Free Software Group May Bar Novell From New Code

The Free Software Foundation is considering banning Linux software distributor Novell Incorporated from using new versions of a group of programs known as the GNU operating system, to punish the company for signing a patent deal with Microsoft Corporation. Novell and bigger rival Red Hat Incorporated have made a profitable businesses out of selling their own versions of Linux bundled with technical support, maintenance and other services. Novell would likely have a tough time keeping its version of Linux competitive with Red Hat if it lost access to future upgrades of GNU software. The Free Software Foundation released a draft of a licensing agreement, known as GPLv3, on Web site gplv3.fsf.org Wednesday for discussion for 60 days. If the foundation decides to ban Novell from selling the GNU programs, it could incorporate that provision into the license before it goes into effect at the end of June.

"The unforeseen agreement between Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc., announced in November, presents grave threats to users of free software," said the foundation, adding that it made changes to the draft license "to combat this threat." It said arrangements like the Microsoft-Novell deal "make a mockery of free software, and we must do everything in our power to stop them."
"If the final version of the GPLv3 does potentially impact the agreement we have with Microsoft, we'll address that with Microsoft," Novell spokesman Bruce Lowry said, adding Novell is committed to continuing the partnership with the software giant.
Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's vice president for intellectual property and licensing, said the foundation's draft license did not "tear down the bridge Microsoft and Novell have built for their customers. It is unfortunate, however, that the FSF is attempting to use the GPLv3 to prevent future collaboration among industry leaders to benefit customers."

News source: InformationWeek

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Aren't you glad we live in this age of freedom and democracy? Sure our governments may not always be perfect but atleast no one rules the internet right?

The FSF is full of ****, they want programmers not to get payed, they want to boycott a company just because its succesfull and it wants to control a community that's supposed to be free. Isn't it funny how people always bash MS for no reason when its organizations like these at are evil? MS controls 90% of the world's computers, if they were truely evil then they wouldve abused this more than just simply including Windows Media Player and IE with Windows (which are both becoming less popular now even though they're included), evil would be oh I dunno let's say barring one of the largest Linux distributers from using open source software because they want to make more money.

FSF is now 3rd on my evil list just below Apple and the RIAA.

"It is unfortunate, however, that the FSF is attempting to use the GPLv3 to prevent future collaboration among industry leaders to benefit customers.”

Hmmm, benefit customers? or it is more benefiting to Microsoft... :P

I think if FSF has more reasons than just simple jealousy to do that. Somehow, RedHat isn't 'banned', and if FSF believes that the Novell-MS pact is a shamble, they might as well do that. No matter what people say about FSF after this, they deserve a credit for Linux development, GPL and free thinking in the Enterprise - something that no commercial vendors have ever done before, even MS.

Also, we all know what practices MS uses to shy out FOSS (remember allegations of its involvement in SCO vs. IBM case, requirements for system builders willing to use Windows, etc.), they do that all the time and their corporate policy has been quoted by Markjensen.

It seems like Novell wants to play with MS more than they do with FSF, so if FSF is the body that approves the final version of GPL3, they can kick Novell in the nuts for not listening to the daddy, even if the decision is conditional. Also, note that MS would never bend its back for FSF - even their SFU software is just a joke. MS definitely wants to keep its camp closed, and if FSF does the same - that's only fair, I guess.

"It is unfortunate, however, that the FSF is attempting to use the GPLv3 to prevent future collaboration among industry leaders to benefit customers.”

Note the key word here: Customers

This indicates to me that Novell is heading in a direction in which they no longer wish to provide free downloads of its software. To me a customer means a transaction takes place. I really loved SuSE until Novell contaminated it. Now I just use Slackware. I like to stick with distributions that focus entirely on free versions and offer no retail products. These distro's seem to focus more on the "user" and not the "customer".

However, I do NOT agree with what the FSF is doing here. I do not see a partnership with Microsoft and Novell actually violating the GPL. I hope this situation will resolve itself, so that the "users" will actually benefit.

meshiga said,
ITS A GREAT STEP IN OPEN-SOURCE NOT TO LET THE WELL KNOWN LEADER (STILL BY NOW) MICROSOFT FROM KILLING THE COMMUNITY!!!

No.
This just shows that the statements that FSF is "good" were lies.
Their practices are no better than MS's.

It might not exclude Novell from GPL code just like that, but I still don't like the GPL3.

The purpose of the GPL is to provide freedom to its users, and even though I don't like patents, I believe this is restricting choice, not promoting it.

