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Samba Team Asks Novell to Reconsider
Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 05:11 PM EST

The Samba team has issued a strongly worded statement condemning Novell's actions, and it asks Novell to reconsider. I reproduce it here, for the record, in full.

For context, here's the Microsoft & Novell Interoperability Collaboration page on Microsoft's website; and the equivalent on Novell's, which provides links to the webcast of the November 2nd joint announcement, as well as a transcript. If you wish to ask Novell any questions, here's the Novell page for that.


Samba Team Asks Novell to Reconsider

The Samba Team disapproves strongly of the actions taken by Novell on November 2nd.

One of the fundamental differences between the proprietary software world and the free software world is that the proprietary software world divides users by forcing them to agree to coercive licensing agreements which restrict their rights to share with each other, whereas the free software world encourages users to unite and share the benefits of the software.

The patent agreement struck between Novell and Microsoft is a divisive agreement. It deals with users and creators of free software differently depending on their "commercial" versus "non-commercial" status, and deals with them differently depending on whether they obtained their free software directly from Novell or from someone else.

The goals of the Free Software community and the GNU GPL allow for no such distinctions.

Furthermore, the GPL makes it clear that all distributors of GPL'd software must stand together in the fight against software patents. Only by standing together do we stand a chance of defending against the peril represented by software patents. With this agreement Novell is attempting to destroy that unified defense, exchanging the long term interests of the entire Free Software community for a short term advantage for Novell over their competitors.

For Novell to make this deal shows a profound disregard for the relationship that they have with the Free Software community. We are, in essence, their suppliers, and Novell should know that they have no right to make self serving deals on behalf of others which run contrary to the goals and ideals of the Free Software community.

Using patents as competitive tools in the free software world is not acceptable. Novell, as a participant in numerous debates, discussions and conferences on the topic knew this to be the case. We call upon Novell to work with the Software Freedom Law Center to undo the patent agreement and acknowledge its obligations as a beneficiary of the Free Software community.


Samba Team Asks Novell to Reconsider | 491 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Another reason to reconsider
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 05:23 PM EST
Eben Moglen says that not Novell but its customers may be violating the GPL.

" [If] the patent license Microsoft has granted to Novell customers only
extends to Novell customers, then Novell customers cannot redistribute the
software freely. According to Moglen, this may violate the terms of the license.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here, please.
Authored by: The_Pirate on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 05:24 PM EST

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic here, please.
Authored by: The_Pirate on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 05:27 PM EST
...If you must?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Hear, Hear!
Authored by: stutchbury on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 06:13 PM EST
Well done, the Samba Team.

I hope other influential FOSS teams make their feelings known in an equally
unambiguous fashion.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Samba Team Asks Novell to Reconsider
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 06:30 PM EST
Good. I Agree. However, I think that the Samba team should contribute to the
negotiations rather than outright dismissing them. Since there are no
alternatives presented in this recommendation, I advise Novell to 1) publicly
acknowledge receipt of the message and 2) request contributions from the
community at large; including, but not limited to the Samba team.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell FAQ
Authored by: tuxi on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 06:31 PM EST

Is it me, or is Novell using circular logic in their FAQ (see News Picks)?

What value is a covenant not to sue customers? Novell won't sue Microsoft's customers? They never would have. Likewise, I would have expected Microsoft to sue Novell if they were distributing patent-infringing software.

In Novell's FAQ, they claim that there is no knowledge of patent infringements in Linux. What is the covenant for?

I just don't follow what the basis for this FUD is nor do I understand what Novell and Microsoft got out of the deal. Is it too late to back out as the SAMBA team has requested? I certainly hope not.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Samba Team Asks Novell to Reconsider
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 06:48 PM EST
If it isn't too late to back out - do it! do it now!

the interoperability excuse is nonsense

the open source world adheres to open standards and
everything is out there for all to see and program to.

so that excuse it no excuse for this deal

undo it! I got suse off all my machines - I was mostly
ubuntu anyway but suse is gone - sorry suse developers you
had a great before novell got a hold of you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell won't back down...
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 07:01 PM EST
Of course Novell won't back down on this. Novell doesn't care one single cent
about the GPL - it's a corporation, and all they care about is money and how
they can make things work for them.

This is exactly why I've been arguing against corporate involvement in the Linux
kernel for a long time now. I'd rather have a more ancient and non-workable
kernel than accept a trojaned donation from a corporation.

We really need the kernel protected by GPL v3 - Linus will never consent to
this, he's now 'owned' by the big corporate interests, his ongoing income is
dependant on him staying a corporate shill. And to do that, the Linux kernel
must stay a corporate playground.

I'd really like to see kernel developers (the ones that aren't corporate shills)
all release their code under the GPL v3, and in fact a fork of the Linux kernel
is in order. The vast majority of the Linux kernel coders need to agree to
this, fork it, and then leave the the 'official' Linux kernel development
process. Anything that's GPL v2 and where the copyright owner won't allow it to
be redistributed under GPL v3 should be stripped from the forked kernel.

Linus [and Co.] has to understand that he created a public kernel, and that it
belongs to the public. Involving corporate interest is not in the best interest
of the public, nor of the GNU GPL. I'm sure Linus is now regretting releasing
the Linux kernel under the GPL, and wishing he'd used the BSD license instead.

The FSF needs to be absolutely sure of its legal position here and then take
legal action against Novell for breach of the GPL license and have the court put
a stop to Novell distributing any GPL software until this is resolved by the
court. I don't care if it's Novell, IBM, Redhat, as soon as they start evading
the GPL, they're up to no good and we're better off without them. Period.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Strong words are not enough
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 07:12 PM EST
While I applaud the Samba team for being the first to strongly condemn this
deal, it's not enough. I hope to see several, even many, contributors to Linux
and applications who own the copyrights, serve Novell with cease-and-desist
letters demanding that they stop distributing their copyright code since Novell
is in violation of the terms of the GPL.

The GPL is too important to screw around. SCO got hammered with a frontal
attack, now Microsoft is trying an end run, using Novell as a front. Novell is
now a somewhat naive victim of Microsoft's end-run attack on the GPL. Novell,
and *every other distributor* of GPL code, need to know that the GPL community
will react strongly and decisively to any attempt whatsoever to damage the
integrity of the GPL.

It's a shame, because I think Novell really has its heart in the right place,
witness their hard work on the SCO case. But this was a serious mistake on
their part, and an example needs to be made so that others Linux distributors
won't let Microsoft push them around.

You can bet good money that Microsoft is *currently* putting pressure on other
Linux distributors, probably heavy pressure. A *strong* reaction from the GPL
community, one that does serious damage to Novell's bottom line, will help other
companies make the right choice. Each company must understand that, no matter
what pressure Microsoft applies, giving in to Microsoft will result in a death
sentence from the GPL community.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Can continue to accept Samba contributions?
Authored by: leopardi on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 07:14 PM EST
How does the Samba team regard "Microsoft's Patent Pledge for Individual Contributors to"?

Will they allow Samba patches and new Samba versions to be contributed to via a process which includes the following condition?

" 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"

Does ths Samba team have any say in the matter? Does the condition itself invalidate the GPL? Will adopt this condition? Can continue to accept Samba contributions when the Samba team has set itself against the agreement with Microsoft? Why has Novell seemingly avoided these types of specific questions in their 'FAQ'?

[ Reply to This | # ]

This makes Jeremy Allison's position interesting
Authored by: eamacnaghten on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 07:18 PM EST
This will make Jeremy Allison's position interesting. He is a leading SAMBA developer who works for novell. Hmm, I wonder how he feels about all this....

I think I may ask him... I will get back to you...

Web Sig: Eddy Currents

[ Reply to This | # ]

You woke up this morning
Authored by: NZheretic on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 07:25 PM EST
With apologies to A3...

Scene: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer driving though Redmond.

You woke up this morning
Got your penguin
Bill G. always said to stay
The Number One

He said: You've a budget of billions
You've got burn to shine,
But you get the suckers to sign,
With the deals for their demise.

You woke up this morning
All the love had gone,
No Judge will ever hold you
to whats right or wrong.

But stocks good looking, baby,
I believe you're E.U. fined,(shame about it),
You get suckers to sign,
With deals for their demise.

You woke up this morning
The worlds turned upside down,
Thing's ain't been the same
Since the GNUs walked into town.

But you've a budget of billions
You've got that patent mine.
You get suckers to sign,
With deals for their demise.

When you got up this morning everything you did was gone, Customers want vendor neutral all along. Ringing like a bell from techs to C.I.O.s, all one voice telling you there's something you should know. Past years you were flying but today you're so low - ain't it times like these that make you wonder if you'll ever know the meaning of things as they appear to the others; OEMs, vendor competitors, end users and developers. Don't you wish they didn't function, wish you didn't think beyond the next release and the monopoly stink? Well you do so make up your mind to go on, 'cos when you woke up this morning everything you had was gone.

When you woke up this morning,
When you woke up this morning,
When you woke up this morning,
Bill G. said you stay Number One.

When you woke up this morning,
When you woke up this morning,
When you woke up this morning,
You got your penguin.

Theme to the SCOpranos.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Divide and Conquer...
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 07:56 PM EST
...seems to be working, at least the divide part.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Remember the face
Authored by: belzecue on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 07:57 PM EST
Once again, I am compelled to put a face to this sudden bipolar behaviour from Novell. If you see Novell CEO Hovsepian at a trade show, please overcome any timidity and go speak with him. Express your displeasure (or pleasure, fair enough) clearly and politely. Only the weight of many voices can get Novell to decouple their carriages from the Microsoft locomotive. Remind him that community goodwill is a tangible asset. Ask him why he does not value it?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Long term vs. Short Term... It is all about the CEO's wallet
Authored by: JR on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 08:00 PM EST
The Samba team says it all.

People at Novell making this decisions are obviously looking to make a
"quick buck". The positive balance in the deal makes them look good
and fattens their yearly projections for revenue in the short term.

This deal will on the long term damage Novell from even the business sense, but,
today, it has boosted Executives' wallet. This is where companies go wrong,
with executive s' greed and ill designed incentives.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Samba Team Asks Novell to Reconsider
Authored by: Hygrocybe on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 08:19 PM EST
For the Samba team to have made such a public condemnation of the
Novell-Microsoft deal speaks very loudly about the anger and resentment that it
is steadily building in the OpenSource software community. The Samba team is
echoing writer after writer on the internet and trying to tell Novell that the
deal is contrary to all the fundamental tenets of OpenSource software, the GPL
and especially the principles of the community itself. Samba is falling into
line with everyone else: Novell should get out of the agreement now, before it
is too late.

So far, I don't see the tide of anti-agreement feeling falling at all; on the
contrary, my perception is that it is not going away but is steadily rising.
Surely by now Novell can see this is not going down well at all in their
supporting community ? They'd be fools if they didn't. Personally, I would
not be surprised to find that by now their board by is probably hoping that Eban
Moglen will find that the GPL is being infringed by the deal..........and
goodbye Redmond, so sorry, but this matter was blocked by circumstances beyond
our control.

What worries me even more, however, is the fact that Linus Torvald's position on
all of this more or less "seems" to support Novell and big business.
It is my understanding that he could put a halt to all of this nonsense by
putting the kernel out under GPLv3 which most definitely would stop the
Novell-Microsoft patent agreement. But he isn't, is he ? However, that doesn't
mean that all the peripheral software like Samba, KDE, Gnome and so forth can't
be placed under GPLv3..........and that makes for very interesting results.

Blackbutt, Australia

[ Reply to This | # ]

is there anything can do ..
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 09:18 PM EST
is there anything can do
to terminate the rights of Novell to
redistribute Samba code ?

only by demonstrating non-compliance
of the GPL ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just made a contribution to FSF
Authored by: jwrl on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 10:00 PM EST
Sent $50.00 to the FSF

I urge all to make a small contribution. These guys are fighting our battles,
they deserve our support.

Freedom is not without cost.


[ Reply to This | # ]

    Horrible timing, isn't it?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 10:03 PM EST
    I mean, horrible timing on Novell's part. I'm one who generally agrees with
    Torvalds on the GPL v2 vs v3 issue, but of course the GNU part of GNU/Linus will
    go v3, along with probably lots of other stuff. That Novell pulls this now,
    before GPLv3 is finalized, means that the FSF will be sure to prohibit deals
    like this explicitly in v3. If nothing else, Novell will have to base their
    distribution off of increasingly older software. And that's assuming it doesn't
    turn out to be incompatible with v2 of the GPL (which seems likely to me). In
    addition, if Samba's reaction is any guide, other software which wasn't going
    v3, will probably now consider it.

    I'm not a businessman type, so I don't know what all they're considering when
    making a decision like this, but you've got to wonder what they're smoking.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    What does it really mean?
    Authored by: pem on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 11:01 PM EST
    The MS FUD seems to be working here. Lots of angst by some over "if I own
    a copy of SUSE, what has Novell bound me to?" and even "if I don't use
    SUSE, what has Novell done to me?"

    The short answer is: nothing (except maybe FUD).

    Let's assume for a moment that Microsoft is being its usual evil self, but that
    Novell, though grubbing for money, is not trying to be particularly perverse.

    Due to the nature of patents, in general it is the customer who does the actual
    infringing, not the distributor. The distributor is a juicy centralized target
    who may be guilty of induced or contributory infringement, but the customer is
    the direct infringer, as many Microsoft SQL customers have found out to their

    So, Novell really is trying to protect themselves (as well as their customers)
    with this agreement -- no cause of action for direct infringement against their
    customers means that there can't be a cause of action for contributory or
    induced infringement against Novell.

    If MS is giving Novell the bulk of the money, perhaps MS was worried about some
    patents owned by Novell, probably networking stuff. No sane businessman would
    enter into a non-reciprocal patent agreement with a competitor, and Novell's CEO
    is no exception. How would it look to his board of directors if he licensed
    some patents to Microsoft for $300 million, and then Microsoft immediately sued
    Novell for $300 million for patent infringement? So Novell gets the money and
    the agreement not to sue. So far so good, except for the FUD factor.

    I'm no Eben Moglen, and not even a lawyer, but to me it appears that (1) the
    promise not to sue individual developers is a FUDful red herring, probably
    promulgated by MS themselves -- I can't see the outcome of that sort of lawsuit
    being particularly fruitful for Microsoft; and (2) the promise not to sue SUSE
    customers may also be construed as FUDful (and is almost certainly an attempted
    end-run around the GPL), but I'm not yet convinced it's as bad as some people
    make it out to be.

    As others have noted, it is likely that once Microsoft sues ANYBODY over patent
    issues with a free software package (or at least once they win), EVERYBODY
    (including Novell) will have to stop distributing that particular package until
    the patent infringement is remedied. But this was always the case! This
    agreement does not change anything here.

    For a moment let's ignore the FUD potential, which is obviously huge -- as
    webster and PJ noted, the agreement could possibly be construed to be an abuse
    of Microsoft's position, product disparagement, etc. I think we'd have to see a
    lot more FUD out of Novell or the Redmond machine based on this agreement before
    RedHat would have a court case against them, though. Maybe the endgame will be
    clearer in a few months and we'll see more FUD, but for now let's look at the
    non-FUD aspects of this agreement.

    The agreement is pretty clear that Novell's customers won't get sued by
    Microsoft for patent infringement. More to the point, as I noted above, this
    realistically means that Novell won't get sued by Microsoft either, which may
    just have been viewed by Novell as the obligatory concession you extract when
    you agree not to sue Microsoft.

    In fact, there is a good chance that no one will get sued by Microsoft, but
    obviously this possibility diminishes if their market share shrinks
    significantly. Desparate corporations are the ones that lash out.

    If RedHat is sued by Microsoft, arguably the GPL would force RedHat and Novell
    and everybody else to stop distributing the allegedly infringing program unless
    and until it can be made non-infringing. All the distributors would be incented
    to work together to cure the infringement.

    But Microsoft must know this going in, so there are only two reasons to sue a
    distributor: (1) either they have what they feel is a very strong blocking
    patent on a core component of Linux; or (2) they just want to extract their
    pound of flesh from the distributor for PRIOR violations (possibly enough flesh
    to seriously damage the distributor, of course).

    Scenario (1) seems rather unlikely. While Microsoft may have a blocking patent
    on someone's favorite Linux feature, there is so much prior art that the chances
    of them having patents which are truly necessary are quite slim.
    (Interestingly, virtualization is a significant exception here -- even though
    IBM has been doing this for decades, there has been some new work in this area

    Scenario (2) might get them straight back into antitrust problems, especially
    after the previous election, so they probably won't even try this without an
    exceptionally strong patent.

    A final potential threat (sigh, I said I'd ignore the FUD, but it's very
    difficult to do) is for Microsoft to threaten RedHat with a lawsuit against one
    or more of RedHat's customers unless RedHat agrees to pay protection money.

    I could envision Microsoft being stupid enough to try this, but I wouldn't
    expect it to go well. First of all, RedHat would probably publicize this
    immediately, maybe even after being smart enough to collect irrefutable evidence
    of the attempted extortion.

    Depending on how you look at it, Novell has either caved in to this same sort of
    extortion, or isolated themselves from it (hard to say which without seeing how
    the financials work out). Apparently, it is now a fact that Novell's customers
    don't need to worry about this sort of lawsuit from Microsoft. Whether Novell
    stupidly decides to leverage this apparent fact into significant FUD against
    RedHat remains to be seen.

    It was a given that this agreement would cause a firestorm in the free software
    community, but it also seems a given that in doing this deal, Novell had to
    extract a promise from Microsoft not to sue them or their customers. It remains
    to be seen whether the hundreds of millions were worth it in lost goodwill, but
    it is possible that Novell has done nothing irreparable here. (Of course, Eben
    Moglen's take on the deal could change this assessment in a heartbeat.)

    Personally, I expect Microsoft to be up their usual tricks (like immediately
    publicizing the agreement), but I expect Novell to be on their best behavior for
    a very long time, at least if they plan on staying in business.

    Unless this expectation is not met, I don't see any reason to stop using SUSE.
    (I also don't see any legal reasons to stop using RedHat, but some CFOs may
    decide to do that on their own, regardless of any SUSE FUD.)

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Samba Team Asks Novell to Reconsider
    Authored by: tredman on Sunday, November 12 2006 @ 11:17 PM EST
    I wonder how long it will be before somebody does similar to what Fyodor did
    with nmap and SCO (see nmap changelog entry for version 3.40PVT11 if you don't
    recall this)?

    "I drank what?" - Socrates, 399 BCE

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Another reason Novell loses its GPL rights...
    Authored by: RTH on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 01:12 AM EST
    Novell and MS have entered a signed and sealed conspiracy to provide only their
    joint customers with patent protection. Their actions can therefore be judged in
    combination. Just as with any conspiracy, you are tainted with the acts of all
    parties, not just your own. Novell --- and MS! --- have both lost the right to
    distribute GPL2 code.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • Poppycock - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 14 2006 @ 09:24 PM EST
    Novell Software License Agreement
    Authored by: jwrl on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 01:13 AM EST
    I find the Benchmark Testing section interesting


    "You may make and distribute outside Your Organization an unlimited number
    of copies of the Software."

    Novell Software License Agreement


    The Software is a modular operating system. Most of the components
    are open source packages, developed independently, and accompanied by
    separate license terms; the Software as a whole is a collective work
    of Novell. Your license rights with respect to individual components
    accompanied by separate license terms are defined by those terms;
    nothing in this Agreement (including, for example, the "Other License
    Terms and Restrictions," below) shall restrict, limit, or otherwise
    affect any rights or obligations You may have, or conditions to which
    You may be subject, under such license terms.


    This Novell Software License Agreement ("Agreement") is a legal
    agreement between You (an entity or a person) and Novell, Inc.
    ("Novell") with respect to the software product identified in the
    title of this Agreement, media (if any) and accompanying documentation
    (collectively the "Software").

    You may make and distribute outside Your Organization an unlimited
    number of copies of the Software.

    You may modify the Software, and distribute outside Your Organization
    an unlimited number of copies of the modified Software, provided that:
    a) You remove all Novell trademarks and logos from the Software and do
    not use any Novell trademarks or logos in distributing the modified
    Software (Novell trademarks and logos include, but are not limited to,
    “Novell,” “SUSE,” and the SUSE gecko drawing.); OR, b) You agree
    to and comply with the requirements set forth in the redistribution
    program, the terms and conditions of which are set forth at

    You may make and use unlimited copies of the Software for Your
    distribution and use within Your Organization.

    The term "Organization" means a legal entity, excluding subsidiaries
    and affiliates with a separate existence for tax purposes or for legal
    personality purposes. An example of an Organization in the private
    sector would be a corporation, partnership, or trust, excluding any
    subsidiaries or affiliates of the organization with a separate tax
    identification number or company registration number. In the public
    sector, an example of Organization would be a specific government body
    or local government authority.

    While the license terms for a component may authorize You to
    distribute the component, You may not use any Novell trademarks and
    logos in distributing the component, whether or not the component
    contains Novell marks.


    The Software is protected by the copyright laws and treaties of the
    United States ("U.S.") and other countries and is subject to the
    terms of this Agreement. The Software is licensed to You, not sold.

    The Software may be bundled with other software programs ("Bundled
    Programs"). Your license rights with respect to Bundled Programs
    accompanied by separate license terms are defined by those terms;
    nothing in this Agreement shall restrict, limit, or otherwise affect
    any rights or obligations You may have, or conditions to which You may
    be subject, under such license terms.

    Novell reserves all rights not expressly granted to You. You may not:
    (1) reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the Software except
    and only to the extent it is expressly permitted by applicable law or
    the license terms accompanying a component of the Software; or (2)
    transfer the Software or Your license rights under this Agreement, in
    whole or in part.


    Novell has no obligation to provide maintenance or support for the Software.


    No title to or ownership of the Software is transferred to You. Novell
    and/or its licensors owns and retains all title and ownership of all
    intellectual property rights in the Software, including any
    adaptations or copies. You acquire only a license to use the Software.


    For ninety (90) days from Your date of purchase or download, Novell
    warrants that (1) any media on which the Software is delivered is free
    from physical defects; and (2) the Software will substantially conform
    to the documentation accompanying the Software. If the defective items
    are returned to Novell or if You report the nonconformity to Novell
    within ninety (90) days from the date of purchase, Novell will at its
    sole discretion either resolve the nonconformity or refund the license
    fees You paid for the Software. Any misuse or unauthorized
    modification of the Software voids this warranty. THE FOREGOING
    WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. (The foregoing warranty does not apply
    to Software provided free of charge. SUCH SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS


    SYSTEMS. Call Novell or Your dealer for information about

    Non-Novell Products. The Software may include or be bundled with
    hardware or other software programs licensed or sold by a licensor

    OF THE SOFTWARE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED. Some jurisdictions do not allow
    certain disclaimers and limitations of warranties, so portions of the
    above limitations may not apply to You. This limited warranty gives
    You specific rights and You may also have other rights which vary from
    state to state.


    (a) Consequential Losses. NEITHER NOVELL NOR ANY OF ITS LICENSORS,

    THE SOFTWARE FREE OF CHARGE]. The above exclusions and limitations
    will not apply to claims relating to death or personal injury. In
    those jurisdictions that do not allow the exclusion or limitation of
    damages, Novell's liability shall be limited or excluded to the
    maximum extent allowed within those jurisdictions.


    Term. This Agreement becomes effective on the date You legally acquire
    the Software and will automatically terminate if You breach any of its
    terms. Upon termination of this Agreement, You must destroy the
    original and all copies of the Software or return them to Novell and
    delete the Software from Your systems.

    Benchmark Testing. This benchmark testing restriction applies to You
    if You are a software vendor or if You are performing testing on the
    Software at the direction of or on behalf of a software vendor. You
    may not, without Novell's prior written consent not to be unreasonably
    withheld, publish or disclose to any third party the results of any
    benchmark test of the Software. If You are a vendor of products that
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    your local Novell office.

    U.S. Government Restricted Rights. Use, duplication, or disclosure by
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    ©1993, 2000-2006 Novell, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    Novell is a registered trademark, and SUSE LINUX is registered
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    Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Limited scope of deal
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 01:44 AM EST
    While a lot of (justifiable) fuss is beng made about this deal, maybe it might
    be useful to calmly think about the scope of this deal.

    In theory this deal is an implied threat against every Linux developer in the
    world, however in practice its scope is much more limited. Don't forget that the
    threat is based on patents allegedly held by Microsoft, many of which are what
    are normally called "software patents". In areas which do not
    recongnise such patents (e.g. Europe), the threat is effectly meaningless. In
    fact as far as I can see then main impact of the threat is in the USA and those
    countries who have been bullied by the USA into adopting similar laws.

    BTW, I know that the EPO has been issuing software patents for years, but they
    have been doing so without any legal authority and hence those patents are
    invalid. Even if the European Parliment gave the thumbs up to software patents
    tomorrow, existing patents would still be invalid unless the legislation was
    made retrospective.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    words - semantics.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 03:08 AM EST
    from the statement:

    "..It deals with users and creators of free software differently

    does it?

    define "free".

    I think it's actually this:

    "it deals with users and creators of Novell's "OSI-noncompliant open
    source" software differently depending..."

    Novell's "open source" software is NOT "free". In neither
    the sense of speech, nor beer.

    And again, Microsoft isn't going to be able to, nor will they succeed if they
    attempt to prevent individuals from contributing to OSI-compliant, GPL, BSD, or
    other "free" software.

    They're (Novell and MS, I mean) not talking about "free" software. In
    terms of speech, I mean. I'm honestly not sure what the Samba team is talking
    about. Unless they have some sort of knowledge that Samba actually violates MS
    patents. In that case, that's a different story altogether. If Samba doesn't
    violate MS patents, there's nothing to worry about, except a miscarriage of
    justice, a broken court system, a broken patent system, corruption, inability to
    recieve justice without having lots of money... none of which have anything to
    do with Novell and have more to do with the United States legal system, the
    USPTO, and our "dog eat dog" world. Not that those aren't valid

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Is Novell or Ballmer lying?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 08:09 AM EST
    I just sent the above question to the Novell comment page PJ gave in the

    Novell says everything is OK, they don't use patented things in their product.

