Is Novell Gradually Running Out of Friends?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Novell, Patent Covenant, Ron Hovsepian at 10:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

According to Linux Planet, Novell is looking for new partners.

Novell is now on the lookout for more partners to work on-site at customer locations to help out with product maintenance and optimization.

This comes amid controversial statements from Novell, which continue to support its actions, rather than retract and attempt to regain the community’s respect and trust. You will find a good summary of the recent events at a Business Review Online blog.

While Hovsepian has no regrets the same cannot be said for Justin Steinman, Novell’s director of marketing for Linux and Open Platform Solutions, who has been forced to issue an apology following misleading statements about Novell’s contribution to the Free Software Foundation.

It could not get any worse, could it?

Quite interesting perhaps is Matt Asay’s Novell-Google comparison, where Google serves an example of what Novell should have done.

In short, Google may have been willing to accept a legal fight in order to protect its ability to mine video for money, yes, but also to protect fair use rights for video on the Internet. If true, very laudable.

And very different from Novell’s actions vis-a-vis Linux. Novell claims to want to sell and proliferate Linux. But it has taken the exact wrong strategy to do so. Instead of protecting Linux and standing up for its integrity, Novell has slandered its reputation with its dubious Microsoft pact. However Novell may want to color it, the agreement implies that Linux is “Unclean!”

As I pointed out yesterday, judging by reactions across the Web, Novell is gradually making more and more enemies. Matt Asay is among those who are simply fed up.

Novell has punished its own ecosystem. It begs for alienation.

Bruce Perens: Clearing up Anti-GPL3 FUD

Posted in Action, Deception, DRM, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell at 6:58 pm by Shane Coyle

Bruce Perens has posted an editorial in which he tries to dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding the upcoming GPLv3.

Firstly, there is an interesting bit of additional background about the events leading up to the departure of Stuart Cohen from OSDL and it’s eventual dissolution/subsequent creation of the Linux Foundation.

Some of the bad publicity about GPL3 is deliberate. A particularly bad article by Dan Lyons of Forbes magazine painted an offensive picture of GPL3 and Richard Stallman, even accusing Stallman of having sex with flowers (!!!) after Lyons failed to comprehend a scientific joke [1]. The article was “pitched” to Lyons and Forbes [2] by then OSDL director Stuart Cohen. ODSL was abruptly shut down by its own members, eliminating Cohen’s job, after Lyons’ article and another odious incident [3]. To save face, it was announced that OSDL would be “merged” with Free Standards Group.

The explanation of the flowers misunderstanding is an interesting read in and of itself, but of course Bruce covers much more than rhinophytophilia, he also talks a bit about how GPLv3 will cause Novell to either abandon their Microsoft deal or "it may freeze them in amber as an example of the state of software in early 2007, as the rest of the Free Software community and Linux distributions move into the future".

And what about Novell-Microsoft? Will there be a provision to block that deal in GPL3? How will it work? Richard Stallman announced on Monday March 19 that GPL3 will contain a provision that blocks the Novell-Microsoft deal. It works this way: if any entity that distributes the software arranges to protect a particular group from patents regarding that software, it must protect everyone. This mends the loophole exploited in the Novell-Microsoft agreement without being discriminatory or unfair.

Some may care about the patent issues. Others may not.

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Interoperability, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents at 5:56 pm by Shane Coyle

Those, apparently, are some of Bruce Lowry’s words in his response to some of the things that Matt Asay has had to say regarding the Microvell deal.

Third, you seem to suggest we’re waving the IP flag to get customers to buy our stuff. This is just flat wrong. Our approach to this deal has been focused on interoperability. That’s what the customers care the most about. As Ron has said before, Microsoft introduced the patent proposal. We felt that the overall package was important enough for customers that we worked with them to come up with the patent agreement. You seem to suggest we’ve been inconsistent on this issue. We haven’t. We’ve said from the get-go that this was about interoperability for customers. Some may care about the patent issues. Others may not. What our agreement does is remove the issue from the table for them.

I am on record as being vehemently opposed to the patent covenant aspect of the deal, but much more importantly, the folks from whom Novell derive their profitable products from care very much about "the patent issues". As a matter of fact, they care so much that they are dilligently working on a new license version with verbiage to specifically address the loophole Novell exploited in GPLv2, with the intention of derailing their discriminatory deal with Microsoft.

Until Novell is capable of understanding these fundamental concepts about the Free Software community, they will remain a proprietary company that purchased some "open source" products to offset their legacy products continually mounting losses, and never be considered an "Open Source" company embraced and supported by the community.

In regards to Lowry’s assertions that, to Novell, it’s an interoperability deal, really, and the patent aspects are "just another level of protection for those customers who want it", this is inconsistent with Stafford Masie’s statements at the CITI forum that their deal with Microsoft is indeed a competitive advantage for Novell, but not an exclusive one.

So, which is it Novell – is your patent covenant with Microsoft a competitive advantage or something that’s just nice to have?

Microsoft’s Newest Patent Deal

Posted in Deals, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Marketing, Microsoft, Patents at 2:27 pm by Shane Coyle

and they can’t help but mention open source and Linux

Microsoft has inked a patent cross-license agreement with Fuji Xerox, allowing each company access to the others patent portfolio.

As has become customary, the specific details and financial terms are not being disclosed at this time, the release does note that there are both "monetary and non-monetary" provisions that allow both companies to receive compensation from their patent portfolios"

Fuji Xerox, which is owned by FUJIFILM Holdings Corp. and Xerox Corp., is a leading investor in Research and Development (R&D) related to document management systems and maintains a broad patent portfolio, including patents in the United States and in Japan. Like Fuji Xerox, Microsoft has a long history of R&D and maintains many patents related to software and computer hardware innovations.

Through the agreement, Fuji Xerox will obtain access to Microsoft patents for Fuji Xerox’s existing and future product lines, including products that incorporate proprietary source and open source software, such as Linux. Likewise, Microsoft will gain access to Fuji Xerox patents for Microsoft’s existing and future proprietary product lines, including Microsoft Office. The agreement contains monetary and non-monetary provisions that allow both companies to receive compensation from their patent portfolios. The terms of the agreement are not being disclosed at this time.

New Spoof Ads from Novell (Videos)

Posted in Audio/Video, Humour, Marketing, Novell, Videos at 9:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

You may also wish to see Red Hat’s spoof ads.

The Net is Abuzz Over Novell’s Impact

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Intellectual Monopoly, Interview, Law, Microsoft, Patent Covenant, Patents, Ron Hovsepian at 9:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There appear to have been no major developments or stories today. However, many opinions are being posted, as well as pieces of analysis. Judging by this Web site’s recent traffic levels, more people understand their unfortunate entanglement in Novell’s foolish act, which continues to affect many of us and seems to get worse by the week.

Below is a roundup, which you may wish to run through quickly or explore further by following the links.

Novell: Nothing is wrong with Linux (Better sign with us or you may be sued over Linux) — Matt Asay

Am I the only one who finds Novell’s continued backtracking and silliness over its patent scheme with Microsoft reprehensible?

We Want Linux to Win: Q&A with Novell CEO, Ron Hovsepian

Novell’s annual user event, BrainShare, took place this week in Salt Lake City, Utah. President and CEO, Ron Hovsepian sat down with Linux Magazine’s Bryan Richard to talk about patent protection, responding to customers, and competing with Red Hat.

At ZDNet you’ll find a Microsoft employee’s perspective on community division, caused by Novell. In InformationWeek you’ll find one among a series of writeups that are critical of GPLv3 and the FSF. IANAL, so I won’t comment on any of this.

Meanwhile, ITWire writes about Bruce Peren’s heroic battle against Novell. In line with the “show us the code” open letter, Nicholas Petreley of Linux Journal dares Microsoft to sue us — the customers/users.


Surely Novell customers will feel their protection money was ill-spent unless you follow through with such lawsuits. So please fill us in on your plans to sue. The suspense is excruciating.

Yours Truly,

One of countless proud users of Debian, Kubuntu, PC Linux OS, Mandriva, Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise, Knoppix, Mepis, Mint, Gentoo, and many other non-Novell distributions.

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