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


Helping Linux by Cloning Novell SUSE and Redistributing?

Posted in Fork, GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 5:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It should be very obvious by now what Microsoft intends to achieve with Novell-type deals. This new article says it loud and clear.

Instead of slaughtering open source with patent lawsuits, injunctions and damage claims, it appears the goal is to milk, or bleed, open source software companies through licensing, and indemnification deals. You can’t say there’s anything secret or hidden about that strategy.

The following article suggests an excellent solution which relates to a previous (and very recent) one. Have a look and see what you think.

Microsoft’s legal war chest is greater than the gross national products of numerous nations. They can, at will, become the RIAA of the operating system and user software worlds.


My strong suggestion is a very easy one, if you believe that it’s time for Microsoft to put up or shut up: Make your own Linux distro and publish it.


Then publish it; send the info to distrowatch.com. You’ll get no money for it, but you’ll be one of a few million people for Microsoft to sue. Since they’ll be forced to stop making innovative software and spend money on litigation, quality will suffer for a little while. Then it will get better again.

As you may know, Shane has its own educational Linux distribution, but is it time for FreeSUSE? SUSE Linux without the litigious burden and without any affiliation or relation to Novell? CentOS and Oracle (among others) did this with Red Hat, but in terms of obligation to a third party, there was none.

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


  1. mcintosh said,

    May 22, 2007 at 6:48 am


    >>Since they’ll be forced to stop making innovative software and spend >>money on litigation, quality will suffer for a little while.

    This sentence is hilarious. They’ll be forced to *stop* making innovative software???? When did they *start*??? I used to think that the simple menu style of the old DOS MS-Word was innovative (or at least infinitely superior to the Wordperfect way of making the user play Twister with his/her fingers for special functions)… until someone pointed out that Word had only copied EMACS.


  2. akf said,

    May 22, 2007 at 9:19 am


    I think the critical stuff is not the SuSE distribution as such, but their compatiblity software, ie. the OOXML converter and Mono and their planned replacement for silverlight and stuff like that.

    I don’t suppose to boycott them completely, but at least be sure not to get dependent on them.

    You can use software written for Mono, but writing software for Mono also means writing software for windows. But writing software for windows “.Net” most often doesn’t mean that it will also run on Mono. “Compatiblity” is a one way road as far as Microsoft is concerned.

  3. Francis said,

    May 22, 2007 at 10:16 am


    > How does FreeSUSE sound?

    How does please read some FAQs sound?

    > SUSE Linux without the litigious burden and without any affiliation or relation to Novell?

    Remind me why you think it’s justified then to use the Linux kernel, GCC, KDE or GNOME? Again, please refer to the FAQ.

    It’s becoming very clear and apparent that you guys (or, at least Roy) are completely blinded on this issue and are simply not willing to listen to any reason. If you were, then you would join us for discussion, but that’s apparently not the case. =)

    Who needs to consider another perspective when you’re infallible? Right.

    I have just finished watching Google’s How Open Source Projects Survive Poisonous People, and it’s increasingly intriguing how fit a description this site (and a few others in the so-called community) is of that very talk title. Take some time to watch it, kick back, read, and please think. :)

  4. gpl1 said,

    May 22, 2007 at 3:27 pm


    I’m glad you seem to be happy about MS-Novell Francis, but the people who contributed the code under the auspices of the four freedoms, like Red Hat, are not. GPLv2 Section 7 is still unproven especially considering the Dell/Microsoft/Novell deal, yet GPlv3 is the path of least resistance.

  5. Francis Giannaros said,

    May 22, 2007 at 7:31 pm



    Arguments like that just aren’t going to cut it. The GPLv2 violation isn’t “unproven”, it’s completely false. See the link I provided to get a statement from even RMS on the deal. As for the GPLv3, well, check the FAQ again. Playing the legal game means playing by the rules; saying it violates the “spirit” of something that’s quite clearly written down is only asking for trouble.

    Red Hat contribute great code, and I’ve got nothing against them. Novell contribute an awful lot too, so let’s not forget that. Still, I would extend the same comment towards Red Hat.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 22, 2007 at 9:57 pm


    Regardless of the licences, the fact remains that many developers do not want Novell (Microsoft) accessing their code. Novell has knowingly dishonoured the spirit of Free software, all for self financial benefit (at its own admission).

  7. Francis said,

    May 23, 2007 at 5:42 am


    You’re quite clearly ignoring everything I’ve said and still continue making the same baseless and ridiculous claims. But anyway, let me say it again:

    * Talking about the “spirit” of a legal document and license is nonsense!

    You’re dishonouring the free software spirit by clearly embodying all the traits of a poisonous person in the community (see the video above).

    You also have no real interest in discussion, or in your veracity anymore. That’s the thing: if your position is justifiable, facts can speak for you. Yet you choose to hide behind negative headlines and baseless stories will ill-formed and gratuitously speculative comments in a huge majority of the blog posts here. You’re invited by some openSUSE community members to discuss these issues, and you quite patently refuse. How curious.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 23, 2007 at 6:10 am


    I have a great deal of trust when it comes to Opensuse, but I don’t trust Novell’s management. They have proven in the past that they cannot be relied on. They thrive in secrecy and self benefit (selfishness).

    As we have said before, Opensuse might suffer due to Novell’s decisions. The blog BoycottSUSE (blogspot) is no more. I don’t know who ran it.

  9. Shane Coyle said,

    May 23, 2007 at 9:02 am


    the opensuse.org people, unfortunately, are very much in the middle of this; this is because MS and Novell made a deal on their behalf that specifically singles out opensuse.org contributors as beneficiaries of a discriminatory patent peace deal that bestows non-redistributable rights to them in violation of S6 of GPL2.

