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

05.24.07

Novell Sells Community’s Blood, Boasts Earnings

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell at 10:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The headline is inspired by a nice analogy from Pamela Jones. We have identified some very interesting information in the latest discussion at Groklaw. Let us start with this:

Meanwhile, Antone Gonsalves at EETimes reports that Microsoft says it isn’t attacking Open Source. It is just responding to customer demand. Shades of SCO. Must be the same customers SCO told us were begging them to set up SCOsource licensing. Here’s what Microsoft’s Bob Muglia said:

Muglia said Microsoft was focused on interoperability with open source software, not on challenging the use of its intellectual property in court. “Our approach is a licensing based one,” Muglia said. “It’s a real issue for customers, and one that Microsoft is addressing proactively.”

I just can’t turn off my paralegal brain, which translates that to say: We won’t sue you as long as you pay us. I believe I can get similar terms from the Mafia.

We’ll shortly publish an item dedicated solely to the issue of interoperability and the “interop tax” which Microsoft and Novell so stubbornly insist on introducing. But here’s another slip of the mouth (what at least appears to be the case) from Steinman:

Update: Another part of Shankland’s report has this offensive bit, from Justin Steinman. Who else?

Microsoft’s patent tally news both pleased and displeased Novell, said Justin Steinman, the company’s marketing director for Linux.

On the displeased side, Novell saw the news as “another round of, ’0h no, here we go again.’ We generally think comments like that aren’t productive,” Steinman said.

On the pleased side, Novell potentially can profit from the saber-rattling. “If Microsoft is going to go out and raise concerns, we are comfortable we can offer (customers) coverage,” Steinman said. Overall, though, Novell wasn’t pleased. “Do we wish the tone of the article had been different? I think so.”

I could probably make some money selling my mother’s blood, if I had no conscience. Or I could rob a liquor store. There’s money in that, I hear. Profit isn’t the only indicator of whether a deal is a good idea or not.

Right on point. In part, Novell continues to thrive in the community’s pain. That’s the very same community from which its product came. Novell still bites the hand that feeds it. In case you remain unconvinced, here is another statement which supports this assertion.

When Microsoft suggests that Linux developers have stolen its IP, “I feel that I’ve been called a thief,” he said. As a result, he concluded, the Microsoft/Novell deal might be good for Novell “but it’s not good for the community” of open-source developers and users.

Here is the perspective of Tom Adelstein, which indirectly addresses the exclusionary deal and its impact.

I seem to recall something about unfair trade practices. Can a monopoly favor one organization with the same product offering over another? Hmmm, I’m not a lawyer and I don’t practice law. But, as a private citizen, I can recall some interesting legal battles here and there. Something about Linspire comes to mind. And something about announcements that stop people from buying products because of threatening announcements also comes to mind.

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

4 Comments

  1. Stephen Holmes said,

    May 25, 2007 at 5:36 am

    Gravatar

    You’ll find that all companies (and particularly publicly traded companies) are in the business of making profit and not in the business of altruism. This is the point of them being in business. Innovation, R&D, expansion are functions of a growth pattern designed only to increase profits and not better human-kind.

    You’ll also find that the greatest percentage of open source developers are paid by such companies in the first place. The F/OSS market is changed forever, one could argue since IBM put on its own F/OSS attire. It’s a business now, with real and well paid employees.

    My point is, why would you expect any company to behave differently? Turn the rock over on any of the so-called pure F/OSS companies and you’ll find something that will make your stomach churn.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 25, 2007 at 6:31 am

    Gravatar

    You could add Google to the list of examples (amid Moglen’s criticisms), but there’s a difference between not giving back (or giving too little) and actually harming that hand that feeds you. Novell is knowingly doing damage. Apparently it thought that damage to its image would be outweighed by this deal with Microsoft.

  3. Ian said,

    May 25, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Gravatar

    But what is the damage that has been done? Despite Microsoft’s positioning and comments, nobody has really taken it seriously. Beyond the hurt feelings department, I’m still left wondering where if any damage has been done up to this point.

  4. Robert Millan said,

    April 1, 2008 at 6:09 am

    Gravatar

    Stephen, I think you’re making the following assumptions:
    – Innovation cannot possibly happen in a free market, and therefore requires protectionist measures (counterexample: everything that was invented in computer software before software patents were allowed).
    – Such protectionist measures aren’t really detrimental for innovation, even if they impose a 20-year delay before newly-invented technology can be used without fear of lawsuits (example: Nokia and Apple think it is dangerous to use OGG).
    – Altruism and ethics are the same thing. Since there are no altruist companies, there are no ethical companies either (counterexample: I leave that up to you; hint: Microsoft ain’t a good one).