    However consider a purely GPL derivative of SUSE. Wouldn't it be covered as one
    of those distributions Ballmer was talking about below? Or because it is no
    longer a Nevell product, Microsoft is free to sue the users or the distributors
    or whomever?

    If the "covenant" covers GPL code, Nevell is in violation of section 7
    of the GPL. If it doesn't, what code if any does it cover?

    I hate to put it this way, but:

    The original statement Ballmer made is here:

    The distributors of other versions of Linux cannot assure their customers that
    Microsoft won't sue for patent infringement. "If a customer says, 'Look, do
    we have liability for the use of your patented work?' Essentially, If you're
    using non-SUSE Linux, then I'd say the answer is yes," Ballmer said.

    "I suspect that [customers] will take that issue up with their
    distributor," Ballmer said. Or if customers are considering doing a direct
    download of a non-SUSE Linux version, "they'll think twice about
    that," he said.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    A conspiracy theory
    Authored by: DannyB on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 10:30 AM EST
    A conspiracy theory.

    Novell didn't just instantly strike a deal with the devil, the deal had to be in
    the making for some period of time. When selling one's immortal soul, there are
    negotiations, meetings, promises, letters back and forth, etc.

    Leading up to the announcement of Novell selling out, we see that Novell is
    suddenly interested in bankrupting SCO immediately.

    The porpoise of this could whale be to prevent IBM from clearing the air of FUD
    about Linux. As has been endlessly discussed, SCO's receiver might settle with
    IBM by publicly admitting anything/everything that IBM wants to hear. SCO had
    nothing. SCO files a baseless lawsuit. Etc.

    In the end, it could still leave a cloud of FUD. Linux might still violate
    patents (even if SCO doesn't have any, Microsoft does.). The whole copyright
    issue wasn't really decided in front of a judge, fud, fud, blah blah, fud, fud.

    But hey, if you buy Novell Linux, you are covered under Novell's deal with the
    devil, and therefore under his protection from his infernal wrath.

    The price of freedom is eternal litigation.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    I have a minor beef with all the Novell bashers...
    Authored by: HockeyPuck on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 10:45 AM EST
    I agree with the concept (and principles) of Open Source/GPL and I also agree
    software patents and copyrights and are bad overall and really not in the best
    interest of the industry.

    But sometimes I have problems with both sides of the fence, including GPL/FOSS.
    For example, if someone accepts the GPL and contributes code; FOSS and other GPL
    advocates seem to be under the impression they should also contribute each and
    every bit of code they have ever (and will ever) create. They should stop
    protecting their interests, drop everything they built and serve only FOSS/GPL
    (even at the cost of going out of business). Even if this is not practical; they
    get upset if someone does not do things their way. That is not so different from
    Microsoft strong arming companies to do things their way; except MS also has
    money and clout to add to the shoving.

    But in any case this agreement doesn't change the landscape of GPL/FOSS one bit.
    All it changed was Novell’s relationship with Microsoft.

    So here is my take on this agreement.
    Before agreement:
    GPL contributors could be sued for copyright and patent infringement (even

    After agreement:
    GPL contributors could be sued for copyright and patent infringement (even

    Before agreement:
    Novell can contribute to GPL as freely as they choose (including Novell
    patented/proprietary technology).

    After agreement:
    Novell can contribute to GPL as freely as they choose (including Novell patented

    Before agreement:
    Novell will protect GPL with patents they contribute to Open Source.

    After agreement:
    Novell will protect GPL with patents they contribute to Open Source. (the
    agreement does not stop Novell from defending anyone one they like; especially;
    it doesn't protect Microsoft from being sued by Novell at all).

    Before agreement:
    Microsoft could sue for patent and copyright infringement.

    After agreement:
    Microsoft could sue for patent and copyright infringement (including Novell
    customers if they contribute it commercially).

    So what has changed? Noting, except between Novell and Microsoft. I have heard
    people calling Novell traitors and all kinds of bad things. But no one really
    knows what was agreed to. To me, this is a simple case of Novell protecting
    their interests.

    Now this may sound bad. But how bad would it be if Novell was crushed and went
    down the tubes? Thousands of jobs would be lost. A big GPL/FOSS contributor and
    patent protector would go "poof". They would have to sell assets to
    appease the courts. What assets you say? Patents and copyrights (as well as
    other tangible assets). Now who do you suppose would purchase Novell technology?
    I'll give you 2 guesses and the first one doesn't count.

    So other than Novell and Microsoft; what has changed? Nothing.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    I'd welcome your suggestion
    Authored by: hopethishelps on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 10:52 AM EST

    I develop applications for GNU/Linux. At some point in the next 3 months, I expect to release the first version of an application for analysing financial time series. Of course, I was planning to release it under the GPL ("version 2, or any later version").

    However, I don't have to do that; I can release it under any license. I'm considering releasing it under a modified license that is exactly the same as the GPL, except that it explicitly grants no rights to certain specified corporations. The list of corporations to whom no rights are granted (and who would not, therefore, be able to include my app in any distro they produced) would be:

    1. Novell Inc.
    2. Microsoft Corporation

    Thoughts, anyone?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Letter to Jason Matusow
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 11:19 AM EST
    Jason Matusow, one of the Microsoft employees who are behind the Novell/MSFT
    patent covenenant is asking in his blog for input from the community in order to
    be able to "work" on the issues of the deal.
    My opinion is that they are trying to get rid of bad publicity and to look nice
    guys where at the same time obtaining information of what we think in order to
    despise us all in a more convincing way.
    So here goes a letter to him:

    Dear Mr. Jason Matusow:

    First, let me leave plain clear that by now, you personally have all my respect
    and excuse me if I sound too bold. I also ask you beforehand to excuse me if my
    english is not 100% correct, since besides I am not a native english speaker I
    warn you I am quite angry at all this issue. I understand that you are not
    Microsoft, you just work there. Now you asked for input, so here we go:

    I am taking very personally the threats your company's CEO have associated to
    this deal and his unfortunate, disgusting and continued thug-like comments
    against free software and users of software other than what Microsoft tries to
    dictate: It is very difficult to match these declarations with your apparently
    friendly attitude, or your affirmation that Linux does not violate any Microsoft
    patents, copyrights or registered trade marks.Is this your position or your

    I have been a Gnu/Linux and Free Software happy user and contributor since 1998
    and now your company is somehow trying to make me feel under threat. And I wont
    take it.

    So I am sure you will understand my inclination no to expect much positive
    things of this Microsoft-Novell deal. Or from any deal with any member of the
    Free Software community Microsoft can devise now or in the future.

    It is useless that you keep patting FOSS leaders in the back with nice words in
    your blog while at the same time your company CEO speaks his mind:

    The distributors of other versions of Linux cannot assure their customers that
    Microsoft won't sue for patent infringement. "If a customer says, 'Look, do
    we have liability for the use of your patented work?' Essentially, If you're
    using non-SUSE Linux, then I'd say the answer is yes," Ballmer said.
    "I suspect that [customers] will take that issue up with their
    distributor," Ballmer said. Or if customers are considering doing a direct
    download of a non-SUSE Linux version, "they'll think twice about
    that," he said.


    So in practice, your boss is consciously threatening me (and millions of other
    happy Linux users) who frequently download and use Debian, (K/X/Ed)Ubuntu,
    MEPIS, PCLinuxOS, Slackware, Slax, CentOS... or whatever non-commercial
    distribution that your company is obviously not going to gain control of. This
    destroys all the "but-now-we-are-nice-guys" facade your company is
    trying to build.

    Moreover here I have a couple older records from Reuters and Forbes magazine,
    that were quite clearly anticipating this deal and shows that these strange
    movements are just part of Microsoft strategy to crush the Linux competition in
    order to satisfy its shareholders: not its customers, not the FOSS comunnity:
    Plain threatening to anyone, even governments, exercising their legitimate
    freedom of choice:

    In November 2004, Reuters reported that “Microsoft Corp. warned Asian
    governments on Thursday they could face patent lawsuits for using the Linux
    operating system instead of its Windows software.”


    “According to an interview with Steve Ballmer in Forbes, Microsoft is open to
    the possibility of filing patent suits against Linux in the interest of their
    shareholders. Ballmer said: ‘Well, I think there are experts who claim Linux
    violates our intellectual property. I’m not going to comment. But to the degree
    that that’s the case, of course we owe it to our shareholders to have a


    The threatenings continued directly by Bill G. against the Danish government:


    Statement by Peter Mogensen, Chairman of Digital Consumer Denmark regarding Bill
    Gates' threats of moving Navision to USA. in an interview with

    "This is pure extortion. Where patents can be taken out has nothing to do
    with where development happens. Especially not when one is as big as Microsoft.
    No matter whether the EU introduces software patents Microsoft will not have
    better protection by moving Navision to USA. Bill Gates uses Navision as
    extortion, even though what he threatens has no relation to what he wants...
    It is of course sad about the 800 jobs if Navision moves, but legalizing
    software patents will cost many more jobs in Denmark. Just Simcorp alone who
    sincerely pleaded with the Committee on European Affairs not to legalize
    software patents has 500 employees. We don't have any guarantee that Microsoft
    won't move Navision to USA, India or somewhere else, either. As described,
    location has nothing to do with where they can take out patents."

    There are plenty more examples, in Brazil and elsewhere, but I will stop by
    So you guys are incredible: Two full years of patent litigation threatening
    (plain extortioning, according to some) the public in general and even
    governmental institutions and now you want us to believe MSFT is a company worth
    trusting and making deals with. For sure!

    I also agree with others in the community that it doesn't really matter exactly
    what Novell's deal is, I will have no part of it. They can have all the hidden
    agreements with Microsoft or whoever they want. Part of my love for FOSS is that
    it is OPEN, not just the code, but the caveats that go along with it. The
    developers and distributors are OPEN with me about what it does, what they are
    doing and what I can do with it.

    I dislike shady people and companies and I won't do business with them. In
    short, I'm an open and honest person and I do business with companies that
    believe in and display those same qualities.

    And it is becoming unsurmountably difficult to expect anything good from your
    company and its suffocatingly dominant market position and record of
    unfair-as-usual business practices. I am very sorry for all honest, good and
    gifted peole (hope this includes you) working for such a
    competition-innovation-freedom-of-choice-killer and predatory corporation.

    As I understand, the 5-year U.S. antitrust supervisory period is ending, MSFT is
    pushing for software patents in Europe, and Vista is about to hit the market.
    Timing is everything. That's why MSFT is fighting Free Software with all its
    might now, while at the same time, trying to hide this fact from the public.

    The following changes, and no less, remain to be seen from Microsoft before the
    Free Software community can even think to begin to trust it:

    1- Stop imposing Lock-IN to your customers.

    2- Stop Embracing+Extending+Extinguishing any competing technology you find in
    you way.

    3- Stop your Forced Obsoleteness game in the technology industry.

    4- Stop spreading FUD over competition and over users of competing products.

    5- Abide to open standards (W3C,ISO 23600,LDAP etc) and stop obfuscating and
    "extending" them with unnecesary incompatible features, and cease and
    desist of your damaging maneuovers to derail the adoption of standards and Linux
    by enterprises, institutions and the public in general.(like the sickening case
    of ODF/Peter Quinn/Massachusetts Government ). Include ODF in the "save
    as" menu. You know you can do it. Easily.

    6- Abide with the EU antitrust ruling and start collaborating so, for example,
    windows can work properly with SAMBA servers.

    7- Stop your threats to governments (such as the threats to the Danish
    govenrment) and the pressures over our democratically elected representatives in
    the European Parliament and Comission to force the legalisation of software
    patents in Europe. Software patents are an ugly mess american corporations have
    brought to the american legal system, and, fortunately they are illegal in
    Europe under article 52 of the Community Patent Treaty and under other laws
    elsewhere outside the USA, so, if your claims of "corporate culture change
    for the better" are true, it is inconsistent that Microsoft keep pressing
    to spread these innovation-stiffling messy legal artifacts -software patents-
    for its sole benefit everywhere around the world.

    After all points above have irrevocably been fulfilled you maybe can properly
    claim Microsoft "changed" its corporate culture and we can begin to
    talk. Otherwise these pretended "attitude change" claims are -as
    expected- plain deceitful PR chatter.

    Am I asking too much? Well, it's Microsoft who is begging for the community's
    trust (in order to stab us in the back a.s.a.p.,right?). After all, maybe it is
    Microsoft who is asking too much.

    Meanwhile I have my own "check the facts" list:

    1- Microsoft Corp (By this, I mean its main executives and shareholders, but
    also some of its employees -hope you are not one of them-) HATE the Freedoms
    Free Software warrants us, the community of Free Software users, developers and
    enterprises (some of us are the three things at the same time).

    or just "hobbyists". We are not going to accept your condescending
    attitude or your assumpion of an inferior position in your relationship with us
    just because Microsoft sugests some false and vague infringement of patents,
    copyrights or registered trade marks on the part of Linux, or because it is
    rabidly struggling to limit severely USERS choice to use whatever software
    systems it wants to confine them to use. Microsoft: we will not accept your
    intents at forcing FREE USERS to become YOUR CUSTOMERS. Thanks to Free Software
    we have something you are not willing to provide with your products: Freedom.

    3- We as FREE USERS OF FREE SOFTWARE have freely chosen to use Linux, not only
    because utter technical superiority, code re-utilization and better security and
    cost-quality ratio over Microsoft propietary products, but because we value
    Freedom (YES, *FINE* FREE-DOM, Ding-dong! Bad news!:Linux IS ABOUT FREEDOM is
    not only about "Open Source code" or about "Low Cost" or TCO
    and we are well aware of it no matter how hard you try to hide it) and using
    Linux and other FREE SOFTWARE we have the FREEDOMS to use the software with any
    purpose, examine its code, change it to suit our needs and redistribute it
    freely to anyone we want without having to pay a penny or ask for permission to
    any company or individual: Microsoft is simply not to offer, let alone warrant,
    to anyone, such freedoms, EVER.

    4- So Microsoft, for your own convenience: leave Free Software alone. Leave us
    free users alone. Leave Linux alone. We dont need you and we don't want you.
    Your failed business model is not our problem: try to fix it if you want, but we
    are not interested in becoming your captive customers, no matter how hard Steve
    Ballmer threats us with suing and in case some time in the remote future we get
    interested on it for any good reason that i cannot yet conceive we will contact
    you, in case you are not out of business.

    Best regards
    The penguin never sleeps. Fear the penguin.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Words from another reporter - Microsoft's legal threats are empty.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 11:19 AM EST
    "Microsoft's legal threats are empty"

    This is an opinion piece from Neil McAllister who covers open source topics for Inforworld.

    Does he have it right?


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    What I believe is going on...
    Authored by: Eric Damron on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 11:30 AM EST
    Allow me to put on my tinfoil hat for a minute and tell you what I think the
    Microsoft/Novell deal means. It's one of those "out of the blue",
    "something is wrong" kind of events. The announcement by Microsoft
    that they were partnering with the PHP people was another. I think the two are
    related. What I believe Microsoft has up its sleeve is an evil little plan to
    destroy Linux where it's the strongest; as an internet server solution.

    They have wanted to dominate the internet for a long time. They have already
    used their monopoly to crush Netscape and propel their browser to the number one
    slot. The have already used their monopoly OS to harm Java. They wouldn't want
    any other platform to other than one that they control to be the dominant
    platform for internet development. SUN filed that pesky lawsuit however so they
    couldn't completely subvert Java as their original plan. Then Linux and the
    Open Source movement comes along and starts to grab market share!

    So I believe that Microsoft developed an evil little plan. First they created
    ".Net" and told the world it was going to be an "open
    standard." Novell saw potential and jumped on board despite the many
    warnings that Microsoft has encumbering this technology with many, many patents.
    But the concerns were dismissed and we were told that Microsoft welcomed and
    was actively helping in the development. Heh, that should have been Novell's
    first clue.

    Now years later Microsoft enters into a partnership with not only Novell but the
    company developing PHP. PHP is another way to provide dynamic web pages. And
    the Novell deal clearly evolves patent rights.

    So what we have is Microsoft helping to inject its technology into Open Source
    projects so that it can later claim patent infringement. They have waited until
    ASP.NET has become popular and will even promote it in the Linux environment
    through Suse for the next five years. Then the other boot will fall.

    What will all of the people running Linux web servers do if they are using through Mono? Well they won't be switching to PHP if Microsoft has had
    five years to inject its technology there as well!

    I seem to remember a while back reading about some campaign that Microsoft was
    having to "educate" children about IP theft. I think one of the
    questions they were posing to these kids was "What should be done if
    someone is stealing from you?" Jury tampering before the jury is even
    selected maybe? A little brain washing of future juries?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    I wonder if GPL can be modified to prohibit GPL-using entities from FUDding GPL and open source
    Authored by: skidrash on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 11:34 AM EST
    Just a thought.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Samba Team Asks Novell to Reconsider
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, November 13 2006 @ 01:06 PM EST

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • Why should I? - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 14 2006 @ 04:41 PM EST
    • Much better do this: - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 14 2006 @ 05:53 PM EST
    Interesting and frightening possibility:
    Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 14 2006 @ 03:28 AM EST
    Some months ago, I took a computer security course. There, the teacher, a
    security expert assured us that some Microsoft employee had told him they were
    preparing "Microsoft WinLinux", and that they would eventually launch
    I don´t really know what to think but all these strange movements on the part of
    Microsoft are very suspicious. It is also strange that Microsoft has not taken
    Linspire or the russian distro LinuxXP to the courts in order to bankrupt them.
    They must be planning something far much worse...

    Also it makes no sense to me people at Microsoft, like Jason Masutow trying to
    appear friendly to the Free Software community, and asking for input from the
    community in order to try to figure out a way to profit from Gnu/Linux while at
    the same time to subvert the GPL licence and the 4 fundamental GPL freedoms and
    despising us free users as those pesky "Free Software religious extremists
    communists hippie hobbyists".
    I just found this:

    Microsoft will probably start selling/distributing linux soon

    Anyone can tell you an interesting story, but when it comes to Microsoft and
    Novell’s recent deal Linux enthusiasts around the world have more than a couple
    up their sleeves.

    Microsoft has a long history at killing competition. They started with Novell’s
    Server market, they tried to do with Java, and today they are trying to do it
    against the Anti-Virus vendors. They succeeded against Netscape, gained
    significant grounds against Sony’s Playstation, and killed a thousand other
    products that I can’t name because I forgot about them after Microsoft
    obliterated them out of the market. If any of you are XBox lovers, I don’t have
    to tell you that in the war over consoles Microsoft has been losing money on
    every XBox it sells. Zune (the competition to iPod) is said to have a similar
    strategy. In short Microsoft has a huge bank balance and can pump in a lot of
    money until the competition goes bankrupt.

    As a result of this announcement its not a surprise that the Linux world is
    almost up in arms against Novell for giving in for a few pieces of silver. I on
    the other hand have a different prespective on it.

    * Microsoft isn’t interested in suing anyone (anytime soon atleast) because
    of its Vista launch schedule and the tricky negotiations going on in Europe
    * SCO has already tried the same FUD which Microsoft is accused of trying.
    In fact if you remember Microsoft had “licensed” SCO unix in a similar deal
    which was indirectly used to fund SCO’s battle against IBM/Linux
    * Most of the other visible products Microsoft has went after till now have
    been markets where Microsoft didn’t really have a foothold. Linux is one of the
    very few unique products which started up as a competitor to Microsoft has has
    gradually increased in popularity over the years. [Firefox/Mozilla is the other
    one which I admire]
    * The other interesting point to note is that unlike most other commercial
    vendors who got nailed by Microsoft’s pump and dump strategy, Linux is not a
    commercial entity which can go bankrupt. They can kill Novell, but it will be
    very hard for them to kill the whole linux movement.

