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Rumor: Novell Escapes FSF Wrath

Posted in Action, FSF, FUD, GPL, Novell at 11:43 pm by Shane Coyle

Well, a "source" is being attributed with the scoop that, when the GPLv3 is revealed, Novell will not suffer as they had feared.

What is not specified, (besides the "source") is whether this turn of events is because S11 P5 has remained, but the Grandfather Clause was adopted or if S11 P5 has been removed altogether.

It should also be noted that the article is written by Jim Finkle, author of the original article that started the first FUD-storm over the FSF and Novell’s Linux distribution rights – that Eben Moglen had characterized as creating "unnecessary waves".

We should see shortly exactly what has been decided, after which I believe it is the "last-call" draft – a final 30-day comment period prior to final publication.

For giggles, I think the FSF should initially post the Final-Call Draft in redacted format.

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  1. Francis said,

    May 31, 2007 at 4:14 pm


    You’ve gotta love the headlines of these blog posts =) Anyway, http://www.novell.com/prblogs/?p=345 :-) Now, if I only had a penny for every single time I heard “just wait till the GPLv3!!!” on this site and elsewhere.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 31, 2007 at 4:59 pm


    Don’t hold your breath.


    But if the Reuters report is correct – and Reuters has proved to be extremely unreliable on this subject in the past – then the FSF could reasonably be accused of a volte-face.

    I’ve asked Richard Stallman to comment on the report.”

    Other cases where Reuters deceived and showed anti-FSF bias:


  3. shane said,

    May 31, 2007 at 5:36 pm


    Deep down, Francis, you know you love me…

    I have said that I don’t want GPLv3 to go specifically after Novell, just fix the loopholes they exploited – then they choose if they want to play nice or not.

    I have even gone on record as saying I think GPLv3 is best served without S11 P5 – forget the grandfather clause, lose the whole paragraph, it’s too cumbersome, and if it requires a grandfather clause to prevent friendly-fire then it is probably too far-reaching to begin with.

    I definitely don’t say "just wait til GPL3" – I have contended that Microvell are crossing the line on GPLv2 compliance, and when v3 comes out I will likely call them out on those issues as well if the argument can be made that GPLv3 applies to their actions (Eben Moglen thinks it might happen, since the coupons apparently don’t expire).

    Anyhow, to sum up – I want GPLv3 to protect the four freedoms – the Boycott will take care of Novell.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 31, 2007 at 8:41 pm



    I have received a reply from an anonymous-yet-reputable source (anonymous by preference):

    The first story [Finkle] is a lie. There never was a “decision” about this. Reuters started it with a bigger lie that a decision would be announced. Now this.

    They made it all up.

    Reuters have done a lot of ‘mouthpiece-ing’ recently, including the anti-FSF headlines. Why am I not surprised?

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 1, 2007 at 2:58 am


    I am not allowed (explicit permission) to say where this clear debunking comes from. PJ contacted Peter Brown of the FSF and the story isn’t correct.

    The reputation of Reuters should clearly be on the decline as this isn’t the first such incident. In fact, I might write about this (as a standalone iterm) as a warning to our readers and anyone else who gets exposed to disinformation in the press.

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