Bonum Certa Men Certa

Novell Sells Community's Blood, Boasts Earnings

The headline is inspired by a nice analogy from Pamela Jones. We have identified some very interesting information in the latest discussion at Groklaw. Let us start with this:

Meanwhile, Antone Gonsalves at EETimes reports that Microsoft says it isn't attacking Open Source. It is just responding to customer demand. Shades of SCO. Must be the same customers SCO told us were begging them to set up SCOsource licensing. Here's what Microsoft's Bob Muglia said:

Muglia said Microsoft was focused on interoperability with open source software, not on challenging the use of its intellectual property in court. "Our approach is a licensing based one," Muglia said. "It's a real issue for customers, and one that Microsoft is addressing proactively."


I just can't turn off my paralegal brain, which translates that to say: We won't sue you as long as you pay us. I believe I can get similar terms from the Mafia.


We'll shortly publish an item dedicated solely to the issue of interoperability and the "interop tax" which Microsoft and Novell so stubbornly insist on introducing. But here's another slip of the mouth (what at least appears to be the case) from Steinman:

Update: Another part of Shankland's report has this offensive bit, from Justin Steinman. Who else?
Microsoft's patent tally news both pleased and displeased Novell, said Justin Steinman, the company's marketing director for Linux.

On the displeased side, Novell saw the news as "another round of, '0h no, here we go again.' We generally think comments like that aren't productive," Steinman said.

On the pleased side, Novell potentially can profit from the saber-rattling. "If Microsoft is going to go out and raise concerns, we are comfortable we can offer (customers) coverage," Steinman said. Overall, though, Novell wasn't pleased. "Do we wish the tone of the article had been different? I think so."


I could probably make some money selling my mother's blood, if I had no conscience. Or I could rob a liquor store. There's money in that, I hear. Profit isn't the only indicator of whether a deal is a good idea or not.


Right on point. In part, Novell continues to thrive in the community's pain. That's the very same community from which its product came. Novell still bites the hand that feeds it. In case you remain unconvinced, here is another statement which supports this assertion.

When Microsoft suggests that Linux developers have stolen its IP, "I feel that I've been called a thief," he said. As a result, he concluded, the Microsoft/Novell deal might be good for Novell "but it's not good for the community" of open-source developers and users.


Here is the perspective of Tom Adelstein, which indirectly addresses the exclusionary deal and its impact.

I seem to recall something about unfair trade practices. Can a monopoly favor one organization with the same product offering over another? Hmmm, I'm not a lawyer and I don't practice law. But, as a private citizen, I can recall some interesting legal battles here and there. Something about Linspire comes to mind. And something about announcements that stop people from buying products because of threatening announcements also comes to mind.

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