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Microsoft Patent Deal Could Leave Novell Behind 246

Posted by Zonk
from the wave-bye-bye dept.
robbyyy writes to mention a Computer Business Review Online article about commentary from Bruce Perens to Novell, about their recent deal with Microsoft. He argues that the company should quickly turn its back on the deal, because Novell risks being left behind by open source progress. From the article: "While Linux creator Linus Torvalds has previously stated that the Linux kernel will remain on the GPL v2 license, much of the code that makes up a complete Linux distribution is owned by the FSF, which intends to re-license all its code to GPL v3 as soon as it is completed in early 2007. 'In the face of these changes, Novell will probably be stuck with old versions of the software, under old licenses, with Novell sustaining the entire cost and burden of maintaining that software,' Perens wrote, adding that Novell faces a choice of sticking with Microsoft and being left behind, or turning its back on the patent deal."
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Microsoft Patent Deal Could Leave Novell Behind

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  • Scam. It's a scam. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by robyannetta (820243) * on Friday November 24, 2006 @10:57AM (#16974320) Homepage
    (IMHO) From what I've seen, it looks like Novell got sucked into this Microsoft deal without knowing the real purpose of this deal: to discredit Linux.

    Look at the time line:

    * Novell and Microsoft shake hands on an exclusive agreement to create better cross-compatibility between their software.
    * After the agreement is signed, Microsoft does a 180 and publicly states that the crux of the deal was really Novell admitting Linux violates Microsoft's IP and this was a license agreement.
    * Novell is saying 'WTF? Where did this come from? You scammed us!!1!!'
    * Microsoft looks like a hero to the DOJ for saying 'We're not evil, see? Novell admits Linux violates our IP and they now license it from us. Here's the contract!'

    I'm sure Microsoft will somehow defend the contract by connecting to their Xenix OS they sold through Tandy in the early 1980's.

    The agreement was nothing more than the most expensive anti-Linux PR campaign ever conceived. Novell and Bruce Perens aren't the bad guys here, they just got scammed (Please, for the sake of the future of Novell, please don't forward Bruce any emails that state the Prince of Nigeria needs some cash to escape the country).

    This may also give Microsoft legal footing to attempt to go after Red Hat if they really want to. All they have to do is bring up the Novell deal in court to make themselves look like angels.

    This is just my $0.02, take with a grain of salt, your mileage may vary...
    • by TortiusMaximus (719234) on Friday November 24, 2006 @11:23AM (#16974594)
      >>Novell and Bruce Perens aren't the bad guys here, they just got scammed (Please, for the sake of the future of Novell, please don't forward Bruce any emails that state the Prince of Nigeria needs some cash to escape the country). I don't understand why you think that Bruce Perens got scammed... he's the one sounding the alarm!
    • by cp.tar (871488)

      Well, if that happens, I guess Novell's lawyers will be the first ones out of job...

      On a darker note, this is the thing we've all been predicting. And so far, none of us have been proven wrong.

      On the other hand, I don't see what kind of an idiot - except the ones sitting in my country's courtrooms[1] - would accept such a contract as proof of any kind of license or IP violation. The only proof is code; this kind of contract can only mean "if any possible violation existed, we've agreed not to make a fuss

      • by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Friday November 24, 2006 @11:56AM (#16974910)
        [1] In Croatia, pushing a finger in someone's anus is not considered as an even remotely possible case of rape. It is considered much more like a handshake instead. (Check the Wikipedia archives for Handshake, you'll see that this piece of information has been deleted a few dozen times or so.)
        Hmmm, interesting information. There are a couple of Croats working here, I shall ask one of them... ;-)

        ... gives a whole new meaning to "you should wash your hands after shaking hands with strangers".

      • by Alchemar (720449)
        You are thinking in terms of logic not PR:

        On the other hand, I don't see what kind of an idiot - except the ones sitting in my country's courtrooms[1]

        This is meant to be tried in the media not the courts. While you may not have been able to find an idiot capable of believing this kind of distorted "logic" the media has proven themselves quite capable.
        • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Friday November 24, 2006 @02:19PM (#16976544) Journal

          From what I've gathered - and please, correct me if I'm wrong - Microsoft gave money to Novell, not the other way around.

          While it can generate bad publicity - and it has already generated pretty bad publicity among Linux users in general - as long as it remains in the media alone, we'll be fine.
          We've been immersed in FUD ever since Microsoft stopped ignoring Linux (first, they ignore you...); it has never stopped Linux before. Slowed down, yes; stopped, no.

          Besides, with Vista and possible further incarnations of Windows restricting user rights more and more, Microsoft will have enough bad publicity on its own.

          And Linux will find a way into many a user's home as a way to run all the Good Old Games(TM) - a friend of mine, who claims Linux Is Not Ready For Desktop And Won't Be For Ten More Years, has a Linux partition from which he runs old games. He says DOS emulation under Linux is so much better, and who am I to contradict him.

    • by johansalk (818687)
      It is a scam indeed. I knew it the moment I read that Microsoft bought soooo many Suse licenses for its customers. Yeah, right! Like Microsoft is going to market and sell Suse to its customers.

      Microsoft did a really shitty thing. If there'd never been a reason to be suspicious of them before this is it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      (IMHO) From what I've seen, it looks like Novell got sucked into this Microsoft deal without knowing the real purpose of this deal: to discredit Linux.

      * Novell is saying 'WTF? Where did this come from? You scammed us!!1!!'

      You may well be right, but, erm, isn't it Novell management's job to have worked out all the angles on this? It's not like this is some newbie company that knows nothing about Microsoft. Novell have tangled [eweek.com] directly with Microsoft [wikipedia.org] and indirectly with their proxies [wikipedia.org] before on man

    • by couchslug (175151)
      Unless no one at Novell reads Groklaw, it is fair to say they knew exactly what they were doing when they chose to sleep with the enemy.

      SCO is almost gone, long live SCOvell.
    • MicroSoft cannot use Xenix as a defense, as that was among the IP that became SCO. (I helped do remote driver debugging for the initial Xenix/386 releases on one of the first IBM PS/2 model 80's. :) )

      Novell got cash. Needed cash.

      Perens claim that Novell will be stuck maintaining old code makes no sense. Why would Novell have an issue and RedHat not? Indemnification deals are customer insurance at most, and do not affect the actual IP ownership.

      If it turned out that MicroSoft had a valid patent vi

      • by Darth (29071) on Friday November 24, 2006 @03:16PM (#16977032) Homepage
        You misunderstand Perens' point.

        He is saying that the GPL v3 will explicitly disallow the kind of contractual arrangement Novell used to end-run around the GPL v2. When v3 comes out, Novell will have to either abandon the contract, or they will not be able to use code licensed under v3.

        Since all of the FSF foundations tools will move to v3, and most of the toolchain for linux is owned by the FSF, Novell will be left behind with old versions of a lot of the software in their distribution. They will have to fork the code base at the point the license changes and maintain v2 implementations of those tools themselves. That will be a lot of work and the Novell versions of the tools will probably end up divergent from the FSF versions of those tools.

        This will make SuSE less interoperable with other open source software and less attractive as a platform on which to build your infrastructure.
  • The Damage is Done (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Friday November 24, 2006 @10:58AM (#16974330) Journal
    Novell is left behind.

    Now the question is who's leaving them behind. Let's take, for instance, the SAMBA team that urged Novell to reconsider [slashdot.org]. Why was it the SAMBA team? Well, probably because people on both sides saw this deal as an tacit acknowledgement that several open source projects infringe on Microsoft intellectual property. SAMBA would be a pretty easy target for Microsoft, in my opinion and that's why they voiced their concerns so quickly--I'm sure more will follow once the realization hits the entire community when the precise details of the deal are released. I've seen figures anywhere from $100-450 million USD to be accepted by Novell from Microsoft. Why? Hopefully we'll find out.

    Interestingly enough, the finest details I can find on this deal come from Novell's Website [novell.com] with the thought provoking title, "NOVELL & MICROSOFT COLLABORATE--CUSTOMERS WIN." Once these details surface, after the FSF's lawyer is done picking them over with a fine toothed comb, then I think we'll know who's still with Novell and who's 'left them behind.'

    I'm going to say right now that--pending the GPLv2 allowing this deal--projects feel genuinely threatened by Microsoft lawsuits will alter their licenses to exclude potential deals regarding their software like the one Novell made. If this deal goes through, what we'll most likely see is SuSE being pretty much the basic Linux kernel and not a whole lot more except (as the summary states) the frozen old releases of software. Ironically, the eventual evolution of the Linux kernel will probably render these releases unusable which will mean at some point Novell will have to stick with an old edition of Linux or make the upgrades and patches itself to the rest of the software. I would bet that Open Office and a lot of the Windows-y environments (like KDE & Gnome) might adjust to this and move away from SuSE just to be safe. After all, these agreements that give you protection against Microsoft litigation based on intellectual property is the first step in Microsoft's eventual licensing of the software you've written.

