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And There You Have It: You Need Novell (Not Just .NET) to Run Moonlight

Posted in Linspire, Microsoft, Mono, Open XML, Patents, Xandros at 5:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The closer you look, the worse it looks

Sliverlight for Linux? Not so fast. You’ll need to pay some ‘Microsoft tax’ first, for protection from Novell — a ‘protection’ that expires within about 4 years.

How do we know this? Thanks to our reader, Victor Soliz, we have it right from the horse’s mouth. To paraphrase Victor and quote Miguel de Icaza, he says that in order to legally use Moonlight you will have to “download it from novell.” You will not face a problem “as long as you get/download Moonlight from Novell which will include patent coverage.“ That was Miguel’s reply to a concerned reader.

That same thread once again shows Miguel love for OOXML, which to many of us represents corruption. He has just said that “OOXML is a superb standard…”

Remember that even Xandros and Linspire received no Mono ‘protection’. It was explicitly excluded. For all it seems, Microsoft wishes to have Linux users maneuvered into SUSE like a pen of sheep. Then, Linux users will be at Microsoft’s mercy.

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  1. luke said,

    September 10, 2007 at 3:48 am


    Correction: there is no payment involved to acquire Moonlight from Novell. It is and will continue to be a free download, and licensed under LGPL v2.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 10, 2007 at 4:18 am


    It’s not about cost and openness, it’s about Web hijack, a semi-cooked (partial) implementation, and patents (saber rattling at the very least).

  3. luke said,

    September 10, 2007 at 4:37 am


    That’s great, and I’m not disagreeing with that part.

    I am just correcting your quote: “You’ll need to pay some ‘Microsoft tax’ first”.

    There is no payment involved, the patent coverage of Moonlight will be free of charge.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 10, 2007 at 4:45 am


    SUSE, as a GNU/Linux distribution, has a ‘debt’ to Microsoft. Ask Ron Hovsepian, who insists that the deal involved no patents (Steve Ballmer stubbornly begs to differ and the redacted SEC filing from Novell aligns with Ballmer’s side) why Microsoft gets that privilege. One thing that too few people are aware of is this. Yes, Microsoft ‘collects’ Free software “balance-sheet liability” under everyone’s noses while the mainstream press looks the other way.

    What Novell is committing is a sin and the whole situation — sadly to say — is a total disaster.

  5. luke said,

    September 10, 2007 at 4:54 am


    That’s interesting, but totally unrelated.

    An Ubuntu user can download Moonlight for free, with all the patent protection included, and not pay a cent to Novell, Microsoft, or anybody else.

  6. cb400f said,

    September 10, 2007 at 5:00 am


    I sincerely hope Miguel meant to say:

    “Of course Moonlight doesn’t infringe MS patents, we avoid them by coding around them – or in worst case not implementing the features at all. Noone should have any patent issues with Moonlight no matter where they got it.

    However you can have the added protection of the MS-N patent indemnification deal by downloading directly from Novell”..

    If not he broke the promise by Novell to never ship code covered by MS patents…

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 10, 2007 at 5:06 am



    You are ignoring Miguel’s words again. It’s about Novell, not Linux.

    Once the Web is filled with this .NET ‘litter’ (which naturally works better/only with Windows [Vista] and Internet Explorer [7+]), Novell’s ‘protection’ expires. Likewise, Microsoft can change the terms of use/licence of .NET at any time and leave Mono in the ‘dark ages’, so to speak. Microsoft totally controls the destiny of anything that is Mono-related.

    Also, what about the proprietary codecs that come with Moonlight? What about the explicit Mono exclusion in the deal with Linspire and Xandros? Are any louder alarm bells needed? I’m shocked.

    Matt Asay agrees and adds: “I know Microsoft sees this. It’s part of the plan. I just wish Novell could see this.”

    To make matters worse, Mono and OOXML are just a small part of a broader plan. To put it bluntly, if Novell is not shunned, we’re f**cked. Do you think that I spend so much time blogging here for nothing?I used to be with the OpenSUSE community, a long-time SuSE user, and a Novell fan. Trust me, I prefer advocation Linux, but Novell’s deal is the antithesis of Free software and the end of Linux as we know it.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 10, 2007 at 5:10 am



    Miguel talked about Mono and patents last week. He was interviewed by Microsoft’s local press.

  9. k said,

    September 10, 2007 at 5:51 am


    Luke seems to think the phrase “pay a tax” only applies to an up-front, explicit, cash payment. I disagree.

  10. Taylor Hewitt said,

    September 10, 2007 at 12:46 pm



    Shut the fuck up.

    Where did Luke say anything about an up-front, explicit, cash payment? There are other ways to transfer funds from one person to another other than handing a big green bag of cash.

    The first thing that comes to mind for most people when they heard the word “tax” is money.

  11. Johny Plottet said,

    September 10, 2007 at 2:37 pm


    Bah. I have an old Suse 8.1 here (very old, almost when Novel bought Suse).

    Upon the start-up it writes the message

    “Registering IL executables”.

