Bonum Certa Men Certa

Covenant Not to Sue - Where Have We Heard That Before?

Groklaw has a fascinating (to me, anyhow) piece regarding Chris Sontag's deposition in SCO v. Novell, in which he apparently talks about SCO's "Linux License" - a "right to use" Linux, as part of the SCOsource program.

6 Q. Which is the right-to-use license, again? 7 A. The license -- the right-to-use license 8 for Linux. 9 Q. The IP license? 10 A. Well, no. The right-to-use license for 11 Linux that provided the covenant not to sue. 12 Q. Is that the Microsoft Sun type 13 arrangement? 14 A. No. That was the license for Linux users.


Now, think about the Microvell deal and the patent covenant - the "covenant not to sue", the one that we now know is definitely not applicable to OpenOffice.org*, StarOffice, Wine or OpenXchange. So, Novell is paying Microsoft per-unit royalties for a right-to-use license for what, exactly?

Given the total lack of specificity in the released agreements, as was expected by all of us cynics, we are still left with mere speculation, something that just doesn't jibe with an open development community.

Novell, please, all I want to do is "Get the Facts".

* UPDATE: Bruce Lowry has indicated in an update to the Novell PR blog entry that OpenOffice.org is covered for Novell customers as part of the patent covenant, as was initially believed when they announced the deal.

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