What Else is New


  1. Major Revelation: Microsoft Blackmail Against LAMP (GNU/Linux and Free Stacks for Servers) Goes At Least 16 Years Back, Predating the Novell Patent Deal

    (Techno-)Anthropological analyses of Microsoft's patent war on Free/libre software must take into account what Microsoft did to MySQL, a Swedish company at the time



  2. Links 4/4/2020: Sparky 5.11, Firefox 74.0.1, POCL 1.5

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 03, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, April 03, 2020



  4. Links 3/4/2020: Ubuntu Beta, GNOME 3.36.1, ExTiX LXQt Mini, NetBSD 8.2 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Digital Communication, Digitalisation and Videogaming Among the EPO's Latest Smokescreens for Illegal and Abstract Patents on Algorithms

    The EPO keeps liaising with the EU to promote patents which EU officials have themselves said were illegal; to make matters worse, the EPO's violations of its own laws inspire the United States to do the same



  6. Emotional Blackmail for Illegal Software Patents

    Semantic tactics the European Patent Office (EPO) uses to promote software patents in Europe and may theoretically use in the future (satire)



  7. Clear Linux is to GNU/Linux What Clearly Defined is to Open Source

    The idea that we need Intel to take GNU/Linux ‘mainstream’ is ludicrous; as OSDL co-founder (now succeeded in the flesh of the Corporate Linux Foundation), Intel is more about Linux (with DRM, “secure boot” and everything that lets it be remotely controlled) than about GNU and it’s not too keen on GPL (copyleft), either



  8. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 02, 2020



  9. Links 2/4/2020: Linux 5.6.2, Qt Creator 4.11.2, LineageOS ROM Based on Android 10

    Links for the day



  10. OIN in 2020 Resembles Linux Foundation in 2020 (Corporate Front Group Piggybacking the Linux Brand)

    We regret to say that the Open Invention Network seems not to care at all about Software Freedom; to make matters worse, it is a proponent of software patents and a voice for companies like IBM and Microsoft, not the "Community" it fancies misrepresenting



  11. Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) - Part IX: Semi-Happy Ending

    Richard Stallman is here to stay and the FSF will let him stay (as chief of GNU); we want to close the series on a positive note



  12. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 01, 2020



  13. Upcoming Articles and Research Areas

    Although we've failed to write as much as usual, we're still preparing some in-depth articles and maintaining Daily Links (in spite of unforeseen ordeals like a forced laptop migration)



  14. Links 2/4/2020: ProtonMail Bridge for Linux, GTK 3.98.2 and Red Hat DNF 4.2.21

    Links for the day



  15. Links 1/4/2020: Linux 5.7 Merges, Qt 5.14.2, GhostBSD 20.03, Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Plans, WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 31, 2020



  17. Techrights to Delete Articles From All Past Years to Save Disk Space

    What if we deleted over 25,000 posts?



  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, March 30, 2020



  19. Links 30/3/2020: GNU Linux-libre 5.6, WireGuard 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 29, 2020



  21. Links 30/3/2020: Linux 5.6, Nitrux 1.2.7, Sparky 2020.03.1

    Links for the day



  22. The Fall of the UPC - Part IX: Campinos Opens His Mouth One Week Later (and It's That Hilarious Delusion Again)

    Team Campinos said nothing whatsoever about the decision of the FCC until one week later, whereupon Campinos leveraged some words from Christine Lambrecht to mislead everybody in the EPO's official "news" section



  23. Pretending EPO Corruption Stopped Under António Campinos When It is in Fact a Lot Worse in Several Respects/Aspects (Than It Was Under Benoît Battistelli)

    Germany's eagerness to keep Europe's central patent office in Munich (and to a lesser degree in Berlin) means that politicians in the capital and in Bavaria turn a blind eye to abuses, corruption and even serious crimes; this won't help Germany's image in the long run



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 28, 2020



  25. Links 28/3/2020: Wine 5.5 Released, EasyPup 2.2.14, WordPress 5.4 RC5 and End of Truthdig

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, March 27, 2020



  27. The Fall of the UPC - Part VIII: Team UPC Celebrates Death, Not Life

    Team UPC plays psychological games now; it is trying to twist or spin its defeat as good news and something to be almost celebrated; it is really as illogical (and pathetic) as that sounds



  28. Links 27/3/2020: GNU/Linux Versus COVID-19 and Release of GNU Guile 3.0.2

    Links for the day



  29. When Your 'Business' is Just 'Patent Portfolio'

    Hoarding loads of patents may seem impressive, but eating them to survive is impossible if not impermissible



  30. LOT Network is a One-Man (Millionaire's) Operation and Why This Should Alarm You

    The ugly story of Open Invention Network (OIN) and LOT; today we take a closer look at LOT and highlight a pattern of 'cross-pollination' (people in both OIN and LOT, even at the same time)


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