06.01.07

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GPLv3 (in Current Form) Could Be ”Game Over” to Microsoft’s Secret Schemes

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GPL, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Windows at 11:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Over at Business Review Online, Matt Asslet dissects the latest developments which accompany the publication of a final GPLv3 draft. He makes it clear that Novell and Microsoft have not escaped the wrath of the Free software foundation.

This had already been predicted but I didn’t want to cover it until the Free Software Foundation made it official, which it has done with the publication of the last call draft of the GPLv3, but it appears that Microsoft’s plan to restrict its patent covenant to SUSE Linux users has backfired.

Then, Matt begins to wonder if a legal battle might ensue.

In recent weeks Microsoft has tried to paint itself as the victim of a concerted effort by the free software community to sabotage its agreement with Novell.

Shane replies and refutes the assumption/prediction that a legal threat can be born out of this conflict. In fact, only yesterday in The Register, MySQL AB’s CEO fired a warning shot at Microsoft, addressing their most recent threats.

Microsoft must work with, not against, open source otherwise it risks sacrificing developer support and credibility among customers – even Windows loyalists.

Remember how persistently we stressed that Microsoft loathes GPLv3 and fights it very aggressively? Now we know why. The same Grand Plan which began 3 years ago when Windows Longhorn got scrapped, patents were lined up before the USPTO’s front door like cannonballs, and then the Novell deal came, is finally being intercepted at its very root. This may be the final destination for a failed plan to eradicate Free software from planet Earth.

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A Single Comment

  1. Shane Coyle said,

    June 2, 2007 at 7:20 am

    Gravatar

    Matthew, as always, has a great point – these days, in America, you don’t need to have a valid case to sue someone, just a lawyer.

    It still comes down to this – no one is contracted or obligated to provide Novell (or MS) with code under any specific terms, each developer licenses their code under whatever terms they like – I said before, the Samba project could just as well go proprietary with their code as they go GPLv3 – it’s their right.

    If Novell can’t comply with the license, they can’t distribute the code – they can always right their own, or perhaps ask for alternative licensing from the author(s).

    I have said before, I don’t like S11 P7 (formerly P5 in Draft 3) because it is too far-reaching, but I don’t think it amounts to interfering with MS’ ability to do business.

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