decoration decoration

When you want to know more...
For layout only
Site Map
About Groklaw
Legal Research
ApplevSamsung p.2
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Gordon v MS
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
MS Litigations
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
OOXML Appeals
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v Novell
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Unix Books


Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

You won't find me on Facebook


Donate Paypal

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.

What's New

No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

SFLC's Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent Promise
Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 11:53 AM EST

The Software Freedom Law Center's CTO Bradley Kuhn has issued a statement regarding the Novell-Microsoft agreements and how they will impact FOSS developers. They have analyzed in particular Microsoft's Patent Pledge for Non-Compensated Developers and see little value and in fact say it's worse than useless, because it creates an illusion of safety and because it limits severely what that developer is allowed to do with his work:
The patent covenant only applies to software that you develop at home and keep for yourself; the promises don't extend to others when you distribute. You cannot pass the rights to your downstream recipients, even to the maintainers of larger projects on which your contribution is built...

It's worse than useless, as this empty promise can create a false sense of security. Don't be confused by the illusion of a truce; developers are no safer from Microsoft patents now than they were before. Instead, Microsoft has used this patent pledge to indicate that, in their view, the only good Free Software developer is an isolated, uncompensated, unimportant Free Software developer.

Personally, I'd go further and say this is Microsoft language designed to kill the GPL and the FOSS development method, whether consciously or unconsciously. Why? Because if you can't share your software with anyone for fear of a patent infringement lawsuit, in what sense is it GPL? How are you part of a community, all building a common pool of code anyone can freely use? That is one of the main purposes of putting software under the GPL in the first place. It's also why Linux development was so much faster than proprietary software development ever can be. So who is going to stay within the lines of this so-called safety from being sued by Microsoft? Obviously nobody in the FOSS community. Microsoft gets to claim it has offered something wonderful, but in reality no one can actually benefit from its pledge without ceasing to be a member of the FOSS community.

That's a little bit like telling prisoners of conscience they can get out of prison if they deny and denounce the beliefs that got them imprisoned in the first place. Here, Microsoft agrees not to sue you unless you do something useful. It gets to retain its development model and business methods, but its chief competition must cease and desist or be sued into oblivion. Do you prefer dying by swallowing a poison pill or by firing squad? And just exactly why did Novell agree to something like this?

Here's his full statement, though, so you can make up your own mind. I'll put the Microsoft pledge after it, so you can refer to it.


Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent Promise

Last Thursday, Novell and Microsoft announced a new collaborative effort involving both licensing and technology. The Software Freedom Law Center has been following the situation, and as its CTO, I've held a particular interest in how it will impact Free Software developers. One result of the agreement, Microsoft's patent pledge to developers, has received significant interest from the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) development community.

A careful examination of Microsoft's Patent Pledge for Non-Compensated Developers reveals that it has little value. The patent covenant only applies to software that you develop at home and keep for yourself; the promises don't extend to others when you distribute. You cannot pass the rights to your downstream recipients, even to the maintainers of larger projects on which your contribution is built.

Further, to qualify for the pledge, a developer must remain unpaid for her work. Experience has shown that many FOSS developers eventually expand their work into for-profit consulting. Others are hired by companies that allow or encourage Free Software development on company time. In either situation, Microsoft's patent pledge is voided for that developer.

Even if the patent pledge were to have some use aside from these problems, our community simply could not rely on it, since Microsoft has explicitly reserved the right to change its terms at any time in the future. A developer relying on the pledge could wake up any day to find it revoked. She'd have to cease development on her non-commercial and (mostly) non-distributable modifications that were previously subject to the covenant.

In short, the pledge applies precariously to developers who work in a vacuum: those who write original software in their spare time, receive no payment for it, and do not distribute it to anyone under the GNU GPL. It's worse than useless, as this empty promise can create a false sense of security. Don't be confused by the illusion of a truce; developers are no safer from Microsoft patents now than they were before. Instead, Microsoft has used this patent pledge to indicate that, in their view, the only good Free Software developer is an isolated, uncompensated, unimportant Free Software developer.

by Bradley M. Kuhn, Chief Technology Officer, Software Freedom Law Center

Bradley M. Kuhn has served as CTO of SFLC since its inception. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), and has contributed to many Free Software development projects.

Copyright (C) 2006 Bradley M. Kuhn Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.


Microsoft’s Patent Pledge for Non-Compensated Developers

Many software developers, often referred to as “hobbyists,” write code not with the expectation of making money, but because they enjoy solving technical challenges and participating in a community of enthusiasts who recognize and encourage one another’s talents. One such community of hobbyist developers participate in the development of open source software. To further encourage these efforts, this pledge provides non-compensated individual hobbyist developers royalty-free use of Microsoft patents as set forth below.

It is Microsoft’s intent that this pledge be legally binding and enforceable as to individual hobbyist developers according to the terms below.

Non-Assertion of Patents Pledge

Microsoft hereby covenants not to assert Microsoft Patents against each Non-Compensated Individual Hobbyist Developer (also referred to as “You”) for Your personal creation of an originally authored work (“Original Work”) and personal use of Your Original Work. This pledge is personal to You and does not apply to the use of Your Original Work by others or to the distribution of Your Original Work by You or others. A “Non-Compensated Individual Hobbyist Developer” is an individual software developer (i.e., a person and not any corporation, partnership or other legal entity), including a developer of open source software, who receives no monetary payment or any other forms of consideration that can be valued monetarily for their creation of their Original Works. The fact that You may be employed as a software developer by, and receive a salary from, a corporation, partnership or other legal entity, does not disqualify You from treatment as a “Non-Compensated Individual Hobbyist Developer” under this pledge, provided Your activities related to the creation of Your Original Work are performed during Your free time and outside the scope of Your employment. The Microsoft Patents subject to this pledge are all patents issued world-wide to the extent they are owned or controlled by Microsoft or its majority owned subsidiaries. For additional information on obtaining rights under Microsoft patents to contribute Your Original Work to an open source project, please see Microsoft’s Patent Pledge for Hobbyist Contributors.

Microsoft reserves the right to terminate and revoke this pledge to You, as of the date granted, if You or an entity that You control asserts a patent infringement claim against a Microsoft product, service or technology. Reservation of Rights

Microsoft further reserves the right to prospectively update and revise the terms of this pledge, for example to accommodate applicable laws, rules, orders or regulations. The rights provided under this pledge are personal to You and are not for the benefit of others. All rights not expressly granted in this pledge are reserved by Microsoft.


SFLC's Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent Promise | 472 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
What were Novell thinking....
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:04 PM EST
....when they signed up with Microsoft. No good will come of it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is this SFLC's statement after auditing the deal
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:06 PM EST
I got a feeling this is the opinion of SFLC, before they audit the agreement.
Apparently, they agreed to do a confidential audit of the agreement, on the
subject of whether it is GPL-compliant
( My take: It
is. There is too many brilliant lawyers in the agreement.

This agreement paint Novell as a big hypocrite: They maintained their own
freedom but signed away others.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: peterhenry on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:07 PM EST
But interesting nonetheless......

--We have met the enemy and he is us......Pogo

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: peterhenry on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:08 PM EST
Nobody hear makes misteaks

--We have met the enemy and he is us......Pogo

[ Reply to This | # ]

SFLC's Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent P
Authored by: lgrant on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:09 PM EST
It would seem that anyone who fit into this narrow exception would not have to
worry about getting sued anyway. If they have to keep everthing to themselves,
Microsoft is never going to know whether or not they are infringing their
patents, so is unlikely to sue.

Lynn Grant

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft-Novell deal a hard sell
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:15 PM EST
Let's face it, it is a deal designed to benefit Microsoft and Novell, the two
parties that signed the agreement. What I cannot understand is why Novell wants
to portray this as a good deal for Open Source, a forth party. (I reserve the
phrase third party for Novell's customer)

The fact that Novell has to put so much spin into selling the benefits to open
source from the moment the deal is announced speaks volume. The more people
analyze this deal, the more they agree that there is at best, no benefit to open
source and/or free software. This is Novell's biggest problem. Only they seems
to be able to see benefits.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell badly miscalculated
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:20 PM EST
I think Novell is going to be *shocked* at the reaction to this deal. They're
going to be like that poor ISP down in Texas that signed a licensing agreement
with SCO, and then was vilified for "sleeping with the enemy" and lost
a significant chunk of its customers. Only in this case, Novell should have
known better. It's sad because I'll bet Novell really didn't do this with evil
intentions, it was just a dumb mistake. They were headed for the top, and now
they'll be just another also-ran.


[ Reply to This | # ]

I've been a faithful user of Debian...
Authored by: rsi on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:22 PM EST
for many years, and will continue to do so. When I install any new servers, I
will only buy equipment compatible with, or preferably certified to run Debian,
NOT Suse. Novel has done itself much harm.

You have to wonder if this has anything to do with the Novell vs. SCO lawsuit.
No, it would not be written down anywhere, so don't look for any clues in the
agreement. I only hope that when SCO goes bankrupt, the SCO IP is awarded to
IBM, not Novell!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Question: Isn't Microsoft granting what the law already grants???
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:26 PM EST
Question for you legal experts: A patent only restricts commercial use of an
idea, right? In other words, if Edison patents a light bulb, and I say,
"Cool idea!" and build my own and screw it in to light my own front
porch, there's no violation of Edison's patent, right? I can build anything I
like in my own garage, using all the patents I like, so long as I don't give or
sell it to anyone else.

So isn't Microsoft merely pledging what the law already grants?


[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: NoCalDrummer on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:44 PM EST
Perhaps Microsoft's real deal is to take over Unix (remember who actually OWNS
it?) and squash Linux in the wake. Imagine Windows-whatever (an overblown OS)
being replaced with UNIX (a large but stable OS) with a Microsoft equivalent of
Wine to allow legacy programs to function.

With UNIX in place they could probably run current Linux programs, current
Windows programs, and <ohmygod> current Macintosh programs. Oh, and in a
fit of brilliant naming, they'll probably call it Windows-X, since nothing of a
similar name exists... or will after they go after BSD Unix.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Lost Business
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:45 PM EST
I have to admin a few servers at one of my jobs which are all running Debian.
My boss felt uneasy about it and we talked about switching to SUSE because it's
a business supported distro. After what's happened, I really can't take an
action plan with SUSE involved in it and present it seriously to my boss. Just
to become a SUSE customer is to become directly involved with what's going on.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Lost Business - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 03:06 PM EST
more shades of Tolkien
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:48 PM EST
I really like this part: "Microsoft further reserves the right to
prospectively update and revise the terms of this pledge...." On whose
behalf was this "agreement" made, again? Are the open source
developers at the gates of Barad-Dur?

"Do not bandy words in your insolence with the Mouth of Sauron!" he
cried. "Surety you crave! Sauron gives none."
"The Return of the King" by J.R.R. Tolkien

[ Reply to This | # ]

Does this leagally constitute a threat?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:51 PM EST
"I hereby pledge that I *could* guarantee your safety, but abstain."

Failing to act when you know someone could get hurt, and consequently does,
constitutes depraved indifference, or some such. Does civil law have anything
similar? Microsoft has made a pledge which is not what they say it is. Are
they properly swathed in the legal verbiage so that no one can require that they
fulfil the pledge, or withdraw it completely?

Microsoft is perfectly capable of actually making such a pledge, and yet does
not. Is this merely advertising, or does this faux-pact cover some legal
vulnerability? Can it be parsed to create one? (When dealing with the devil,
your only leverage against him is the contract by which you are damned.)

Geek Unorthodox

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Linux/rms angle
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:51 PM EST
Here's a possible goal of the Novell/MS agreement.

Linus has been vocal in saying "Tivoization" doesn't faze him. As I
understand his position, he doesn't care what is done (within reason) as long as
the code is given back when the license requires it. The impossibility of
running the a modified code on the Tivo (in that case) is irrelevant, and Linus
doesn't see it as an end run around the GPL.

Now, rms means the GPL v3 to stop this, and Linus is on record saying he doesn't
like this.

What MS may have tried to do is drive a wedge between Linus and rms on this one:
get Linus and rms to disagree on what the Novell/MS pact means (and Linus has
already taken a wait and see approach, whereas Eben Moglen has spoken against
the pact).

Now, for many people, Linux is open source and open source is Linux. In the eyes
of these people, free software doesn't exist. They don't see a difference. They
may have heard the name Linus Torvalds. MS may have attempted to portray Linus
as being in the MS camp, whereas rms is the nasty little commie trying to break
everything around.

If true, this might mean that MS is scared of GPL v3, and trying to stop it by
polarizing the issue by making it appear they are "siding with

Anyway, just speculation, but it would be very in character from MS. Make a
move, and end up well whichever way it ends (either kill SuSE, or use it against
free software).

Comments ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Dog that did not bark in the night time.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 12:52 PM EST

Note what Bradley M. Kuhn did not say. He did not say the agreement violates the GPL. Given the mission of the Software Freedom Law Center, it should be clear that he would want to say that if he could. But apparently he does not feel he could say that.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why did Novell agree to something like this?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 01:07 PM EST
PJ asks: "And just exactly why did Novell agree to something like

Well, we all know why from the SEC filing: 348 million dollars, starting with
"an upfront payment to Novell of $240 million for SLES subscription
certificates, which Microsoft may use, resell or otherwise distribute over the
term of the agreement(...)".

[ Reply to This | # ]

SFLC's Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent Promise
Authored by: prayforwind on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 01:16 PM EST
Seems to me that this would restrict -only- Novell (or
anyone working on behalf of Novell) from contributing to
FOSS or distributing any original GPL'd code. If not, then
wouldn't they be left behind by all the other Linux
distribution companies (because they can't share code)?
Haven't they effectively isolated themselves from the rest
of the FOSS world? I know a Novell employee, that person is
as perplexed as I am.

jabber me:

[ Reply to This | # ]

SFLC's Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent P
Authored by: gbl on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 01:45 PM EST
I remember when Microsoft used to advertise its products by claiming that with its software and a PC the user would be free from the Ivory Tower attitudes of the white coated technicians who controlled access to the computer.

Now that Microsoft is the Ivory Tower they are doing all they can to make sure the users are kept well away from the computer except when mediated by Microsoft software.

The patent based attacks will, in the end, fail but not before there is a huge legal bust-up; way beyond anything we have yet seen.

If you love some code, set it free.

[ Reply to This | # ]

All or nothing
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 02:10 PM EST

One of the things that Microsoft wants to obtain through their deal with Novell is to donate some code to Open Source. Microsoft and Novell agreed to set up a joint venture which will work on specific projects and donate the code to Open Source in Novell's name.

One of the things that Novell agreed to with Microsoft is that Novell SuSE customers will not be sued by Microsoft. In their commentaries on the agreement both Microsoft and Novell have said that other distributions are still in Microsoft's legal sights. They both bragged and gloated over how much danger they think Red Hat is in. But this differentiation among Open Source users violates the GPL. The penalty for the violation is that Novell must cease distributing GPL code.

If Microsoft wants to donate code to Open Source, however devious the route, then they must also send a guarentee down the same route that all users of the Microsoft donated Open Source code have the same full rights under the GPL.

A more straightforward way for Microsoft to solve the problem would be for Microsoft to make promises like those made by IBM not to enforce their patents against Open Source. Microsoft cannot place restrictions on the use of the code they donate to Open Source and for sure they cannot differentiate among how distributions can use the code that they place in Open Source using Novell as a proxy. If Microsoft wants to donate code to Open Source then they will have to play by the same rules as everybody else.

Steve Stites

[ Reply to This | # ]

SFLC's Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent P
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 02:31 PM EST
I patched my redhat servers last night from my ubuntu desktop. I guess I should
look to be sued since I didn't do anything with suse or microsoft and I was
using a computer and it was for a commercial company, not for my hobby, and I
was getting paid.

god what would we would do without all that microsoft "IP".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Isn't this an anti-trust violation?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 03:17 PM EST
A careful examination of Microsoft's Patent Pledge for Non-Compensated Developers reveals that it has little value. The patent covenant only applies to software that you develop at home and keep for yourself; the promises don't extend to others when you distribute. You cannot pass the rights to your downstream recipients, even to the maintainers of larger projects on which your contribution is built.

Further, to qualify for the pledge, a developer must remain unpaid for her work. Experience has shown that many FOSS developers eventually expand their work into for-profit consulting. Others are hired by companies that allow or encourage Free Software development on company time. In either situation, Microsoft's patent pledge is voided for that developer.

If may be useless as a protection against being sued, but isn't an attempt by a monopoly to manipulate how other players can employ and pay staff and buy work carried out for them, by writing these conditions into contracts and licenses which the monopoly can dictate as a market dominant player, an unwarranted and serious anti-trust violation?

