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

05.27.07

Could Novell’s Disclosure Have Led to More Backlash and Harm Than Calm? (Updated)

Posted in Deals, Dell, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents, Ubuntu, Windows at 9:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shane has already taken a preliminary look at Novell’s recent disclosure. Next week we shall find out a lot more as prominent people analyse the text and will report to the press. Here are some early reactions. The first comes from the Wine team.

More than a few people have been angered by Novell’s patent indemnification agreement with Microsoft. If you’re looking a bunch of really exciting fun, you can find a redacted version of the entire agreement filed with the SEC. There’s two nice bits in there about Wine. The first pretty much means Novell won’t ever ship Wine (someone please correct me if I’m wrong because it’s late and I might have pieced it together wrong.) Why?

Remember that Dell joined the Microsoft/Novell deal. A couple of weeks ago, just shortly after this deal, Mark Shuttleworth announced that Wine would not be included in Dell’s Ubuntu PCs. A while later it turned out that proprietary multimedia codecs would not be included either. Is it a coincidence, a conspiracy, or simply a logical decision? Here is the reaction of a man who is disappointed due to these recent developments.

Dell’s deliberately limited Ubuntu Linux offerings show cowardice in the face of Microsoft’s displeasure, and telegraphs to the casual shopper that Linux is a very cheap (as in quality) second to Windows in terms of breadth and depth of hardware support, when it most certainly is not.

Also see the following perspective:

The agreement enshrines the pretzel-like position Novell has been forced to adopt because it appears to be paying Microsoft not to sue its customers for using Linux.

[...]

It looks as if the agreement makes provision for the possibility that Novell will get acquired — it passes through — unless, it appears, it goes to a private equity buy-out firm or a company that gets less than 10% of revenues from hardware and software. There are also safety nets for product spin-offs.

What a mouthful. More speculations are certainly yet to come our way. Here are the reactions that Novell had to face in last week’s OSBC.

Corbet of LWN.net, however, accused Novell of enabling Microsoft’s bad behavior. “Novell is paying Microsoft a per unit fee (on sales of SUSE Linux). If there’s not a patent issue, what are you paying for?” he asked.

[...]

The issue of patents has been front and center at OSBC… and audience members expressed disappointment at the mixed signals coming from Microsoft over possible litigation, and what many perceived as a lack of honest cooperation between Microsoft and the open source community. “I’m not afraid of Novell coming after me like I’m afraid of Microsoft coming after me,” said Jon Stumpf, Senior Vice President of Engineering at AIG. “I don’t need a new (collaboration) deal on virtualization or ODF. I need cooperation on standards.” At other times, audience members responded with outright derision at efforts to smooth over the disagreements that have followed from the partnership.

Here is another eye-opening article:

Under the terms of the agreements, Microsoft will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on licensing fees and sales and marketing costs over five years, including $240 million for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscription certificates. For its part, Novell has agreed to pay Microsoft a percentage of revenue from open-source products.

Novell has chosen to betray the supplier in order to please a few customers (if any at all). The wrath of those who were harmed (developers and Linux peers) is going to harm Novell. What goes around comes around.

Update: a video from OSBC was published yesterday. Here it is, in case someone is interested.

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

6 Comments

  1. Shane Coyle said,

    May 27, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Gravatar

    MS is afraid of Wine because it allows folks to run their Office toolset without paying for Windows, which are their only 2 profitable products. Part of this deal is about virtualization, and this legal posturing is one of MS’ way of keeping Windows relevant and actually installed out there.

  2. akf said,

    May 27, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Gravatar

    Letter to the FOSS comunity regarding Microsoft’s patent promise:
    http://www.softwarefreedom.org/perspectives/2006/ms-patent-promise/
    It is an old article, but it is interesting to read it again…

    BTW. the SFLC had already access to the documents in 2006.

  3. shane said,

    May 27, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Gravatar

    It is true,the patent pledge is worthless to open source developers and even to Novell customers, but is priceless to Microsoft.

  4. Marcus Meissner said,

    May 27, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Gravatar

    Very strange that we are still shipping Wine woth openSUSE 10.2 you know.

    Ciao, Marcus (Package Maintainer of Wine).

    Oh… and I would _really_ suggest you look at OpenOffice_org mentioned in
    the same list … which we ship for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.

    You assume to understand this patent agreement, …. Well, I am not a lawyer and I do not and I would not even try without getting some legal help.

