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03.13.08

When a Novell-funded Foundation Must be Nice to Its Fierce Rival

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell at 12:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell is with Microsoft but Novell is also with the Linux Foundation

Further to a recent comment which is directed at Mr. Walli, the position taken by the Linux Foundation is sometimes worryingly similar to that of the Open Source movement, as opposed to Free software. The kernel is still GPLv2-licensed though.

Remember that the Linux Foundation is funded by Novell, a ‘mixed source’ company by its very own admission [1, 2, 3, 4]. In turn, remember that Novell is openly describing itself as a Microsoft partner. Does that — by association — open Microsoft a door into the Linux Foundation? Remember what happened to the head of OSDL [1, 2]. This just comes to show Novell’s harmful role in Linux.

“A fairly sane discussion was summarised with a somehwat inappropriate headline…”After some recent disagreements with the Foundation's marketing and other questionable invitations to Microsoft [1, 2, 3] things have calmed down a little. But out comes Paul Krill with another moronic (yet eye-catching) headline, which is one among a long series of Microsoft-promotional headlines he has used in the past month. It’s a trend and it was noticed. This observation was not shared here nonetheless. It was discussed only in private.

A fairly sane discussion was summarised with a somehwat inappropriate headline: “Linux Foundation: We’d love to work with Microsoft

While the statement may be true and hardly surprising, it does in fact align with the rather naive attitude that leads the Foundation right into Microsoft’s traps (which Novell must love). Here are some of the better bits from the interview:

InfoWorld: What kind of legal protection does Linux require? And has anything ever come of the Microsoft protest that there’s Linux code that they patented or something to that effect?

Zemlin: What they were talking about were patents that Microsoft holds in a range of areas. They didn’t actually disclose what those were, but in general felt that they overlapped with other technology. No, nothing ever became of it because everybody holds patents on everything out there lately in software.

InfoWorld: You have a legal defense fund. Should people have legal concerns about using Linux?

Zemlin: Just like any other major software platform, there’ll be patent trolls or opportunists who try to harm the platform. The SCO Group was a good example of that. In fact, the legal defense fund was created to assist in defense of the platform in the SCO lawsuit. And so that’s a good example.

InfoWorld: What became of that?

Zemlin: SCO lost the lawsuit, it was found that there were no copyright infringements that were there in the Linux platform, and it was proven that Novell indeed owned the copyright to the software that SCO alleged was theirs. And SCO was de-listed from Nasdaq and is now in bankruptcy proceedings.

To say more on the Linux Foundation and Microsoft, the following list of attendants for the Linux Founation’s Collaboration Summit seems innocent and benign.

Kernel developers, leading market research firm and companies such as Dell, HP, IBM, MySQL, and Oracle will debate growth opportunities for the platform

If you look further down the announcement, you will find that talks include a Microsoft friend called Al Gillen. So, Microsoft invades even an event which is all about Linux. We wrote about Al Gillen here and here. He is close to Microsoft. And again, this relates to the recent response which mentions Microsoft's intrusion into OSBC 2008. Novell enables a lot of this to happen.

Microvell

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