Bonum Certa Men Certa

What Does the LGPLv3-Licensed OpenOffice.org Mean to Novell, Xandros, Linspire and Turbolinux?

Stuck in 2007?

FSF GNU GPLv3As stressed many times before, IANAL, but based on the consensus of opinions in Groklaw, the GPLv3 is bound to bite companies that sold out to Microsoft in the rear. Several of these companies knew very well what they were getting into, or maybe they just weren't concerned. Here is a lovely old quote from the CEO of Xandros: (highlighted in red)

Under the third version of the General Public License, expected to be published in final form this month by the Free Software Foundation, all such deals that were not inked by March 28 are forbidden. As a result, it would appear that Xandros will not be allowed to distribute open source code licensed under GPLv3 because of its relationship with Microsoft. Typaldos said he's not concerned. "If you are a businessperson, you can't worry about every eventuality."


Priceless. To quote another old article which was discussing Microsoft's scam at the time:

Then Microsoft offers the carrot of legal absolution. "Come with us" they say "We will protect you and your customers from our lawsharks" they promise. The poor scared sods believe them and sign a piece of paper that they think will protect themselves from the "Big Brother". This of course makes Microsoft very happy and fits right in with their divide and conqueror plans.


GNOME CalcSam Varghese was a little more blunt when he advised Andy Typaldos to start selling potatoes rather than selling out. In any event, what does the licence upgrade of OpenOffice.org mean to he likes of Xandros?

It is a good time to raise this question because OpenOffice 3.0, which adopted the third version of the GNU GPL, has just been released as public beta. You can find some more details here.

The OpenOffice.org Community is pleased to announce that the public beta release of OpenOffice.org 3.0 is now available. This beta release is made available to allow a broad user base to test and evaluate the next major version of OpenOffice.org, but is not recommended for production use at this stage.


The LGPLv3, especially in the context of Novell's OpenOffice.org controversial 'fork' for SUSE Ballnux, was discussed before in [1, 2, 3]. Can Novell carry on doing what it does? If so, at what cost?

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