Bonum Certa Men Certa

Bruce Perens Open Letter to Novell

Bruce Perens has authored an Open Letter to Novell, which is also serving as a petition. Please add your name, and comment if you like.
The covenant of the GPL is that in the face of a software patent aggressor we must all hang together, lest we all hang separately. Novell accepted that covenant when you chose to include the Linux kernel, the GNU C library, and hundreds of additional works created at no charge to Novell by individuals in the Free Software community and licensed under the GPL.

It is abundantly clear that Novell and Microsoft took the time to engineer a circuitous legal path of issuing covenants to each other's customers, rather than licenses to each other, in order to circumvent Novell's earlier agreement with the community of GPL software developers.


Bruce advises Novell to direct Microsoft to make any such covenants for everyone's use, or not at all in the future. But, why not correct the current agreement, or cancel it? It is clear that there is much confusion about the significance of the deal, in the community, the corporate world, and even among the parties who signed it.

The solution is simple, as stated by Eben Moglen:
“Microsoft should take back the patent promise to Novell customers or extend the promise of patent safety to everyone, not just Novell customers,” he said.
Until Novell amends the deal and denounces its error, they must not be supported, as put so eloquently by Bruce: "In short, now that Novell has chosen not to hang together with the Free Software community, we've chosen not to do so with you."

Go sign the petition, then spread the word: Boycott Novell.

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