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04.16.19

GNU/Linux is Being Eaten Alive by Large Corporations With Their Agenda

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, OSDL, OSI at 8:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Asset stripping GNU/LinuxAsset stripping the GNU

Summary: A sort of corporate takeover, or moneyed interests at the expense of our freedom, can be seen as a ‘soft coup’ whose eventual outcome would involve all or most servers in ‘the cloud’ (surveillance with patent tax as part of the rental fees) and almost no laptops/desktops which aren’t remotely controlled (and limit what’s run on them, using something like UEFI ‘secure boot’)

THE WEB is a noisy place. Many people have something to say and several people say that Microsoft “bought” the Linux Foundation (LF) 3 years ago. We keep seeing that claim. In many ways, today’s LF and Microsoft are “on the same page,” so to speak (“Microsoft Loves Linux”, WSL and so on).

“Jim Zemlin, who said his job was to pay Torvalds, pays himself and some colleagues more than he pays Torvalds, as the LF’s IRS filings reveal.”Weeks ago we saw Microsoft staff writing for the Open Source Initiative (OSI) after Microsoft had paid the Open Source Initiative a big bunch of money. Things change rapidly; neither the LF nor the OSI said anything at all about reports that Microsoft is still using patents against vendors that ship Linux. The President of the OSI has spoken on the subject (even as recently as two years ago), but that changed after Microsoft joined the OSI. We mentioned this a year and a half ago.

Going back to the LF, what exactly is it doing? Jim Zemlin, who said his job was to pay Torvalds, pays himself and some colleagues more than he pays Torvalds, as the LF’s IRS filings reveal. They might (by now) be paying themselves up to a million dollars each, tax-exempted, per year, in this ‘non-profit’. We think that the LF needs to improve, not be ended/disbanded. It started similarly to OSDL, but money and power appear to have corrupted it. The LF nowadays engages in a lot of political activities; it even brought in top officials from US politics. Its nature is largely political and it favours large corporations. About a year ago — seeing that LF was no ordinary foundation and was hardly about Linux anymore — a sentiment shared among journalists whom I spoke to — I decided to refer to it as “Zemlin PAC”, just like “Vista 10″ or similar wordplays.

“Months ago Torvalds ‘escorted’ himself out, came back weeks later (from that ‘penalty box’) and has said nothing particularly critical/negative since.”I think that at this moment in time the LF can do a lot better to restore trust. There are various timeline-related issues that led to people souring and distrusting LF, including removal of community members from the Board and adding Microsoft to it (because Microsoft paid). Then there’s the CoC controversy. It is formally called Code of Conduct and it applies to events, mailing lists etc. The LF’s site describes rules by which LF can remove (escort) people out of premises. Months ago Torvalds ‘escorted’ himself out, came back weeks later (from that ‘penalty box’) and has said nothing particularly critical/negative since. I was recently told that in FSF/LibrePlanet too someone was threatened with removal. I thus worry that this influence can continue to expand, reprimanding those who resist it using social means or social engineering.

Similarly, those who claimed to be protectors of Linux from patents turn out to be rather useless or even worse than useless since Microsoft joined them. The LOT Network, for instance, is just a patent pool, which claims to be defensive. If you check who’s behind it (foundations and management at present), you soon realise they are pro-software patents. Additionally, as Bruce Perens put it, OIN exists to protect software patents from us, not us from software patents. LOT is similar. Where does the LF stand on the subject? It never talks about it anymore. In the same message Perens called the LF a GPL infringers’ club (Microsoft is a serial GPL violator). Perens remains a key person in the OSI (he’s also OSD author), but nowadays he’s there among Microsoft staff.