    If this deal hasn't been signed in blood, then I would urge every project that would jump ship to publicly notify Novell they will (the only one I know of is SAMBA--there must be more). But if the ink has dried on the contract and they're checking it against the GPLv2, I fear the damage is already done. Look to the future and hope the GPLv3 that's eventually ratified stops things like this from happening.

    Even if this fails under the GPLv2 and the deal never goes down, will you ever be able to look at Novell the same way again? I'm not sure I will.
    • --Quote--
      Suse
      LiVES no longer supports Suse, since Novell signed a deal with a certain well known company.
      If you are using Suse, please consider moving to another distribution.
      --EndQuote--

      Just downloaded Lives as I wanted to play with video editing and noticed the above. Pretty fast update.
      • Pretty silly... (Score:3, Informative)

        by IANAAC (692242)
        since you can still download the source and compile it. If you don't feel like compiling, there are rpms that are easily found on sites such as rpm.pbone.net. They'll probably always be easy to find as long as the source is available.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mikesd81 (518581)

        If you have a problem and need support with LiVES, there are several ways to request it. Firstly, you can log a bug or a feature request on the sourceforge project page for LiVES.

        That's from the LiVES website. They ask for donations. Last I checked Suse was still a version of linux, so anyone that's donated to LiVES and uses Suse should still get support. It's fair. I have the choice to use whatever version of Linux I want and if I donated money, I should get support any way.

        • by DoktorTomoe (643004) on Friday November 24, 2006 @01:49PM (#16976230)
          They ask for donations. Last I checked Suse was still a version of linux, so anyone that's donated to LiVES and uses Suse should still get support. It's fair. I have the choice to use whatever version of Linux I want and if I donated money, I should get support any way.
          From Wikipedia's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donation [wikipedia.org]:
          Donations are transfers, or gifts, given without return consideration. This lack of return consideration means that, in common law, an agreement to make a donation is an "imperfect contract void for want of consideration." Only when the donation is actually made does it acquire legal status as a transfer or property. In civil law jurisdictions, on the contrary, donations are valid contracts, though they may require some extra formalities, such as being done in writing.
          Donations are not support fees. Donations are an unsolicited display of respect and gratitude. It would be fair, but it is no obligation, and you are not entitled for support in any legal way, even less if you use a non-supported operating system distribution. Think of the implications if someone who donated would get LiVES to run on Windows, BSD, OSX or AmigaOS 3.3... there is no way proper support would be given to you, independent of the amount of money you donated.
    • by 14CharUsername (972311) on Friday November 24, 2006 @11:54AM (#16974892)

      Yeah I think Samba might be a target here. If Novell contributes code to Samba, and Novell says that the code they conrtibuted was licensed from MS, then Samba can only be used by companies that are indemnified by MS. Remember that part of this deal is about interoperability, and Samba is a big part of that.

      Another target id Mono. It's probably a good idea to avoid that platform altogether, since its likely only MS approved linux distros will be allowed to run apps developed for Mono. Of course its just as likely mono will remain free. But the worst case scenario is going to scare a lot of developers, making mono a dead platform.

      I think Perens is right. As long as this deal is in effect, everything Novell does will be tainted. No Open Source project should accept any code from Novell until they cancel this deal. It's good to see that the Samba team gets it. Though I think it's likely this will kill Mono.

    • Pardon my ignorance, but I'm a recent grad-ewe-et of the American school system so I don't know any better. I mean, I know what it's like to be in a "no child left behind" school system: it means that all of us were better than average when we grad-ewe-etted. My math teacher explained this to us in a really neat way in between his lectures on Intelligent Design: he drew something he called the Gaussian Distribution on a sheet of clear plastic, then folded it in the middle so it had two right hand tails and

    • If this deal goes through, what we'll most likely see is SuSE being pretty much the basic Linux kernel and not a whole lot more except (as the summary states) the frozen old releases of software. Ironically, the eventual evolution of the Linux kernel will probably render these releases unusable which will mean at some point Novell will have to stick with an old edition of Linux or make the upgrades and patches itself to the rest of the software.

      Not necessarily. If they weren't able to use current GNU tools, there's always BSD. While, IMHO, the GNU tools are nicer the BSD tools are good and very mature. They could also write better version of, say, Samba with Microsoft's help as no reverse engineering would be necessary.

  • Act fast! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bogaboga (793279)
    Novell should act fast on this one. I also wonder whether Novell can ever get anything right. First, it was going Gnome on SUSE Linux, and now it's this seemingly non-starter agreement with Microsoft. What is going on over at Novell is anyone's guess.
    • by NoseyNick (19946)
      Going gnome? Hasn't SUSE always offered both KDE and Gnome?
      • by bogaboga (793279)
        Going gnome? Hasn't SUSE always offered both KDE and Gnome?

        Not by default. You will also agree that Gnome receives more "love" from Novell than KDE, though KDE is more functional than Gnome by default.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Knuckles (8964)
          KDE is more functional than Gnome by default.

          "Has more functions" != "is more functional". Not for all classes of users.
          • by bogaboga (793279)
            "Has more functions" != "is more functional". Not for all classes of users.

            Indeed, but one thing that bugs me with Gnome is the fact that I cannot type or paste in the file location dialog at all! I cannot even paste say, a PDF URL into any application that uses the Gnome file selector and expect the system to fire up the appropriate application. KDE and Windows do this by default.

            • by Knuckles (8964)
              I cannot type or paste in the file location dialog at all

              Ctrl+L, this is consistent throughout Gnome. IIRC the next gtk version will have this enabled by default
            • by HiThere (15173) *
              The thing that bothers me about Gnome is their lack of a decent menu editor. This appears trivial, but I find it so annoying that I've never looked much further.

              This isn't quite true, I used Gnome by preference back around KDE1...but not since they removed the menu editor.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hello, perhaps you remember Eric Schmidts involvement with both Google and Novell. I cannot imagine that this was done without his knowledge. If Google uses SUsE, Microsoft can't sue them on that basis. You first read it here. os10000.
  • NovWinLux (Score:4, Interesting)

    by antirelic (1030688) on Friday November 24, 2006 @11:11AM (#16974488) Journal
    Hrm. Here is a what if scenario. What if Microsoft decides to not go the legal route, and instead starts developing software that helps interoperate Linux to windows, but only through a mechnism that is Novel specific? For example: Novel sells SUSE v25, that is "Windows Enabled", aka comes with that "bonus cd" that contains a propietary software that makes its Linux boxes "just work" with windows systems? For example, whatif you can run some direct x applications almost natively on SUSE because of what Microsoft has done? Now lets say that MCSE also has a subcomponent for SUSE support? As a CIO or a semi-retarded Mid level manager, would you choose a linux that "works well with windows" or a linux that doesnt (not saying that Linux without M$ blessing doesnt work with Windows, I'm just using standard linear "yes or no" type thinking common with mamanagement types in the IT world).
    • Re:NovWinLux (Score:4, Interesting)

      by HairyCanary (688865) on Friday November 24, 2006 @11:29AM (#16974636)
      An interesting proposition. But given how long it takes Microsoft to build software, and their track record at building *good* software, I would not worry much about this happening. What you described would take a few years to put together, and by then Novell will be long forgotten and out of date.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Cally (10873)

        An interesting proposition. But given how long it takes Microsoft to build software, and their track record at building *good* software, I would not worry much about this happening. What you described would take a few years to put together, and by then Novell will be long forgotten and out of date.

        This is Microsoft we're talking about here. The "MS/Linux" software won't have to actually /work/ (as in, improve interop between GNU/Linux systems and Windows systems) in order to work (as in, perform the function Microsoft have designed this strategy to accomplish.) That's also what I expect Microsoft to do. See the story the other day about Ballmer saying "most Linux users haven't licenses our IP properly", most posters took it to imply SCO-like legal threats against GNU and Linux distributors.

        This loo

    • by ookaze (227977)
      For example, whatif you can run some direct x applications almost natively on SUSE because of what Microsoft has done? Now lets say that MCSE also has a subcomponent for SUSE support? As a CIO or a semi-retarded Mid level manager, would you choose a linux that "works well with windows" or a linux that doesnt

      Where exactly did you see a CIO or semi-retarded mid level manager that could say an OS "works well with Windows" because you can run Direct X applications (mostly entertainment apps) on it ?!
      Even if it
      • by jimicus (737525)
        That's not what the idea is.

