Bonum Certa Men Certa

Novell Identifies Microsoft-GPLv3-FSF Workaround (Updated)

According to InformationWeek, Novell has just found (or claims to have found) a workaround that addresses and resolves their new problem.

In an e-mail Monday, Novell's spokesman said the company would fill the gap by distributing portions of its SUSE Linux enterprise suite that fall under the GPLv3 license directly to customers who purchased certificates that would have entitled them to receive the software from Microsoft.


If true, the situation will further complicated. Is Microsoft exempted from committing to an evolving licence? Perhaps it is a win-win situation for the FSF, but perhaps there will be more room for dispute.

A headsup from Bob is linked to own observation which talks about legal implications. Will the FSF ever face Microsoft in court? The following blogger believes it is unlikely. He provides some decent arguments to back his opinion.

Anyone waiting for Microsoft vs FSF or FSF vs Microsoft will be extremely likely to be disappointed. Besides broad campaigning against software patent, FSF offensive has mostly opted to educate, rather than legal recourse. Right now, FSF is just going to say that GPL3 settle this matter once and for all. I cannot see FSF recklessly and purposefully infringe on Microsoft’s patent to provoke Microsoft in order to test this theory. As for Microsoft, it will stick by its gun that it is not a party to GPL3 and have no obligation under GPLv3. It is not in its interest to have this theory tested either.

If I were to place a bet, I say Microsoft vs FSF is more likely than FSF vs Microsoft. Even more likely is GPLv3 is tested by Microsoft vs “someone else”. I believe the fuse for such a lawsuit is already lit. Only problem is we do not know when the bomb will explode.


Linus Torvalds is having its own problems with the FSF. As you may have read by now, Linus is again attacking those whom he calls "hypocrites".

[Linus:] I don't think it's hypocritical to prefer the GPLv3. That's a fine choice, it's just not *mine*.

What I called hypocritical was to do so in the name of "freedom", while you're at the same time trying to argue that I don't have the "freedom" to make my own choice.

See? THAT is hypocritical.


Some say this would boil up the water and lead to further tension. The consequences are yet to be seen, but some journalists seem to be blowing this out of proportion. This stance is nothing new.

Update: A source close to the FSF has just told me that the item cited here is not so reliable. The FSF might in fact take legal action after all.

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