Politics, politics (Novell-Microsoft Deal)

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caveman
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Post by caveman » Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:21 am

Just my 1/4 cents of input

How very short the IT industry memory really is!

<quote>
In April 2001, Microsoft spread the rumor that Novell was moving out of the software business
and even managed to get it published on TheStreet.com. Microsoft eventually modified the statement
in response to demands from Novell. However they repeated this nonsense on 1 October 2001 in a direct
mailing to Novell customers. This marketing piece suggested that Novell server products would "expire"
at some unknown date in the near future. (This is not true; there is no "expiration date" on Novell
server products, they keep working indefinitely). It also claimed that Novell, after its merger with
Cambridge Technology Partners, would discontinue software development and shift to consultancy. It
implied that Novell customers would soon be left with a server platform without the full support of
its manufacturer, which would therefore rapidly become obsolete.
This outright lie caused Novell to file suit.
</quote>

with due respect to the author
"Why I hate Microsoft"
frankvw@euronet.nl

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Post by caveman » Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:22 am

Hmm - and some more from the same article

<quote>
In November 2001 Microsoft spread more lies when they published a whitepaper on their website that
compared Embedded Windows XP with embedded Linux. Among other inaccuracies, the paper touted the
superiority of embedded XP, called it "proven performance and reliability" (blithely ignoring the fact
that XP is Windows and therefore known for its unreliability, and that XP is brand new and barely
tested). It claimed that Linux is "a follower, not an innovator", based on the fact that Microsoft
continues to integrate support for new "standards" in their products that the Open Source community
struggles to keep up with.
</quote>
===================
<quote>
On 14 February 2001, MS's Windows Operating System chief, Jim Allchin, stated that freely distributed
software code such as rival Linux could stifle innovation and that legislators need to understand the
threat. The result [of Open Source initiatives] will be the demise of both intellectual property
rights and the incentive to spend on research and development, Allchin claimed. He went on to call
Open Source an intellectual-property destroyer, and stated that nothing could be worse than this for
the software business and the intellectual-property business. In May 2001, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
stated in an interview that
"Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches".
</quote>

EDIT: Void Main edited for page formatting.

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Post by Jenda » Sat Nov 25, 2006 5:09 am

Excuse my language...
fsck them.

This really pisses me off.

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Post by JoeDude » Sat Nov 25, 2006 6:32 am

But wait, this dark cloud does yet have a silver lining...possibly.

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/index.php?p=206
ZDNet wrote:Good news for Linux: Microsoft, Novell pact in trouble
Posted by Ed Burnette @ 12:01 am
Digg This!

David Berlind is reporting that all is not well in what Dana Gardner called the "Fox marries chicken" deal between Microsoft and Novell earlier this month.

This is a good thing, say many GNU/Linux supporters.

Free software supporters are already working to undercut the deal, which brought Novell several hundred million dollars. Eben Moglen, one of the main players behind the drafting of the next version of the GNU Public License used by GNU/Linux, says that the deal infringes upon user freedom. According to Moglen, it would force many of them to buy Linux from a vendor that has worked a deal with Microsoft. That's exactly the point, says Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "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 told eWeek.com recently. (At least he's clarifying that, yes, it's all about patents).

To combat the patent covenant (er, "IP bridge" in Microsoft-speak), the Free Software Foundation's next draft of GPLv3 is expected to include a new clause that any promises not to sue would automatically apply to everyone using the new license. Thus, if the MS/Novell pact were not canceled then Microsoft would find itself essentially indemnifying all GNU/Linux vendors and users.

There's just one little problem with this strategy, however. The Linux kernel is stuck firmly at GPL version 2. The "GNU" part of GNU/Linux will have no problem transitioning to the new version, because the source code is copyrighted by the Free Software Foundation (assigning copyright is a precondition of contributing). But the "Linux" part, i.e., the kernel itself, is a different story. Most of the contributors would need to go along with it, yet many object to anti-DRM language in the current draft–language they say inappropriately extends beyond the software realm. Chief among the objectors is Linux creator and "benevolent dictator" Linus Torvalds.

The best outcome from all this would be a reconciliation between the two camps. Stallman and Moglen would compromise (you in the back, quit laughing) and remove or soften the controversial language, while Torvalds and friends would accept some tighter developer restrictions and move to GPLv3.

But this time guys, please add the "or later" clause so we won't have to go through this again in a few years.
Don't know how this could direclty affect the deal myself, but at least there's a counter effort from the community.

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Post by Void Main » Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:24 pm

The way I understand it you don't have to include the DRM portions of the license if you don't want to when you place your code under GPLv3. It has been turned into an option. I believe this is mainly because of Linus's wishes. So they should stop printing it as if that was still a huge road block.

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Post by cdhgold » Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:05 pm

response from Novell on patent issue
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,20 ... 112206EOAD

from article
"We disagree with the recent statements made by Microsoft on the topic of Linux and patents…Our agreement with Microsoft is in no way an acknowledgment that Linux infringes upon any Microsoft intellectual property," Hovsepian said in the letter."

thoughts?
CHris

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Post by Void Main » Sat Nov 25, 2006 8:41 pm

Question for Novell. Then what the heck is the $40M payment to Microsoft for? Drop that and any patent language in the agreement, or the entire agreement and I think everyone would be cool. Until then SUSE is dead as far as I am concerned, and I assume most of the rest of the community feels the same as I do. Oh, and the next time you want to make a secret deal with someone that involves GPL software here is a little piece of advice: Don't.

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Post by Void Main » Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:26 pm

Interesting:
[quote]
UWC Head of Computer Science declares: “we will completely rid ourselves of Novellâ€

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Post by Void Main » Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:04 am


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Post by Calum » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:21 am

his statement is excellent.
this is a monumentous decision, i am sure he will have no problems finding some other purpose in life!


all the best to him, and i hope Novell's pariah status either forces them to play by the same rules as everybody else or else die a slow and public death.

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Post by Void Main » Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:21 am

Looks like Jeremy got a job over at Google. Not quite sure how that fits. In other news it looks like M$ is planning to provide Linux support. It's really hard to say that with a straight face.

http://open.itworld.com/4917/061220mslinux/page_1.html

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Post by cdhgold » Sat Feb 03, 2007 6:55 am

Reuter's Story

thoughts?

EDIT by Void Main: Sorry I put your long link into a short link so it didn't throw off the page formatting.

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Post by Void Main » Sat Feb 03, 2007 8:00 am

I just saw that on /. and the article is very poorly written by someone who obviously hasn't made any attempt at background learning about the FSF, free software and Linux. The article makes it sound like FSF community just has a big beef with Microsoft and Novell making a/the deal. That's not the case at all. They (we) only have a beef with one specific piece of the deal and is only a small part of the overall deal. It's the part that deals with the patents that "appear" to violate the license on the software that we contribute. There are several other misleading statements in the article but I won't pick it apart piece by piece. They just should have had someone write the article who knew a little more about the FSF and what they stand for and the background of the problem they have with the patent part of the Novell/Microsoft deal.

So, just for kicks I decided to look and see if there was any information on this article over at www.boycottnovell.com and sure enough there is:

http://boycottnovell.com/2007/02/03/mic ... ikes-back/

Eben Moglen's response to the article and more:

http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS6837365670.html

...

The Reuters quote was: "The community of people wants to do anything they can to interfere with this deal and all deals like it. They have every reason to be deeply concerned that this is the beginning of a significant patent aggression by Microsoft."

"What he actually asked me," said Moglen in an email interview, "was 'Is it true that some members of the community want GPLv3 to keep Novell from distributing future versions of GPL'd software?' I said, 'Yes, the Free Software Foundation is opposed to the deal, and is thinking about what to do; there will be a new draft soon [of the GPLv3]" (GNU General Public License Version 3).

Therefore, "The actual quote he prints is entirely accurate, but his lede destroys the context and is making unnecessary waves."

...
There is a lot more to the article and is worth reading.

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Post by Calum » Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:32 am

i read the article just now, before i read void's comments and i was shocked and appalled at how badly the article had been written. The language is oversimplistic to the point of idiocy. There's a lot to criticise about the article, but here's something highly misleading, that isn't really connected with the open source community directly, and so may be overlooked:
Linux sales accounted for 5 percent of the $967 million in revenue that Novell reported last year. The deal with Microsoft has turned into a far bigger cash generator as it calls for Microsoft to make two upfront payments totaling $348 million.
i suppose the articler doesn't realise that microsoft's only interest in Novell is to gain control of their Linux output in some way. The article implies that a solution for Novell would be to drop Liinux, because now they are getting a lot of money from microsoft. This is very silly since obviously, if Novell are no longer a "Linux" company, then how would it benefit microsoft's plans to destroy open source software by throwing money at them?

i think that even people ignorant of the nuances of cathedral vs bazaar styles of software development will see this article for the farce that it obviously is.

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Post by Void Main » Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:23 am

I didn't know a lot about Reuters before this other than I had the general impression that they were a very unbiased/nuetral and very competent source of stories that other news sources purchase to run for their own news. After seeing this they have dropped considerably on my scale. I suspect it has more to do with ignorance than any sort of bias. It's too bad.

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