03.19.07

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Novell: Open Source Supporter Turned Open Source Parasite

Posted in Action, Deals, Free/Libre Software, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell at 8:29 pm by Shane Coyle

From the Raining on Novell’s Parade Department…

Bruce Perens spoke out today against Novell’s self-serving and morally questionable attempt to circumvent the spirit of the GNU General Public License, referring to the arrangement as he had in the past: as a "protection racket"

Perens, a vocal opponent of the Microsoft/Novell patent deal, stated that while the arrangement was legal under the GPLv3, Novell’s deal was made in “bad faith with the open-source community and [was] not moral.”

More than that, though, Perens said, if the Novell-Microsoft patent deal is allowed to stand. It would take only as few as “two or three intellectual property law-suits” of open-source developers or small business at a cost of at least $5 million dollars a pop, to destroy open-source development. So, from where he sits, Novell is running a “protection racket” with “Big Mikey” as the enforcer

Perens also surmises that the deal may be the beginning of Novell’s exit strategy from their Linux business, which "hasn’t taken off, and won’t anytime soon". Perens also believes Microsoft may indeed buy Novell, since Novell would lack the resources to fork the numerous essential GNU utilities that will be moving to GPL3.

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5 Comments

  1. IanSVT said,

    March 19, 2007 at 8:48 pm

    Gravatar

    “Perens also surmises that the deal may be the beginning of Novell’s exit strategy from their Linux business, which “hasn’t taken off, and won’t anytime soon”.”

    [DR. Evil]Riiiiiiight[/DR. Evil]

    Well, I guess the NetWare kernel will go back into active development again, right Bruce? Or maybe, you just don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

    http://www.novell.com/news/press/novell-open-enterprise-server-2-to-deliver-innovative-workgroup-services-on-linux

  2. beantmt said,

    March 19, 2007 at 10:58 pm

    Gravatar

    This doesn’t even make sense… Novell is going to drop their Linux business, but they need more developers to fork GNU utilities. Sounds like Bruce is just throwing crap at the wall and hoping something sticks.

  3. Stephen said,

    March 20, 2007 at 4:58 am

    Gravatar

    I think Bruce has lost a lot of credibility with his nonsense-spew-machine over the last year in particular. This angry man should take up pottery.

  4. shane said,

    March 20, 2007 at 7:38 am

    Gravatar

    Hovsepian has denied any MS takeover, which all but ensures it will happen…

    Perens, the critic, said he would not oppose this union if it were simply a technological partnership. But in his view, Microsoft is using it to destroy competition, compelling Novell to abandon its former allies – small- and intermediate-level software developers in the open-source community – in return for protection from Microsoft attacks.

    What Novell did is not illegal but it is a matter of bad faith, Perens contended. The result could doom Novell to becoming a Microsoft subsidiary, he said, because Novell does not write its own software but gets it instead from those small independents.

    Hovsepian scoffed at that scenario. “Them [Microsoft] buying us? I think that’s deep in the conspiracy theory bucket.”

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 20, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Gravatar

    For a balanced discussion, here’s an opinion from ‘the other side’:

    Perens sets up a gloomy world, but I had to ask the question: is there any clear evidence that Microsoft would actually try to sue individual developers, as he suggests? Perens thinks that litigation will be the primary weapon that Microsoft will use to stifle innovation from the open source community.

    The editor proceeds to explaining that the new GPL licence will not change a thing. He argues that Novell’s deal does not change the real (or perceived) risk level either.

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