03.01.07

Novell’s Role in Microsoft’s New Battle with the EU

Posted in Europe, Interoperability, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Samba, Servers, SUN at 5:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Server interoperability returns to the headlines. The EU is at the offence again. After Samba’s demonstration against the Novell/Microsoft deal, Shane alluded to the impact of the deal on the EU ruling. And the story is not over. In fact, Microsoft’s deal with Novell equips the convicted monopoly abuser with more ammunition, perhaps proof that it collaborates. Then comes the intellectual property pitch. Whilst software patents are invalid and even illegal in Europe, Sun, Novell and Microsoft are all located in the States.

In any event, here is the latest:

Europe Threatens New Microsoft Fines

The European Union escalated its trans-Atlantic fight with Microsoft Corp. on Thursday, threatening new multimillion fines against the software maker over claims it is asking rivals to pay too much for information that would help their servers work with Windows.

[...]

Microsoft has reached licensing agreements with several of the companies that originally took issue with the software maker’s practices and pricing, including Sun Microsystems Inc. and Novell Inc.

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A Single Comment

  1. shane said,

    March 2, 2007 at 3:27 am

    Gravatar

    Here, too was an article discussing this aspect of the deal, in my opinion it is what Microsoft really got for their money (the FUD is just Ballmer’s spoils).

    MS will trot Novell out in Europe and use them to argue their appeal of the fines, when they win their appeal and reduce the fine, they will make out like bandits compared to the change they gave Novell. Plus, they get royalties from anyone who wants to talk to a Windows machine… ever.

    Notice that MS didn’t provide actual working documentation until after they had an example client agree to pay royalties for their interoperability information. How many Free Software projects can pay these fees, and/or comply with the letter and spirit of the GPL v2 or v3?

    Novell has essentially agreed that the terms that MS is demanding for licensing the interop info are "reasonable and non-discriminatory" and totally undermined the case against Microsoft, again.

    I noticed that WSPP licenses are 5 year terms, per the WSPP FAQ, and there is also an answer to the burning question: What happens after the 5 years?.

    What is the term of these licensing agreements? Can I continue to distribute and develop products implementing the licensed protocols after the end of my agreement?

    The term of the WSPP Development Agreement is five years. After the agreement expires, certain development and distribution rights continue indefinitely, subject to applicable royalty obligations and termination provisions.

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