Novell Executive Shakeup: Appointment? Shuffle? Departure? (Corrected: Board, Not Executive)

Posted in Finance, Novell at 5:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell has published this rather optimistic press release about an appointment in the company. Looking at the 8-K Form that is independent from PR, it appears as though one important executive board member (thanks, Ian, for the correction) recently departed from the company, leaving a vacant position. This might be difficult to confirm, but in any event, changes at this level are a sign of weakness.

Voices of the Community on Licences and Freedom (Updated)

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Law at 12:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As promised, here is a collection of articles that discuss the GPLv3, including parts which need mending and parts which address the Novell/Microsoft deal.

Just How ‘Free’ Are Open Source Licensing Models?

Confusion and controversy about Open Source licensing did not start with current Free Software Foundation efforts to revise the GNU General Public License (GPL). Nor will emergence of an acceptable GPL V3 — or of a revised Lesser GPL or Affero GPL (thanks Dana Blankenhorn) — make OS licensing much less problematical for enterprise users. Concerns are both alleviated and complicated by a profusion of options that range from GPL’s communitarianism to the Common Public License’s collaborative focus to BSD’s laissez-faire liberality. The variety of schemes in use creates opportunity: witness, for instance, Apache’s magnificent munificence. But one must also take care to avoid bait-and-switch, pretend Open Source licenses that promise freedom in both common senses, liberty and price, but ultimately deliver neither.

Update: Apache battles Sun over Java license

The Apache Software Foundation is in a dispute with Sun Microsystems over a license for the Java technology compatibility kit needed for the Apache Harmony project.

GPL 3: Will Someone Lose, No Matter What?

On the other hand, however, The 451 Group’s Zachary suggested that perhaps Novell will be able to achieve binary compatibility with other Linux distros by working with industry organizations such as the Linux Foundation

“There are some opportunities to stay in sync, even in a fork,” according to the analyst.

GPLv3, Linux and GPLv2 Compatibility

Over time, more and more projects currently released under the GPL adopt the Linux license, because it is more legally precise and more comprehensible to the average developer than either the GPLv2 or GPLv3. Eventually, Linux distributions switch over to the Linux license, leaving only a small branch of GPLv3 (or v4 or v5) code to be downloaded separately (if the user chooses to do so).

Travel Back in Time With GPLv3

Say No to Novell

Update: the item “Survey: Open Source Developers Welcome GPL v3 Draft 3″ has just been published by ECT. We covered this OpenLogic survey before, but it’s worth repeating. The article does not contain a comprehensive summary, but the figures speak volumes.

ClearType Controversy Revisited

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 12:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Over a week ago, speculations arose with regard to software patents, followed by some clarifications. This issue is discussed further in the following short article, which is aptly titled “Microsoft: Never Really Helping Open source”.

Schafer says that Microsoft is never going to extend the patent protection on ClearType to all of the Linux community, and adds that he has lost all hopes, now “with all the anti-Novell/Microsoft clauses in the GPLv3 dealing with patent protection and the essential prohibition on it”. He opines that that FSF and GPL’s conviction to ideals may in fact stunt the growth of open source and Linux. The need is the two worlds to find a common ground so that the user does not suffer.

This sounds like criticism of the GPLv3. Schafer opines that there are better solutions to the problem which this deal introduced, but does the headline not contradict this? It is clear that the Novell/Microsoft deal had nothing whatsoever to do with helping Linux. It was about harming Linux as a whole. A few months ago, Microsoft’s CEO explicitly said that the deal was primarily about patents, not interoperability. Novell will continue to deny this, or even “agree to disagree”, but this neither changes the facts, nor can it change intent.

I will shortly post a collection of links which discuss licensing issues a little further. Hopefully, folks like Schafer will ultimately agree that there are no better choices and GPLv3 is actually a very good thing. Meanwhile –and only yesterday in fact — Rob Enderle who regularly shills for Microsoft, took their next punch at GPLv3. It’s just part of a long series of punches with a clearly malicious goal in mind, namely the spreading of disconfirmation. They try to create a bogus legal cloud, which will loom over GPLv3, scaring developers and lawyers alike. If you just follow the money, you will find that these attacks consistently come from Microsoft and its ilk, which unfortunately includes Novell now.

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