Microsoft should be reported to the US and EU anti-trust authorities for this.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Get ready for the next round folks.
Authored by: mikolos on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 03:22 PM EST
It's a safe bet that Groklaw and the Groklaw community will be there to report
on EVERY firework that is bound to come out of this ridiculous deal. It suddenly
feels like the SCO vs World lawsuits have the volume turned down in comparison,
not that we should let our collective gaurd down for even a second. I'm kind of
thankful to SCO actually, because the community has woken up, learnt how to
stand up for its freedom (thanks to PJ for showing us how truth really is an
effective weapon against the greedy) and prepared it for the *really* big
fights. PJ, looks like you'll only get to wear that red dress for a short time,
before you put your battle armour on again for the next, larger fight. There may
be no rest for the wicked, but there's even less rest for the free.

Mikolos (finally remembered my login)

Only dead fish go with the flow

[ Reply to This | # ]

Unwarranted Patent Law Creep
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 03:30 PM EST
The Microsoft "Promise" was meaningless to begin with. Patent law has
nothing to do with experimenting with or building something purely for personal
non-commercial use - which is the situation described.

The Microsoft "promise" was just a restatement of the rights an
individual already has. The real question what is Novel really trying to achieve
with this agreement?

[ Reply to This | # ]

A Formidable and Difficult Task
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 03:38 PM EST
Microsoft's Patent Pledge for Non-Compensated Developers is useless as a license or anything like a license. Its purpose is to distract the FOSS community from a clearheaded analysis of the MS-Novell Patent Protection Deal. It is intended to inflame our passions while providing no real information for discussion. MS wants us to muddle together all the announcements that were made at the same time. Forget the pledge. Only the announcement of the MS-Novell Patent deal is significant.

Notice, I said "the announcement of the ... deal" is significant. The deal itself is between MS and Novell, and cannot affect anyone else directly. But the announcement, and the mindshare that the deal gets among CEOs and COBs, is Microsoft's real goal.

Here is the message Microsoft is sending via the MS-Novell Patent Protection Deal:

Write and distribute all the free software you want. Build Linux into the premier OS of the 21st century. This will allow you to offer distribution and support services in a truly competitive market. You will thrive by offering these services. Then you will pay Microsoft a tax on all the revenue you generate or we will threaten to sue your customers. We don't actually have a case against any free software users, but if we have learned anything from SCO vs IBM, it is that we don't need one. Our new business plan is to extract as much tax as we can before someone calls our bluff.

Now, mocking the Patent Pledge for Non-Compensated Developers, castigating Novell for making a business decision, whining about how dastardly and evil Microsoft is, and loudly proclaiming how the GPL does ( or does not) still protect FOSS developers worldwide, are all delightful and entertaining activities. But if you are interested in the maximum adoption of Linux on the desktop and SAMBA in the server room, you should be thinking about what to say to your boss about how to gain the competitive advantage that Microsoft does not want him to have.

This community should brainstorm ways to get into the notoriously timid minds of the corporate executives and directors in the industrialized nations and challenge them to improve their lot by resisting Microsoft's bullying tactics. This is a formidable task, and appears impossible. Just like exposing a complicated and obscure meritless civil lawsuit for the fraud that it really is appeared impossible three years ago.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 05:55 PM EST
Dear Microsoft,

I hear that your founder now intends to make some progress in the fight against malaria.

I would submit that cracking this will take some scientific progress. There are some fundamental questions to be answered; starting with 'shall we treat the humans, or the mosquitoes', and working up. If Bill does crack it, he will deserve a Nobel Prize (Medicine, Physics, or Peace. Not Computing, there isn't one).

Many individuals and organizations are willing to collaborate. If you need the use of a supercomputer to model the mechanism of infection, and to model how various candidate drugs would interfere with it, then I know where you can get it free or cheaply. I know you have the money to buy, but this is a charitable venture.

You will, however, need some software that does not exist yet. Windows and Word it isn't; and surely you don't think you could sell the resulting software. It won't be that kind of software. How about, while we're developing it, we let it live on SourceForge so that all who want to can contribute their talents.

So by all means sell Windows and Word to bring in some cash, but this new venture is serious stuff. You're doing it for a different reason. We need a new way. Deeper collaboration and scientific openness. Microsoft can't crack it on their own, and they don't need to. Let go of the control, and scientists the world over will help.

Is this deal with Novell the start of it ? If so, do tell.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Excuse me...
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 06:49 PM EST

...but exactly how does Novell equal the FOSS community? Microsoft has made a deal with Novell, regarding Suse.
But Suse isn't Linux, Novell's patent portfolio isn't the only one relevant to Linux, and Microsoft's real ability to sue the world+dog for infringement is rather limited.
Microsoft is doing what it does best, spreading FUD, and this time has come up big. But it is NOT the end of the world, despite what Microsoft would have everyone believe.
Truth is, Microsoft is scared by the prospects of losing revenue (think stock options), and is becoming increasingly desperate to choke off FOSS. This latest development should be seen for what it is, not for what Microsoft wants us to believe it is.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SFLC's Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent P
Authored by: sbungay on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 07:06 PM EST
I see this as being MS stepping up to the plate to relieve a down and out SCO.
Remember, keep your friends close but your enemies closer. SCO took the
adverserial path against GPL and FOSS and I think the price they will pay for
their greed will be that of ceasing to exist.
MS wants to continue to exist. They know that ownership of information,
patents on ideas and knowlege, puts the pocket book of the world in their
bank-account. To this end they make nice to their adversary, they practice
diplomacy (the art of saying 'nice doggy' until you can get your hands on a big
enough stick).
Making a pact with MS is a very stupid thing. I think Novell was played like a

Programmer: A red eyed mumbling mamal that converses with inanimate objects.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Typical Microsoft
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 07:06 PM EST

Here they go again: sticking a license in your face and claiming that by reading it you have agreed to it.
This is one leopard that won't change its spots.

