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

11.20.06

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

2 Comments

  1. Ted Haeger said,

    November 20, 2006 at 2:03 pm

    Gravatar

    “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

    Gravatar

    Ted,

    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:

    http://openubuntu.blogspot.com/2006/11/novell-will-fork-any-open-source-app.html
    http://digg.com/linux_unix/Novell_to_FORK_all_apps_that_move_to_GPLv3_Samba_tops_list

    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.
    `—-

    http://linux.about.com/b/a/257580.htm

    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. Links 30/8/2014: Jailhouse 0.1, *buntu 14.10 Beta

    Links for the day



  2. Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  3. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise



  4. Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Companies Versus FOSS Moles (VMware, Sonatype, Xamarin)

    A look at three entities which pretend to be pro-FOSS but are actually FOSS-hostile and very much determined to replace FOSS with proprietary software



  5. Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China, LinuxCon

    Links for the day



  6. FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

    In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft



  7. Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

    Media in Microsoft's pocket is telling Microsoft's lies and deceives the public for Microsoft's bottom line



  8. Microsoft's Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

    A new report about Microsoft's admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft's criminal aspects



  9. Links 25/8/2014: China's Linux Revolution Imminent

    Links for the day



  10. Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  11. Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

    Links for the day



  12. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  13. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  14. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  15. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  16. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  17. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  18. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  19. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  20. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  21. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  22. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  23. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  24. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  25. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  26. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  27. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  28. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  29. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  30. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts