight with SCO


This is why I read slashdot. Where else do you find editors with such mental agility that they can completely contradict themselves in the mere space of 16 words?

FactCheck.org: Bush's "16 Words" on Iraq & Uranium: He May Have Been Wrong But He Wasn't Lying [factcheck.org]

Sorry, too easy...

You forgot WHY SCO sued them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20238855)

Yeah, but SCO sued them because:

a) They refused to give SCO the copyrights.
b) They used an obscure clause in their contract to force SCO to waive any infringement by IBM, which would just about KILL SCO's half of SCO v. IBM (the counterclaims, of course, are still on the table, but SCO now has an even worse hand in that case).

In other words, SCO wouldn't have sued them if they hadn't intervened to stop them. So yes, Novell DOES deserve some praise and you need to pay a little more attention to this case if you want to go making proclamations like that. Novell didn't have to get involved, but they did and they did so to protect Linux (even though some of their other deals, like the one with Microsoft, have been less noble).

Remember: SCO v. Novell started as a "slander to title" case. Novell is the one who actually owns the code, not some "infringer" like the rest, even in SCO's wild theories.

Novell should first refurbish Netware (1, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237073)

So many thousands of 'engineers' have got the Certified Novell Engineer certification... millions of devices have been designed around Netware.. and Novell has simply ditched them all.

If they will not maintain and enhance Netware, they ought to atleast Open Source the damn thing; maybe even GPL it. Netware and NDS have been very good pieces of work, and abandoning them has worked to Microsoft's and Intel's advantage.

With Netware, Novell was pretending to be a competitor to Microsoft's DOS and Xenix; with SuSE even the pretence of competing in the OS market has gone - it is now an unholy 'partnership'.

Novell's promise "Not To Sue" will not win them more customers for SuSE Linux. Customers will go in for Linux distros not tainted by Novell, Ximian Xandros etc.

Re:Novell should first refurbish Netware (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20237597)

Novell haven't abandoned NDS (eDirectory) at all, in fact it's one of their core products around which a lot of stuff is built.

I would say though they have shelved NetWare despite their public comments. But is this such a bad thing ? NetWare was good for its day, but is starting to show its age now as a 32bit OS. It's never going to make the transition to a 64bit world.

This whole "NetWare is dead" argument is a moot point anyway. Nobody should care what their operating system is called, what they should care about is what services it provides them.

So, for example when say they want NetWare servers, what they really want is for the OS to provide the following:

NetWare levels of stability
Minimal hardware requirements (compared to Windows)
NCP (Novell Core Protocol) access for Windows clients (a.k.a the "file" part of file and print)
eDirectory authentication
A Novell file system with the extra ACL controls they have
A platform to run the various Novell applications e.g. GroupWise, ZENWorks, IDM etc.

Novell offer all of this now with their Linux Kernel OES. You can swap out a NetWare box for OES on Linux and nobody in your orgnaization would even know (OK, not entirely true if your workstations are running old client code, but if you keep them up to date you'll be OK). In addition to that you can run all the Linux applications and also allow Microsoft clients to connect with SAMBA. Novell OES basically gives you NetWare + Unix + NT.

Whilst I would love for NetWare to be open-sourced, it would be a huge drain on resources for them to do this (I know it was when they released NetMail to the community and that's a minor product compared to NetWare)

Re:Novell should first refurbish Netware (2, Informative)

belly69 (1114799) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238115)

Umm... Did I miss something? Novell stopped supporting Netware?

I guess those field-test patches that I downloaded from them yesterday didn't really exist.

From your post, it is obvious that you are apparently confused. Netware is STILL a supported product, STILL has a thriving support community, and is STILL a viable choice for a server OS.

sorry for feeding the troll...

FINAL NOTICE: (-1, Troll)

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If they are so good... (0, Redundant)

Sunrise2600 (1142529) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237079)

Even if they "promise" next minute they could turn around and screw everyone. Maybe a hostile takeover by Blackstone would do the trick. Turning it over to public domain would be best.

Re:If they are so good... (0, Redundant)

2short (466733) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237351)

"Even if they 'promise' next minute they could turn around and screw everyone."

No, they can't. Look up "Promissory Estoppel". Short form: If you promise not to sue someone, you can't.

Public domain? (1)

rve (4436) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237085)

"We're not interested in suing people over Unix," Novell spokesman Bruce Lowry said. "We're not even in the Unix business any more."

Does that mean Unix is effectively in the public domain now?

Re:Public domain? (1)

simong (32944) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237329)

It would be a nice gesture although it wouldn't mean a lot. How many Unices are closed source now? Probably more than we might think - AIX, HP-UX and Tru-64 for three in major use. Placing Unix in the public domain, rather than binding it to a licence, would be a strong acknowledgement of its position in the IT world of the early 21st century.

What's the problem? (3, Insightful)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237105)

They are saying they own their patents, and they won't go after you as a Linux user. What more do you really want? They may be able to make money off the patents in other ways. They are a business after all. Holding the MS deal against them for eternity is dumb as well.

Quid pro quo (1)

mattr (78516) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237121)

Somebody at Novell probably believes that. But somebody else is looking at the bottom line and is still thinking their sellout to Microsoft was good business sense.

Novell need not sue because Microsoft will sue twice as hard.
Meanwhile Microsoft need not distribute GPL2 because that's Novell's bag.
Both indemnify each other and their customers over patents, only loser being the general open source community.
The community (or some of it) launches back with GPL3, but this only covers future software which is not covered by those indemnifications anyway.
The end result is that Novell and Microsoft are still enjoying their partnership, which is mainly based on old/forked software and vague threats.
If Novell meant what they said they would not distribute under public domain as someone said. They would distribute under GPL3. Saying they will not sue does not mean anything unless there is a contract that says so, including a penalty clause for lying.
Until that day, everything Novell says can be discounted as Microsoft PR by Proxy (tm). I for one am massively disappointed with Novell and it has been a major factor in my purchasing decisions and recommendations to colleagues and clients. I see the upside as being very vague while the business risk magnifying on a weekly basis.

Public Domain (1)

jumperboy (1054800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237241)

It would be interesting to see the impact of putting UNIX in the public domain, with no licensing restrictions at all.

no option? (3, Interesting)

Lxy (80823) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237271)

Perhaps they had no option

Novell has plenty of options here. They are in the same position as SCO right now. Novell holds the UNIX copyrights, and has a linux distro that is gaining market share. They could very easily start up the infringement train and force everyone to use SuSE linux as not to infringe on their IP. They could even sell indemnification licenses, at, oh, say $699 a pop.

BUT THEY DIDN'T. Even though Novell is losing money left and right, and the target of much hostility in the community (for which I really don't understand), they have opted not to sue. They have the UNIX copyrights and have promised not to use them, in the best interest of the community. That's HUGE. Unlike the SCO case, Novell actually has the resources to put a stranglehold on the community. BUT THEY DIDN'T.

Stop bashing Novell already. PLEASE.

Re:no option? (5, Interesting)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237449)

They could very easily start up the infringement train and force everyone to use SuSE linux as not to infringe on their IP. They could even sell indemnification licenses, at, oh, say $699 a pop.

And... just like with SCO's retarded license, nobody with a brain would pay for it. And if they tried to enforce it against, say, IBM, then they would find themselves being beaten around by the Nazgul just like SCO was. And subject to many of the same counter-claims that SCO is.

Unlike the SCO case, Novell actually has the resources to put a stranglehold on the community. BUT THEY DIDN'T.

They DIDN'T because they CAN'T, because JUST like in the SCO case, there IS NO INFRINGING CODE IN LINUX. It's not about resources, as SCO had plenty thanks to MS. It's just that they DIDN'T HAVE A CASE. The ruling that SCO doesn't own UNIX copyrights has brought about a quicker end, but that doesn't change the fact that up to this point SCO hasn't produced a single piece of actual evidence of infringement, and Novell, were they to try, couldn't either because IT ISN'T THERE.

So yes, let's all congratulate Novell for not going on a retarded suicide mission of a pointless lawsuit. Having an actual business that makes money, this would be stupid, and Novell isn't that stupid. I commend them for being in touch with reality.

I mean, I don't really have anything bad to say about Novell. But when they say "Oh, we're not going to sue Linux users for infringing UNIX because we're nice guys" you need to look through the transparent PR and translate that as "because we would lose horribly".

Re:no option? (5, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238639)

I mean, I don't really have anything bad to say about Novell. But when they say "Oh, we're not going to sue Linux users for infringing UNIX because we're nice guys" you need to look through the transparent PR and translate that as "because we would lose horribly".
If you read TFA, you will see that Novell do not say they won't sue 'because they are nice guys'. They say they can't because there is no Unix in Linux. They make that very clear in their statement.

So why make the statement at all? Very simple. Say there is a gun held by someone (SCO) in a room full of people; the gun is used in a threatening way. Then the gun is moved to another person's control (Novell). To get everybody to calm down as quickly as possible, the second person shows that the gun isn't loaded anyhow, and then puts it away in some drawer. That is essentially what Novell did: tell people that there is no threat whatsoever, in the most direct way possible. This is necessary because the people in the room, on edge from the previous threats, are still worried by the gun.

Re:no option? (1)

VonBerlichingen (1143043) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237527)

I'm not sure how serious they would be looking if they entered the racketeering business. What would they threaten IBM with? Putting infringing code in the very product they redistribute under an open source licence (the Linux kernel)? Come on. Besides, SCO has consistently failed to produce these million of lines of infringing code for the last few years, so at this stage, it should be obvious that suing IBM is a good way of losing money. Of course, they could always threaten to sue end-users, but that's just the perfect way to remove their last support in the community.

Re:no option? (1)

AnObfuscator (812343) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238221)

Novell has plenty of options here. They are in the same position as SCO right now. Novell holds the UNIX copyrights, and has a linux distro that is gaining market share. They could very easily start up the infringement train and force everyone to use SuSE linux as not to infringe on their IP. They could even sell indemnification licenses, at, oh, say $699 a pop.

Right. And then, someone would grab the GPL'd sources to SuSE, then publish it for free.

The problem is, *if* Novell publishes SuSE, knowing that there are UNIX copyrights in SuSE, then the infringing code is now freed under the GPL. I think that'd be hard to litagate.

Novell: "they're stealing our copyrighted code!"
Court: "didn't you publish that copyrighted code under a license that allows anyone to use it, via the GPL?"
Novell: "...weeell, yes... but make them stop anyway! We want more money!"
Court: "Uh, no. Too late. Sux2bu."

Re:no option? (3, Insightful)

DimGeo (694000) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238405)

But they wouldn't have a case. You see, when you get SuSE, you get permission to use Novell's code under the GPL. Novell give that license to you. To anyone. So, any other distro can remove any GPL'ed code they have that could infringe on Novell, get the code same code from Novell under the GPL, and re-add it to their distro, ending up with the same distro they started up with down to the last line of code.

In other words: AS LONG AS NOVELL ARE DISTRIBUTING THEIR OWN CODE UNDER THE GPL, ANYBODY HAVING THAT CODE IN THEIR DISTRO IS OBEYING THE FRACKING LAW. THERE IS NO CASE!

Damn, I got tired of this nonsense.

Unix OSS (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237355)

A lot of posts about "Novel should open source Unix then". Curious though now adays what *IS* Unix? Solaris? BSDi? Unixware? Sco's OS? 4.4BSD? Thought Unix was just a term applied to a specific product, and that people could consider their systems "Unix" if they paid for that trademark.

For me I'm not really concerned since all that should matter is whether a system conforms to SysV, Posix, etc. Unix as a trademark neither betters or worsens an OS's abilities. It seems more like all of those OEM's who slap "Vista ready" on their machines.

Am I way off? No I'm not flaming, just don't understand the real importance of the term.

Re:Unix OSS (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237603)

When we're saying Novell should open up Unix, we are referring to the original System V Unix source, which is the "gold standard" Unix implementation that everything else (Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, Tru64, Darwin that) is judged by.

Re:Unix OSS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20238497)

Correction: *was* judged by 20 years ago -

this predates the original and now-outdated posix "standard" by ~3 or 4 years

you probably wouldn't *want* anything in SYSV -

would you want these great features:

drivers for 8MHZ AT&T 3B2 computers? maybe - netbsd port anyone?
outdated VM algorithms? nope
crappy SMP support (*maybe* 2CPU scalability)? nope
no threading? nope
outdated UFS filesystem? nope
ancient 4BSD TCP/IP with lots of security holes? nope

maybe some stuff from the userland like Korn shell & updated "real" troff,
another outdated open source but commercial-ish quality C compiler / debugger
could be useful, but not really that cool.

it would probably only be useful as a historical example or to 'update' for
80's hardware with US-Made Western Electric processors..

Summary unnecessarily condescending. (5, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237381)

The summary includes a slam (or two, depending on how you count) against Novell.

I have to say that despite my initial skepticism back when they bought it, I have come to believe that Novell has done a far better job throughout every part of their stewardship of the UNIX copyrights than anyone would have expected. Remember that when they acquired it the lawsuit over BSD was still ongoing... and the first thing that Novell said about it was that they would rather compete in the market than in court. Lawsuits have momentum, so it took a while to wind down, but the final settlement was remarkably positive: CSRG had to remove a token - three files - and Novell agreed not to sue anyone using the resulting code base.

I also had the opportunity to use UNIXware from Novell, and it was a solid release of System V... far better than SCO's awful version.

After their vigorous and aggressive response to SCO's actions, I think they deserve better than this.

how long this bliss will last? (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#20237435)

last time I checked [google.com] , Novell was a public company with the stock going down.

People come and go and with Linuxpie becoming more and more lucrative I would expect that CEO++ of Novell might say: "What the heck, why not?"

No Unix in Linux (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#20238283)

Of course there's no Unix in Linux. Everyone knows there's Microsoft Windows in Linux instead. It must be true, Microsoft said so.
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  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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