[ Reply to This | # ]

    What about the other one?
    Authored by: leopardi on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 07:32 PM EST
    There are two pledges on that Microsoft page.

    The other one is "Microsoft's Patent Pledge for Individual Contributors to". What does this other staement mean? How does it apply to me?

    What does the following provision do? Who would sign this? What recourse is there if different parties interpret it differently?

    " agrees that as a condition of receiving the attached contribution of Your Original Work, does not receive from You the contributor any licenses, covenants or any other rights under any Microsoft intellectual property with respect to that Original Work, and will ensure that all further recipients of this Original Work will be subject to this same condition. 'Original Work' has the meaning as set forth in Microsoft's Patents Pledge for Individual Contributors to"

    In particular, what would happen if I took GPL software from Microsoft, altered it and contributed it to under both GPL and this provision? Would this provision just invalidate the GPL I received from Microsoft and therefore not allow me to contribute GPL software from Microsoft to

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    My Covenant to closed source developers...
    Authored by: mram on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 07:43 PM EST
    Especially those working for MS.

    In appreciation of the generosity you (MS) have displayed towards hobbyist
    open-source developers I pledge the following.

    I hereby promise not to sue you if I find you in possession of my used underwear
    / socks...but only as long as it is found in the right-side pocket of your

    I also reserve the right to revoke this irrevocable covenant on the advice of my

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    We may be missing Microsoft's biggest win
    Authored by: Jude on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 07:52 PM EST
    This deal offers essentially no protection to most of the Linux community, but
    it *DOES* prevent Novell's patents from being used as a defensive weapon against
    Microsoft patent attacks.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • WRONG - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 12:05 PM EST
      • Wow... - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 04:53 PM EST
        • Wow... - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 11 2006 @ 10:03 AM EST
    Some sales guy would just see the deal this way:
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 08:21 PM EST
    1. Novell paid 210 millions for SuSE believing in profitting from the deal.
    2. No profit in the planned time.
    3. Sell SuSE for 348 millions to MS, just don't tell it because of
    4. Result: 138 millions PROFIT, excluding some expenses and taxes.
    --- Excellent deal --- go to beach and enjoy life ---


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Novell HAS lost its right to distribute Linux
    Authored by: RTH on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 08:40 PM EST
    1. By means of a 'covenant not to sue' Novell signed a deal granting patent
    privileges to its customers relative to other recipients of the same GPL'd

    2. They can't ask us to prove this (i.e. find out somehow what patents and
    where) because their own press release is a stipulation of (1).

    3. Also, MS's immediate racketeering threat to maybe sue others, not objected to
    by Novell, is further confirmation that this stipulation is the intended meaning
    of the agreement.

    4. So Novell linux customers have the freedom to use the software in the
    expectation that they will not be sued by MS.

    5. Freedom is licence.

    6. So a specific freedom is 'a' licence.

    7. So Novell customers received a patent licence from Novell for use of software
    without threat of MS legal action.

    8. These recipients cannot pass this on to anyone else.

    9. The GPL says that any licence you grant must be able to be passed on by the
    recipient to others, or you lose the right to distribute under the GPL.

    10. (7), (8) and (9) necessarily entail that Novell no longer has the right to
    distribute Suse Linux (or any other GPL'd work).

    Furthermore, the loss is permanent, and is not necessarily retrieved even by
    rescinding the agreement, because MS can maintain that they will continue to
    honour its terms even without Novell's participation; and this came about
    because of an agreement made by Novell:

    "If, as a consequence of ... any ... reason ... conditions are imposed on
    you ... that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you
    from the conditions of this License."

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Correct me if I'm too naive.
    Authored by: Fruny on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 10:22 PM EST
    And apologies in advance if that point has already been discussed.

    Let's assume for a second that Novell's deal doesn't violate the GPL since they
    did't receive a patent license themselves (their own argument, I believe).
    Novell's customers receive a license which is limited to their own usage of
    Linux (and whatever else is actually covered) - it does not cover people who
    they would have, in turn, distributed Linux to.

    Since Novell's customers cannot extend that Microsoft-granted license to their
    own customers, the GPL would bar them from redistributing Linux.

    Could *that* constitute a violation on Novell's part, since their deal with
    Microsoft spoliates their customers from their own right to redistribute Linux
    under the GPL? Or am I delusional?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So for what are the millions?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, November 09 2006 @ 11:27 PM EST
    I have had SUSE 10.1 running on some of my computers. I was testing it in hope
    to eventually migrate all our system to one stable platform. Susy is not bad
    from technical point of view and it wouldn't mind purchasing support from such
    strong supporter of Linux like Novell. Also I was advocating use of Novell's
    secure authentication system to be deployed in one of largest organization in
    the world.

    Now, in the light of recent development I seriously consider to look for much
    less risky alternative like (any OTHER solid Linux distro, but SUSE ) Linux
    distro not encumbered with Microsoft's double talk and shadow dealings.

    At this point, I believe, that Novell life spin as productive innovative
    corporation is very limited; like Borland, like Corel and many others who for
    short gain give up products which potentially where threatening to Microsoft

    I am asking myself. Why Microsoft would want pay so much money to Novell?

    To be able to advocate SUSE Linux? Microsoft could do it without paying anybody
    anything. Just like I used to do it, for free, in my own time.

    To be able to provide better support for OpenOffice standard document format?
    Ha.. Ha.. Microsoft could do it for free long time ago. After all the open
    document specs are available and Microsoft doesn't have to pay millions to
    Novell for that. Why should they? ODF even does not belong to Novell.

    For giving worthless permission to open source developers that Microsoft will
    not sue them if they stay at home and do not show own code to anyone. How they
    could continue do open source if they will not be able to open source. For
    that Microsoft didn't need to pay Novell millions.

    So for what are the millions? I do not know? Perhaps for creating rift in Linux
    community? Right, it would be worth something, wouldn't it?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    True - it's practically meaningless
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 01:34 AM EST
    It's useless. Big deal. Who needs it anyway.

    The way I saw it was this -- money vs freedom.

    Take money for your code (and how much do you think you'd get if you were
    working for someone coding whatever - $100K per year, perhaps maybe more?) The
    code most developers write is just another day, just another dollar. It
    disappears into the abyss, gets modified, replaced, etc... It's not like you
    type 5 lines of code and get rich and achieve immortality or anything. How much
    is your code really worth? (All other arguments aside).

    Ok, so you don't want compensation for it, but instead, you want a certain type
    of specific performance (i.e., freely redistributable ad infinitum). That's
    fine, that's perfectly fine. You have every right. But again, just because you
    demand the specific performance of free redistribution ad infinitum doesn't make
    the code worth any more than if you took money for it. YOUR input into the code,
    that is. You could argue that locking code up into a proprietary safe reduces
    its value, that you could. But your labor contribution is worth the same. Your
    actual input is worth the same. Open source just extracts greater value out of
    it. Anyway... on with my point.

    My understanding of the situtation is that this MS-Novell deal preserves the not
    taking money side of things. Think about a job coding 40hrs per week and your
    salary per year. Contributing a little bit of code to Novell's "open-source
    but not OSI-compliant" proprietary software, in terms of money, is probably
    not that big a deal. Provided you're feeling charitable and maybe would like to
    get something to put on your resume, etc... The specific performance of free
    redistribution ad infinitum interferes with Microsoft's patents (don't we all
    agree on that?) and if they offered you that specific performance on Novell's
    "open-source but not OSI-compliant" software produced in collaboration
    with MS wrt this deal, that would be a violation of Section 7 of the GPL. You
    WANT them to violate the GPL? Perhaps some folks do? I very seriously doubt that
    either Microsoft or Novell want to violate the GPL.

    The only place it's not meaningless is as it applies to the software that will
    be produced with this agreement - software that explicitly plans to use
    Microsoft patented technology. In other words, you can write free code for this
    particular collaborative effort, or if you want to get paid you can apply for a
    job with Novell. That's how I understand it.

    As far as it concerns GPL and OSI-compliant open source software outside of the
    collaborative efforts of MS and Novell, the promise IS probably WORSE than
    meaningless, because not only does it have nothing to do with such software, the
    idea that it does can be read into the agreement, and can be used by people,
    consciously or UNCONSCIOUSLY, to spread FUD.

    I think that perhaps it might be a very good idea for Novell to come out and say
    that this agremeent in no way affects anything other than their own proprietary
    "non-OSI compliant open source" software that will be produced in
    collaboration with Microsoft for this particular project. But that much is
    basically obvious. In other words, any lawsuits contrary to this obviousness
    would be bogus. Not necessarily fail, not even necessarily fail to scare and
    change behavior, but bogus nonetheless. Unless, of course, it's one of those 200
    some possible problems that has already been identified (which Novell signing
    the deal has nothing do to with).

    Remember -- the deal is designed, or appears to be designed in such a way --
    like those Russian handcuffs - the more you struggle, the tighter they get.
    (that's also in a Keith Richards song).

    I always felt that the best way to fight Darl was to ignore him. See, this is
    the way FUD works. The more you talk about it, the more effective it is. It's
    like those handcuffs.

    This deal has nothing to do with anything else other than this deal. And yes,
    it's true - Novell will miss out on perhaps the most important aspect of open
    source - the "soil". The developer-hours that can be accumulated when
    incentive is provided for developers to collaborate internationally, as is the
    case with GPL and OSI-approved open source licenses. That's what makes open
    source so powerful. Novell misses out on that wrt the software that will be
    produced as part of this collaborative effort. But as it has been made
    incredibly obvious over the past week or so, it would violate the GPL to apply a
    GPL license to something that has Microsoft's (or anyone else's) patent
    technology inside of it, unless Microsoft granted those patents to any
    open-source developers. That Microsoft doesn't want to do this is unfortunate,
    but certainly within their rights.

    And even if someone, anyone says that this deal somehow applies to anything
    other than the Novell-MS collaborative efforts, it's a bogus "applies
    to". It's just FUD.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Another analogy
    Authored by: macrorodent on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 04:50 AM EST
    PJ: That's a little bit like telling prisoners of conscience they can get out of prison if they deny and denounce the beliefs that got them imprisoned in the first place.

    I think an even better analogy with Microsoft's "pledge" is a dissident in a totalitarian state who is told he can freely criticise the Party and the Great Leader privately, as long as nobody hears what he says or reads his writings... Tha kind of "freedom" existed even in the old Soviet Union.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Not a promise to FOSS developers
    Authored by: The Cornishman on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 05:18 AM EST
    I think it's best to characterize the promise as NOT being made to Free Software
    developers, at all. Microsoft promises not to sue if I am developing unpaid and
    only for my own use, but won't let me pass that protection on to anyone to whom
    I give the software. This means that the software isn't Free at all. I propose
    the term Pet Software for this class. I can't set it Free and hope for it to
    survive, but it is protected from predators while it stays in my home. I think
    the analogy works quite well.

    (c) assigned to PJ

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Novell will maintain the GPL v2
    Authored by: oneandoneis2 on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 05:36 AM EST

    Eben Moglen reckons that Novell's deal with MS is totally incompatible with GPL v3.

    So that must mean that if/when the GPL v3 comes out, Novell will maintain SUSE at v2, right?

    So every distro will be at least partially v2 - the kernel can't be changed to v3 - and at least one distro will be completely v2 - Novell can't release Suse as v3 thanks to this deal.

    Isn't this going to make the GPL v3 a really hard sell? "No distro uses it universally, some distros don't use it at all, stick with GPL v2, it's the simple & popular option!"

    Far from this deal being a really good reason why we need the GPL v3, it could be v3's death knell. Especially if Sun opts to release Java as v2 only, which they might still do. . .

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    But, what about the thing I value?
    Authored by: Ian Al on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 06:17 AM EST
    Thanks to everyone here and on Lamlaw and IV for helping me determine what this
    thing is and what I should do about it.

    My concern is If Novell produce some feature for
    that is tainted with Microsoft stuff and it gets adopted by the OOo team then
    they will be liable to be sued by Microsoft. I will be liable to be sued for
    using it. Not that they and I aren't already, but MS can FUD even more strongly
    that they contributed to OOo.

    Star Office users are OK because of the SUN patent Mutually Assured Distruction
    agreement similar to Novell's latest blunder. That is just an additional
    assurance that these sort of agreements can only be a danger to open source
    makers and users.

    How can we be sure that the team will reject anything that comes
    from Suse or Novell?

    Ian Al

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    SFLC's Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent P
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 09:07 AM EST
    As I feared, Microsoft's aim is to destroy the Open Source community. Kill the
    community, you kill Linux!
    Years ago a comic strip writer by the name of Al Capp
    wrote a strip by the name of Li'l Abner. Mr. Capp was a very outspoken critic of
    Big Business and Government waste and intervention. One of his favorite comments
    was "What is GOOD for General Bullmoose (General Motors)was GOOD for the U.S.A.
    We can now change that to "What is GOOD for General Ballmer is GOOD for the
    U.S.A. (and the World)"

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    What a coincindence !
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 09:07 AM EST
    Bill Gates was in Brussels yesterday, trying to drum up support for software
    patents in Europe.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Here's a thought...
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 09:25 AM EST

    Has it occured to anybody that M$ might not be going after Linux but OpenOffice and that this whole thing is a smokescreen? What relevant IP does Novell own in that space? Anybody?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    MS funding Novell?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 09:37 AM EST
    Is this agreement just a way for MS to fund Novell? I mean, everyone says that
    the agreement is useless, that it changes nothing, except Novell's bank

    But why?

    Somewhere deep in the recesses of Steve Balmer's mind, there lies the desire to
    "own" Linux. If, as has been theorized, MS is behind SCO suing over
    Linux, maybe MS never considered that Novell would get in to the fight. And now
    that they have, and it looks like they'll win regarding copyrights, MS has to
    change horses. Novell would seem to be having difficulties, so why not throw
    some cash their way to help out.

    What if Novell wins against SCO, and proves they own the copyrights, and MS buys
    Novell? Given MS's past performance, I shudder to think what they would (at
    least try to) do with the copyrights and the rights to all of the UNIX licenses
    they would acquire.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft Endorsed SUSE Linux Enterprise
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 11:24 AM EST
    On Novell web site is a big add Microsoft Endorsed SUSE Linux Enterprise.

    I heard that Microsoft will distribute 75,000 coupons and spend 40 mill on adds
    prompting suse Linux. I guess they will add a button to the Get The Facts FUD
    camping “Click here to obtain virtual SUSE coupon”. But I thing they will have
    to search and replace the acronym TCO to perhaps CEO. Microsoft CEO is .. than..
    Ya that will work!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Authored by: jazzyjoe on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 12:49 PM EST
    The questionis: How much has changed for Linux users due to this deal? Answer:
    Nothing. MS is now als always just als capable of sueing Linux users for
    infringement of MS patents (if there is any). The deal didn't bring law suits
    any closer, it only served to keep us aware of the possibility.

    Probably the only reason for Novell to join in with this mess is propaganga:
    they can proclaim that people are 'safe' with Novell, and not with Red Hat. They
    might harvest 2 or 3 sales extra from people who actually believe this.

    What puzzles me most is: Novell, knowing fully well how well deals with MS have
    gone down in the past, wants us to join them in believing that this deal means
    anything. With eyes wide shut, they sign something that says that MS can alter
    whatever is signed.

    Poor Novell. They managed to establish themselves as gullible fools. For the
    rest of us, nothing has changed.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    A question regarding patents.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 02:24 PM EST
    I was wondering whether it is actually possible to sue a developer for writing
    and distributing source code.

    As far as I am aware, patents only offer control of use and commercial
    exploitation of an idea. It does not prevent research on, or communication of
    the idea or an embodiment of the idea (as in source code distribution), nor does
    it prevent building of prototypes etc. If this is true, only end users and
    commercial exploiters of the patented idea, and not the open source developer,
    or service provider can be sued for royalties. Am I right about this?

    I wonder if this is why Microsoft is trying to target paid developers in the
    agreement. Are they trying to claim that payment for employment is commercial
    exploitation? It is difficult to see how Microsoft can argue this in court if
    what is being paid for is the programmer's services and not the end product
    which is code which is given away freely. Targeting companies that provide
    support services is likewise difficult for Microsoft - they are only providing a
    service, not the patented product.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    The thing everyone keeps missing...
    Authored by: on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 02:42 PM EST
    Novell is a company that likes, even prefers, to sell its products to other companies. These other companies are run by suits that, for the most part, trust other companies more than the "long-haired smellies", who, in the ignorance possesed by these suits, fail to realize that it's their own people (or someone comparable) writing the software.

    If you're willing to stipulate the above, then a deal between MS and Novell, wherein Novell and MS do what all big companies do, which is to cross-license patents and agree not to sue either other or their customers, will be viewed as a good thing. So, this helps two companies make money.

