05.27.07

Could Novell’s Disclosure Have Led to More Backlash and Harm Than Calm? (Updated)

Posted in Deals, Dell, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents, Ubuntu, Windows at 9:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shane has already taken a preliminary look at Novell’s recent disclosure. Next week we shall find out a lot more as prominent people analyse the text and will report to the press. Here are some early reactions. The first comes from the Wine team.

More than a few people have been angered by Novell’s patent indemnification agreement with Microsoft. If you’re looking a bunch of really exciting fun, you can find a redacted version of the entire agreement filed with the SEC. There’s two nice bits in there about Wine. The first pretty much means Novell won’t ever ship Wine (someone please correct me if I’m wrong because it’s late and I might have pieced it together wrong.) Why?

Remember that Dell joined the Microsoft/Novell deal. A couple of weeks ago, just shortly after this deal, Mark Shuttleworth announced that Wine would not be included in Dell’s Ubuntu PCs. A while later it turned out that proprietary multimedia codecs would not be included either. Is it a coincidence, a conspiracy, or simply a logical decision? Here is the reaction of a man who is disappointed due to these recent developments.

Dell’s deliberately limited Ubuntu Linux offerings show cowardice in the face of Microsoft’s displeasure, and telegraphs to the casual shopper that Linux is a very cheap (as in quality) second to Windows in terms of breadth and depth of hardware support, when it most certainly is not.

Also see the following perspective:

The agreement enshrines the pretzel-like position Novell has been forced to adopt because it appears to be paying Microsoft not to sue its customers for using Linux.

[...]

It looks as if the agreement makes provision for the possibility that Novell will get acquired — it passes through — unless, it appears, it goes to a private equity buy-out firm or a company that gets less than 10% of revenues from hardware and software. There are also safety nets for product spin-offs.

What a mouthful. More speculations are certainly yet to come our way. Here are the reactions that Novell had to face in last week’s OSBC.

Corbet of LWN.net, however, accused Novell of enabling Microsoft’s bad behavior. “Novell is paying Microsoft a per unit fee (on sales of SUSE Linux). If there’s not a patent issue, what are you paying for?” he asked.

[...]

The issue of patents has been front and center at OSBC… and audience members expressed disappointment at the mixed signals coming from Microsoft over possible litigation, and what many perceived as a lack of honest cooperation between Microsoft and the open source community. “I’m not afraid of Novell coming after me like I’m afraid of Microsoft coming after me,” said Jon Stumpf, Senior Vice President of Engineering at AIG. “I don’t need a new (collaboration) deal on virtualization or ODF. I need cooperation on standards.” At other times, audience members responded with outright derision at efforts to smooth over the disagreements that have followed from the partnership.

Here is another eye-opening article:

Under the terms of the agreements, Microsoft will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on licensing fees and sales and marketing costs over five years, including $240 million for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscription certificates. For its part, Novell has agreed to pay Microsoft a percentage of revenue from open-source products.

Novell has chosen to betray the supplier in order to please a few customers (if any at all). The wrath of those who were harmed (developers and Linux peers) is going to harm Novell. What goes around comes around.

Update: a video from OSBC was published yesterday. Here it is, in case someone is interested.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2007/05/27/bad-bad-deal/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

6 Comments

  1. Shane Coyle said,

    May 27, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Gravatar

    MS is afraid of Wine because it allows folks to run their Office toolset without paying for Windows, which are their only 2 profitable products. Part of this deal is about virtualization, and this legal posturing is one of MS’ way of keeping Windows relevant and actually installed out there.

  2. akf said,

    May 27, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Gravatar

    Letter to the FOSS comunity regarding Microsoft’s patent promise:
    http://www.softwarefreedom.org/perspectives/2006/ms-patent-promise/
    It is an old article, but it is interesting to read it again…

    BTW. the SFLC had already access to the documents in 2006.

  3. shane said,

    May 27, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Gravatar

    It is true,the patent pledge is worthless to open source developers and even to Novell customers, but is priceless to Microsoft.

