08.05.07

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SUSE Community Moderators Escape GPLv3 Issues, Warn Those Who Defend GNU

Posted in GPL, OpenSUSE at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OpenSUSE a reflection of Novell’s own stance?

An online friend of mine, who is not hostile towards Novell, let me know that SUSE apparently escapes the GNU GPLv3. I believe he sought some help in the forums simply because he uses SUSE.

Yesterday, just a day or two after the initial discussion, a warning was sent to him for no justified reason, which seems to indicate that GPLv3 truly hit some nerve. Parts of the E-mail exchange are quoted below (spanning a couple of days).

Here is the thread in question

Are all these forums packed with corporate shills. I post URLs to developers moving to GPL 3 and the response is abuse and get accused of baiting.

Later came this:

I got beat up on an earlier thread by ‘elsewhere’ and some other admins. I suggested going private, but got no response. It’s a classic case of trolling from them, post abuse and when the OP responds accuse him of trolling.

And this:

…Wilson Phillips just came back with a comment after i said I wasn’t going to respond, classic baiting ..

[quote name='Wilson Phillips' date='Aug 4 2007, 01:06 PM' post='191344']
This means you won’t be posting here anymore???? :D
[/quote]

Finally, action was taken for no apparent reason.

Got this msg from an admin ..

- cut -
“I’ve put you in a moderated state indefinitely. Behave, and I’ll remove the moderation. Any other rants like the one posted today will get you banned” kastorff
- paste -

Do you see any reason for getting banned from my posts in this thread. Me = ‘emacsuser’.

So, what is OpenSUSE’s take on GPLv3 and why is it such a sensitive subject?

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15 Comments

  1. GNU/Linux said,

    August 5, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Gravatar

    You should read this thread first, Roy. “Emacsuser” simply exaggerated. Calling someone “idiot” and asking him to “shut up” is not the best way to express your thoughts. As a moderator I would close this thread too. I don’t think this should be ever mentioned on your site. And by the way you shouldn’t take moderator/administrator point of view as “official” openSUSE stuff statement. Someone, somewhere said something. It really doesn’t matter at all.

  2. DP said,

    August 5, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Gravatar

    Sorry, but I’m going to have to disagree with that assessment. I skimmed the topic, and I don’t see emacsuser calling anyone an idiot or telling people to shut up. I see quite a bit of that from the other side, who don’t seem to want to know if any projects are adopting GPL3. I don’t see any crime in posting about GPL3 changeovers in a thread about GPL3 and projects that are/aren’t adopting it.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 6, 2007 at 12:02 am

    Gravatar

    …One ought to emphasise that emacsuser was not there to aggravate. He does not care much about GPLv3 either.

    I was not implying that an “official” statement was made in this thread. I was only wishing to show that Novell has presence in such forums and that OpenSUSE users do not back the FSF on this one.

  4. Simon said,

    August 6, 2007 at 4:26 am

    Gravatar

    I think

    http://www.suseforums.net/index.php?showtopic=36502&st=20&p=190522&#entry190522

    alone justfies Emacsuser getting banned (so he’s lucky only to have got himself moderated). Up to that point he’d done nothing wrong, but from there it’s all downhill, such as:

    http://www.suseforums.net/index.php?s=eca097ec160fba0d14fd64e5ecbddc6c&showtopic=36502&view=findpost&p=190619

    Then, attacking a moderator on a forum anywhere is likely to be abd move. You’d better be very sure of your ground before you do that.

  5. Emacsuser said,

    August 6, 2007 at 7:34 am

    Gravatar

    “alone justfies Emacsuser getting banned .. Up to that point he’d done nothing wrong, but from there it’s all downhill”

    See what i was responding to, my only mistake was in responding to the baiting from the administrators of that forum.

    Take a look at the time line, notice I said ‘ I hereby declare this thread closed’ on Aug 2 2007, 10:13 AM. That was me agreeing to stop posting on that particular thread. Immediately following were responses’ from two admins yet again distorting what i said. Wilson Phillips accuses me of baiting and kastorff takes the opportunity to accuse the FSF of a quasi-religious approach.

    On Aug 04 elsewhere decides to jump in. Remember I wanted to stop posting on Aug 02. Now when I respond to three separate messages directed to me – I GET moderated and THREATENED with permanent banning.

    Remember they could have posted me private and not on a public discussion board. Now who exactly is doing the baiting. It’s patently obvious that free speech don’t apply on OpenSUSE forum, especially in regards to the GPL 3. It would be intersting to find out who exactly is setting the agenda there, and what topics exactly are verboten.
    ——-

    Seeing as I am being censored over there I’ll lay out my position here. The MS/Novell deal is good for Novell as it get acknowledgment from MS that Novell Linux is a serious contender in corporate IT space and not just a hobbiest system made by some geeks in they bedroom, as fester and CO are given to describe it.

    What was bad about the deal was it was made in secret and the terms of the covenant are essentially meaningless. It isn’t as if MS was ever going to sue the end users. What were the lawyers thinking of in signing away their rights to their own code. Remember the covenant don’t say that MS can’t ever sue Novell, and as usual there is a get-out-clause that says MS can cancel/revise the deal at any time. Not much of a covenant then is it. Where the lawyers asleep or on drugs when they signed this.

    Lastly we come to how this affects OpenSUSE, well MS has so kindly introduced a new paragraph for the OpenSUSE license. You can work on YOUR own code as long as, you agree that it gets folded back to Novell, you don’t own your own code, YOU can’t make any money out of it and you cannot work on it in company time. Not much of a covenant then is it.

    The deal was also a betrayal by Novell of its Open Source roots. Something it will recover from, unless it does something else as stupid, like letting MS buy them outright .. :)

  6. GNU/Linux said,

    August 6, 2007 at 8:08 am

    Gravatar

    Your are wrong Emacsuser, Novell has no “Open Source roots.”. Novell was always proprietary software based company.

  7. Emacsuser said,

    August 6, 2007 at 8:12 am

    Gravatar

    Now by attempting to dialog privately I get accused of bothering the staff ..

    - quote -
    from: kastorff
    Re:Moderated Indefinitely, Yesterday, 05:56 PM

    You simply don’t see reality as it is, do you?

    First, there aren’t any “self appointed moderators” on the board. Every staff member is specially selected by existing staff, and has my complete support.

    Second, you got where we are by your behavior, no one else’s. Stop blaming others and take a good look at yourself. You’re alone in your estimation of the situation…no one else believes you’re getting anything other than what you deserve. You misquote, ridicule, and post poorly supported (by the facts) rhetoric and then pretend you are mistreated when others hold you accountable for that. No one baits you; they’re just sick and tired of your posts.

    So back off, let things rest for a bit, behave with some good, non-provocative posts, and we’ll happily restore your community rights. Or don’t, and keep bothering me about staff decisions, and get yourself banned. Your call.
    - unquote -

    Not allowed to post on a public forum, not allowed to msg privately. You know something, I think they are scared that Novell employees are reading this and might pick up unsound opinion.

  8. Emacsuser said,

    August 6, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Gravatar

    “Your are wrong Emacsuser, Novell has no “Open Source roots.”. Novell was always proprietary software based company” , GNU/Linux said, August 6, 2007 at 8:08 am

    ‘SUSE (pronounced IPA: [suzə], properly (in German), “ZOO-za”, loosely “SOO-sa” [1] in English) is a major retail Linux distribution, produced in Germany and owned by Novell, Inc. SUSE is also a founding member of the Desktop Linux Consortium’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suse

  9. GNU/Linux said,

    August 6, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Gravatar

    @Emacsuser, they moderated you because you were misbehaving, and even here you are giving pointless arguments :

    “The company began in Provo, Utah as Novell Data Systems Inc. in 1979″
    (…)
    “In August 2003, Novell acquired Ximian”
    “In November 2003, Novell acquired SUSE”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novell

    So as you can see, Novell has been “open” just for few years. It has _no_ open source roots.
    And I will say it again, IMHO kastorff has right, and you were behaving really bad, hence bad behave makes all your arguments pointless (when you play like child/troll they will treat you like child/troll).

