…Dana Blankenhorn seems to insinuate that it’s the case.
In his latest blog item, Dana compares Novell’s marketing lies to college coaches, but it’s an analogy that might not be too convincing.
And just how serious an offense is a little white lie inserted into a sales pitch, anyway? Aren’t college coaches constantly tossing around such insinuations to get kids to sign with their schools? Isn’t that what marketing is all about? Isn’t that what political ads are all about?
Is that was the case, then Novell is no longer worth trusting. If it is the case, which apparently it is, then Novell has yet again betrayed the philosophies of transparency and honesty [1, 2].
As our Saturday postings regulatory show, Novell contributes a fair deal to Linux and open source. However, there is a bit of s “robber baron” mentality here. Novell believes that it is acceptable to exploit Linux, sucking up its advantages at the expense of those who make Linux possible. Then, it throws contributions back at Linux and hopes for forgiveness. It’s the equivalent of ‘charity’ to a baron that steals from the poor or exploits the poor to make a fortune. Microsoft is on the same boat.
Novell’s management is either totally foolish or bribed (we’ve observed some financial oddities, e.g. [). This Microsoft/Novell relationship is skin-deep and there’s a lot that remains to be explored and understood. To Novell, the deal is about Novell. To Microsoft, it’s about destroying Linux.
You are probably aware by now that whenever the issue arises, Novell and Microsoft have the tendency to talk about “intellectual property”, not “patents”. Are there any trademarks and copyrights involved in the deal? Are there any basic rights involved, or does it all boil down to software patents. which are only honoured in north America, Australia, and Japan? Legally speaking (but IANAL), differences in the systems across the world makes “patents” a weaker term than “intellectual property”. The following perspective offers some food for thought.
Full article: Did You Say “Intellectual Property”? It’s a Seductive Mirage by Richard Stallman
It has become fashionable to toss copyright, patents, and trademarks— three separate and different entities involving three separate and different sets of laws—into one pot and call it “intellectual property”. The distorting and confusing term did not arise by accident. Companies that gain from the confusion promoted it. The clearest way out of the confusion is to reject the term entirely…
In the news you’ll find yet another patent case being spun as a case of “intellectual property”, which very well relates to the above observation. It appeared just a day ago.
The amount of compensation is believed to be the highest in China in an intellectual property rights case, the paper said.
Convincing us that we have willingly given away our data and that those who now possess it have the right to use it, Moglen proposes voluntary data collectives as the answer.
In the following video, a statement is being made. Quoting of other people is a fundamental right, which is sometimes taken away.
Quotation rights have been universal ever since the written language developed. It’s absurd to disallow the ancient right to quote in the name of intellectual property. It’s anti progress, anti democracy and anti civilization too.
Isn’t quoting an individual akin to mimicking behaviour of software only for interoperability purposes? There is no way around it because misquoting a person is analogous to incompatibility and partial compatibility.
To Mono’s founders, the proprietary/open-source battle was less important than issues of co-existence and the most appropriate platform for the job. According to Justin Steinman, Novell’s director of product marketing for Linux and open platform systems, and the man in charge of selling Mono to the world, “Mono essentially enables you to run .net applications on Linux,” giving you the choice of developing for either platform knowing that it will run on both.
Interestingly enough, the article defends Mono proponents while dismissing opposition to it as being “anti-Microsoft”. Mind you, they use negativism; not “pro-open standard”, not “anti-patents”, not “freedom advocate”, or even “fair competition proponents”.
“Remember that Microsoft has no commitment for Mono.”The article quotes Justin Steinman, whose “night job” (that’s what he calls it) now involves both Microsoft and Novell. This type of duality in role and responsibilities is similar to Miguel de Icaza’s role at Novell, but Miguel describes a duality in a different way, namely: “I have two positions, and one is speaking as the person managing the Mono team, and then there is another answer speaking as a Novell vice president.” It wasn’t long ago that he spoke about OOXML being a “superb standard”.
“…Mono’s role in the deal that of a hook to make customers write .NET applications because they can be run on Linux – only to find later on that they are armless or legless because of a change in the .NET specifications, a change which Microsoft decides not to make public?”
Remember that Microsoft has no commitment for Mono. It can pull the carpet from underneath Mono’s feet at any time, so again, as a Mono-reliant customer, you’re left at Microsoft’s mercy.
If you seek evidence of what might come, then read the following.
I read the agreement between Xandros and Microsoft, and one of the excluded products was Mono, so Microsoft promises to not sue Xandros over their distribution but excluding Mono and a few other products, i.e. they reserve the right to sue over Mono. I wonder if this is an interesting preview of on what basis they want to fight the free world.
Interestingly, the Novell deal seems to be different, Mono is not excluded from the Novell deal. So Microsoft seems to be promising not to sue Novell over Mono, but keeps the option open for Xandros. Weird but true.
Dan Bricklin has published a recording of the latest panel session which discusses the Novell/Microsoft deal. It is about an hour and a half long. Here are some notes taken while listening to key parts of this audio discussion. Shown on the right, by the way, is Steve Ballmer riding on his ‘high horse’ and listening to the podcast on his Zu…. errr… I mean, iPod. Parts of the image were borrowed from a famous viral marketing video, which was aptly named “Ballmer’s iPod”.
Anyway, here are some messages taken from the podcast:
One interesting thing to discover is that Justin Steinman has a “night job” which involved working on the Microsoft-Novell deal in isolation. This means that he has some professional ties in both companies. At daytime he manages Novell’s marketing as far as Linux and open source go. This dual role has some implications on agenda, one would assume.
Justin Steinman, whose statements have been controversial at times, says that 13-14 months ago he arranged the partnership. That would be just two to three months after Ron Hovspeian had called Microsoft’s Kevin Turner, according to some key interviews, as well as his talk at the deal’s announcement (press conference).
The panel itself involves people whose main goal is to promote the partnership with Microsoft (“make it happen”, to use Ron Hovsepian’s words). One of the people on the panel was part of the intellectual property execution of the deal. He is a Microsoft lawyer.
The panel discuses how this deal came about before the press release. According to Peter, 4 years ago they were reaching out to customers and they also took into account intellectual property. They wanted to build a bridges and they involved patents and intellectual property. They spoke to customers and government elites in the process.
Steve Ballmer funded the group. Novell and Microsoft had an alignment in philosophy and commonalities.
Justin Steinman calls some of the software engineers “hackers”, which brings to mind Shane’s observation.
If you choose to listen to this podcast, please share some of your findings. Here is our chance to collect more evidence and understand this deal better.
“Moments ago we used the blood-selling analogy.”Frustrations over the Movell/Nicrosoft [sic] deal have shown no signs of abatement and those who need to collaborate with Novell are no exception. Some of them, whom I know personally, are simply keeping quiet. Some of them I do not know personally, but they hate the deal, yet they choose to say little or nothing about it in public.