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Interesting Apache-Novell Analogy

The deal Microsoft has with Novell is hugely different from the company's new arrangement with Apache. For starters, and perhaps most importantly, there is one main branch of Apache, whereas Novell tried getting a carte blanche for SUSE at the expense of all other distributors, of which there are plenty. This cannot ever happen with Apache.



Earlier today, this item was posted to highlight the severity of the latest situation, whereby Microsoft 'buys' its competition. The following comment came a little later and it's particularly interesting.

On the surface it looks like one possible reason for going after the Apache Foundation might be to disrupt it directly, like is being done by the ongoing aggression versus Yahoo to rattle the developers and teams.



However, a licensing dependency injects a control and ownership over otherwise Free systems. What is happening to FOSS distros like Fedora and Ubuntu have been getting infected with Microsoft's licensing (e.g. Mono) could be a risk for Apache. The reminder from these HP memos from 2002 is that MS could just be lining up its shots for a future lawsuit by using funding to leverage injecting proprietary material into general projects like Apache, Ubuntu, GNOME, etc., which it appears to be doing, and then cashing in (assuming MS is still around). Think a case like SCO but where MS has had a few years to ensure contamination has occurred before calling in the lawyers.



It's up to regular users to look ahead at the development versions and not be chumps about accepting proprietary licensing in FOSS projects, especially from recidivist organizations.



This probably sums up the risk of accepting the lizards. More thoughts on this would be welcome.

Microsoft SUSE

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