On Thursday, Microsoft said that it would not distribute GPLv3-licenced software. So essentially, Novell has just been betrayed by Microsoft. Nonetheless, based on its formal statement, this company which once fully supported OpenDocument format will continue its new fight against OpenDocument adoption. To quote Novell’s response to those who inquire about Microsoft:
Novell and Microsoft plan to continue our technical collaboration efforts which include our joint development work on virtualization, standards-based systems management, identity interoperability and document format translators.
Remember that Novell pays Microsoft for bridges that should be free. Novell and Microsoft try to tell that world that interoperability is should not only be expensive (or have a price tag), but it’s Microsoft that should be paid merely for the right to interoperate with them. This is unacceptable. Have another look at the words on “document format translators”. Nobody needs OOXML support. Why can’t Novell realise that it is being used to deliver its clients something that hurts their suppliers? They help a monopoly. They will inevitably get stung by their suppliers, and rightfully so. We can only guess that Novell has no choice. It has a binding contract with Microsoft, which is now its salesman. Novell is under Microsoft’s control.
Matt Asay, who used to actually work at Novell, has this to say:
Not to mention that it makes Novell look really dumb for trusting Microsoft to play nicely. (But then, that foolishness was never in doubt.)
In other words, we’ll [Novell] carry the water for Microsoft since they really have turned out to be a terrible Linux partner. Who knew?
It doesn’t appear like Novell is a popular company in the Linux world anymore. Its bad reputation is well earned. Although GPLv3 was designed not to punish Novell, Microsoft’s latest stance might actually ensure that Novell is hurt by GPLv3. That’s what ‘partners’ are for, right? Novell pardons Microsoft for everything. It must.
Tux Deluxe has just published another item in support of the new GPL licence, which Novell, just like Microsoft, shows total disregard to. It never had any respect for the GPL in the first place. It knowingly went against its spirit when it found a loophole.
Paradoxically, the viral clause, the part of the GPL licensing framework that so many people objected to because it wasn’t business friendly, made the license business friendly – in the future, a license that liberates business from the drug of DRM and the prison of software patents may turn out to have been equally prescient and business friendly…
Recommended article: Microsoft Tries to Spit Out the GPLv3 Hook
Groklaw has an interview with the President of FSFE. He talks about the GPL software licence, among other things.