“In the same message Perens called the LF a GPL infringers’ club (Microsoft is a serial GPL violator).”Our concerns are generally shared with many of our readers, one of whom wrote to say (all lowercase, formatting adapted a little but message contents preserved), “hey, red hat did get purchased shortly after github (though not by microsoft, they were purchased by ibm.) what is this, the 80s? “linux” is a lie lasting nearly 30 years. the lie is that linus torvalds created it, and there are multiple generations of people who make that mistake. he was given far too much credit — and people even attribute their “freedom” to his work. we will get back to that freedom in a minute. [...] simon phipps used to say that it’s simply a petty insignificant argument, like life of brian’s “peoples front of judea” vs. “judean peoples front.” the insignificant argument is that free software means anything apart from “open source.” that is an extremely disingenuous claim, given what open source has done for 22 years. no, it’s more like deliberately minimising the work and sacrifice from most of the world in world war ii, and giving all the credit to the americans for coming in later and winning it. the icing on the cake is that phipps conveniently ignores the fact that it is actually open source that started that petty argument themselves. (thanks eddie izzard) [...] “linus! where the fuck have you been?” [...] “having breakfast!” [...] “we are like free software, except better.” is a meme that has co-opted free software for more than 20 years. and it isn’t just co-opting, and rewriting history to paint themselves as more important — they take money for it as well! [..]. hating microsoft is “a disease”, according to torvalds. [...] in light of his recent comments that facebook is also “a disease”, (no argument there) one must ask about this blatant double standard– at what point exactly does a technology company go from being a company which the hatred of is ‘a disease’, to a company that is ‘a disease’ itself? how can torvalds tell the difference? because if he were consistent, he would say that “hating facebook is a disease”– but of course, it isn’t. [...] this is from you mentioning it on pirate.party: every time open source makes something free, something less free comes along for the ride. ubuntu tries to make universal packages — which require you to register for their apple-like app store, and which is now heavily promoting microsoft visual studio code, an ide which brings microsoft telemetry onto your “free” operating system. [..]. at worst, they can go back to the courts and present it as evidence that “yes, these developers (all free software developers) are stealing our property, and we wish to force them to stop.”– to end development of gnu and linux. at best, they can weasel out of any requirements to follow the license, which becomes void when issued by people who don’t “own” gnu and linux. and that seems like the most likely future — microsoft eventually not only rebranding linux (as azure) but relicensing it on their own terms, as “we clearly own it.” [...] important exception: and for the organisations that have met us halfway, and called it “gnu/linux” along with us? it would be unfair (or even dishonest) to pull the rug out from under them, and simply call it “gnu” in that context. insomuch as people only call the operating system “linux,” it is reasonable to call it gnu. recommended reading: benkler-complexity-and-humanity | zero-dollar-laptop | eff-statement-on-assange.”

03.26.19

The Linux Foundation is Not About Linux

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OSDL, VMware at 6:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It used to be, but not anymore

Linux Foundation logo

Summary: Linux Foundation (LF) objectives/missions do not resemble what the Open Source Development Labs, Inc. (OSDL) was founded to accomplish; this puts at grave threat the very raison d’être of both GNU and Linux

THE more we write about the Linux Foundation, the more feedback we receive from readers who teach us things we didn’t know and which these readers feel urged/eager to mention (albeit anonymously, or to be quoted under the condition of anonymity).

“Many corporations are associated with it, so people don’t want to be painted as troublemakers or — at worst — sexist/racist…”The Linux Foundation is big business, it’s big money. Many corporations are associated with it, so people don’t want to be painted as troublemakers or — at worst — sexist/racist (corporations increasingly use these angles to whiten their reputation and condemn critics of these corporations’ supposed “causes”). I certainly saw Microsoft trying this on me…

A reader has just told us that “the board members of the Linux Foundation consist of people from Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and many more names I strongly dislike. Is that normal for a foundation like that? I’m a longtime Linux user wondering why the Linux desktop is not moving forwards, I never read about this before…”

“Hi, Roy,” wrote another reader this morning. “You mentioned Ken Starks yesterday in your article about the LF. He might be a source of even more information on the LF if you ask him, I don’t know for sure but perhaps. He’s apparently still struggling through terrible hardship while doing great work. I guess it would depend on how and why you ask.”

Our reader points out, using the links below1,2, that Starks is still active in trying to get GNU/Linux to children in need.

“…a lot of people will be unlikely to want to criticize the LF directly.”
      –Anonymous
Starks isn’t alone. But these people are apparently reluctant to speak out against something called “Linux Foundation”, fearing it would somehow be framed as being anti-Linux or anti-Torvalds (who is bossed by LF, or by Zemlin, who is in turn bossed by the Board that can presumably fire him). The leverage comes from the very top, i.e. the Board, which now includes Microsoft.

We have not made inquiries ourselves; some readers do so. “However, as you point out,” the above reader continued, “a lot of people will be unlikely to want to criticize the LF directly. Also the way you present the information you uncover will matter a lot for [sic] how what in unearthed gets received.”

“Findings,” as per another reader (writing about support for children’s use of GNU/Linux), are that there’s “1. support in the form of online learning for a group that installs offline labs. 2. support in the past not currently to send speakers to Linux Foundation event — to speak at their conference…”

We wrote about this earlier this morning (Linux Foundation support and what it means by “support”). In my personal view and in my experience (with the LF or its staff), the LF is almost entirely PR. Just look who holds the key positions and receives the highest salaries. Days ago they tried to “befriend” me online. It didn’t work. It’s their job to guard their image, I understand that, but if the goal is to quell dissent, I would not bother… Novell tried this on me over 12 years ago. If nobody speaks out because of approachable, friendly staff, who will?

“None of the funding for travel, food, expenses or equipment was procured through support by Linux Foundation from what I was told and what I saw.”
      –Anonymous
If anything, the LF’s outreach only motivates me to look deeper. What are they trying to silence or suppress? “We don’t need to do this series quickly as the subject matter is timeless,” I recently told a reader, so “I will build up pertinent facts and publish bit by bit.” I’ve been verifying the facts meticulously. Nobody has (yet) pointed out factual flaws or inaccuracies.

In an earlier post of ours Kids on Computers got mentioned. “Kids on Computers set up Pi and maintain many labs in Mexico,” a reader told us. “None of the funding for travel, food, expenses or equipment was procured through support by Linux Foundation from what I was told and what I saw. In fact, Kids on Computers is suffering financially, last I knew. I could get some numbers, but let’s just say they needed and need funding. The discounts for training is really moot in this case — it’s a ridiculous notion. I am going back and asking ‘has anyone in any of the labs you maintain (10+) in Mexico ever used any of these training opportunities?’

“This “support” is a very sad and lame attempt to seem supportive — without doing anything,” the reader continued because “these labs… are OFFLINE [and] these users speak Spanish…

“The Linux Foundation was intended to pay Linus [Torvalds] and maintain standards.”

“The Linux Foundation was intended to pay Linus [Torvalds] and maintain standards.”
      –Anonymous
What has the LF turned into since? We’re probably going to write about their courses and events separately (in the future), but in the meantime not enough people have paid attention to how the salaries exploded (what kind of “charity” pays people like a million bucks a year)? Based on ProPublica, the IRS has had nothing (public at least, as this is the latest and last) since 2016, so we assume that this “charity” now has $100,000,000 or more in turnover (annual). That’s massive. If they double the salaries, accordingly (doubling the turnover), that’s nearly a million bucks a year for a dozen or so staff members. But that’s not what matters (the money); it’s how they use that money which matters and it feels as though LF staff tries to silence/suppress people who investigate it.

It is our understanding that some people blocked Bryan Lunduke (or something along those lines). Jim Zemlin blocked me in Twitter several years ago. If they don’t want to be studied or politely questioned, we shall do yet more of that. In the spirit of freedom, including freedom of expression/speech.

Does the LF respect free speech at all? The CoC suggests otherwise.

The person who donated server resources to Techrights quit Alpine Linux a couple of hours ago (after he had worked on the project for a decade) and wrote: “My only regret is that the project moves in the direction of political correctness over software freedom, and convenience over open governance.”

He had previously opposed Alpine Linux colleagues for playing along with Microsoft in their WSL ploy (Windows disguised as “Linux”, i.e. classic EEE).

“My only regret is that the project moves in the direction of political correctness over software freedom, and convenience over open governance.”
      –Anonymous
What does the LF help with? Putting GNU inside Windows? What about GNU/Linux desktops? It seems like “adding Netflix” (DRM) is the priority now.

We think companies can directly help projects like Debian instead of giving money to LF (to pay a million bucks a year to “executives” in a tax-exempt “non-profit”).

“I have had it with their [LF's] accepting sponsorship from VMWare (especially from what I heard about not releasing the GPL’d code),” one reader said, “their adoption and recommendation of the Censorship Covenant – especially after the horrible behavior by the author, and the fact this controls speech.”

This reader continued: “I have said, the Contribution Covenant is a boil on the ass of our community…”

“I have said, the Contribution Covenant is a boil on the ass of our community…”
      –Anonymous
That perhaps is another subject worth tackling. By covering the European Patent Office (EPO) quite a lot over the past half a decade we missed the chance to comment much about the LF’s attitude towards the GPL and the whole VMware affair. On the CoC we only wrote this very short post last year.

We welcome input from readers and maybe, some time in the near future, contact the above people, including Bryan Lunduke, a former Microsoft employee who keeps alerting that Microsoft hijacks the LF.
_________

  1. [Old] Ten Years After – Part 1

    Fortunately as it played out, that worry was a waste of emotional energy. Not that there weren’t problems in the beginning. There were, but once I was able to show these students a few simple ways to avoid Windows and Linux bumping heads; these kids dug in and began to learn. As it turns out, it wasn’t the students I needed to worry about. Others with much more sway were waiting in the wings to undo months of preparation and success. People that, with ill intention or not, could sink the good ship Linux, at least locally on my end. Initially, some of them did quite a bit of damage.

  2. [Older] Ten Years After Part III – A Storied Conclusion

    While Alton’s case isn’t the norm, it’s good to know that he picked up on the Linux desktop without a lot of drama or angst. However, that too isn’t the norm. As promised in the first part of this “Ten Years After” series, I’ve went over all of the questionnaires and emails and there are only three real “issues” these kids could find to mention, and I mean mentioned in force. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of different types of complaints, but they were, to be honest, nit-picky at best. I don’t think anyone will find any surprises here. So here they are.

02.10.19

Jim Zemlin’s PAC Keeps Raising Money From Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OSDL, OSI at 12:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Today’s Linux Foundation, de facto successor of OSDL, is fronting for proprietary software companies — a very profitable business prospect

Jim Zemlin's PAC
Quite a few of the above are former Microsoft employees (document from IRS)

Summary: The Open Source Definition’s author as well as various Free/Open Source software (FOSS) luminaries warn of an attack on FOSS (“efforts to undermine the integrity of open source”); it’s not too hard to see who participates in it or enables such attacks

SOME days ago the media was ‘aflood’ or awash with reports (literally dozens like this one) about Microsoft stepping deeper into the Linux Foundation, spurring backlash and motivating some readers to write to us about it. As one reader once framed it, the Linux Foundation monetises the handover of Linux and pertinent related pieces, composed by volunteers, to the corporations that ‘buy’ these. It is a fantastic “business model” if it can be called that (imagine passing it off as a “charity”, too). Jim Zemlin and his fellow PR people (and accountant) receive outrageously large salaries, based on public filings (see above). We’re talking about something like $600,000 per year, possibly tax-exempt because they pose as a non-profit. The above is from 2015, so these salaries have likely increased since. As Bryan Lunduke pointed out at some point, these people earn even more money than Linus Torvalds himself (the people or person whose trademarks they convert into cash). Is he in it for software freedom or just for the money? Zemlin is not a technical person.

“…recently there have been efforts to undermine the integrity of open source…”
      –OSI
I’ve long attempted to refrain from being too harsh on the Linux Foundation because I recognise we have vastly greater threats out there (threats to software freedom). The question remains, however, how much Microsoft money is too much and when does the Linux Foundation represent the interests of proprietary software companies more than it represents Free software (or “Open Source”) ideals?

OSI, which also received Microsoft money not too long ago, now warns about an effort to “undermine the integrity of open source”. To quote Business Insider’s new artice, “one of Silicon Valley’s most important industry groups warns that the definition of the term “open source” must be guarded just as zealously as that of the kilogram — and that “recently there have been efforts to undermine the integrity of open source” by stretching the definition to suit their own self-interest.”

“It’s no wonder that the OSI’s Bruce Perens warned a couple of years ago that the the Linux Foundation had become an infringers’ club (he was alluding to GPL infringements).”You just know something is very wrong when pro-GPL groups are being made up just to be dominated by serial GPL infringers like Microsoft and VMware. Who’s facilitating it (and profiting from it)? The Linux Foundation. It’s no wonder that the OSI’s Bruce Perens warned a couple of years ago that the the Linux Foundation had become an infringers’ club (he was alluding to GPL infringements). His views on OIN weren’t any more flattering. This isn’t some random person but the person who came up with the Open Source Definition and is generally supportive (and close to) the FSF/Free Software movement.

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

04.06.17

OSDL, OIN, Linux Foundation, PAX and the Likes of Them Dodge the Real Problem, Which is Software Patents

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, OIN, OSDL, Patents at 10:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Their biggest sponsors simply do not oppose software patents and instead hoard some themselves

Linux Foundation sponsors

Summary: The arms race of patents, or the notion that bad patents can be countered using more bad patents, has become an infectious mentality that acts as a barrier to real progress and only makes the patent thickets a lot ‘thicker’ (impenetrable to small companies/market entrants)

THE US patent office is no longer as lenient as it used to be, but software patents continue to be granted on occasions and troll lawsuits are still being filed (albeit fewer of them than before). As so many companies out there now use Android (Linux), the targets of litigation are often users/distributors of Android and hence “PAX” has some real/perceived necessity. We recently wrote two articles about PAX [1, 2] and Andrew Updegrove, who had worked for the Linux Foundation, wrote the following about it yesterday, under the headline “Google Announces Android “PAX” Cross-License Program – But to What Purpose?”

The first meaningful OSS defensive initiative was Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), founded back in 2000 by companies like IBM, Intel and HP to reassure developers and customers in the face of the veiled threats then being made by Microsoft against users of Linux and other OSS, and in light of the actual (and ultimately unsuccessful) litigation by SCO, perhaps bankrolled by Microsoft, against four companies using Linux.

[...]

Like OSDL, OIN was heavily funded by its founding members and has a high-powered Executive Director and staff. Over 2,000 organizations have now signed the OIN License Agreement, which you can read here, without having to send in a request to be vetted, or incurring a confidentiality obligation.

And then there are the many efforts that were far less meaningful. Beginning with an announcement by IBM on January 11, 2005, many of the leading IT companies made public “patent non-assertion pledges” to reassure users of Linux (and sometimes other prominent OSS programs) that they would not be sued. Those companies ultimately included Motorola, Nokia, Sun, Google, Oracle and others, each publicly releasing its own slightly different legal pledge, and its own specified list of patents – dozens, scores and even hundreds of them. In the case of IBM, the package included exactly 500 patents, an oddly round number. (The same press release also noted that IBM had filed more patents than anyone else for the fourth year in a row, conveying a rather mixed message to the patent-averse open source community.)

PAX and OIN are both ineffective against trolls and as we reminded readers earlier this afternoon, companies like Ericsson and Microsoft pass patents for trolls to sue, bypassing all sorts of alleged defenses such as OIN.

Yesterday or earlier this week, more detailed analysis emerged on the cases involving Samsung, Apple and Qualcomm (which had abused its position against both Samsung and Apple). To quote what Florian Müller wrote this morning:

Procedural decisions relating to two major Apple cases have come down this week. With respect to design patent damages in Apple v. Samsung, Apple did not get its preferred way forward (affirmance of prior damages verdict and an immediate re-retrial necessitated by the Federal Circuit’s dismissal of Apple’s trade dress claims), but the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has granted Apple’s wish that its contract, patent and antitrust action against Qualcomm be kept separate from a long list of (consumer) antitrust cases related to the FTC’s mid-January complaint against Qualcomm.

There isn’t much to say right now about the Apple v. Samsung design patents case. In a case management order handed down on Tuesday, Judge Lucy Koh disagreed with Apple’s most aggressive suggestions, which would have cut the remand proceedings short (after the Federal Circuit decided that the district court should take a closer look at the record in light of the December Supreme Court ruling). I’m not surprised and I doubt Apple itself was.

Qualcomm’s abuses against all sorts of companies were covered here before [1, 2] and where were groups like OIN while this was going on? Nowhere. Because in practice they are something between “deterrent” and “bloody useless”. To properly address these issues, we need to tackle the underlying issues, which are the patents themselves, notably software patents that Qualcomm still uses and advocates for.

03.13.10

Latest SCO-Novell Drama in a Nutshell

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, OSDL, SCO, UNIX at 7:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Alcatraz

Summary: How SCO orchestrated attacks on Groklaw and other takes on the trial against Novell

WE generally cover the SCO case only when there is a major development. One new post that we found particularly curious is titled “Blake Stowell Email to Maureen O’Gara: ‘I Need You to Send a Jab PJ’s Way’” (SCO also paid O'Gara, who carries on lying about the case).