        IMO, the idea is to be able to pitch this as "Microsoft Approved Linux". That way, the paranoid CIO who doesn't want to go down the Linux route for fear of patent infringement or what have you will likely be prepared to sanction Linux - as long as it's SuSE.
    • "bonus cd" that contains a propietary software that makes its Linux boxes "just work" with windows systems?

      Since when has Microsoft developed and sold anything that "Just Works"? Now if we were talking about Apple...

  • I don't see how the GPL v3 can force a certain behaviour on MS.

    Novell is not giving their customers any rights beyond those Novell or anybody else has. If there is a valid MS patent, suddenly nobody has the right to distribute or use the code.
    THe only thing special is MS promised not to sue Novell cutomers.

    • by ookaze (227977) <ookazeNO@SPAMmail.ookaze.fr> on Friday November 24, 2006 @12:06PM (#16975028) Homepage
      I don't see how the GPL v3 can force a certain behaviour on MS

      That's because it can't.

      Novell is not giving their customers any rights beyond those Novell or anybody else has. If there is a valid MS patent, suddenly nobody has the right to distribute or use the code.
      THe only thing special is MS promised not to sue Novell cutomers


      Mmmh no !
      Nobody has the right to distribute or use the code IF MS says so.
      The problem is that if most of the base OS becomes GPLv3, and Novell uses it, it will pass any patent related agreement (like "promise not to sue") to every FOSS users of the software that has the problem. This would break their contract, or prevent them from using the GPLv3 software.
      As most of the code in a distro like Suse comes from outside, they're in for a rude awakening then.
      • by nuggz (69912)
        Nobody would be able to use or distribute the MS patent encumbered code unless they have a license from MS. This is because nobody has a patent distribution license.

        No patent license = no distribution.

        Novell does not give the "promise not to sue" to their customers. That is the key issue wrt the GPL. Novell is unable to provide this promise to their customers, but so is every other GPL software distributer.

        Really Novell is not doing anything with the GPL code that other distributers aren't.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        The problem is that if most of the base OS becomes GPLv3, and Novell uses it, it will pass any patent related agreement (like "promise not to sue") to every FOSS users of the software that has the problem. This would break their contract, or prevent them from using the GPLv3 software.

        I am beginning to get the impression that FSF is trying to introduce software licenses with more conditions than Microsoft's. Why will Novell having patent protection for some of their software preclude them from distributing

  • "...that Novell faces a choice of sticking with Microsoft and being left behind, or turning its back on the patent deal."
    If Novell has already signed a binding contract, they may not be able to turn back. In that case, they will have to stick with Microsoft for better or worse.
    From the outside, we will probably not see if they are stuck or just stubborn ;-)
  • FSF's plans for GPL3 have been pretty controversial in some says, and Novell might not be the only ones who end up saying they don't want it. Who says the GPL2 releases of userland tools will freeze? This is Free Software, people, and anyone can maintain it, including a multimillion dollar company and all the other people who don't like GPL3. All of FSF's software may be headed for a fork.

    • by ookaze (227977) <ookazeNO@SPAMmail.ookaze.fr> on Friday November 24, 2006 @12:20PM (#16975180) Homepage
      FSF's plans for GPL3 have been pretty controversial in some says, and Novell might not be the only ones who end up saying they don't want it

      Not a problem, once every GNU software goes GPLv3, they won't need Novell to do the same, mark my word.

      Who says the GPL2 releases of userland tools will freeze?

      Every people that know about them and works with them. A fork on these would be a HUGE painful task.

      This is Free Software, people, and anyone can maintain it, including a multimillion dollar company and all the other people who don't like GPL3. All of FSF's software may be headed for a fork

      I think you don't have any idea of the task at hand. Anyway, a fork is not a bad thing.
      But if you really believe that all the people out of the MS-Novell deal will contribute to software with a license (GPLv2) that will only help Novell, with risk of a lawsuit as a reward, you're again in for a very rude awakening. I bet all these GPLv2 sofware will go GPLv3 quick, so that it doesn't happen !
  • Perens' Assumption (Score:2, Interesting)

    by segedunum (883035)
    I too think Novell has been scammed into this, but Perens is assuming a lot if he believes that Novell will be left behind. For a start, it is by no means certain that GPL 3 stops this kind of deal (and it would have to be proven), and secondly, all the contributors to GCC and other software may just fork it and remain on GPL 2. The FSF may have copyright on the software, but that software is nothing without many contributors from IBM, Novell, Red Hat and other places.
    • by ookaze (227977)
      For a start, it is by no means certain that GPL 3 stops this kind of deal (and it would have to be proven)

