Bonum Certa Men Certa

On Opensuse and Proprietary Software

Earlier this week, I spotted the following E-mail:

* From: Andreas Jaeger [ aj@xxxxxxx ] * Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2007 09:10:26 +0200 * Message-id: [ hoejkqlvvh.fsf@xxxxxxxxxxxxx ]

We like to know a bit more about the usage of proprietary software we ship on some versions of our openSUSE distribution. Therefore we created a 16 question survey and ask you to participate and give us feedback. The survey is online till June 12.


It would be silly to make speculations or have people jump to the wrong conclusions again, simply based on the interpretation of just one person who follows the mailing lists quite closely. However, what are Novell's plans? Some of the components in this survey seem to refer to packages where algorithms are possibly 'protected' using junk patents (I'll admit that I have limited knowledge about font patents and I have not researched this).

Judgment tells me that the survey is intended to see what so-called 'purists' think about inclusion of popular (yet replaceable) packages such as Acrobat Reader. This leads back to the whole 'check and egg' debate and the other conflicting scenarios. And yes, PDF has many patents associated with it, which relates to a news item from yesterday. It speaks about the effect of patents on innovation, among other things.

Flaws on software patents have come to light once again as industry groups and analysts renewed calls for reforms on software patent systems worldwide, saying the process should promote, rather than impede, innovation.


Just To clarify, I did not subscribe to the lists in order to eavesdrop and muddy the water. I have been on 4 opensuse mailing lists long before the Microsoft deal, back when I even contributed a little.

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