It doesn't "exclude Novell". What a sensationalist headline (but I guess that gets Information Week the hits it wants from the article).

It requires any sorts of patent deals to apply to all. So, in this specific situation, Microsoft makes a patent deal with Novell, then the deal applies to the software as a whole, not just from one specific distributer of that same software. It seems cohesive to me (even though I disagree with some of the anti-DRM clauses in GPL v3). I don't see it restricting Novell or anyone from new code. It just forces agreements to apply to everyone to be valid.

It has never been about plants. It is about software and the rights to use and freely (re)distribute it. What real (non vegetative) part do you have problems with, and maybe I can help explain.

markjensen said,
It has never been about plants. It is about software and the rights to use and freely (re)distribute it. What real (non vegetative) part do you have problems with, and maybe I can help explain.

It's about double standarts.
Like Adobe PDF. FRRRRREEEEEEE!!!! OOOOOOOOOOPEN!!!!
But if you are MS we'll sue you!

Check your computing history. The FSF (whether you agree with them or not) has never been about running competition out of business. This is a license change they feel they need to protect their software.

Now, if you want to discuss companies that want to "f-ing KILL" their competition, or "need to slaughter" a company while they "smile and pull the trigger", then we can discuss it in a "Microsoft Business Practices" thread. After all, they are the self-described

Microsoft is not just a tough
competitor. It's not just an aggressive
competitor. It is a competitor who is willing
to break the law and commit anticompetitive
acts in order to destroy competition.
(reference: Allchin internal email)

markjensen said,
Check your computing history. The FSF (whether you agree with them or not) has never been about running competition out of business. This is a license change they feel they need to protect their software.

Now, if you want to discuss companies that want to "f-ing KILL" their competition, or "need to slaughter" a company while they "smile and pull the trigger", then we can discuss it in a "Microsoft Business Practices" thread. After all, they are the self-described(reference: Allchin internal email)


From 1993.

markjensen said,
Ummmm... Yeah. I did say "computing history". As in has a history of anti-competetive action.

Your "history" is spoiled. It smells....

How so?

Novell can still freely use GPL2. They will be able to use GPL3, but not apply the Microsoft patent deal to it. The patent deal Microsoft made was divisive to software covered by the GPL. If Novell distributed it, then Microsoft said you were safe. If Red Hat gives you the same exact software, then suddenly you are subject to lawsuits from Microsoft. The patent deal divides GPL software (even identical code). This is an attempt to keep the software united. It does not stop Novell in any way. It stops any company from splitting their code as "protected" when it doesn't differ from person "B"s code by a single bit.

Let's suddenly talk abut Adobe Photoshop.
If Adobe distributed it, then Adobe said you were safe. If some pirate gives you the same exact software, then suddenly you are subject to lawsuits from Adobe. The copyright deal divides Adobe software (even identical code).

Should I explain it for you?

That is the worst, most selfish decision I have seen in a long while if they decide to ban Novell. "Hey so we are cool because we are free and open to everyone!! ...well unless you are in the same room as Microsoft- psst-they are evil!!" It is complete and utter bs.

Novell and Red Hat are on the cusp of creating something great, but by cutting out Novell's research and development all you are doing is taking a step backwards for Linux and Open-Source programming. I feel like this is another example of how Open-Source people just want to stay in the business of not taking on the average consumer.

It's not just about dealing with MS, it's about a deal with MS that only Novell's customers can take advantage of. That goes against the FSF idea of "same rights for everyone" (or something along those lines).

Anyway, whether you agree or not with their decision, it's their software and will be distributed under the license they see fit. If Novell gets out of the loop because of the license terms, then though luck. Go pick a previous, gpl2 version and fork away.

That is the worst, most selfish decision I have seen in a long while

How long is "a long while"? Didn't you read the "everyone allowed but the OSS devs" license from MS for their new image format?

ichi said,
It's not just about dealing with MS, it's about a deal with MS that only Novell's customers can take advantage of. That goes against the FSF idea of "same rights for everyone" (or something along those lines).

Anyway, whether you agree or not with their decision, it's their software and will be distributed under the license they see fit. If Novell gets out of the loop because of the license terms, then though luck. Go pick a previous, gpl2 version and fork away.

How long is "a long while"? Didn't you read the "everyone allowed but the OSS devs" license from MS for their new image format?

You don't understand.
FSF was saying they are good MS is evil (has evil practices).
But now they say they are going to become as evil as MS (by using the same practices).
They lied to us. FSF is just another evil group in this world.