08.29.07

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GPLv3 is a Case Against Future Sellouts

Posted in FSF, GPL, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, OSI at 9:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Debunking a myth from a post that debunks other myths

Shortly after the Free Software Foundation had unleashed its statement on GPLv3 upon Microsoft, Ed Burnette posted the following item. Certain bits could not escape without comment, e.g.:

So clearly, GPLv3 will have no effect on the MS/Novell agreement, which was completed in 2006. But what about other deals, such as the latest one between Microsoft and Linspire? Some in the free software community were hoping that MS would make more deals after Novell, so that they would be forced to swallow the “poison pill” in GPLv3 making any patent grants universal. Not so fast, says Microsoft.

Ed clearly misunderstands this, or at least overlooked some important factors. Companies cannot enter similar deals — no matter how generous the Microsoft payoff is — because that would kill them (consider Linspire’s example). It’s not about the poison pill, so in that respect, the licence has proven to be effective. No deals have been made since GPLv3 was released. The malicious plan was intercepted before it could spread further, but the OSI remains an easy victim.

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