A few days ago, defensive Linux patents were mentioned in an inconvenient context. Similar needs had grabbed Red Hat’s attention and the company obtained patents. In the following new set of videos, Mark Webbink explains why this was done and why no Red Hat patents will be used offensively.
This week, former Red Hat General Counsel, Mark Webbink, discusses how Red Hat’s patent promise was developed to combat patent trolling.
Interestingly enough, we missed another good video where Mark Webbink talks about GPLv3.
This week Mark Webbink, former Red Hat General Counsel discusses the GPLv3 and talks about the limits of sharing, the mellowing out of Linus Torvalds, and issues with the LGPLv3.
As indicated several months ago, Red Hat is among those welcoming of the GNU GPLv3.
GPL3 welcomed by IBM, Red Hat, Novell, MySQL
The GPL is the most widely used license in the open-source realm. More than 30,000 projects, which is about 66 percent of the open-source projects tracked by the Freshmeat site, use the GPL.
The new licence has found several large supportive companies already.
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News just in…
A press release is making its way through the tubes at the moment (original at microsoft.com). In this public relations ‘stunt’, only Microsoft chose to boast its ‘interoperability’ deal with Novell. The source of the announcement (it doesn’t indicate if it’s a joint PR) says a lot about who benefits from such a patent deal and rest assured, journalist will get persistent prodding from Microsoft to write about how wonderful and rosy the deal has been.
Patents are mentioned in this press release. “Intellectual property” (not the same thing as patents) also. Here’s a fragment:
Having exceeded their original business targets, the companies continue to see strong demand for interoperability and intellectual property (IP) peace of mind.
“The Novell and Microsoft agreement provides Zabka Polska S.A. an interoperability solution incorporating the essential element of intellectual property assurances,” said Maciej Klaskala, chief information officer for Zabka Polska S.A.
An article that has just been published turns the press release into a story explicitly says the the Novell/Microsoft “alliance” (yes, that’s the term used) has been extended.
One year after sealing their surprise alliance, Novell and Microsoft have announced an expansion of their technical collaboration to “link together the existing Windows and Linux frameworks”.
Here is what Mary Jo Foley writes, along with a detailed list of events.
As those who’ve followed in greater depth the twists and turns of Microsoft’s attempts to pressure Linux distribution vendors to pay for alleged infringement on Microsoft patents know, the Microsoft-Novell partnership has not been all smooth sailing. In the past year, here are a few of the related milestones in the Novell-Microsoft relationship that Microsoft isn’t celebrating in today’s press release…
With the word “alliance” (not even “partnership”) making an appearance and revealing the nature of this evolving deal, it is hard to deny the fact that Novell and Microsoft are merely inseparable. They are working together to push all other Linux vendors out of the market, unless those vendors surrender to Microsoft’s ludicrous demands. This sums up one of the troublesome effects of this patent deal. And yes, Ron Hovsepian, it’s a patent deal, so stop denying this already.
Update: now it’s Turbolinux as well.
Microsoft, Turbolinux, Extend Interopability Collaboration Agreement
Linux client and server distributor in Japan and China, Turbolinux, has aligned with Microsoft Corp., in a business agreement that expands their recent collaborations. The deal advances interoperability, furthers research and development collaboration, and provides IP assurances for Turbolinux users.
Given the source of this press release, the date might be incorrect and maybe it’s just the previous announcement. Either way, do not buy anything from companies that take part in this awful scam.
Update #2: mind the good take by Matt Asay.
Is it Microsoft + Novell or Microsoft vs. Novell?
Actually, this is very surprising. I’ve started to notice a trend in all the announcements the two companies have made over the past year: Novell stresses interoperability while Microsoft beats its drum on patent protection.
I wonder how long Microsoft will continue its efforts to try to cast the deal as about IP. It’s not for Novell, it seems to me now. Microsoft did the deal to hurt Linux – there’s no other explanation for it. It has no fiduciary duty to enable a competitor (unless its a weaker competitor against the Linux market leader, Red Hat). It has a fiduciary duty to kill that competitor.
To answer the question that is also Matt’s headline, it’s a “Microsoft + Novell vs. Mandriva, Red Hat, Ubuntu (and whoever else has not joined the ‘protection racket club’)” deal. Novell isn’t against Microsoft anymore. In fact, Novell depends so much on Microsoft at this stage, so it is willing to actually assist and give way to Microsoft. How ironic and sad.
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Further to a recent comment, Slated adds his conclusions:
I think the “Mono by the back door” quote sums up the truth of what is really going on, WRT these Mono binding dependencies.
That’s how I see it anyway – Gnome and Novell are basically trying to “sneak” Mono in the back door, and hope that nobody notices, until it’s too late. The harsh reality; it probably already is.
When I think of Gnome now, I think of Novell, and when I think of Novell, I think of Microsoft. Anyone who has taken a stand against Novell, because of their uncomfortably close relationship with Microsoft, must surely think of Gnome in the same light, since they are driven by the same destructive forces, of which (of course) de Icaza is a central part.”
That is essentially the Mono-tisation of GNU/Linux.