    I said before, keep the code – its GPL, just get a new website and name. The easiest route to short circuiting MS’ attempt to circumvent Free Software is to take away Novell’s customers, since then there will be no one to accept MS’ patent covenant.

  10. Francis Giannaros said,

    May 24, 2007 at 4:07 am


    No Shane, you’re glossing over the issue here. Please stop claiming that there is any GPLv2 violation, because you know _just_ as well as me that there is no such thing. openSUSE is still and always will be freely distributable.

    You say it’s a discriminatory patent peace, but like I’ve said countless times, nothing else has been added for everyone else. Novell’s customers have protection, but this doesn’t imply that others in the Linux community can _now_ be sued whereas they couldn’t before. That’s nonsense. Novell is one of the very founding members of the OIN ensuring and helping protect all of the others in the Linux community, so the point is still not holding.

    That’s right — openSUSE code _is_ GPL, which is exactly why it’s freely distributable. I can guarantee you that no sane person in the openSUSE community would ever really fork it. You both grossly exaggerate the effect of this. Most people in the openSUSE community have actually done their research on this issue (since there’s FUD from all sides), and hence pretty much know the truth behind the smokescreens you (and others) put up.

    Of course the shame again is that you’re not going to answer this and the discussion will end again because there’s the silly frenzy of posting on here. Once again, you decline to join any of us for a discussion, which is pretty much the most telling point I’ve seen since I’ve been on here. People will very cautiously avoid anything in which they might be demonstrated to be wrong :)

  11. Shane Coyle said,

    May 24, 2007 at 12:50 pm


    Rather than reprint verbatim my GPLv2S6 argument, it is here.

    Have you read the MS Commitment to the Community that Novell accepted on OpenSUSE.org contributors’ behalf? It puts restrictions on redistribution of the code, and distinctions between commercial and non-commercial distribution and also grants non-redistributable rights to those contributors and Novell "customers".

    Just because FSF isn’t going the litigation route doesn’t mean it isn’t there, and should MS ever decide to sue anyone but Novell, S7 of GPL2 will be revisited.

    So, why not update the FAQ you always push to include Steinman’s admission that Novell does have an IP license associated with this interoperability deal, with terms we all do not know but we do know that Novell engineers are looking at MS source which is really scary.

    Go back through my submissions, feel free to pick each apart in the comments – I subscribe to the comments RSS feed and will be happy to respond to any cogent arguments. I cut you a break this one time, next time bring some facts to refute my speculations.

What Else is New

  1. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  2. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  3. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  4. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  5. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  6. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

  7. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  8. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  9. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  10. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention

  11. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  12. Links 25/11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  13. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  14. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  15. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  16. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  17. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  18. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  19. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions

  20. Gross Violation of Workers' Rights in EPO: Denial of Christmas Vacation/Leave for Slower Workers

    A look at an E-mail from within the EPO which shows how Christmas is used to squeeze staff, urging them to work even faster (despite speed gains) or lose their Christmas leave

  21. The Bogus Narrative Floated by EPO Management: Our Judges and Examiners Are Armed and Violent

    A look at the union-busting and protest-crushing moves from high-level EPO managers, who are trying to convince politicians that they do so in an effort to stop terrorists and neo-Nazis

  22. Support SUEPO or End Up Like They and Some of the Boards Did

    SUEPO, the fast-growing staff union of the EPO, increasingly needs the support and protection offered by action and participation from staff

  23. NRC Handelsblad (Dutch Evening Newspaper) Speaks About EPO's Refusal to Accept Court Orders From The Hague

    Article explains the depths of the issues inside the EPO and the unacceptable immunity that management at the EPO continues to exploit, shaming or discrediting the very notion of the rule of law in Europe

  24. HeBS Digital and Black Duck Press Releases Treated Like Articles, Used to Muddy the FOSS Waters

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is under attack again, and it's the proprietary software lobby that's responsible for that

  25. EPO President Battistelli Now Intimidates Even National Delegations

    Report about an embarrassing incident implicating Benoît Battistelli and some angry comments cast over the witch-hunting of a judge, using all sorts of questionable tactics

  26. A Look at the Latest Gross Deletionism at the EPO's 'Media Partner', French Newspaper Les Échos

    The EPO's bogus 'journal of record, which Team Battistelli likes to cite in order to bolster its warped version of events at the EPO while maintaining a close secret relationship with the publisher, keeps censoring its own reporters (spiked paragraphs, silently self-censored or censored after publications)

  27. Rumour About Efforts to Dismiss a Board Judge by Intimidating Boards of Appeal

    Comment found online accuses the Administrative Council of pressuring, by threats, Directorate-General 3 to dismiss a judge who is silently accused (with selective 'leaks' to the media, reportedly orchestrated by EPO managers) but not even proven guilty

  28. President Battistelli Now Pressures/Threatens Politicians Who 'Dare' to Complain About Abuses and Unacceptable Conditions at the EPO

    Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, a French politician, unleashes an angry letter from Benoît Battistelli and reveals just to what lengths the EPO's Team Battistelli is willing to go in order to crush political backlash

  29. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part IV

    Some more background information about Elodie Bergot and Gilles Requena, who are married whilst also sharing positions of power at the EPO (and also strong connections/ties with the EPO's President, Mr. Battistelli); Rumours afloat at the EPO -- some with ever-increasing circulation too -- are worth noting

  30. Translation of Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann's Article in the German Media, Urging European Politicians to Intervene in EPO Chaos and Lawlessness

    Frankfurt-based media presents an opinion piece written by a Munich-based economic correspondent, Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann


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


Recent Posts