EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.17.06

I thought Novell said there were no Infractions

Posted in Deals, FUD, GPL, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents, Steve Ballmer at 12:24 am by Shane Coyle

Or so it was stated in their FAQ on the MS Deal. Of course, as always with any story, there is Mr Ballmer’s take on the deal:

“Novell pays us some money for the right to tell customers that anybody who uses SUSE Linux is appropriately covered,” Ballmer said. This “is important to us, because [otherwise] we believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.”

“Only customers that use SUSE have paid properly for intellectual property from Microsoft,” he said. “We are willing to do a deal with Red Hat and other Linux distributors.” The deal with SUSE Linux “is not exclusive,” Ballmer added.

Of course, as usual, no one cuts to the core of the subject better than PJ at Groklaw:

“Let him sue if he thinks he has a valid claim, and we’ll see how well his customers like it.”

Jones also challenged Ballmer to “put his money where his mouth is” and detail exactly what part of the Linux kernel source code allegedly infringes upon Microsoft patents, so that “folks will strip out the code and work around it or prove his patent invalid.”

And so it begins, the gauntlet is down – who draws the first MS lawsuit? Red Hat? Oracle? EDU-Nix? Let us all remember who it is that is complicit in this FUD campaign, Novell’s self-serving deal legitimizes Microsoft’s assault on Linux.

If successful, Microsoft will create a landscape in the Operating System market that consists of themselves and MS-approved ‘competitors’ which pay royalties to MS in perpetuity, all others are sued into oblivion.

Regardless of the technical wording of the deal, and whether it can be established that Novell is violating the letter of the GPL 2, they are certainly violating its spirit, Novell must not be supported.

Update: More in depth on Ballmer’s exact words , including an MP3.

What we were able to craft, with a lot of hard work with Novell, was an agreement essentially where we would do the technical work in a variety of different areas to improve interoperability between the two environments. And we agreed on a, we call it an IP bridge, essentially an arrangement under which they pay us some money for the right to tell the customer that anybody who uses Suse Linux is appropriately covered. There will be no patent issues. They’ve appropriately compensated Microsoft for our intellectual property, which is important to us. In a sense you could say anybody who has got Linux in their data center today sort of has an undisclosed balance sheet liability, because it’s not just Microsoft patents. Because of the way open-source works, there’s nobody who’s been able to do patent coverage or patent indemnification behind that.

So, its an IP Bridge, not a patent cross license agreement, nothing to do with patents all you GPLers, really. Novell paid MS to be able to say that SuSE is not infringing, and MS paid Novell to say that Linux is. The relative sizes of the payments should tell you who had to be convinced.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

4 Comments

  1. John Bailo said,

    November 17, 2006 at 1:30 am

    Gravatar

    Congratulations…you are now attacking the one good thing that OSS has produced, Suse, a distro that is easily installed, has all the drivers and actually lets you play a dvd without having to take a post-doc at MIT.

    The whole thing sounds like jealously to me. One of the ‘distroes’ was picked to go to the big city and become famous, and the others sit back at farm and carp.

  2. john said,

    November 17, 2006 at 5:09 am

    Gravatar

    linux is a cheap ripoff of windows.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 17, 2006 at 8:59 am

    Gravatar

    Bailo, get back to your stocks.

  4. Jed said,

    November 17, 2006 at 11:50 am

    Gravatar

    Fud is best when its non-specific.

    MS wont name the code, just like SCO, its the cloud over Linux they want, not to play their cards (which may be dubious patents if there even are any).

    BTW..I don’t think you guys will get the 200 Million.

What Else is New


  1. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  2. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  3. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  4. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  5. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  6. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  8. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  9. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  10. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  11. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  12. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  13. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  14. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  15. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  16. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux



  17. White House Backs Away From Appointing Patents Zealot to Top USPTO Position

    Philip Johnson is no longer poised to become the Director of the USPTO, which is basically an establishment that provides protectionism to primarily US-based corporations



  18. Professor James Bessen Presents the Case Against Software Patents After Important SCOTUS Ruling

    The debate about software patents in the Unites States continues, with academia on one side and greedy patent lawyers on the other



  19. Software Patents Demising in the US as Microsoft Patent Attacks on Android/Linux Suffer a Huge Setback

    M-Cam's assessment of Microsoft's bundle of extortion (using software patents) shows toothlessness, irrespective of the SCOTUS decision to effectively annul "abstract" software patents



  20. Links 13/7/2014: KDE Activity Surge

    Links for the day



  21. Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

    The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years



  22. Cronyism at Play: European Hostility Towards Free/Libre Software Despite Espionage and Moles

    Europe continues to be held hostage with back doors, lock-in, and massive payments to foreign powers, despite evidence that these powers are destructive and hostile



  23. Wirelessly-Controlled Contraceptives and Other Villainous Bill Gates Initiatives

    Remote controls for people's reproductive systems are now in the making and Bill Gates is a prominent investor in the technology



  24. Links 12/7/2014: CrossOver, New Wine

    Links for the day



  25. Links 10/7/2014: LXLE 14.04 in Headlines, Plasma 5

    Links for the day



  26. OpenDocument Format (ODF) Still Alive and Kicking

    Caligra, WebODF and various influential nations' departure from Microsoft Office will help famous projects such as OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice make ODF the only international standard for editable documents exchange



  27. The Effect of Corporate Media Bias: FOSS Demonisation and Microsoft Openwashing

    A set of very recent examples where the corporate press produces FOSS-hostile articles (or pro-Microsoft articles) by citing biased sources of convenience



  28. The NSA's Top (and First) PRISM Partner, Microsoft, Lies to Governments and Businesses as Office Gets Banned in China

    Developments in China reveal that security and privacy threats posed by reliance on Microsoft are so great that a ban becomes inevitable and continues to expand (Microsoft put on more and more block lists and blacklists)



  29. Microsoft's Propaganda Machine Tries to Shift Security Debate Amid Serious Catastrophes

    Observations and analysis of some recent deception in corporate news sites (like Condé Nasty), trying to pretend that Microsoft is secure, that Microsoft is pursuing security, and that FOSS and Android security or privacy are inherently poor



  30. Despite SCOTUS Ruling, Microsoft Still Extorts Companies and Product Buyers Using FAT Software Patents, Latest Victim is Canon

    Canon and Microsoft sign a patent deal which relates to patents on FAT file systems and impacts some of Canon's products, potentially Linux products as well (Canon makes drivers for Linux but does not develop products with Android or GNU/Linux just yet)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts