Bonum Certa Men Certa

How's That GPLv3 Coming Along?

Linux.com (OSTG) has just published a short interview with Eben Moglen. It came just shortly after Microsoft had fired its warning shot.

We [Eben and reporter] discussed his personal history with Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel; the battle with Microsoft over its patent agreement with Novell, and what he would like for his students, programmers, and even reporters on the fringes of media corporations to learn about how to change the world.


About Novell, Eben says: "If I had predicted in the first week of the Microsoft-Novell deal that come this spring Microsoft would be throwing SLES coupons out of airplanes, nobody would have believed me. But it is perfectly clear why they are doing it, and it is perfectly clear that they made a plan to do it at the instant they saw what was going to happen in GPLv3, and the reason they saw what was going to happen in GPLv3 was because I told them."

Allison Randal has just made a gentle request for better GPLv3 clarity, but it has become apparent that the GPLv3 is approaching finalisation, it is gaining more acceptance from Linux kernel developers, and surveys reveal optimism. It's truly a shame that Eben will step down once it's all done. At least proper protection will be in place. With that in mind, OIN's protection may never even be needed. All that will remain from Microsoft's warning short is fresher FUD.

Could it [Microsoft's threat] have something to do with taking a big stick and little carrot approach to lucrative commercial deals, such as we have seen recently with the Novell 'we won't sue you if you jump into bed with us' pact? Or perhaps it is more a case of running scared from the big stick that the Open Invention Network (OIN), with members such as IBM, Philips and Sony at the helm, has been carving which might just be long enough to poke Microsoft in the eye and heavy enough to do some serious damage in the patent litigation department?

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