  4. Marcus Meissner said,

    May 27, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Gravatar

    Very strange that we are still shipping Wine woth openSUSE 10.2 you know.

    Ciao, Marcus (Package Maintainer of Wine).

    Oh… and I would _really_ suggest you look at OpenOffice_org mentioned in
    the same list … which we ship for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.

    You assume to understand this patent agreement, …. Well, I am not a lawyer and I do not and I would not even try without getting some legal help.

    You should stop your negative reporting and “assuming” etc etc etc

    Ciao, Marcus

  5. Shane Coyle said,

    May 27, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Gravatar

    I assume you know that Novell has agreed to pay MS per-unit royalties to ship something(s) in SLES/SLED? I am not assuming that. So, the fact that Novell ships OOO in SLED is not a valid defense, perhaps they are paying for a patent license (however denominated) for OOO, or Samba, or _____.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 27, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Gravatar

    > Very strange that we are still shipping Wine
    > worth openSUSE 10.2 you know.

    They also seem to be taking their Linux desktop in uncomfortable directions, IMHO. See: http://boycottnovell.com/2007/04/23/mono-strategy/

What Else is New


  1. For 17 Days (and Counting) António Campinos Has Failed to Respond to Call for Compliance With the Law

    Team Campinos has been so arrogant and so evasive that there’s no indication (yet) that it will follow court orders (Willy ‘Guillaume’ Minnoye openly bragged about ignoring court orders and he's still cheering for the EPO's abuses); therefore, staff of the EPO takes collective action



  2. Raw: Elodie Bergot Breaking the Law by Threatening Against the Exercise of Fundamental Rights

    Over the years we saw a number of rude letters from Elodie Bergot, the grossly under-qualified spouse of a friend of Vichyite Benoît Battistelli; most of these we never published (we already have these and can always publish if the need arises), but those paranoid and insecure “Mafia”-like ‘cabal’ need to be exposed for the mobsters they are; for nearly a decade they’ve illegally bullied EPO staff in clear violation of the law (and for over 3 years António Campinos has kept those bullies on board); why does Europe do nothing and why is it never holding high-profile abusers accountable (only low-level facilitators)? Is it because the EU too is being infiltrated by them?



  3. Linspire Should Be Avoided in 2021 Just Like It Was Avoided 14 Years Ago

    The brand "Linspire" was brought back, but the agenda seems to be more or less the same, namely pushing proprietary software and serving Microsoft's commercial agenda (in 'Linux' clothing)



  4. The Death of Freenode Would Be Freenode's Own Fault

    Freenode is going dark and now it’s asking people to create accounts at IRC.com (just to get back into the network that they may have already occupied for decades) as if Freenode owns “IRC” as a whole



  5. Links 31/7/2021: KDE Progress and Activision Catastrophe

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, July 30, 2021



  7. The Smartest Meter of All

    Yesterday a lady came over to take our power readings (electric/gas meter); secure these people's jobs as they help protect people's privacy (dignity) at home



  8. [Meme] A Web of False Dichotomies

    A reminder that Techrights is fully available (all blog posts and wiki pages) in gemini://



  9. Freenode Shrinks by Another Quarter and Gemini Continues to Grow (For Techrights at Least)

    Freenode continues to perish faster than we've imagined; it's a good thing that we've had contingencies set up; regarding the monopolised and increasingly centralised Web, we're still making baby steps towards weaning ourselves off it



  10. Links 31/7/2021: Wine 6.14 and Chrome 93 Beta

    Links for the day



  11. European Media Does Not Care About Europe's Second-Largest Institution Crushing Basic Laws and Fundamental Rights

    New video about the latest publication from SUEPO (the EPO’s staff union); it was published yesterday, seeing that the “Mafia” (what EPO staff actually calls the management!) hasn’t done anything to comply with a wide-ranging set of court rulings from ILO-AT; why has the media said nothing about this and what does that say about today’s media? The material is all in the public domain, in widely understood languages, and SUEPO spoke about it more than 3 weeks ago.



  12. Links 30/7/2021: Distro Comparisons and Tootle Introduced

    Links for the day



  13. [Meme] Enforcing ILO-AT Rulings...

    We’re still waiting for a statement — any statement (direct or indirect) — from EPO management, seeing that almost a month has passed



  14. 'Open Source' as a Failed Initiative

    A closer look at the dire state of the Open Source Initiative, or OSI, which no longer protects Open Source (let alone software freedom) but instead helps openwashing, Microsoft entrapment, and a coup against the FSF



  15. [Meme] Rowan and António Sittin' on a Tree...

    How much longer can Team Campinos keep issuing tons of noisy and self-congratulatory puff pieces to (perhaps) distract from the elephant in the 10th floor of the Isar building (EPO HQ)? Staff won't wait for eternity.



  16. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, July 29, 2021



  17. Half the People in This Letter Are IBM Employees

    IBM seems to be continuing its war on the FSF because IBM wants to own everything (CentOS being ‘canned’ was just part of the plan)



  18. The OSI Song

    The sad demise of OSI, which has become little but a front group of proprietary software companies in pursuit of openwashing services (and outsourcing to proprietary disservices looking to eradicate copyleft)



  19. [Meme] OSI is Doing Just Fine

    So what if OSI is run by someone who raised money from Microsoft (to sell Microsoft a keynote slot in a copyleft event — the thing that Microsoft attacks through GitHub!) while funnelling the OSI's funds to a serial GPL violator?



  20. The OSI's Defunct Elections (Privacy Breach), Conflict of Interest (Nicholson), and Other Lingering Problems

    The above, together with an email from the OSI below, serves to show they’re re-running a bad election and — yet worse! — there appears to be a conflict of interest implicating the OSI’s sole member of staff!



  21. Links 30/7/2021: Audacity 3.0.3 and KD Chart 2.8.0

    Links for the day



  22. Links 29/7/2021: siduction 2021.2 and Xubuntu 21.10 Dev Update

    Links for the day



  23. GitHub is Racism

    Microsoft has the world's most racist code hosting repository; it wasn't like this when Microsoft took over as the racist policies were added to impress Donald Trump, who would later rig a procurement/tendering process to bail out Microsoft (10 billion dollars from the Pentagon, i.e. taxpayers)



  24. [Meme] António Lost His Power Over Patent Examiners

    Team Campinos at the EPO must be rather stressed at the moment; the people who do all the work can go on strike any time (or all the time, until/unless demands are met)



  25. European Patent Office is Going on Strike (or Strikes)

    The staff of the EPO is ready to strike like never before (dissatisfaction and outrage over 8 years of gross injustice, namely Battistelli's breach of fundamental rights, including the right to strike)



  26. Crying “Wolf!” About Systemd is Only Beneficial to IBM and Systemd Developers/Pushers

    Microsoft controls Systemd only to the extent that Systemd is controlled by GitHub, which is in turn controlled by Microsoft; But Systemd has long been on that proprietary platform (its developers don’t truly value software freedom) and this has long been a problem, even before Microsoft hijacked it for coercive power



  27. Links 29/7/2021: Mesa 21.2 RC3, FSF Responds to Microsoft's 'Hey Hi' Attack on Copyleft

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, July 28, 2021



  29. [Meme] No Crime Goes Unrewarded at the EPO

    It is more or less undeniable that from a legal and functional perspective the EPO is already defunct and is still perishing under a couple of Mafiosos whose sole interest is cover-up and grifting/plunder (of what’s left of the Office after almost 40 years of goodwill/reputation); the recent G 1/21 fiasco was just icing on the cake and the EU’s insistence on a patently unconstitutional UPC (more legal powers for chronic EPC violators) actually weakens unity in Europe (by discrediting the Union)



  30. [Meme] There's Always a Way (When Financial Results Are Not So Good...)

    Too many US ‘tech’ companies still lie to their investors. They choose financial engineering instead of real engineering.


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts