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?