  10. Emacsuser said,

    August 6, 2007 at 8:45 am

    Gravatar

    “So as you can see, Novell has been “open” just for few years. It has _no_ open source roots”, GNU/Linux said

    Right, they made a collective decision to move from Netware to Linux but are not an Open Source company. Rest of troll bait ignored.

    “Novell has joined the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL)”

    http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS5014211806.html

    “In August 2003, Novell acquired Ximian, a developer of open source Linux applications (Evolution, Red Carpet and Mono). This acquisition signaled Novell’s plans to move its collective product set onto a Linux kernel”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novell#Linux_for_Business

  11. GNU/Linux said,

    August 6, 2007 at 9:02 am

    Gravatar

    I did not write that they are not moving toward open source _now_. I know about SUSE and Ximian, I just quoted that before for you. You are quoting Wikipedia against your own words. Think a bit. They changed its business just few years ago. And it was not full change, just partial (mixed source business = open and close source software). You wrote about Novell and its open source “roots”. And thats a totally BS for me. Novell has _not_ open source “roots”. Now please, stop fooling me, you were wrong and you should be honest enough to admit that.

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 6, 2007 at 9:04 am

    Gravatar

    Emacsuser:

    The deal was also a betrayal by Novell of its Open Source roots. Something it will recover from, unless it does something else as stupid, like letting MS buy them outright ..

    By “root” he did not mean “since establishment”. Novell described itself as a company with open source ambitions for 3 years (watch the bottom part of their press releases). When it shook hands with Microsoft it introduced the “mixed source” phrase, which it has repeated again and again since then.

    Also see: http://boycottnovell.com/2006/11/23/novell-mark-kent/ (on proprietary roots)

  13. GNU/Linux said,

    August 6, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Gravatar

    This is what I call root http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Root. He said exactly “The deal was also a betrayal by Novell of its Open Source roots.” . Novell is not a one man business, you know that companies don’t change during one day, they need time. Novell was never, what I would call, “open source company” so I can’t agree that they had any “roots” in this “open” business. Ever.

  14. Emacsuser said,

    August 6, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Gravatar

    - quote -
    Sorry, an error occurred. If you are unsure on how to use a feature, or don’t know why you got this error message, try looking through the help files for more information.

    The error returned was:
    Sorry, you are not permitted to use this board
    - unquote -

    http://suseforums.net/

  15. Simon said,

    August 6, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Gravatar

    Emacsuser, I was a bit blunt above (sorry for that, as someone who still kinda follows things over at suseforums I’ve been quite irritated by that thread – not only by your part in it – but decided there was nothing to be gained from getting involved with people, on both sides, who seemed to have completely entrenched views). Still I think what you posted (in reply to a moderator ;-) you were bound to get kicked out.

    Having said that, there are a few issues with that thread and the background:

    - The title sahnne used was from the linux-watch (or was it eweek, if forget) story. I think sahnne used it because he thought it would grab attention and wasn’t necessarily his point of view – of course people care about gplv3 – we’ve seen already that MS do. You could see the title as (unintentional?) flame bait that unfortunately you seem to have gone for, although your early responses were not unreasonable

    - SUSE has never really been a FSF type distro (afterall, yast was proprietary before the Novell takeover). However, I and many other SUSE users – actually I’m a former SUSE user – don’t have anything against proprietary software and find RMS’s attitudes to that a little difficult to take. Of course, breaking the spirit of the licence under which you are permitted to distribute softwaer is another issue. There’s also the old FSF/KDE issues that a lot of SUSE users remember and so RMS and the FSF are not that well loved (validly or invalidly).

    - After the Novell-MS deal happened there was a lot of trolling (from the point of view of many existing suse forum users) on the suse forums about the deal, therefore people there are very sensitive to this issue and it’s one you need to handle with tact (Roy has a point on this attitude, see the opensuse wiki at http://en.opensuse.org/FAQ:Novell-MS#I_won.27t_use_openSUSE_since_I_don.27t_want_to_support_Novell for some breathtaking doublethink).

    For the MS deal, and the incompetence of Novell in handling suse, I’m now on debian and fedora.

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