    You should stop your negative reporting and “assuming” etc etc etc

    Ciao, Marcus

  5. Shane Coyle said,

    May 27, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Gravatar

    I assume you know that Novell has agreed to pay MS per-unit royalties to ship something(s) in SLES/SLED? I am not assuming that. So, the fact that Novell ships OOO in SLED is not a valid defense, perhaps they are paying for a patent license (however denominated) for OOO, or Samba, or _____.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 27, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Gravatar

    > Very strange that we are still shipping Wine
    > worth openSUSE 10.2 you know.

    They also seem to be taking their Linux desktop in uncomfortable directions, IMHO. See: http://boycottnovell.com/2007/04/23/mono-strategy/

What Else is New


  1. [ES] Interrumpiendo la Propagánda Distractante de Battistelli: los Empleados de la EPO Protestará de Nuevo en una Quincena

    La exágerada extravagancia (desperdicio de dinero) en la Ceremonia de Premiación al Inventor Europeo de la EPO tendrá que competir por atención de los medios con miles de empleados de la EPO (en todaslas sedes de la EPO) marchándo en las calles para protestar por los abusos de la EPO



  2. Windows and Microsoft's Other 'Burning Platforms'

    It's not just Windows for phones that's reaching minuscule market share levels but also Windows, but Microsoft is skilled at hiding this (cannibalising Windows using something people do not even want, then counting that cannibal, Vista 10)



  3. Links 24/5/2016: CRYENGINE Source Code is Out on GitHub, Jono Bacon Leaves GitHub

    Links for the day



  4. Links 23/5/2016: GNOME 3.22, Calculate Linux 15.17

    Links for the day



  5. 'Celebrity' Patent Trolls and the Elusive Battle Against Patent Trolls (or Eastern District of Texas Courts) Rather Than Software Patents

    Some of last week's more important reports, which serve to demonstrate how the system is attempting to tackle a side-effect of software patents rather than the patents themselves (their irrational scope)



  6. The Circus of Patent 'Reporting' (by Omission) on the Subject of Software Patents in the US and USPTO Bias

    look at some of the latest oddities in the US patent system and much of the reporting about software patenting (more or less monopolised by those who profit from it, not harmed by it)



  7. IP3 Demonstrates That Today's Patent Systems Devolve Into a Conglomerates' Game, Won't Protect the Mythical Small Inventor

    Multinational corporations bring together their shared interests and steer the increasingly-inseparable patent systems according to their needs and goals, but has anyone even noticed?



  8. Disrupting Battistelli's Distracting Propaganda: EPO Staff to Protest Again in About a Fortnight

    The overly extravagant (waste of money) EPO European Inventor Award will have to compete for media attention with thousands of EPO staff (in all EPO sites) marching in the streets to protest against the EPO's abuses



  9. Corrupting Democracy? Growing Frequency of Rumours That the EPO's President Battistelli is 'Buying' Votes of Small Member States

    Several sources suggest that rather than appease the Administrative Council by taking corrective action Battistelli and his notorious 'circle' now work hard to remove opposition from the Administrative Council, especially where this is easier a task to accomplish (politically or economically)



  10. [ES] Los Mitos de la EPO ‘Calidad’ de Patentes y de ‘Creación’ de Patentes: Basados en Ventas de Cafe y Trauma

    La carrera hacia el fondo, o la ridícula asumpción de Battistelli de que otorgar más y más patentenes más rápidamente (e.g. usando PACE) sería beneficióso a largo término, puede guíar al final colapse del valor de la EPO y la pérdida de su lárgamente ganada reputación a nivel mundial



  11. Links 22/5/2016: Systemd 230, Debian Installer Alpha 6

    Links for the day



  12. EPO Patent 'Quality' and 'Patent Creation' Myth: Capsule-Based Coffee Sales and Trauma

    The race to the bottom, or Battistelli's ludicrous assumption that granting more and more patents faster (e.g. using PACE) would be beneficial in the long run, may lead to the ultimate collapse of the EPO's value and demise of its long-earned reputation worldwide



  13. Guest Post: How Vista 10 Imposes Itself on Users of Windows

    A reader's experience being nagged by Microsoft, as documented and explained by this reader



  14. [ES] El Notorio Tirano de la EPO, Benoît Battistelli, Se Reune Con Otros Tiranos, Reportes de Que ‘Limpia’ el Consejo Administrativo

