Bonum Certa Men Certa

LGPLv3 Draft Released; What Do People Say About Novell?

The release of a LGPLv3 draft has just been announced. Along with it, comments are beginning to emerge which analyse its impact on Novell. As both licences are very similar, many of the same rules apply to both.

Fortunately, Novell is still the the centre of this debate, so it's unlikely to see any exemptions. From Linux Planet:

Now that the third draft of GNU Public License (GPL) version 3 is out the door, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) will be "actively" seeking out comments from the open source community--and officials expect to get particularly strong response around provisions involving the Novell/Microsoft deal and so-called "Tivo-ization" in embedded devices.


O'Reilly Radar takes a careful look at the language which addresses the Novell/Microsoft deal and simplifies all the 'legal speak'.

Translating that into plain English, it says: If you distribute GPLd software and make a deal with another company who also distributes (some kind of) software, we will stop you from distributing the GPLd software if:

a) you pay the other company b) the deal mentions the GPLd software c) you get a patent license d) the patent license mentions the GPLd software e) the patent license has more limited terms than the GPL license on the software


In a new interview with Richard Stallman, Novell gets a mention as well.

Q: Very well. On the Microsoft side the ink was still drying on the Novell deal when Mr. Ballmer implied again that GNU/Linux infringes Microsoft patents. Are such threats credible?

Richard Stallman: Well, every large program infringes lots of patents. Microsoft has lots of patents. Most large programs, I would expect, infringe some Microsoft patents. This just goes to show why software patents shouldn't exist.


Lastly, a new review of Opensuse 10.2 spells out one of the main disadvantages of this GNU/Linux distribution.

With the recent cloud formed over Novell striking a deal with Microsoft, many in the open source and Free software community are concerned about the direction in which Novell is going to steer SuSE in the future. There are also aspersions cast on whether this fine GNU/Linux distribution will remain Free at all.

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