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Novell-MS "Building Bridges" Meeting in MA Postponed
Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 12:31 PM EST

You'll be gratified to know that Dan Bricklin's call for questions he could ask Novell and Microsoft about their patent deal and associated issues, and your questions in response, were noticed by one and all. There is going to be a postponement of the announced "Building Bridges" meeting originally announced for Monday, so both Microsoft and Novell can get different speakers to answer those questions. I think that's a good thing, as long as it's a postponement and not a cancellation, and I'm glad if they are taking the questions seriously. In any case, I wanted you to know since some of you might have been planning to attend on Monday. Don't show up Monday. Here's the notice from the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council:
There has been great interest in the "Microsoft & Novell Building Bridges" Mass Technology Leadership Council meeting that was scheduled for Monday, January 29th. After a review of the areas that would be covered by questions provided in advance by attendees, it became clear that there needed to be other speakers better able to address those issues. Unfortunately, they were not available to be added in time. In order to make the session worthwhile for everyone, we are going to postpone the Monday, January 29th, session, but hope to reschedule in the next few months. The Council thanks Microsoft and Novell for all the effort they have put, and continue to put, into making this event possible and to the attendees for helping us tailor the event to their needs.

I'll keep you posted on any new date. Meanwhile, both Novell and Microsoft are aware of your questions, and hopefully they are having deep thoughts.

: )

Deep. Not cute.


Novell-MS "Building Bridges" Meeting in MA Postponed | 167 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
OT Here, please
Authored by: overshoot on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 12:44 PM EST
Instructions for posting clicky HTML in red at bottom of comment form.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Here
Authored by: feldegast on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 12:44 PM EST
If required.

My posts are ©2004-2007 and released under the Creative Commons License
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0
P.J. has permission for commercial use.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell-MS "Building Bridges" Meeting in MA Postponed
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 12:50 PM EST
SCO delaying tactics? Wait a couple of months and everything will be forgotten.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell-MS "Building Bridges" Meeting in MA Postponed
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 12:51 PM EST
<blockquote>we are going to postpone the Monday, January
29th, session, but hope to reschedule in the next few

they *hope* to reschedule at an unspecified time
maybe 6 months away -- give me a break; this
is admission they can't answer the hard questions
and don't want to try.

[ Reply to This | # ]

    What is the purpose of the "Cute" link?
    Authored by: red floyd on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 12:55 PM EST
    The "cute" link at the end of the article links to the Groklaw GPL
    static page, so I don't quite get the purpose, or the comment itself.

    I am not merely a "consumer" or a "taxpayer". I am a *CITIZEN* of the United
    States of America.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Who is the intended audience?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 01:00 PM EST

    "After a review of the areas that would be covered by questions provided in advance by attendees, it became clear that there needed to be other speakers better able to address those issues."

    I am curious. Who are the intended audience of this conference?

    Steve Stites

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Redmond Light Bulbs
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 01:15 PM EST
    I guess they needed more time to develop the "Redmond Light Bulbs." (See http:/ /

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    A few months?
    Authored by: markpmc on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 01:32 PM EST
    come on.
    Either they have a reasonable answer or they don't.
    Put someone on a flight and get them there next week.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    This is not a delaying tactic
    Authored by: Dan Bricklin on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 01:45 PM EST
    Some people are questioning whether the postponement is a delaying tactic to
    avoid the meeting. That is not true. The parties have been working very hard to
    make this happen. The rescheduling is being worked on right now. I pushed to get
    the postponement notice out as soon as we made that decision and not wait for a
    new date to be worked out. The logistics involved in a date take time -- the
    Council has many meetings each week and we try to avoid conflicts so we can give
    logistical support, not make it hard for members, etc.

    Microsoft has shown me that they want this meeting to happen (and happen soon)
    and have probably put in more effort (and been most likely to say not to
    postpone it) than anybody.

    Whether or not Microsoft or Novell can/will answer any specific question will be
    up to them, but at least if they can answer we want to have someone in
    attendance who is able to give the most responsive answer possible.

    I've been very pleased with how Microsoft has shown they are willing to go to
    great trouble and even fly people in on short notice to be responsive to our
    requests for a meeting that is at the level of discussions we've had in the past
    (such as the one they participated in with Eric Kriss about Open Document).
    Unlike many other companies, they have been willing to participate in situations
    that include discussions that call them to task or that will involve fielding
    tough questions. They don't just choose venues or topics that they totally

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Novell-MS "Building Bridges" Meeting in MA Postponed
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 01:48 PM EST
    Maybe this MA thing is exactly why MS wanted a deal with Novell. If they can
    get Novell support, it potentially provides for a "multi-vendor"
    end-run around the ODF. Then Novell becomes the organ-donor, and ODF loses. MS
    can't afford for an entire State to set a precident they don't want - if MA goes
    fully ODF, that would provide justification for other states and Fed to go

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Wal-mart Violates GPL terms Via Microsoft Deal
    Authored by: NZheretic on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 03:15 PM EST
    Does Microsoft's Sale of "Novell" Vouchers to Wal-mart mean Wal-mart is violates terms of the GPL?

    Wal-Mart is planning to buy SUSE Linux vouchers from Microsoft, which includes a legal covenent from Microsoft not to sue Wal-mart.

    However, according to Eben Moglen, the attorney for the Free Software Foundation that created and oversees the Linux license,

    "If you make an agreement which requires you to pay a royalty to anybody for the right to distribute GPL software, you may not distribute it under the GPL," Moglen told CNET Thursday. Section 7 of the GPL "requires that you have, and pass along to everybody, the right to distribute software freely and without additional permission."
    Version 2 to the GPL make no distinction between modified and unmodifed of GPL licensed source code, binaries and embedded products when it comes to distribution.

    Well how does Wal-mart distribute Linux? It does on CD ROM ,on computers, on PDAs,in Routers, in many Cell Phones where Linux is becoming a leading OS, and on a few asian originated electronic goods.

    So is the CIO of Wal-Mart really going to risk the right to deny wal-mart the right to sell an increasing number of high end electronic devices because Microsoft's COO, Kevin Turner, is the former CIO of Wal-Mart?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    SUSE Linux vouchers are for support
    Authored by: hardmath on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 03:59 PM EST

    While the GPL governs the right to distribute Linux software, disbursement of
    the Novell support vouchers, whether for money or in fulfillment of other
    obligations, does not seem to carry a risk of GPL violation.

    If MS is making a distribution of Linux at all in this picture, there may be
    some risk to them of losing that right if they were to impose conditions on
    using or not using Linux. But I certainly have not heard that to be the case.

    I'm wondering if Walmart plans to redistribute the service vouchers themselves,
    possibly as consumer bundle or stand-alone product.

    regards, hm

    So, if you're at a party, and the question comes up, "Is there a UFD that is
    neither Noetherian nor Artinian?", you can say yes.
    -- Karl Dahlko

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Novell-MS "Building Bridges" Meeting in MA Postponed
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 04:23 PM EST
    The GPL doesn't recognize that distinction. It only recognizes between
    distributing and not distributing.
    The reasoning should be valid for all GPLed code that is in SuSe and any other

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    I can't help myself...
    Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 25 2007 @ 04:30 PM EST
    I really do think that it is a good idea for them to have people there that can
    answer the questions we all want to see answers to, but...

    My first impression was... (cue end of Sir Robin's Song from Monty Python)

    Brave Sir Robin ran away.
    Bravely ran away away.
    ("I didn't!")
    When danger reared it's ugly head,
    He bravely turned his tail and fled.
    ("I never!")
    Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
    And gallantly he chickened out.
    ("You're lying!")
    ****Bravely**** taking to his feet,
    He beat a very brave retreat.
    Bravest of the braaaave, Sir Robin!

    The fact of the matter is I wouldn't want to face questions for which I'm
    totally unprepared. Especially considering the questions may be coming from
    people who are a little unhappy with the compan(y/ies) for whom I am speaking.

    It is kind of fun that they realized they were unprepared for the real issues.
    It is likely to be a very interesting meeting, I'm looking forward to it!

    (Thanks Dan, for putting this together!)

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    The intent of GPL2
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, January 27 2007 @ 10:14 AM EST
    Novell, Microsoft and others are making a lot about how they have sneakily
    circumvented the letter of the GPL (or at least the interpretation
    Mocrosoft/Novell choose to give it) by Novell's elaborate restriction of Linux
    licensing by proxy, while the agreement clearly breaches the intent of GPL.

    There is an important point of law here. In contract law (and I presume this
    applies to licenses as well), the contract is defined by the intent of the
    parties to a contract, not it's wording. The reason for this is that contracts
    are intended to be drawn up ordinary people in ordinary language rather than in
    more precise legal language. Also they are drawn up on an ad hoc basis and are
    not continually tested and refined by court cases as are laws. By necessity
    contracts are imprecise and have mistakes or omissions in them. When these are
    exposed, as in the case of the Microsoft/Novell agreement, it is necessary to
    look at the intent of the parties involved to resolve the dispute, otherwise
    contract law would be unworkable.

    I would contend that the fact that Microsoft/Novell are clearly violating the
    intent of GPL2 means that Microsoft/Novell must stop distributing GPL code.

    I am not convinced either that it doesn't violate the letter of GPL2 either
    since Microsoft is acting as Novell's proxy under Novell's control (as a result
    of the agreement) as far as restriction of Linux redistribution is concerned.
    The agreement works like this - if you pay Novell, then Microsoft through the
    agreement with Novell will allow you to use Novell's and only Novell's Linux it
    freely without SCO style harrasment lawsuits, but won't allow you to
    redistribute it freely as required by the GPL. I can't see how this does not
    violate the letter of the GPL.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

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