07.13.07

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Did GPLv3 Intercept a Planned Patent Deal with Turbolinux?

Posted in America, Asia, GPL, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Patent Covenant, Patents, Samba, Tivoization, Turbolinux, Xandros at 9:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

PCWorld has just published an article that stresses the importance of OpenDocument format, among other things such as opposition. The article strives to be balanced. The brow-raising part of the article is this:

Turbolinux was rumored to be considering signing a similar deal [to Novell's] before the GPLv3 release, but an agreement between the company and Microsoft never materialized.

Remember what we said when Turbolinux announced its involvement in the OOXML translators project? There was a lively rumour and a fair bit of speculation at the time. TurboLinux was an easy victim.

It appears as though the provisions of GPLv3 not only had Microsoft back away from Linux coupons in their deals with Xandros and Linspire; they may have also eliminated IP-related elements in their partnership with TurboLinux. If that is the case, GPLv3 is indeed effective. It is already doing its job as it’s protecting a mass defection into the choir that is paid to sing about intellectual property violations in Linux (no matter how hard they try to retract). Xandros and Novell did try to distance themselves from IP claims, unlike Linspire).

The GPLv3 is good not only because it prevents further manipulation of market perceptions (essentially achieved by ‘bribing’ Linux distributors), but it’s also good because it defends the consumer and the developer. Samba officially made its transition to GPLv3 just days ago. In the following audiocast, Jeremy Allison explains why Samba chose this new licence.

The software that enables Linux to act as a Windows file and print server is adopting the Free Software Foundation’s new license.

The duration of the audiocast is only a few minutes, but it covers the main points. Just to state the obvious again, Jeremy had no faith in Novell after their decision to sign a patent deal with Microsoft.

You may also wish to see the following short rant about Tivoization.

The music and movie industries as well as their helpers are marauding us and torturing even paid use with digital restrictions management (DRM). They obtain well enough money to do their own development. This is the way they should do it. And if they want something for free, then they need to contribute back.

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