    My personal analysis is that Microsoft is afraid.

    * Its so afraid of loosing this battle that in its moment of desperation its
    ready to do anything short of launching a Microsoft branded Linux distribution.
    * The Financial deal Microsoft and Novell signed has a few hints of where
    this might be heading.
    * To begin with its clear both of them want to integrate each others OS
    using each others technology to provide a better virtualization experience.
    * Its also clear that though Novell might use significant portions of
    proprietary Microsoft technology (for example for authentication, authorization
    and accounting) Microsoft will mostly be using GNU code to which Novell doesn’t
    have any rights anyway.
    * So why is Microsoft paying Novell ?
    * And what’s the deal with 240 million dollars for linux license
    subscription cost ? What is it going to do with that many copies of linux
    distribution ?
    * Oh wait, they could embed it into your Microsoft operating system ? Have
    you ever thought which distribution of Linux you would use if your Microsoft OS
    copy you already have, has a Linux distribution pre-bundled with it?
    * Novell also mentions that it will pay Microsoft a minimum amount of
    licensing fees, which can increase depending on its own sales. So may be it will
    sell Windows as well… who knows. But it will sell something with at least some
    part of Microsoft code in it.
    * Finally based on my personal opinion (with no understanding of financial
    details) it almost looks like Microsoft has kind of bought a share of Novell’s
    company and wants a piece of the action every year.
    * May be Microsoft is going to announce something even much more significant
    which will dramatically increase Novell’s sales. May be Novell is an investment
    after all… not just a pump-and-dump target.

    My thought process finally took me to the one place I didn’t want to go… Its the
    thought that Microsoft will soon bundle Suse linux with one of its own

    Coming back to the discussion on whether we should abandon Suse or not, I
    personally think it doesn’t matter as long as Microsoft is not trying to kill
    it. Stop acting like a 5 year old kid who doesn’t like the big guys. If
    anything, you should be excited about more commercial support behind your
    favourite OS. And if they really do bundle Suse with every Desktop/Server OS
    thats exactly what I wanted when I joined the revolution. Linux on every
    I have said this before, and I’ll continue to say it that I’m not opposed to
    Microsoft Linux as long as others can innovate and keep Microsoft on its toes.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    2nd take on my take and a clarification...
    Authored by: HockeyPuck on Tuesday, November 14 2006 @ 11:17 AM EST
    Yes, sometimes I confuse copyrights and patents and interchange them
    incorrectly. My goof.

    EV1 and this situation are completely different. Not the same game, let alone in
    the same ballpark. EV1 was duped into a SCOsource license as part of a business
    agreement. Based on recent depositions we found there was more than just the
    threat that caused them to sign with SCO. There were promises of promoting and
    such. So EV1 was duped into this.

    Novell and MS do have legally protected intellectual property and they have
    resources to sue if they choose to. But no one has threatened anyone as far as
    we know. This is nothing more than a business agreement between 2 companies
    regarding using their protected property (not GPL). Each company has their
    reasons for the agreement and they will spin it their way.

    I see it this way. Novell is the network king (or were at one time if you go by
    numbers and not technology) and we are in a world that is all about networking.
    MS wants and probably needs the technology that Novell owns (which is not GPL).
    Novell wants to strengthen Linux and those services (proprietary or not) to
    better their business. They start talks about this and that technology. An
    agreement is born.

    MS, for their part, wants to play their usual games and Novell basically wants
    MS to agree that Linux/GPL is for real and they cannot do anything about it. So
    they let MS have their contractual concessions and leave the wording about
    “hobbyists” and such since it really has nothing to do with GPL. MS wins some
    because they can flip on their famous “spin” machine and Novell wins because
    they just contractually cornered Linux/GPL greatest threat to admitting there is
    nothing to sue over (SUSE or not, and MS knows it because they would have never
    agreed to this). They both get good media coverage from this and they both know
    this will end up meaning very little as time goes by.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    OT: Do you get paid to write open source software?
    Authored by: estherschindler on Tuesday, November 14 2006 @ 12:26 PM EST
    Howdy, folks! I have a new job, which I (already) really love: I'm now senior
    online editor for communities at and Naturally, that
    doesn't keep me from writing articles -- and the first one that I decided to
    tackle is about open source development in the enterprise.

    I know, from Evans Data research, that a rather high percentage of software
    developers write open source code, whether on their own time or the company's
    clock; some meaningful percentage of those developers also contribute the
    changes back to the open source community. And one of the factoids mentioned in
    passing at the Gartner Open Source summit in September was that a growing
    percentage of corporations are paying their own developers to work on open
    source projects, some of whom do so full time. IBM is probably the easiest
    example, with several people on the Eclipse project employed by IBM.

    Are you one of these people?

    I'm looking for salaried open source developers or those developers' management
    -- so I can write an article to provide guidance to IT Managers who are
    contemplating such options.

    What I'm hoping to find (or create) are management guidelines for companies who
    want to take advantage of open source code, and know that they need functions
    that aren't currently in the software. The easiest solution is to add the
    features they need to the existing open source code base, then contribute the
    enhancements back to the development community. But doing so can raise
    intellectual property questions (such as "what does it mean for 'work for
    hire'?")... and perhaps several other issues that make lawyers and CEOs
    uncomfortable. I'd like to get your input on what issues the open source
    developer and her manager need to deal with. (Feel free to forward this to
    developers you know who might be able to help.) Let's make sure that those CIOs
    have data with which to make good decisions, okay?

    Note that I'm NOT looking here for people who are using open source tools at
    work. Rather, I'm in search of someone who writes the code _of_ the open source
    software: a committer to Plone, a contributor to Drupal, a programmer who's
    given code to samba. And who has done so on company time, whether as part of the
    job description or simply to get the work done or for any other reason. With or
    without management approval, though I'm most interested in those who can say

    I don't want to clutter up groklaw with this off-topic subject; it's just that I
    know the "right people" are likely to be lurking here. If you're
    willing to chat with me (ideally in e-mail), drop me a line at and I'll inundate you with questions.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Redmond's productivity finaly up
    Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, November 14 2006 @ 08:39 PM EST
    The main reason for the Vista debacle has finaly come to light.
    Employees at Redmond were seriously impaired in their development work because
    they were forced to use the same product that is cause for so much grief in the
    IT world. Estimations are that about 60% of their activities consisted of
    removal of viral infections and to make security updates on their own PC's.
    With their companies recent move towards OSS Redmond's devs are now allowed to
    use an operating system renowned for it's reliabilty and stability, without the
    fear for a pink slip.
    With this expectations are that Vista's successor will be available before the
    end of 2009.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

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