    So I investigated. Mono wasn’t written back then. Novel ships the portable-dot-net program, an early implementation of .NET, and registers CIL executables with the kernel to run like any other executable!

    And .NET wasn’t even useful back then, not to mention the stability of the pdotnet program.

    Is this company so obsessed with .NET?

    My opinion is that Novel was going down the backrupcy road and Microsoft saved this company and opened an “open source front”, to influence the scene. It’s just another Microsoft division.

  12. k said,

    September 10, 2007 at 6:36 pm



    How very polite of you.

    And thank you for elaborating on my point. I’m so glad we agree.

    It was Luke who claimed to correct the author, citing the lack of cash exchange as an absence of a tax.

  13. tracyanne said,

    September 10, 2007 at 7:21 pm


    >>Once the Web is filled with this .NET ‘litter’ (which naturally works better/only with Windows [Vista] and Internet Explorer [7+]),

  14. Ursus Orribilus said,

    September 10, 2007 at 10:15 pm


    The facts are simple: Ignore intrusions of Microsoft related code such as .Net (Mono in Linux) and Silverlight (Moonlight in Linux) into Linux and you are helping create the opportunity for Microsoft to undermine Linux and eventually sideline it. That is all Microsoft really wants to do. They are not giving the Linux community any wonderful gifts with Mono and Moonlight– they are poisoning the well all us Linux users must drink from. That is their intention, PERIOD. When Novell made their deal with Microsoft, it confirmed the suspicions I had when I discovered Mono was an open source port of .Net. I refused to install Mono on my computers, which were then running SuSE 10.1. (After using SuSE for ten years, I switched to Kubuntu on all of my computers a week after the Novell/Microsoft partnership was consummated, in November 2006.) When I was using SuSE 10.1, I flat refused to install Mono, because it was a specific Microsoft creation, even though Miguel De Icaza had ported it under the GPL. Mono was the camel’s nose in the tent. Moonlight, another insidious De Icaza “gift”, will be the head, shoulders, and forelegs of the camel entering the tent. Moonlight has one purpose only: Kill the standard that is Flash. Microsoft has many, many ignorant, non-thinking users who are oblivious to Microsoft’s lock-in tactics, and THEY will make Silverlight the de facto standard, and then the internet will be flooded with videos that will only run on it, and not Flash. Later on, once Microsoft has waylaid Flash, they will “improve” Silverlight with proprietary code they will not permit to be implemented in Moonlight, and all Linux users using Moonlight will be excluded from running the new Silverlight videos. Mark my words, this is what will happen. Microsoft does not like Linux. They want to kill it. They have said so thousands of times over the years. This is one more step in their campaign to kill Linux. Don’t support Moonlight. Don’t support Mono. If you do, you are just as insidious as Miguel De Icaza, who is a fifth columnist for the Microsoft Corporation.

  15. Taylor Hewitt said,

    September 11, 2007 at 8:51 am




    Go suck a dick.

  16. cojii said,

    April 24, 2008 at 11:18 am


    @Taylor: Not a very mature discussion from you..are you the typical mono user acting like a child, seeing as a child and throwing a temper tantrum whenever someones disagrees ? ;) ( although sad to say its a typical linux attitude [ similar to RTFM ]

    I had no idea about the intrusion of mono, to the extent that linspire and xandros had to specifically ‘exclude’ it in the patent agreement…woah o_0

    Given the current facts that M$ actively wants to seek out and destroy OSS , NO ONE should be surprised by any of this, yet so many are so ‘quick’ to adopt. Now that Java is OSS I suspect this trend may well reverse, considering that java is in so many places, mobile and otherwise.

    I am very glad to know about all such facts, and it just confirms what I suspected all along. Those spouting mono I suspect are just M$ supporters, and we all need to lose them in a crowd of alternative languages ;) ( Java here I come )


  17. mass-carpone said,

    April 24, 2008 at 5:58 pm


    You people either are clueless, or deliberate truth-benders.

    Miguel said repeatedly that it is absolutely up to whoever builds Silverlight what media-framework to use.

    You can build it to only support FREE codecs like Theora and Vorbis.

    You can build it with ffmpeg which displays M$ content just fine.

    You can bild it with GStreamer-support which displays M$ content just fine (and legally, if you paid for your plugins…)

    You can build it with M$-codecs buit-in, for which you need the license that Miguel talked about…

    WHAT way the someone who builds Silverlight uses is absolutely up to him, and no-one in the world and hinder him/ her. Make it play free codecs, make it play proprietary codecs; it’s up to you, the frameworks is free as in ‘free choice’.

    That is absolutely the same situation as with any use of video-codecs today; most just bundle NOT-licensed ffmpeg/GStreamer-codecs and live with it just fine.

    You, Roy Schestowitz, are making up a big barrel of honga-balonga (which means some non-existing problem where I come from) just in order to bash your favorite enemies. That is SUCH a sign of personal weakness.