This shows how corruptible the press really is, but then again it’s Sys-Con [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], which is far worse than Fox. Microsoft also used Maureen O'Gara to send a jab in the Linux Foundation's way (OSDL at the time). Microsoft didn’t do this directly. In order to reduce the risk, it used its main PR agency (there are several), Waggener Edstrom. Anyway, here is what Groklaw writes:

So. Now I know. Now we all know.

Blake Stowell, then the PR guy for SCO, sent an email to Maureen O’Gara, saying “I need you to send a jab PJ’s way,” and then right afterwards she wrote that invasive so-called expose, in which she revealed, or at least intended to reveal, things like who I called on my phone. A la the HP scandal. She got fired for doing it the way she did, and the then-publisher apologized to me publicly, but she says in the deposition she’s not sorry a bit.

We learn this by reading excerpts from her deposition, previously under seal, attached to a letter [PDF] SCO’s attorney sent to the court. SCO doesn’t want the part of her deposition video played where she talks about me and Groklaw. It’s beyond eye-opening, however, despite her pretense, as I see it, that there is no connection between the two events.

They also don’t want the part about an email she sent to SCO, subject line, “I want war pay,” played. It’s allegedly humor. Just chatter. But you know, she is on the list of people SCO owes money to, now that I think of it, filed in connection with the bankruptcy. I wonder for what?

It isn’t acceptable, in my eyes, that SCO’s attorneys invariably smear Groklaw in every filing that mentions it. They don’t just say “Groklaw,” they say “the anti-SCO website, Groklaw.” One can say quite a lot in legal filings, and get away with it, but there is a line where it becomes libel, when it is gratuitous, and that language is gratuitous. There isn’t a media outlet that I can think of, other than Maureen O’Gara’s newsletters, that hasn’t criticized what SCO did. The Wall Street Journal was the first, actually, to suspect there was something rotten in Lindon, if you recall. Would it be acceptable to call it, in legal papers, the anti-SCO newspaper, the Wall St. Journal? I think not, and I suggest they are crossing a line.

Microsoft evangelists (on the payroll) are doing this to Boycott Novell and anonymous Novell employees too. Thus, they would be hypocrites to paint themselves as victims of bad publicity.

Our reader The Mad Hatter writes some more about the SCO case, calling it “SCOicide”.

Due to the interest in the case, Judge Kimbell told both parties to minimize redactions in the documents that they filed, and not to minimize the number of documents filed under seal. Because of this we learned that Caldera had hired people to investigate and prove the transfer of code, and that they reported that they COULD NOT FIND PROOF OF ANY TRANSFER. They filed their reports before the original lawsuit was launched. Darl, the CEO knew that he didn’t have any proof. None. But he went ahead with the lawsuit against IBM anyway.

Other coverage from the latest episode in this case includes:

1. Novell asks for further ruling on Motion in Limine No. 4

Novell has asked the Court to rule further on their Motion in Limine No. 4 [PDF; text]. The Court had previously issued a ruling [PDF] granting that Motion, but Novell now asks for further ruling, stating that “[t]he Court addressed this issue solely in the context of SCO’s covenant of good faith claim. However, Novell’s motion covered all of SCO’s claims, including slander of title. The Court’s prior ruling did not expressly address other claims, so Novell requests the Court to rule on the issue that was left open by its prior order.”

2. Attorney: IBM-Novell worked together to hurt SCO

Novell Inc. lied about owning the copyrights for the Unix computer operating system then collaborated with IBM to damage Unix owner The SCO Group, the latter’s attorney told a federal court jury Tuesday.

In the first day of testimony in a trial to settle a long-running legal dispute between SCO and Novell, SCO went on the attack by calling as its first witness the former CEO and chairman of Novell. Robert Frankenberg testified that despite Novell’s claims of ownership, his intent was to sell the copyrights in a 1995 deal that’s at the heart of the conflict.

The SCO Group claims that Novell “slandered” its title to the Unix system and caused it to lose as much as $215 million in revenue at a time when it was in a related dispute with IBM. SCO had accused IBM of improperly using Unix code for improvements that made the Linux operating system a commercial competitor.

SCO’s 2003 lawsuit potentially put IBM on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars. But then Novell late that year claimed that it, and not SCO, owned the copyrights, meaning SCO did not have a basis for its IBM lawsuit nor for demands that businesses using Linux pay licensing fees.

3. Novell, IBM accused of collaborating to hurt Unix owner, lawyer says

A trial in federal court that could have a major impact on the Linux operating system opened in Salt Lake City on Monday with The SCO Group’s lawyer taking aim at Novell and IBM.

4. Arguments begin in SCO v. Novell over copyrights

5. Day 2 of the SCO v. Novell Trial – Opening argument – Updated Repeatedly – 1st Witness, Frankenberg (more documents)

Would it surprise you to find out that it turns out that apparently one of the jurors might be related to one of SCO’s prior corporate officers? At any rate they have the same last name, and Salt Lake City is a big place, so perhaps not. Novell noticed the similarity in names, according to our reporter today, MSS2, only after jury selection was over.

MSS2 has just sent me his first report of day 2 of the jury trial in SCO v. Novell, with more to come. Today was opening arguments by both sides. And we have lots more goodies for you from two eyewitnesses, MSS2 and Tilendor. We begin with SCO’s opening argument by Stuart Singer. All I can say after reading it is maybe you needed to be there. Or SCO must be a slow learner or Mr. Singer never reads Groklaw, or … well, see what you think.

6. Day 1 of the Jury Trial, SCO v. Novell – Updated 2Xs – We Have a Jury

7. Jury seated in SCO lawsuit against Novell

A jury has been seated to hear the lawsuit in which The SCO Group is claiming Novell interfered with its ownership of the Unix computer operating system and cost it more than $100 million in business.

8. Last-Minute Filings from Judge Stewart, SCO, Novell

9. More Back-and-Forth on Proposed Jury Instructions/Verdict Forms in SCO v. Novell

10. Day 2 of the SCO v. Novell Trial – Opening argument – Updated Repeatedly – 1st Witness, Frankenberg

11. Volunteer Needed for Thursday Trial Coverage

The Salt Lake Tribune then published this somewhat controversial article (also posted here), which led to this rebuttal from Groklaw.

And on it goes until Friday:

12. Day 4 of the Trial in SCO v. Novell – and Novell’s Petition for Certiorari

13. Novell’s Motion to Allow Evidence: SCO Opened the Door

14. Day 5 of the SCO v. Novell Trial & Some Help for Journalists Covering the Trial

Some readers of Boycott Novell have sufficient knowledge about the case and they comment about it in IRC. But for well researched commentary regarding SCO, we recommend that people read Groklaw, which could use more volunteers.

“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO approached by Microsoft

12.19.08

Linux Foundation Detoxicated — Slightly — from Novell Influence

Posted in Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, OSDL at 7:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Out goes Rex, in comes Ted

Not so long ago it was Mozilla that got ‘detoxicated’. Novell’s harmful relationship with the Linux Foundation (LF) is something that we remarked on before [1, 2, 3, 4]. By association, the LF with Novell is an open(er) door to Microsoft, which is a partner/ally of one of its funding sources. There are other examples, e.g. Intel, but it does not come quite so close.

Either way, things are changing for the better. Here is a press release about the departure of Markus Rex from the Linux Foundation. He’s going back to Novell, where he was still partly involved. His ‘inauguration’ we mentioned here and here.

Matt Asay changed his headline from “Novell gets a new/old Linux chief” to “Novell’s new Linux chief has Suse history.” It’s possible that someone from Novell, his former employer, sent him E-mails ‘behind the scenes’ again (the original headline made it sound like Markus is “old”) [correction in the comments]. Anyway, here is his coverage.

Markus Rex, formerly the chief technology officer of Suse and currently on leave from Novell, is back in the saddle as acting general manager and senior vice president of Novell’s Open Platform Solutions business unit, reporting to Novell CTO Jeff Jaffe, as Novell announced Monday.

Some more details

Novell has announced two new executive appointments that it said will strengthen its focus on cross-platform solutions and the SUSE Linux Enterprise market.

The company has appointed Roger Levy as senior vice president of strategic development, responsible for cross business unit strategy and offerings for the data center, end-user computing, and identity and security management markets. Prior to his new role, he was general manager and senior vice president of the company’s Open Platform Solutions unit.

Markus Rex, who is currently on leave from the company as CTO to the Linux Foundation, will take over as acting GM and SVP of the OPS unit. He joined Novell in 2004 when it acquired SUSE Linux, and has served as GM for SUSE Linux and CTO for the OPS unit.

So who will inherit his place? A short while ago it was announced that it would be Ted (also appearing here and here).

Ts’o will be replacing Markus Rex as CTO of the Linux Foundation. Rex was on loan to the Foundation from his employer Novell. He recently returned to Novell to work as the acting general manager and senior vice president of Novell’s OPS business unit.

IDG has covered this.

The Linux Foundation has selected a new CTO, Ted Ts’o, who has been known as the first North American developer of the Linux kernel, the foundation said on Thursday.

This is good news for the Linux Foundation and GNU/Linux as a whole. Ts’o is one of the first contributors to Linux.

Ted Ts'o
Ted Ts’o

08.27.08

Novell Gets Close to Linux Foundation, Microsoft Gets Closer to Novell

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, OSDL at 6:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Early in the day we wrote about Novell’s and the Linux Foundation’s cold attitude towards Free software. Based on the latest from the Linux Foundation, Ron Hovsepian and Jim Zemlin will be be doing another public chat where the deal with Microsoft is unlikely to be brought up and betrayal of the developers even discussed [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Here is just one of the few articles covering it (so far).

The free, invitation-only event will feature an address by Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian and a question-and-answer session with Zemlin.

Here is the press release:

– An address from Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian, which will include a Q&A
with the Linux Foundation’s executive director Jim Zemlin.

They give a lot of exposure to Novell in that event. How come?

Are the Foundation’s members aware of Microsoft's proximity to Novell? What might be the impact Monofestation and other C# manifestations a lá Vala? The following new article about .NET mentions Novell’s role as though it’s part of Microsoft’s movement for development domination.

In addition to .NET, there are other implementations of CIL—the two most well known by Microsoft and Novell. Microsoft’s implementation is an open source offering for the purposes of research and education called the Shared Source Common Language Infrastructure (SSCLI). The Novell offering is called Mono, which is also open source.

This will make Novell a more attractive takeover target. And speaking of which, also based on the latest news, Microsoft puts resources in Utah. Again.

Microsoft has become an investor in Move Networks, a growing Utah company that streams television on the Internet for entities such as the NFL and Disney.

There are some more details about it here. Microsoft was recently seen expanding in Fargo, hiring 5 employees for its new base there. Prelude to a strategic move, a coincidence, or none of the above? Microsoft is already toying with Novell, so it’s probably a matter of preparation and just a matter of time.

Microsoft ZUN

05.01.08

Adobe Flash: Now a Little Less Evil (We’ll Stick to Ogg, Thank You)

Posted in Formats, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, OSDL, Videos at 10:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME FlashThe announcement from Adobe may be slightly overplayed by the press, but the gist of the story is that Flash technologies get a little gentler and a little more transparent. This is good news by all means and it will assist projects like gnash tremendously. However, this does not resolve the deformation of the Web, whose control used to be more decentralised.

It is worth remembering that Adobe is now a member of the Linux Foundation. Despite this, Adobe is being betrayed by Novell in favour of Microsoft. Nonetheless, Novell built parts of its Web site using Adobe Flash. Makeover to come?

Reports from the press include (thanks to several readers who brought this to our attention):

1. Adobe moves to broaden Flash reach

Open Screen is being spearheaded by Adobe. But the company is working with Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Qualcomm, Chunghwa Telecom, Samsung, Motorola, NTT Docomo, Toshiba, Verizon Wireless, ARM, Intel, Marvell, NBC, MTV, and the BBC. It’s “a who’s who in the industry,” said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president of the Platform Business Unit at Adobe.

2. Adobe Drops Licensing Fees, Gives Away Flash For Devices

Software maker Adobe announced Thursday that it would drop many of the licensing requirements attached to its Flash technology, which is used to display video and audio content on the web.

We will stick to Ogg Theora though, whenever this is possible. Thanks to akf for the invaluable suggestions, which made transcoding a lot easier. In order for Adobe to become a darling, the whole stack that it uses ought to embrace a licence like the GPLv3 (this includes codecs).

Another reader wrote to bring up this article, adding: “It’s about what Silverlight need to do to become successful.” It can hopefully be eliminated, but not using Flash. We need some real alternatives like Ogg, rather than fight fire with fire. We shall do our best to promote Ogg and make it more widespread. Presence typically ushers adoption.

Ogg Theora

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