    El régimen de Battistelli, talvez la fuente de verguénza más grande, alegadamente está “cortejándo países pequeños/corruptos para asegurárse de que los delegados que votarón contra él serán remplazados”



  15. [ES] Comentadores Anónimos Debaten Si la EPO de Battistelli Puede Revocar las Pensiones de Empleados Que Se Atreveen — GASP — a Buscar Empleo Alternativo

    Una mirada a las causas de desesperación e imensa presión en la EPO, donde las pensiónes pueden ser cortadas como medio de represália y la gente puede ser negada empleo aún después de dejar la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPO)



  16. [ES] Otra Casi Vacía Presentación de la EPO en La Hague

    El propagandístico “estudio social” de Battistelli (básicamente un montón de engañosas afirmacionesdisfrazadas como ‘investigación’) ayuda a demostrar que los empleados de la EPO no tiene absolutamente fe en la gerencia



  17. Links 21/5/2016: Manjaro Linux RC, Flock 2016 Schedule

    Links for the day



  18. USPTO Ignores a Lot of Cases Against Software Patents to Justify Resumption of More Software Patenting

    The US patent system (USPTO) is so obsessed with granting as many patents as possible -- even bogus patents in areas that are no longer patent-eligible -- that its guidelines are further perturbed and whose appeals board is massively overwhelmed/overworked/understaffed



  19. Notorious EPO Tyrant, Benoît Battistelli, Meets Other Tyrants, Reportedly 'Cleanses' the Administrative Council

    The Battistelli regime, perhaps the biggest embarrassment of Europe right now, is allegedly "courting smaller countries to make sure the delegates who voted against him will be replaced"



  20. Links 20/5/2016: Purism Tablet, ChromeOS PCs Outsell 'Mac'-Branded PCs

    Links for the day



  21. CAFC Rules Against Software Patents But Witness With Horror the Silence From Patent Lawyers (Bias by Omission)

    In an effort to protect software patents in the United States, where these patents came from in the first place (and continue to spread from), patent lawyers pretend not to see cases where software patents get invalidated and instead focus on the rare exception



  22. It's All Just Artificial Distractions From EPO Management, 'Yellow' Union Comes Under Scrutiny Again

    What's happening inside the EPO these days and what meaningless rubbish the management of the EPO would rather have the media obsessed with



  23. Anonymous Commenters Debate Whether Battistelli's EPO Can Revoke Pensions of Dismissed Employees Who Dare -- GASP -- Find Alternative Employment

    A look at causes for desperation and immense pressure at the EPO, where pensions can be cut as means of reprisal and people can be denied employment even after they leave the European Patent Office (EPO)



  24. Australian Productivity Commission's Research Calls for Ban on Software Patents, Davies Collison Cave Calls for Complaints Against This Finding

    As the push against software patents grows in Australia, much to the chagrin of Australian software developers, Davies Collison Cave (patent law firm) publicly calls for opposition, calling its side "the truth" and pretending it represents "Australian innovators."



  25. Links 19/5/2016: Wine-Staging 1.9.10, Android N

    Links for the day



  26. Another Almost Empty EPO Presentation at The Hague

    The propagandistic "social study" of Battistelli (basically a lot of misleading claims disguised as 'research') helps demonstrate that EPO staff has absolutely no faith in the management



  27. [ES] La UPC un Ataque No Sólo Contra el Público Europeo Pero También Contra los Empleados de la EPO

    El despido de los empleados actuales de la EPO y el remplazo del interés público por intereses corpórativos (intereses de grandes compañíás del otro lado del charco) es todo lo que la UPC realmente es



  28. Links 18/5/2016: ReactOS 0.4.1, KWayland in KDE Frameworks

    Links for the day



  29. Endless Harmonious Self-Congratulatory Praises From Self-Serving Law Firms in the Wake of Just One Pro-Software Patents Decision From CAFC

    The court that brought software patents to the United States has defended a software patent and patent lawyers want us to believe that this is an historic game-changing decision (potentially to be appealed by Microsoft, if Microsoft actually wanted to fight software patents)



  30. If Battistelli Stayed and UPC Became a Reality, Patent Quality at the EPO Would Get a Lot Worse

    The vision that Team Battistelli has for the EPO is an ENA-inspired neoliberal and corporatist vision that would bring the legitimacy of the system down to zero and the European economy to the brink of collapse


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