EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Can Novell’s Protection Racket Swing a Timebomb?

Posted in Formats, Microsoft, Novell at 5:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Verfasst von Oencke has come up with some interesting insights. He highlights the parallels between a classic protection racket scenario and the Novell/Microsoft deal.

What does the wikipedia say about protection rackets? I’ll add my comments in brackets {..}. These may or may not be accurate:

“A protection racket is an extortion scheme whereby a powerful organization {Microsoft?}, most often a criminal organization or gang, coerces individuals {you} or businesses {you} to pay protection money{ SUSE subscription fee} which allegedly serves to purchase the organization’s “protection” services {“patent peace of mind”, S. Ballmer*} against various external threats {patent lawyers}….

It would be reasonable to assume that Microsoft, being the ‘bully’ here, will use Novell to promote its own agenda and commercial interests. I opine that it is no longer necessary to draw any comparisons with SCO. This analogy has been used by various respectable editors who went overboard with the intention of sending loud warning signals.

While Novell remains committed to ODF, as indicated below, Novell may have also ‘contaminated’ OpenOffice in the process of development. The legal boundaries are vague, but Novell has little fear because it has struck a mutual protection deal while excluding all others. This could work to Novell’s benefit in the short term (shareholders would cheer), at the expense of the rest of the Linux community. In fact, since many of the projects at hand run under multiple platform, it is also a great threat, to be broader, to Free software. Harm can be due to inclusion of Microsoft code, visibility of Microsoft code, or collaboration. Richard Stallman realised this in the dawn of the Free Software movement, which is why Linux easily ensures/d SCO’s (Microsoft proxy) baseless accusations.

We will also continue to contribute as part of the OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications Technical Committee to enhance ODF and ensure that ODF standards are the premier file format standards for office applications.

Let me take my tinfoil hat and confess that it would be overly presumptuous to jump to conclusions. However, I merely try to present some possibilities here. With regards to Mono or OpenOffice, no clear violation has been identified as there isn’t yet any concrete proof. I would like to close by quoting an item that grabbed my attention a few months ago.

The best part of the file Michael sent to me was that the data was formatted into a “Data Pilot,” which is OpenOffice’s analog to the Microsoft Excel “pivot table.” Data pilots, as well as support for xls pivot tables, is a whole new feature area in OpenOffice.org that I really ought to post something about, too. (So many features, so little time.)

Source: Ted Haeger, Novell

This writeup dates back to August. One wonders if a ‘bomb’ was planted in the code (deliberately by Microsoft while not deliberately by Novell), which sets a legal minefield that has percolated onto other distributions by now. If so, can patches be identified, retracted, or altogether rejected? Can anybody trust Novell at this stage? Their hand on this project, particularly at this stage, seems harmful because any element of FUD is worth a thousand lawsuits, to quote [H]omer.

[puts tinfoil hat back on head /]

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. Ted Haeger said,

    November 20, 2006 at 2:03 pm


    “One wonders if a ‘bomb’ was planted in the code (deliberately by Microsoft while not deliberately by Novell), which sets a legal minefield that has percolated onto other distributions by now.”

    This is crazy-paranoid. Novell did not work with Microsoft on the features we contributed to OpenOffice.org.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 20, 2006 at 2:10 pm



    I appreciate the response. I can’t help but feel that collaboration between the two sides changes the legal terrain /entirely/.

    Wanna see “crazy-paranoid”? Check this one out:


    And right there I actually defended you guys. I have been advocating SuSE/SUSE for years, but Novell seems to have ditched SUSE (or Opensuse, the community), renamed it, and evolved to become something rather strange.

    Why can’t you guys be more like Red Hat? See the latest news from the Fedora project.

    Fedora to Become More Open and Independent of Red Hat

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | The most obvious change will probably be the omission of “Core” in
    | the distribution name. That’s because the core packages are to be
    | moved into the community infrastructure, so that they are open
    | to contributions by external developers.


    Samba is trying to help you guys. Why won’t the management listen, admit it has made a mistake and reverse (to the extent possible)?

    Another thing I fail to comprehend is why/how an executives can say the following:

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Microsoft Corp is using scare tactics to exert pressure on PC vendors
    | not to explore the potential of desktop Linux, according to Novell
    | Inc president and COO, Ron Hovsepian

    Several months later he exchanges smiles with one of the biggest business thugs of the past two decades. It’s almost as though he decided to join ‘the gang’ while punishing all others (including those who coded for him and supported his products) in the process. This leaves one speechless.

What Else is New

  1. With Software Patents in Europe (and Pushes for the Same Thing in Australia and India) Patent Trolls Now Come to Europe, Attack Android/Linux

    Worst-case scenarios are becoming a reality as Android backers officially attacked by patent trolls using standard-essential patents in London, England

  2. New Information on Limbo in the Enlarged Board, Courtesy of Illegal Actions by the EPO's Benoît Battistelli

    Battistelli's bullying of people whom he is not even allowed to bully turns out to have gone on for a lot longer than promised, and there is no sign of light at the end of this tunnel

  3. Microsoft Customers Complain About 'Inevitable' Vista 10 Because Microsoft Nearly Forces Botched 'Upgrades'

    In a desperate effort to spread Vista 10, sometimes even against people's will, Microsoft really upsets loyal customers, who are eventually eager to explore alternatives

  4. Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna Explains Why the UPC (“Unitary Patent“ System) is an Undemocratic Sham Whilst UPC Silently Advanced by Patent Lawyers and Politicians

    European patent laws are being covertly overridden so as to allow broader scope of litigation, higher financial damages, speedy injunctions, and even software patents; the European public is intentionally kept in the dark about it, hence kept unable to express scepticism or issue truly effective objections

  5. IRC Proceedings: September 13th, 2015 – October 3rd, 2015

    Many IRC logs

  6. Article Explains Why SUEPO Went Silent Well Over a Week Ago: Nobody is Allowed to Talk to Journalists Without Permission From Battistelli

    More threats from Benoît Battistelli (threats of termination and legal actions on top of it) help hide the abuses of Battistelli and his fellow thugs at the EPO

  7. A Linux World: After Billions of Dollars in Losses Microsoft Changes How It Reports Financial Results

    The abusive monopolist is trying very hard to hide its growing difficulties, especially in an effort to bamboozle non-technical shareholders who cannot understand how Linux has essentially taken over

  8. Microsoft Continues to Extort Linux and Android OEMs Using Software Patents, This Time ASUS (Forced to Pre-Install Microsoft Spyware With OOXML)

    A roundup of news illustrating that Microsoft is still very much in a total war against Android, (mis)using federal regulators and even software patents to get its way

  9. Links 4/10/2015: Linux 4.2.3 , 4.1.10; MPlayer 1.2 released

    Links for the day

  10. Links 2/10/2015: Qubes 3.0, Linux.Wifatch

    Links for the day

  11. Microsoft-Connected Firm Net Applications Used to Mislead About Vista 10 Share and Mock GNU/Linux

    People who are connected to Microsoft (some being former staff) link to a firm that is connected to Microsoft in order to create the illusion that Vista 10 market share grew to 6.63%

  12. Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) and EPO Vice-President of DG3 Suspiciously on Unlimited Sick Leave After Benoît Battistelli's Unprecedented Attacks on Other EBoA Staff

    Rumours suggest that Benoît Battistelli's affairs at the EPO may have something to do with Wim Van der Eijk's longterm absence

  13. Microsoft's Secret Special Relationship With EPO Illustrates Serious Corruption at Microsoft and the EPO

    A big story about the EPO and Microsoft working in a sort of collusion-type setup so as to serve Microsoft's patent agenda, which involves aggression, even against European software that is Free (as in freedom)

  14. Links 1/10/2015: LFS 7.8, Calculate Linux 15 Released

    Links for the day

  15. The 'Microsoft Loves Linux' Baloney is Still Being Floated in the Media While Microsoft Attacks Linux With Patents, New Lawsuits Reported

    Despite Microsoft's continued assault on Linux and on Android (using software patents, which it still discreetly lobbies for), some figures in the media are perpetually peddling the Microsoft-serving lie that 'Microsoft loves Linux'

  16. The Microsoft Botnet Goes Bonkers and ATMs Running Windows Spew Out Cash

    The terrible security (by design) of Microsoft Windows is causing all sorts of very serious and collectively expensive issues

  17. Black Duck Continues to Pile FUD on Free/Libre Software

    Having spent nearly a decade promoting the fear of Free software licensing, Black Duck now does the same regarding Free software security

  18. Links 30/9/2015: New Kernels, Nexus Devices

    Links for the day

  19. Links 28/9/2015: Last News Catchup Before Resumption

    Links for the day

  20. Links 25/9/2015: GNU/Linux in Indian Government, NeoKylin in China

    Links for the day

  21. Süddeutsche Zeitung Explains Imminent Federal Scrutiny Against Battistelli's EPO in Germany

    The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reveals that actions by the German government may be imminent against the EPO's cliquish management, including its ringleader Benoît Battistelli

  22. EPO Managers, Patent Lawyers, Commissioners and Other Non-Technical Personnel Tackle Democracy, Alter Laws in Bulk and in Secret

    The reckless assault on European democracies and long-established laws across Europe are now lucidly demonstrated when it comes to patents

  23. Europe's Acceptance of and Resistance to Software Patents, Courtesy of Corporate Front Groups and Courtrooms Respectively

    A snapshot of recent developments and upcoming developments in Europe, regarding software patents in particular

  24. German Press Explains EPO Investigation Unit (I.U.), Struggles to Openly Speak to the Secretive EPO

    The secretive Investigation/Investigative Unit (I.U.) of the European Patent Office (EPO) is further studied/explored by a recent article from junge Welt, an old and well-established German newspaper (since 1947)

  25. Links 24/9/2015: GNOME 3.18, Fedora 23 Beta, New Firefox

    Links for the day

  26. Translation Needed of Article About EPO Threats Against SUEPO's Elizabeth Hardon

    A call for translation of an important article that may help shed light on the modus operandi of the Investigation/Investigative Unit of the EPO, which works with Control Risks Group (CRG), the 'British Blackwater'

  27. Media Filled With Spin and Lies Amid Microsoft's Admission of Internal Usage (and Modification) of GNU/Linux

    Further analysis of Microsoft's admission that it uses Linux internally and the media's poorly-researched response to that

  28. EPO Management Justifies Censorship (Even of Journalists) Using Its Vice-President Željko Topić

    The Topić connection to EPO-imposed and universally-induced censorship not just of news sites but also sites which speak about the censorship itself, or dare question the integrity of the EPO's management

  29. Changes at Techrights

    A few short notes on how we are going to re-align the site with disruptive trends, notably patents-related

  30. EPO President Benoît Battistelli Compared to Famous Criminals on European Television

    The Belgian TV network featured a show which was making fun of Battistelli earlier this month


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts