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

02.04.07

Novell Could Lose Rights to Distribute GNU, but Not Linux

Posted in Action, Courtroom, Deals, Fork, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Interoperability, Kernel, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Review, Samba at 12:32 am by Shane Coyle

So that’s what "GNU⁄Linux" is all about…

Unfortunately, the Novell Ban on Distributing Linux piece of FUD has really caught on and is being repeated ad infinitum around the internet. The article implies that the FSF is coming together to review the Microvell deal and decide if it is in violation of the GPL, and whether Novell should retain the right to distribute Linux is to be decided in the coming weeks.

As was pointed out earlier, this is not exactly what is happening – the FSF is not reviewing Novell specifically and determining if they are complying with the current GPL, with the intent of pulling their license. What is happening, however, is a new draft of the upcoming GPLv3 is in the works. In the coming weeks, the FSF will be working on the language that will address the Microsoft-Novell patent covenant and its "workaround" of the GPLv2 intent.

Basically, the FSF is closing the loophole exploited by the Microsoft-Novell deal, after which it will be up to Microvell to decide if they wish to comply with the new license terms and conditions. At this time, the FSF is not pursuing the Microvell deal under GPLv2, and apparently they are conceding that the deal is GPLv2 compliant (or at least not worth litigating).

Another point worth mentioning, is that Linux (the kernel) is almost certainly remaining under GPLv2 for the forseeable future, so even if Novell is unable or unwilling to comply with GPLv3, they will still apparently be able to distribute "Linux" under GPLv2 for some time.

What will be moving to GPLv3 in short order after its approval are projects like gcc and other fundamental packages that are controlled by the FSF, in addition to Samba – the very project which provides Novell’s coveted Windows interoperability in the first place.

So, while Novell will be able to distribute Linux for the forseeable future, it’s the GNU that Novell will be losing if they can’t comply with GPLv3, requiring them to maintain their own forks.

Of course, Novell has already pledged to comply with GPLv3 in whatever form it should take, so I suppose this is all much ado about nothing, right?

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

3 Comments

  1. Draconishinobi said,

    February 4, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Gravatar

    “Another point worth mentioning, is that Linux (the kernel) is almost certainly remaining under GPLv2 for the forseeable future, so even if Novell is unable or unwilling to comply with GPLv3, they will still apparently be able to distribute “Linux” under GPLv2 for some time.”

    That’s what I thought … Linus (and a few others) want(s) the kernel to stay under GPLv2. This means the GPLv3 will have very little if any effect on the Microvell deal / contract. They can easily develop or use software that is not under v3. For example, I know Intel makes a decent closed-source complier that would easily substitute gcc. So, I mean, unless really super critical parts of GNU, things that will cause GNU/Linux to not to function at a decent level without some major investment in developing new software, get upgraded to v3, then there is nothing stopping the evil empire from expanding, destroying, and/or dominating Linux and a good portion of GNU. Or maybe Hurd is the last and only hope ? Maybe BSD ? I feel the evil empire has already won :( :( :( Maybe there was never any hope in the first place ….

  2. Justin Silverton said,

    February 4, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Gravatar

    “Novell Could Lose Rights to Distribute GNU, but Not Linux”

    Most linux distributions contain lots of GNU software. Even though they can still use software from version 2, if they were blocked completly from the GNU aspect..there wouldn’t be much of an actual operating system left.

    “Of course, Novell has already pledged to comply with GPLv3 in whatever form it should take, so I suppose this is all much ado about nothing, right?”

    I think they stated this before the FSF decided to go after them directly.

  3. Justin Silverton said,

    February 4, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Gravatar

    “So, I mean, unless really super critical parts of GNU, things that will cause GNU/Linux to not to function at a decent level without some major investment in developing new software, get upgraded to v3″

    The problem is that if you get a piece of software under the GPLv2..you have a choice of using it under future licenses. So, Novell can still use anything under the GPLv2 (which includes all current gnu software) and they won’t have a problem.

    The drawback to them is that they will not be able to get updates (if they want to sell it under the deal with Microsoft) and will have to hire more developers rather than just using code from the community.

What Else is New


  1. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  2. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  3. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  4. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  5. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  6. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  7. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  8. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system



  9. Patents in the Android World Further Complicate Freedom in This Linux-Powered Platform

    A survey of last week's news with special focus on Google and Android, which are trying to coexist and thrive in a world full of patent maximalists



  10. The 'Unitary' Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

    Under the guise of 'unification' or 'unity', existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials



  11. HEVC Cartel is Not News, Only the Names of Backers and the Costs Are New

    A few remarks on and a roundup of recent articles about HEVC, which we first wrote about in spring



  12. IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2015 – July 25th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  13. Links 26/7/2015: Purism Librem and Freedom, Akademy Updates

    Links for the day



  14. Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

    Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people's computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)



  15. Vista 10 Not Ready, But Released Anyway

    Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses



  16. Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

    Links for the day



  17. Links 24/7/2015: openSUSE Leap 42.1, Intel With Rackspace for OpenStack

    Links for the day



  18. Links 24/7/2015: GNOME 3.17.4, Mozilla Developer Network Turns 10

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

    As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a 'free' upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate



  20. GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

    Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows



  21. Spinning Proprietary Software Dangers as Dangers of Free/Libre Software

    News sites mislead their readers, teaching them that the biggest dangers associated with proprietary software are in fact problems exclusive to Free/libre Open Source software



  22. Links 23/7/2015: New RHEL Release, Capital One Releases Code

    Links for the day



  23. Terminology of Patent Lawyers and Pro-Patents Media Serves to Mislead the Public

    An outline of stories where the language used to describe patents is grossly distorted so as to bias the reality and mislead the audience/readers



  24. Amid Billions in Losses, Microsoft Tries to Conquer the Competition (Which Already Wins)

    The 'Embrace, Extend, Extinguish' strategy goes a few steps further as Microsoft looks to dominate developers, devices and servers that are running Free/libre software



  25. Microsoft Losing Billions of Dollars is Not News

    Few remarks on Microsoft's latest admission that it is losing a lot of money



  26. Links 22/7/2015: Kodi 15.0, MKVToolnix 8.2.0

    Links for the day



  27. The Technology Sector in the US Has Gotten Fed Up With Apple's Patent Aggression Against Android/Linux

    Apple is desperately trying to stop Android from increasing its levels of dominance (in phones, tablets, watches, and so on), so Silicon Valley is lining up against Apple, antagonising its misuse/abuse of patents for anticompetitive purposes



  28. Patents Regime in Europe: Mixture of Greed, Competition Abuses, and Propaganda

    A roundup of the latest patent news from Europe, focusing on Italy, the UK, Germany, and Hungary



  29. Patent 'Reform' in US Congress Still Under Attack by Patent Lawyers and Corporate Lobbyists

    The latest instances of assault on changes to the US patent system, demonstrated through an elaborative survey of the media (two days' worth)



  30. Don't Ever Rely on Microsoft for Hardware, Hosting, Especially When it Comes to GNU/Linux

    Warning signs over Microsoft hosting, as well as reliance on Microsoft for maintenance of hardware


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