Bonum Certa Men Certa

Stafford Masie: "We Will Be GPLv3 Compliant, Trust Me"

Here is some from Stafford Masie's presentation at the recent CITI forum. According to Masie, Novell will alter their agreement with Microsoft, if necessary (and it makes 'business sense'), in order to be compliant with the upcoming GNU General Public License version 3.

While he makes a point to reiterate how the current agreement apparently does not violate the GPLv2, an ominous thing in my mind is how Masie refers, in an offhand manner, to the downstream effects of their Microvell agreement in relation to GPL2, what could that be referring to?

Anyhow, here is Novell pledging to "do what is right" in relation to the Microvell deal and GPL3:

Now, people say, you already violate GPL version 3, no we dont because GPL version 3 is not there yet.

And, it is a good thing that GPL 3 is being discussed so extensively right now, because we are participants in that entire authoring. Y'know we talk to Stallman, and we talk to Barrett and all these people that are authors of GPL version 3, and we'll continue to do that.

Now, as GPL version 3 matures, and Stallman has said we're not in violation of GPL version 2 at the moment, now we're not with the current agreement, but he believes in GPL3 he will put verbiage in there to ensure that we are.

Y'know, he wants to ensure that its not just patents that you've bought that will violate GPL v3 if you own them, that agreement, but the fact that an agreement like this is in place that downstream affects people... that utilize your distribution makes you in violation of GPL version 3, so we're working very closely on the authoring of that, we will be GPL V3 compliant, trust me, we will,ok?

Will we have to alter our agreement with Microsoft to ensure that it happens? We will, we'll do what's right. We'll participate, and yeah we'll do what it takes, but its gonna be a collaborative effort.

We'll talk to the GPL version 3 authors... like we are right now, I think common sense will prevail, because at the end of the day we actually do benefit the community being here, we do benefit, its not... it doesn't make sense to vindictively come after some of these agreements, there's got to be a reason behind it, and we'll listen to that reason, and we'll concede where we need to concede and where it makes business sense, thats always been our stance.

so, GPL v2 according to Stallman, we do not, y'know we dont infringe on the GPL2 whatsoever with this current agreement.


More to come from Stafford Masie's presentation, including what Novell considers their role to be within the 'community', how Novell wants to be considered the "800lb. Penguin" (alongside IBM), how Enterprise customers don't like indemnity, and more...

The full transcript of Masie's presentation will be posted soon, or at least the full transcript of the OGG, it cuts off early when it was about to get interesting and is a little bit of a disappointment. Anyone in attendance that has a full recording, please contact me.

Also, check out the transcript of the Q&A session for more from Stafford Masie on Microvell and Software Patents.

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