    This is all I can see left, since Novell has publically refuted the suspicions that this was about MS getting someone to admit that linux infringes MS-owned patents.

    Beyond that, there's nothing, since all MS has promised is to not sue people that are writing code for their own use, and which MS would be unaware of, since the code isn't being distributed. Bloody hard to sue someone for something you don't know they're doing.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Only solution: not enter into the M$ game at all, but consider/treat it as illegal
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 03:29 PM EST
    Its completely clear that the only solution is, not to
    enter at all into the M$ game, but to treat this and M$ as
    illegal and activate the penal justice.

    I'm very astonished why now the whole world analizes what
    M$ decreted and its consequences, as it would be law.

    1) In fact, nothing juridically relevant happened than
    that M$ payed something to any bancrupt firma, that it
    affirms or make believe the population that M$ would have
    patent rights on Linux, and that M$ also uses this as
    oportunity to advise publically that everybody who dont
    pay a M$-fee for Linux in future could be processed for
    supposed patent infractions.

    Juridically, this is completely irrelevant for 3rds, in
    the same manner as M$ would have claimed this alone
    without Novell. (At least according to the european
    laws - I ask me what kind of law is existing in the USA.)

    In addition, at least in Germany it is forbidden the
    unjustified claiming of patents (Patentanmassung), and in
    the best case people like M$ would have to explain in
    justice exactly what rights they claim. And the penal
    justice can begin to examine extorsion.

    2) The FSF should be more clear in the next GPL, that the
    suspension of their rights by software authors is only
    valid for any distribution covered by the GPL itself, but
    not for any distribution outside or against the GPL; for
    that continue the normal rights by the authors against
    end-users, responsables for such distributions etc. And
    that users/buyers/comerciants of such (M$ or whomever 's)
    pirat copies will have to pay license and indemnization
    calculated by the licence-fee what they payed illegally
    (to M$ etc) and the estimated proportion of 'licensed
    work' on the whole distribution. When such an user pays
    X license-fee to Novell but - for example - Novell brought
    in just 1/1000 of the amount of the total work of the
    Distro, then it must be correct for such an end user and
    for Nowell that they have to pay 1000x X fee and
    indemnization to the programmers of the Distro because of
    their distribution/use of that work outside the GPL and

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    How can Microsoft license software at all
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 07:19 PM EST
    When it's actually SCO that owns and controls all software because all software
    uses binary code, binary code is in Unix and therefore all software is a
    derivative of SCO's Unix?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    How likely is it that Microsoft will risk directly sueing anyone?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 07:59 PM EST
    A great deal of discussion, here and elsewhere, has been around whether this
    deal strengthens Microsoft's hand if they decide to sue developers, distributors
    and/or users.

    And whether it indicates that they're gearing up to do just that.

    But with or without this deal just how likely is it that M$ would directly
    assert their patents and sue anyone?

    I'd say that there's an argument for the answer being "not very". And
    that this deal is no more and no less than their next FUD campaign now that SCO
    (their, alleged by some, previous proxy) is about to become legal roadkill.

    I'd say they've got some major problems with that strategy, and know it:

    Firstly - It's quite possible they could argue that some bits of Linux (as in
    distros, not necessarily the kernel) infringe their patents. But those
    infringements would, by definition of the GPL, be unintentional - otherwise they
    would have been removed or re-engineered by now.

    And it's my understanding that you can only sue someone (or at least get any
    kind of damages out of them) if they continue to wilfully infringe your patent
    after you've given them fair notice of the infringement.

    Unlike SCO's "we own everything" argument, M$ could only point at
    specific modules or protocols etc. And a few weeks, or months at most, later
    there'd be a new version of the package or kernel that worked around the patent.
    No gain for M$ there.

    Secondly - With the EU ordering them to release interoperability and protocol
    information, and fining them for not doing so, plus their failure regarding the
    FAT patent, it's not clear how many of the patents they theoretically hold would
    ultimately stand up.

    And you just know that the second they wielded a particular patent as a weapon
    the whole Linux community would go on a major "prior art" easter egg
    hunt to get the Patent Office to revoke it!

    Thirdly - IBM have bet a fair bit of their business strategy on Linux and
    they've got a patent portfolio that could fill an office building!

    Any direct attack on Linux would be an attack on IBM's business. How sure can M$
    be that their new toy Vista is safe from counter-attack?

    And isn't there a legal principle that, if a person/entity acts in such a way as
    to give the reasonable impression that they may sue you, then you can apply for
    summary judgements etc as if they had actually sued you?

    So even if they went after, say, Red Hat that wouldn't preclude IBM from giving
    the Nazgul their next post-SCO assignment.

    And finally - While there are competing OS's in the high-end and specialised
    markets - many of them IBM's - only the *nix's and Linux compete in the
    lower-end, and to some increasing extent the PC (non-Mac) desktop, market.

    So how would the many and various anti-competition regulatory authorities
    already on Microsoft's back react to a direct attempt by M$ to kill one of their
    small number of competitors? Badly I would say - patents or no patents!

    So, direct action using patents or another FUD storm? My bet's on the latter.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    OpenSuse meter
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, November 10 2006 @ 08:46 PM EST

    As of now, OpenSuse is ranked 2nd on Distrowatch (2055 and sinking).
    It'll be an interesting to follow. What better place to monitor any immediate fallout from their deal...

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    SFLC's Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent P
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, November 11 2006 @ 07:09 AM EST
    It feels like Microsoft attempting to control things.

    "Contribute all you like, but contribute via SuSE Linux"

    No thanks. I'll contribute all I like, but I'll contribute to whichever repository/project I like. If you want to copy it to SuSE, that is fine by me, that helps.

    We have an Internet now. Anything goes.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
    All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
    Comments are owned by the individual posters.

    PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )