Bonum Certa Men Certa

Eben Moglen Sets Record Straight Regarding Microsoft/Novell After Novell Lied

Eben Moglen portrait



Summary: Professor Eben Moglen responds to disinformation from Novell's Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier, who was sent to London by Novell's PR team in order to speak to journalists

"DOWNHILL" is where Novell is going, but even on its way down to the bottom Novell resorts to lying and revisionism. Brockmeier's lies about Eben Moglen's stance are finally being refuted and rebutted by Moglen himself.



In a short exchange with ITWire, Moglen has some strong words to share:

OpenSUSE's Brockmeier caught out over Moglen claim



OpenSUSE community manager Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier has been caught out spreading misinformation about the patent deal that Microsoft signed with his employer, Novell, a little over three years ago.

During a recent tour of Europe, Brockmeier gave an interview to eWeek Europe to spruik his company's position and what he claimed it had gained from the patent licensing deal over the three years since it was signed.

He was quoted by Peter Judge of eWeek as saying: "Even Eben Moglen [Columbia law professor and founder of the Software Freedom Law Center] approved of the deal and said it was compliant with the GPLv2 licence agreement."

Such a claim is surprising considering that Moglen is well-known as a co-author of the GPLv3 which introduced a clause that would prevent such deals from happening in the future.

Contacted by iTWire, Moglen said he was surprised by the claim. "I *did* say the deal didn't violate GPLv2 section 7," he said.

This, however, is not surprising as many people knew that, legally, the GPLv2 did not prohibit the deal. However, many people at the time felt that it did violate the spirit of the licence. Prominent free software developer Jeremy Allison quit Novell in disgust over the deal.

Moglen, who is highly respected both for his academic scholarship and his contributions to free software, was surprised that he had been painted as someone who had approved of the deal.

"I *disapproved* of the deal, quite firmly; there is some rather popular video of me on the web explaining why, in relation to Microsoft's annual 'Be Very Afraid' tours," he said.

[...]

While some who read the article have contested these claims in comments at the end of the piece, Brockmeier has offered no comment.


The Source was probably the first Web site to properly expose Brockmeier for his lies. In reference to the above it adds:

Everyone who knows anything about the Microsoft/Novell deal – among whom I assume Mr. Brockmeier is counted – understand this position. The entire “trick” that permitted the deal was a this loophole of letter-compliance but spirit-violation under the GPLv2 which was specifically closed in the GPLv3.

And when I say specifically, I mean the Microsoft/Novell deal was listed by name.

Why the pretense that someone acknowledging Novell pulled a fine-print fast one and got away with it is equal to approval and endoresement? I understand the desire to spin a shameful collaboration of betrayal and discrimination on Novell’s part, but why try to use the name and reputation of someone who publicly condemns you? They will surely correct your gross distortions, and then where are you? (Still on Novell’s payroll! <rimshot>)


Yes, he is being paid to say such nonsense. Upton Sinclair once said, "It's hard get a man to understand something, when he's being paid not to understand it."

Here is a new interview with Brockmeier, where he is asked about many issues including Mono:

HO [Heise/H Online]: Novell appears to have set itself high hopes for Mono and you say that this is the first commercial development tool for the rapid creation of .NET applications for Linux, Unix and Mac OS X within Visual Studio. Is it really the ‘first’ tool of this kind and what do you think will appeal most to developers about its form and function?

JB [Joe Brockmeier]: As far as I know, it is the first tool of its kind. But I'm not the ‘Mono guy’, so I don't spend much so time with it – but I would say that the most appealing thing about the tool is what you've emphasised in the question: that it allows rapid development of cross-platform .NET applications. Giving developers an opportunity to easily target cross-platform development with a language they're already familiar with is a big incentive.


Later on we will write a long post about the latest of the Mono folly.

Georg Greve passes on the words of the FSFE (which he founded): "EC's Microsoft browser settlement better than expected, but interoperability promises utterly useless..."

This is a subject that we covered yesterday, having previously explained that Microsoft attacks Free software as commercial software using the so-called "interoperability promise". Groklaw has just analysed this too and made a comparison to the Novell/Microsoft deal:

Microsoft tries this trick every time. Same thing with the Microsoft-Novell patent pledge, if you recall. It means the same thing here, that you are not covered unless you are not a commercial competitor of Microsoft. So Linus in his bedroom would be covered, but once people actually started to use Linux to the benefit of the world's economy, the deal is off? Then what happens? Is the old code still covered? How is it interoperability if your main competition is excluded from interoperability? My guess is Microsoft means for you to have to pay for a patent license, if you are commercial, judging by Jason Matusow's comment about similar language in the Novell deal:
The offer not to sue open source software developers for patent infringement might sound philanthropic, but it has been dismissed from various quarters as "divisive" and "worse than useless".

Earlier this week the Samba development team urged Novell to rethink its agreement with Microsoft as it favored non-commercial developers or those contributing to Novell’s openSUSE project over contributors to other commercial open source projects.

Meanwhile the Software Freedom Law Center said the offer was "worse than useless" and was not to be relied upon.

While Matusow’s request for input from the open source community shows that the company is open to criticism, it appears it will not be changing its position on commercial open source developers.

"Our design goal is to get language in place that allows individual developers to keep developing. We are not interested in providing carte blanche clearance on patents to any commercial activity - that is a separate discussion to be had on a per-instance basis," he wrote.
But the GPL forbids paying for a patent license, so it's a cute trick to keep GPL code, and that includes Linux, out in the cold, unable to interoperate.


Microsoft is modeling a deal with the EU in a similar fashion to that which it signed with Novell. It is surprising that the FSFE has been as polite as it is about it.

“People that use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us.”

--Steve Ballmer

Recent Techrights' Posts

A farewell to Finland, an occupied territory
Finland, Finland, Finland
 
The Real Reason Censorship is Attempted Against Us (and Against Others Too)
Microsoft's Windows market monopoly was in trouble
You Are Not The Only One
Reprinted with permission from Cyber Show (C|S)
GNU/Linux in Monaco: From 0.3% to Almost 6%
Monaco is a small country
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 22, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Microsoft Has Lost Cote D'ivoire (Ivory Coast), Where Android Now Exceeds 60% of the Operating Systems' 'Market Share'
According to statCounter anyway
The Rumour Said Later Today Red Hat (IBM) Might Announce Layoffs
Let's see what happens later today (or next week)
Governments That Fail Journalism
Australia is known for giving us pure garbage like Rupert Murdoch
Windows Has Fallen From 'Grace'
When you tell people that Microsoft watches their every move in Windows many of them will freak out and ask for alternatives
Serbia: GNU/Linux at Almost 4% (or Beyond if ChromeOS is Counted)
considerable growth for GNU/Linux
Links 22/05/2024: China in Other Countries' Islands, Growing Threat of Piracy
Links for the day
Gemini Links 22/05/2024: Freedom Through Limitation, Cloud Photos
Links for the day
Canonical Supports Monopoly
more of the same
Links 22/05/2024: "Copilot+" as Mass Surveillance and Microsoft Defying Consent in Scarlett Johansson's Case
Links for the day
[Meme] Escalating After Failures
4 stages of cancel culture
Red Hat Had 2+ Days to Deny Reports of Impending Layoffs. But Red Hat Chose to Keep Silent.
Red Hat DOES NOT deny layoffs on the way
Microsoft-Connected Person Was Threatening to Sue Me and to Sue My Wife (Because His Feelings Were Hurt After Had He Spent More Than a Decade Defaming Me and Violating My Family's Dignity, Privacy)
litigation was chosen and we shall defend everything we wrote
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 21, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Attempts to Sink the Free Software Movement (Under the Guise of Saving It)
We can see who's being drowned
Czech Republic: Windows Down From 98% to 43%, GNU/Linux Rises to Over 3%
modest gains for GNU/Linux
Links 22/05/2024: Pixar Layoffs and More Speculation About Microsoft Shutdowns/Layoffs (Ninja Theory)
Links for the day
Microsoft-Connected Sites Trying to Shift Attention Away From Microsoft's Megabreach Only Days Before Important If Not Unprecedented Grilling by the US Government?
Why does the mainstream media not entertain the possibility a lot of these talking points are directed out of Redmond?
Gemini Links 21/05/2024: Caesar II for MS-DOS and Reinventing the Assertion Wheel
Links for the day
Internal Memos/Communications Hinting at "a New, But Masked, Round of Layoffs" at Red Hat
A negative outlook heads of a long weekend
Nigeria: Windows Down to 6%, Android at All-Time High of 77%
Google is becoming the "new monopoly" in some places
[Video] Microsoft's Attack on Education
Microsoft's cult-like activities and overt entryism
[Meme] Money In, No Money Out (Granting Loads of Invalid European Patents)
EPO production?
Staff Representation at the EPO Has Just Explained to Heads of Delegations (National Delegates) Why the EPO's Financial Study is Another Hoax
Here we are again 5 years later
Canonical and Red Hat Are Not Competing With Microsoft Anymore
What a shame they hired so many people from Microsoft...
Links 21/05/2024: "Hating Apple Goes Mainstream", Lots of Coverage About Julian Assange Ruling
Links for the day
Gemini Links 21/05/2024: Losing Fats and Modern XMPP
Links for the day
Microsoft Windows Used to Have Nearly 100% in China and Now Google Has 50% (With Android)
Will China bring about a faster "fall" for Microsoft?
Pursuing a Case With No Prospects (Because It's "Funny")
the perpetrators are taking a firm that's considered notorious
GNU/Linux Growing Worldwide (the Story So Far!)
Microsoft is unable to stop GNU/Linux
GNU/Linux in Honduras: From 0.28% to 6%
Honduras remains somewhat of a hotspot
Good News From Manchester and London, Plus High Productivity in Techrights
what has happened and what's coming
[Video] The 'Linux' Foundation Cannot be Repaired Anymore (It Sold Out)
We might need to accept that the Linux Foundation lost its way
Links 21/05/2024: Tesla Layoffs and Further Free Speech Perils Online
Links for the day
Gemini Links 21/05/2024: New Gemini Reader and Gemini Games
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 20, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 20, 2024