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

02.04.07

Novell Could Lose Rights to Distribute GNU, but Not Linux

Posted in Action, Courtroom, Deals, Fork, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Interoperability, Kernel, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant, Review, Samba at 12:32 am by Shane Coyle

So that’s what "GNU⁄Linux" is all about…

Unfortunately, the Novell Ban on Distributing Linux piece of FUD has really caught on and is being repeated ad infinitum around the internet. The article implies that the FSF is coming together to review the Microvell deal and decide if it is in violation of the GPL, and whether Novell should retain the right to distribute Linux is to be decided in the coming weeks.

As was pointed out earlier, this is not exactly what is happening – the FSF is not reviewing Novell specifically and determining if they are complying with the current GPL, with the intent of pulling their license. What is happening, however, is a new draft of the upcoming GPLv3 is in the works. In the coming weeks, the FSF will be working on the language that will address the Microsoft-Novell patent covenant and its "workaround" of the GPLv2 intent.

Basically, the FSF is closing the loophole exploited by the Microsoft-Novell deal, after which it will be up to Microvell to decide if they wish to comply with the new license terms and conditions. At this time, the FSF is not pursuing the Microvell deal under GPLv2, and apparently they are conceding that the deal is GPLv2 compliant (or at least not worth litigating).

Another point worth mentioning, is that Linux (the kernel) is almost certainly remaining under GPLv2 for the forseeable future, so even if Novell is unable or unwilling to comply with GPLv3, they will still apparently be able to distribute "Linux" under GPLv2 for some time.

What will be moving to GPLv3 in short order after its approval are projects like gcc and other fundamental packages that are controlled by the FSF, in addition to Samba – the very project which provides Novell’s coveted Windows interoperability in the first place.

So, while Novell will be able to distribute Linux for the forseeable future, it’s the GNU that Novell will be losing if they can’t comply with GPLv3, requiring them to maintain their own forks.

Of course, Novell has already pledged to comply with GPLv3 in whatever form it should take, so I suppose this is all much ado about nothing, right?

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

3 Comments

  1. Draconishinobi said,

    February 4, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Gravatar

    “Another point worth mentioning, is that Linux (the kernel) is almost certainly remaining under GPLv2 for the forseeable future, so even if Novell is unable or unwilling to comply with GPLv3, they will still apparently be able to distribute “Linux” under GPLv2 for some time.”

    That’s what I thought … Linus (and a few others) want(s) the kernel to stay under GPLv2. This means the GPLv3 will have very little if any effect on the Microvell deal / contract. They can easily develop or use software that is not under v3. For example, I know Intel makes a decent closed-source complier that would easily substitute gcc. So, I mean, unless really super critical parts of GNU, things that will cause GNU/Linux to not to function at a decent level without some major investment in developing new software, get upgraded to v3, then there is nothing stopping the evil empire from expanding, destroying, and/or dominating Linux and a good portion of GNU. Or maybe Hurd is the last and only hope ? Maybe BSD ? I feel the evil empire has already won :( :( :( Maybe there was never any hope in the first place ….

  2. Justin Silverton said,

    February 4, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Gravatar

    “Novell Could Lose Rights to Distribute GNU, but Not Linux”

    Most linux distributions contain lots of GNU software. Even though they can still use software from version 2, if they were blocked completly from the GNU aspect..there wouldn’t be much of an actual operating system left.

    “Of course, Novell has already pledged to comply with GPLv3 in whatever form it should take, so I suppose this is all much ado about nothing, right?”

    I think they stated this before the FSF decided to go after them directly.

  3. Justin Silverton said,

    February 4, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    Gravatar

    “So, I mean, unless really super critical parts of GNU, things that will cause GNU/Linux to not to function at a decent level without some major investment in developing new software, get upgraded to v3″

    The problem is that if you get a piece of software under the GPLv2..you have a choice of using it under future licenses. So, Novell can still use anything under the GPLv2 (which includes all current gnu software) and they won’t have a problem.

    The drawback to them is that they will not be able to get updates (if they want to sell it under the deal with Microsoft) and will have to hire more developers rather than just using code from the community.

What Else is New


  1. Links 30/8/2016: Fedora 24 Reviewed, Ubuntu Patched

    Links for the day



  2. Links 29/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC4, Maru OS Source Code

    Links for the day



  3. Let Them Eat Patents

    A reality check regarding software patents and regarding those who truly benefit from an expensive patent system with an even more expensive litigation process/proceedings



  4. Nothing Whatsoever Has Improved at the European Patent Office, It's Just Summer's Recess (and Silence)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) has done absolutely nothing to improve the work atmosphere, it just alters the marketing strategy somewhat



  5. Links 28/8/2016: Q4OS 1.6, ConnochaetOS 14.2

    Links for the day



  6. The United States Has Gotten Over Software Patents

    A roundup of new articles about software patents in the United States, 2 years into the post-Alice era (the US Supreme Court deeming patents on software too abstract to have merit)



  7. More Lies From President Benoît Battistelli and the EPO Crisis Which Continues to Deepen

    The European Patent Office (EPO), collectively speaking, is still wrestling with a Battistelli infiltration (a circle of high-level managers) which habitually lies and viciously attacks those who dare counter these lies



  8. Links 27/8/2016: Torvalds and GPL, “DOD Must Embrace Open-Source Software”

    Links for the day



  9. Links 26/8/2016: Maru OS Resurfaces, Android More Reliable Than 'i' Things, PC-BSD Becomes TrueOS

    Links for the day



  10. Good Job, David Kappos, Says the 'Boss' (IBM)

    Responses to the latest call against Alice (eliminator of many software patents), courtesy of the man from IBM (still paid by IBM) who was responsible for the policy that blindly approved a lot of software patents in the US



  11. Being for Patent Quality or Against Patenting Excess Does Not Make You Anti-Patents

    Like IAM, which tries to portray sceptics and critics of software patents as "anti-patents", IP Watchdog (or Watchtroll as we call it) is 'trolling' the Electronic Frontier Foundation, simply because it expressed an opinion that patent maximalists cannot tolerate



  12. Erosion of Patent Quality Enables Patent Extortion With Large Portfolios of Low Validity Rate

    Revisiting the EPO's vision of poor patent examination and the effect of discriminatory granting practices, favouring patent bullies such as Microsoft (which actively attacks Linux using low-quality and usually pure software patents)



  13. The EPO's Francesco Zaccà Presenting in Turin Alongside Patent Trolls (Like the Patent Mafia Sisvel) and Lobbyists/Front Groups for Software Patents, UPC

    Benjamin Henrion (FFII) on seeing the EPO alongside patent trolls and other nefarious actors, doing what they do best, which is undermining public interests and harming patent quality



  14. The EPO, USPTO, and Patent Microcosm Peddle Myths About Patents in Public Universities and Research

    Tackling some of the commonly-spread myths about patents as "saving lives" and "promoting research" (in practice leading to the death of poor people and promoting trolls)



  15. Large Corporations' Lobbyist David Kappos Disgraces Former Employer USPTO by Meddling in Their Affairs on Software Patents, Downplaying the Supreme Court

    The latest lobbying from David Kappos, who blatantly exploits his connections in patent circles to promote software patents and work towards their resurgence after Alice v CLS Bank



  16. Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice Calls the European Patent Office “Rotten”, Other Sources Scrutinise Recent Moves

    The patent office which was once known for being the best bar none is rotting under the Frenchman Benoît Battistelli, who made himself and his friends the main clients of the Office



  17. PTAB Emerges as Hero of USPTO Because Quality of Patents Improves, Software Patents Are Effectively Dead (or Dying Once Reassessed)

    With help from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) -- not just patent courts -- software patents drop like flies by the thousands



  18. Creative Technology, Now Operating in 'Patent Troll' Mode, Shot Down by the ITC; Jawbone Too Shot Down

    Some good news from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), which may have put an end to Creative's new war on Android (using old patents)



  19. Corporate Media in India Misrepresents Startups to Push for Software Patents

    A parade of misinformation as seen in Indian (but English-speaking) press this week as questions about patentability of software resurface



  20. Links 25/8/2016: Linux Turns 25, NetworkManager Turns 1.4

    Links for the day



  21. Links 24/8/2016: More From LinuxCon, Uganda Wants FOSS

    Links for the day



  22. Links 23/8/2016: GNOME 3.22 Beta, Android 7.0 Nougat

    Links for the day



  23. The Linux Foundation Gives Microsoft (Paid-for) Keynote Position While Microsoft Extorts (With Patents) Lenovo and Motorola Over Linux Use

    This morning's reminder that Nadella is just another Ballmer (with a different face); Motorola and Lenovo surrender to Microsoft's patent demands and will soon put Microsoft spyware/malware on their Linux-powered products to avert costly legal battles



  24. Not Just President Battistelli: EPO Vice-Presidents Are Still Intentionally Misrepresenting EPO Staff

    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  25. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  26. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  27. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  28. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  29. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  30. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day


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