      It will specifically address these kind of deals, by the FSF attorney's own mouth.
      We're just waiting for it to be written.

      and secondly, all the contributors to GCC and other software may just fork it and remain on GPL 2

      You're living on denial now ? So you really believe all the contributors, most of them screwed by this deal, will stay GPLv2 to stay screwed ?
      Wow, you really think FOSS community are some
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This will undoubtedly get censored to hades by the fanbois, but Linus's stupidity about GPL3 is really screwing over the Linux community. The Novell deal is just the second shot in this battle with Microsoft (SCO being the first).

    The next shot will be when Microsoft starts making contributions to the kernel, and creating their own FSF-free Linux distro, as the only distro which is blessed by Microsoft (and interoperates with it). This is the next logical step of embrace and extend. IMHO, it's a major screw-
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Richard_J_N (631241)
      I agree, Linus has misunderstood GPL3. I don't think I'd call it stupidity though.
      He originally made 2 arguments; as I understand, the first was a simple error of fact which he no longer pursues:

      1)GPL3 makes you give up all your private keys => "Developers would never have any privacy".
      This isn't true - you only have to give up a private key which you used to sign code, if the hardware will only boot that signed code. This is essentially a ban on hardware which runs open code but cannot be modified.

      2)GPL
  • by krayfx (694332) on Friday November 24, 2006 @12:17PM (#16975150)
    i think novell missed the bus already! microsoft has in effect done precisely what they intended. drive a wedge find a weak link. greedy corporations/ half baked manager/ mgt teams are the precise target. they know it the game very well, novell played by their game, bought the tripe and is now stuck. if what perens has to say is true - staying with old software is too much of a hassle to handle, and the open source community will not touch the 'pariah' code. this in itself a major victory. duplication of efforts by novell and the mess would be grain in the gears.

    open source is forging ahead in a lot of things. novell has 2 of the brigtest and hardworking team in them (suse and ximian), what better way to scuttle the open source army's healthy progress! imagine if kde 4 was already out in time for vista (no, they aren't in the same market). things would have looked good for a lot of enterprises to go for solid products like novell desktop with say all the gloss of kde 4. i don't know how this war is heading/ shaping, and also what microsoft's plans are - but one thing's for sure - they have won the battle number one. they've split the community. it upto us in the community to close the ranks, regroup and look for the best possible solution, i wouldnt want novell to go down and taking suse and ximian along with them!
  • Perhaps he's the second coming of The Messiah! [vlsm.org]

    ...Or the first if you're jewish...

    Oh come on, IT'S FUNNY!


     

  • Who cares about the GPL3? In case you've forgotten Linus doesn't want the GPL3 and neither do the rest of the serious kernel developers.

    http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS9955615279.html [linux-watch.com]

    If only a handful of developers move to the GPL3, and that looks to be the case, it's the GPL3 that won't matter. Yes, some of their code, most noticeably gcc, will be GPL3. But again, so what? It's also under the GPL2, Linus and other practical open-source developers will keep using the old version and fork their own.

    Perens
    • glibc is FSF copyright, and *will* move to GPL3. Without glibc, linux is a kernel without userland tools. So although linux-the-kernel might stay GPL2, linux-the-operating-system will be GPL2+3.
  • made me laugh out loud after reading the story.. was like "hmm", then saw the tag :D
  • Much of TFA seems to be written from the petition, or vice-versa. It addresses the issues of alienating the FOSS community the way that Novell is planning on doing, and how much of the codebase Novell relies on, will be unavailable to them should GPL3 be rolled out soon.

    http://techp.org/petition/show/1 [techp.org]
  • ...how will the GPLv3 solve anything? Novell has from what I've understood not recieved any patent license. If they had, the GPLv2s distribution clause would require they pass it on or refrain from distributing at all. So what specificly about the GPLv3 would prevent them? Nothing I saw.
  • Does anyone know if Linus has commented on the whole GPL3 issue since the Novell-MS deal was announced? He has been opposed to the GPL3 in the past. Is the current climate going to change his mind?

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