”It’s the Greek bearing gifts and a Trojan horse that will add ‘Microsoft tax’ to your GNU/Linux.“The key issue here is the (virtually so) forcing of people to use Mono, which sounds benign. But then, come to consider the fact that Microsoft only gave Novell ‘protection’ for Mono. It will last for just 5 years. Xandros and Linspire did not get this ‘protection’. That alone ought to tell you a lot about Microsoft’s plan (it gave it away really). It’s something that we emphasised many times before, in the Web site and elsewhere. We just need more people to finally listen to us and understand what is going on.
Be sure and aware of what Mono is all about. Beware packages like Tomboy. It’s the Greek bearing gifts and a Trojan horse that will add ‘Microsoft tax’ to your GNU/Linux. Here is some artwork we’ve just been sent and were permitted to use.
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Look before you jump [the shark]
lwn.net seems to have unlocked a subscription-only feature about GNOME and OOXML.
The OOXML document standard being pushed by Microsoft has caused a certain amount of stress within both the development and commercial sides of the free software community. In some quarters it is seen as the latest attempt by a monopolistic firm to co-opt free software and the move to more free file formats; they would like to limit our involvement to opposition to the adoption of OOXML as a standard. Others see it as an attempt by Microsoft to come to terms with the demand for more open formats and to promote, in its own special way, interoperability.
In response to criticisms about GNOME's role in OOXML, Jeff Waugh has just assured Richard Stallman (whom I spoke to yesterday) that a statement will shortly be made to clarify where GNOME stands on the issue of OOXML.
Re: Statement on OOXML
* From: Jeff Waugh jdub perkypants org
* To: foundation-list gnome org
* Subject: Re: Statement on OOXML
* Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 15:58:54 +1100
quote who=”Richard Stallman”
> Is someone working on a statement that the GNOME Foundation does not
> support acceptance of OOXML as an ISO standard?
> I would be glad to offer confidential suggestions about a draft.
We’re working on a statement regarding the controversy last week at the
moment. We’re nearing the end of that process and have had quite some input
into it, so further input is more likely to delay than improve the process.
Thanks for your offer to help,
The response is muchly anticipated. There seem to be a lot of misunderstandings as far as implementation in Gnumeric goes (clarifications here), but the active role GNOME plays in having OOXML approved is the more interesting part. Miguel de Icaza has already made some controversial statements about OOXML — statements that were later extinguished. In fact, he also defended Microsoft in Europe, so we are finding it harder to confide in him. Can you blame us?
OOXML: when only money talks
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…On to bigger and better things
Thanks to a quick tip from a reader, Truth Seeker, we became aware of another key departure.
Two months shy of my 8 year anniversary at Novell, I’ve decided that it’s time to move on. My last day is today.
I was only 19 when I moved to Boston to work for a startup (later) called Ximian. I’ve had the pleasure to work with and learn from some truly brilliant people, and it’s certainly no exaggeration to say that today I am a vastly better programmer for it and that this experience has changed my life in very good ways.
In particular I want to thank Nat and Miguel for seeing something in me then and giving me the opportunity. I got to work on some very, very cool software over the years and it’s been a lot of fun.
Good luck to Joe Shaw. We were never too fond of the direction Mono had taken [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34], but there you go…
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How do you compete with free? You pay people to take it.
Let’s begin with a quote:
“[Microsoft] are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either.” — Bob Cringely.
SharePoint is an integral part of Microsoft’s goals in joining hands with Linux companies. It is part of the push to hijack the World Wide Web [1, 2, 3], so it is definitely something to always keep an eye on. Matt Asay, being one of those who are most affected by SharePoint because he works at Alfresco, has some curious details.
What Brian did say about Sharepoint is potentially more troubling. Has the open-source community effectively given away a big chunk of the future’s software stack to Microsoft? And has it effectively ceded the role of data aggregation to Sharepoint? The open-source world has superior wikis like Socialtext and MindTouch to Microsoft’s internal wiki, but Microsoft’s half-baked bundled suite is likely to win out unless the open-source world doesn’t get together to present a viable open-source competitor.
Bundling is an issue here and so is the closed-source nature of the package, which will refuse to interact with ‘alien’ software.
What Microsoft does to elevate itself in the servers market is particularly worrisome. Consider this older bit of news for example:
Question: The OpenSourceParking.com announcement cites a Netcraft report, which found that GoDaddy.com’s migration from Linux to Windows caused Apache to lose server share. Was this event the sole impetus for OpenSourceParking.com?
[Bruce] Perens: Not the first. It’s part of a continuing behavior pattern by Microsoft that I think it’s fair to call “dirty fighting.” GoDaddy was using Apache (I assume on Linux) because it was a great technical solution. They didn’t switch to IIS on Windows Server 2003 for any technical reason. The switch was accompanied by a press release by GoDaddy, containing Microsoft promotional language. Now, I’ve changed many servers from one thing to another, but I’ve never made a press release about it. GoDaddy wouldn’t be doing that unless Microsoft had offered them something valuable in return. There has been talk in the domain business that Microsoft has been offering the large domain registries a wad of cash to switch their parked sites. There is no other reason to do this than to influence the Netcraft figures.
This is an example of something that has become a pattern. It’d part of Microsoft’s plan to simply buy the market rather than earn it. Remember that Novell was paid obscene amounts of money by Microsoft merely to accept the patent deal.
Mind you, Citrix seems to have hijacked Xen on behalf of their partner (they call themselves a “Microsoft Admirers“ in a very recent article). This was done in order to escape the GPL and the FTC and Xen is now controlled by Windows/Microsoft, by proxy.
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