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“The Moonlight/Mono World Does Not Work That Way Though.”

Spinning wheel



Summary: Microsoft's Novell's Miguel de Icaza does not properly explain that GNU/Linux users need to download proprietary software exclusively from Novell in order to make Silverlight content available

THE latest development around Moonlight was rather revealing because it is another case where Novell and Microsoft are spinning and spinning. Moonlight is still a "forbidden item" in Fedora and it is easy to see why. The multimedia codecs, which are essentially the main purpose of Silverlight (same for Flash, which was popularised by Web video), suffer from a restrictive agreements that Free software users simply cannot accept. As the FSF-faithful Sam Varghese and Microsoft-faithful Tim Anderson have independently pointed out (Anderson said so very explicitly, but only about a day after Varghese did), people must go through Microsoft's Novell to obtain the "missing pieces", namely everything that's required to actually access content. Nowadays, RIA is mostly about video.



The facts did not prevent Miguel de Icaza from making remarks that deceive. A reader sent us a pointer to the following:

The development of Moonlight is the result of a 2006 patent and licensing agreement between Microsoft and Novell that included Microsoft’s promise not to sue users of Novell’s SuSe Linux for technologies patented by Redmond. This promise was officially called a “covenant not to sue” and seen as the best way to harmonize patent licensing issues with the GPL. One result was that users were free to use Silverlight technology with Moonlight, but only if they got Moonlight directly from Novell. “This is a model similar to how Flash is distributed: there is a well-known location where you get your plugin,” explained de Icaza on his blog, adding: “The open source world does not work that way though.”


Miguel de Icaza must know that the "open source" [sic] world does not prohibit redistrubution, so how come he implicitly claims that Moonlight does not suffer from a crucial restriction? That would be like calling Skype "open source" because they intend to liberate just the GUI part of the program.

Don't be mooned by Novell.

Moonlight mooning

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