05.31.07

Does Novell Still Need a Plan B?

Posted in Action, Boycott Novell, Deals, Deception, Finance, FSF, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant at 6:26 pm by Shane Coyle

For some reason, Novell’s PR Blog is stating that their take away from the Final Call Draft of GPLv3 "will not interrupt [their] partnership with Microsoft". So, if Novell’s assertion is true, this means that Microsoft is entirely comfortable with Novell passing on the (formerly discriminatory) patent covenant to all downstream users:

If, pursuant to or in connection with a single transaction or arrangement, you convey, or propagate by procuring conveyance of, a covered work, and grant a patent license to some of the parties receiving the covered work authorizing them to use, propagate, modify or convey a specific copy of the covered work, then the patent license you grant is automatically extended to all recipients of the covered work and works based on it.

The "Redmond Wall" has fallen, it’s Patent Detente Everyone! Woohoo!

Of course, as Paul McDougall points out, that just doesn’t sound like our friends from Redmond, especially given their recent acerbic statements.

Microsoft claims to own 235 patents that are infringed by open source software, including Linux. In November, it cut a deal with Novell under which it agreed not to sue Novell’s Linux customers. In exchange, Microsoft gained the right to resell Novell’s SUSE products and services at a markup.

So much for that.

If GPLv3 stands in its current form, it would appear to leave Microsoft with two choices. It can give up its patent claims on Linux and continue its partnership with Novell. Or it can terminate the pact. Given the way Microsoft jealously protects what it says is its intellectual property, I’m betting on the latter.

That’s bad news for Novell.

McDougall also brings up something I had wondered about recently, namely the deferred revenue that Microsoft already paid to Novell in advance for the 5 years of coupons – money Microsoft will probably want back if Novell needs to adjust or cancel the deal. Then, how much worse do Novell’s numbers get?

Who didn’t see this coming? Even Novell knew it was possible:

If the final version of GPLv3 contains terms or conditions that interfere with our agreement with Microsoft or our ability to distribute GPLv3 code, Microsoft may cease to distribute SUSE Linux coupons in order to avoid the extension of its patent covenants to a broader range of GPLv3 software recipients, we may need to modify our relationship with Microsoft under less advantageous terms than our current agreement, or we may be restricted in our ability to include GPLv3 code in our products, any of which could adversely affect our business and our operating results. In such a case, we would likely explore alternatives to remedy the conflict, but there is no assurance that we would be successful in these efforts.

The other day, I had stated that the FSF would determine Novell’s fate, but I misspoke: Microsoft will determine Novell’s fate, just as we always suspected.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2007/05/31/does-novell-still-need-a-plan-b/

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 2/3/2021: Maui 1.2.1, RSS Guard 3.9.0

    Links for the day



  2. ZDNet Really Hates Golang (Maybe Because Microsoft Does)

    The Golang programming language seems to be the target of intense FUD campaigns from sites connected to Microsoft, so it’s likely a bit of a Nemesis/endgame to Microsoft monoculture (unlike Rust, which Microsoft has already pocketed and is actively besieging to promote Microsoft monopoly and hardware monoculture)



  3. Links 1/3/2021: KStars 3.5.2, ET: Legacy 2.77, Flameshot 0.9

    Links for the day



  4. Five Years of António Campinos Coverage in Techrights (We Correctly Predicted His Presidency in March 2016)

    We've warned about António Campinos since March of 2016; well, António Campinos isn't just EPO President right now but he's also an oppressor who demonises the union of the EPO's staff



  5. In 2021 the EPO Works for Parasites Instead of Scientists (and It Cannot Even Hide That Anymore)

    Europe's second-largest institution is working for those who attack instead of create (or those who attack actual creators, with lousy and sketchy patents as ammunition)



  6. Links 1/3/2021: Manjaro ARM 21.02 and First Linux 5.12 RC Released

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 28, 2021



  8. On Gangstalking and Victim-Blaming

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  9. If the Web Can Be Increasingly Replaced (or Complemented) by Gemini and IPFS Etc., Then Large Monopolists Will Try to Dominate Those

    Monopolists and sociopaths won't be clapping and cheering for whatever stands a chance of replacing the Web (or Big Banks); if they ever embrace those replacements, it'll be to dominate and in turn undermine these



  10. Links 28/2/2021: Nitrux 1.3.8 and Kraft 0.96

    Links for the day



  11. Techrights Over 3 Internet Protocols and From the Command Line, Using Either Curl/Wget/Text Editor (Over WWW) or IPFS or Gemini

    A quick demo of how Techrights can be accessed without a browser, either over gemini:// or over http://



  12. The Command Line for Weather and Football Scores, Among Other Stuff

    A lot of stuff can be done from the command line and productivity (not to mention privacy) enhanced by automation and scripting over the Web (or even Gemini, as we shall show in a future video)



  13. You Know Gemini Space is Getting a Lot Bigger When You Need to Implement DDOS Protection

    Techrights is currently working on tools or programs that help detect and respond to DDOS attacks (or abusive over-consumption of pages) over gemini://



  14. The Fall of The Register

    A word of caution about The Register, a British publisher that nowadays does a lot of reputation laundering for Microsoft and Bill Gates (instead of news about actual technology, as opposed to clown computing, big brands, and oligarchs)



  15. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 27, 2021



  16. Links 27/2/2021: IPFS 0.8, OnionShare 2.3.1, and New Stuff in KDE

    Links for the day



  17. The Internet After Social Control Media (and Maybe After the World Wide Web Too)

    There seems to be a growing trend of protests and backlash against centralised Internet disservices; there's also growing dissatisfaction over bloat and spyware, which the Web rendered a 'norm'



  18. SCO's Darl McBride is Finished (Bankruptcy)

    Some news about the site and about the long-forgotten SCO, whose infamous old (and sacked) Darl McBride (responsible for decade-long attacks on Linux) loses everything, based on fresh legal documents



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, February 26, 2021



  20. Links 26/2/2021: Wine 6.3, Genode OS Framework 21.02

    Links for the day



  21. Links 26/2/2021: GNU Poke 1.0 is Out and Rocky Linux Leaves Microsoft GitHub

    Links for the day



  22. Microsoft's Status in Web Servers is So Bad That It Has Fallen Off Charts, is Now Partly Delisted

    In several categories or criteria Microsoft is no longer even listed by Netcraft; the share has become rather minuscule during the pandemic, which convinced more companies to explore expense-cutting moves



  23. We Take Away Your Freedom for Your Own Safety...

    People are herded like cattle and protest/dissent will be demonised as part of the new norm; what will be the cost of the pandemic and will resistance to the status quo ever be permitted to resume?



  24. EPO President Pushes Illegal Software Patents in South America (Over the Telephone With a Misleading New Puff Piece)

    The EPO's "news" section has become worse than a form of distraction (from the EPO's internal rot); it celebrates illegal and unlawful practices, spreading them to other continents



  25. The Free Software Foundation Warns Against Using Twitter

    Richard Stallman said Twitter was OK because it was possible to use it without proprietary software; that's no longer the case, so the Free Software Foundation (FSF) speaks out against it. It speaks about it more than 3 months after the problem became a known one and also an irreversible one (maybe Twitter would have reversed the decision if the media or the FSF actually spoke about it early enough).



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 25, 2021



  27. Stéphane Bortzmeyer Explains Gemini Protocol (February 2021)

    A recent talk from Stéphane Bortzmeyer about Gemini and what it is for (or why)



  28. Links 26/2/2021: Istio 1.7.8 Announced, Blender 2.92, Firebird 3.0 Language Reference, FSF Against Twitter

    Links for the day



  29. Special Thanks to Mogz

    Credit where it's due to Mogz



  30. Modifying WordPress to Include Gemini Links in All Articles (Assuming a Canonical URL Form)

    In order to promote the departure from the World Wide Web (where possible and suitable; sites with text don't typically need Web-like features) one can promote the analogous pages in one's Gemini capsule; we suggest a way of doing so in WordPress (the most widely used CMS)


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