The legendary Jeremy Allison (of Samba fame) has resigned from Novell in protest over the Microsoft-Novell patent agreement, which he calls “a mistake” which will be “damaging to Novell’s success in the future.”
His main issue with the deal, though, is “that even if it does not violate the letter of the licence, it violates the intent of the GPL licence the Samba code is released under, which is to treat all recipients of the code equally.” He leaves the company at the end of this month. He explained why in a message sent to several Novell email lists, and the message included his letter to management:
“Whilst the Microsoft patent agreement is in place there is *nothing* we can do to fix community relations. And I really mean nothing,” Allison wrote. “Until the patent provision is revoked, we are pariahs….Unfortunately the time I am willing to wait for this agreement to be changed …has passed, and so I must say goodbye.”
Head over to Groklaw for the full letter/statement, which includes a message that Allison had recently sent to Novell management:
For people who will point out to me we don’t "technically" violate the GPLv2 here’s an argument I recently made on the mailing lists.
"Do you think that if we’d have found what we legally considered a clever way around the Microsoft EULA so we didn’t have to pay for Microsoft licenses and had decided to ship, oh let’s say, "Exchange Server" under this "legal hack" that Microsoft would be silent about it – or we should act aggr[i]eved when they change the EULA to stop us doing this?"
It is always heartening to see folks take a stand for their beliefs, I wish Jeremy continued luck and success and applaud his taking a stand against this selfish deal.