Bonum Certa Men Certa

Amid the Recent Developments, Where Does Novell Stand?

Don Marti, a long-time journalist who covers Linux, seems convinced that Novell is not in a very miserable position.

Sam Hiser says Novell is in a lose-lose situation, but that's not necessarily the case. The kernel is staying GPLv2. (Linus Torvalds deciding not to take his 10,000 copyright holders and go v3 is like the driver of an 18-wheeler "deciding" not to do donuts on my lawn.)

That leaves development tools, which Novell can always split out into a separate product, the way the Unix vendors did, and a bunch of utilities, which are not moving fast enough to be a problem to maintain.


Forking options aside, Novell seems to be redefining and spinning what GPLv3 and MIcrosoft's response actually mean. As Heise puts it:

Novell welcomed and supported the new GPL version and was planning to include GPLv3 software in its distribution, it was said. There were no provisions in the final version of GPLv3 that would prevent Novell from doing so, the company declared.


I am not a lawyer and my understanding of the licence is limited. In these circumstances I just count on the judgment of those whose words I trust. Matt Aslett is one of them and he now opines that these endless arguments could be heading towards the courtroom.

The legal ramifications of Microsoft's GPLv3 position

[...]

I previously noted that Microsoft was attempting to portray itself as the victim. Talk of being misrepresented and bound fits the picture.


If the FSF ever confronted Microsoft over GPLv3 misinterpretations and disagreements, then it would be interesting to see Novell's involvement. It would probably maintain a bystander status. Novell is not quite so fond of the FSF and the sentiments seem mutual. This is despite the fact that Novell benefited from the FSF's mercy (when GPLv3's draft was rewritten). Remind yourselves that this was only done in order to be used against Microsoft, not necessary in order to favour or assist Novell. Even Alax Cox had something to say about this.

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