  18. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 24, 2008 at 6:26 pm


    You are missing the point entirely. Microsoft gets to pretend and tell Web developers that Silverlight is OK with GNU/Linux (it’s not) and if you build Moonlight without all the Microsoft extensions (Moonlight will always be left far behind), then it’s utterly useless on the Web. You get excluded, locked out. The thing to do is to join forces with EU regulators and State representatives who protest against Silverlight, not support it.

  19. mass-carpone said,

    April 25, 2008 at 1:41 am


    Oh, I just saw that EVEN THOUGH YOU CLAIM to quote “the horses mouth” you’re actually quoting only a coupla your own buddies that again CLAIM TO quote Michael Meeks – without giving any sources for their quotes.

    That discussion of your fellow anti-Mono guys that you link to as a ‘source’ for your claims can offer absolutely NO ‘horse’s mouth’: it quotes a sentence which someone in the discussion CLAIMS Micheal Meeks said ad FOSDEM. Obviously there is no printed source to quote. Probably he made it all up… Again: no horse’s mouth anywhere in sight. How about changing the title of your article? It would be the HONEST thing to do.

    Moonlight, not Silverlight!, IS OK WITH GNU/LINUX!!! Get it in your head finally, that even if you don’t like it, these are the facts. All you can make are stupid claims like ‘Moonlight will always be behind, blah, whine’. Even after its very short history Moonlight has rapidly caught up with M$ Moonlight, so there. Stupid claims like “You get excluded, locked out”. What UTTER CRAP! A one-eyed granny with a stick will see that firstly, there is no technical or legal reason to support your claim, and secondly, that the reality of Moonlight already rendering M$’s own Silverlight-based websites correctly proves just the opposite!

    Bah. Are you trying to annoy us by playing stupid? I can’t shake the feeling that you know all this perfectly well; I recall I have read someone before giving an explanation to you on how proprietary codes can but need not be part of Silverlight, and how most of you folks’ computer already ‘ILLEGALLY’ support closed formats like DivX or WMA. But you just IGNORE it and play stupid.

  20. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 25, 2008 at 2:00 am


    That discussion of your fellow anti-Mono guys that you link to as a ’source’ for your claims can offer absolutely NO ‘horse’s mouth’:

    This was actually said by Bruce Lowry as well (that you need to download Moonlight from Novell’s Web site). Lowry quit the company a couple of months ago by the way… perhaps he just couldn’t pretend anymore.

    ‘ILLEGALLY’ support closed formats like DivX or WMA. But you just IGNORE it and play stupid.

    It was never about the codecs, but about XAML. Novell promotes XAML just as it supports OOXML. Shame on Novell.

  21. mass-carpone said,

    April 25, 2008 at 2:09 am



    Baseless claims.

  22. mass-carpone said,

    April 25, 2008 at 2:13 am


    And again, NO LINK to prove your claims!

    Where does Bruce Lowry EVER say that you NEED to download Moonlight from Novell?

    And Bruce Lowry has quit Novell to join Microsoft, so I don’t think he had problems with Moonlight…

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 25, 2008 at 2:19 am


    This is news to me. I thought it was Buckley who left Novell to join Microsoft. Am I missing something?

    The links you crave for are here:


  24. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 25, 2008 at 2:21 am


    Also remember what your Master Miguel said about Moonlight’s distribution terms.


  25. Nolan said,

    April 25, 2008 at 4:21 am


    Excuse me but there is nothing in that linked text that says you need Novell to run Silverlight. It even says “Using Moonlight, Silverlight will run on any Linux distro supported by Mono”. And not that even that requirement will stay. In the end, all one will need is download a browser-pugin.

    If this this plugin will use MS-codecs to display content encoded with Windows Media, whether it will use ffmpeg to do that, whether it will not display Windows Media content at all, completely depends on the whim of the one who compiled it.

    Expect it in a Ubuntu ‘Universe’-repository near you. :)

  26. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 25, 2008 at 4:29 am


    Well, what about the licence? Microsoft serves a Trojan horse, via Novell (patent poison pill). And that’s besides the fact that Novell helps in making Microsoft ‘the standard’.

  27. Nolan said,

    April 25, 2008 at 4:35 am


    License for what? Your link doesn’t point to any useful information. What license?

  28. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 25, 2008 at 4:45 am


    Microsoft vainly alleges that in order to use this tool (i.e. access some Web sites) you need to pay it for mythical software patents.

  29. Nolan said,

    April 25, 2008 at 4:56 am


    I don’t find a statement like that from Microsoft or Novell under the Link you pointed.

  30. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 25, 2008 at 4:59 am


    From http://commandline.org.uk/linux/be-careful-who-you-kiss-2007-08-05-22-58.html?showcomments=yes

    I read the agreement between Xandros and Microsoft, and one of the excluded products was Mono, so Microsoft promises to not sue Xandros over their distribution but excluding Mono and a few other products, i.e. they reserve the right to sue over Mono. I wonder if this is an interesting preview of on what basis they want to fight the free world.

    Interestingly, the Novell deal seems to be different, Mono is not excluded from the Novell deal. So Microsoft seems to be promising not to sue Novell over Mono, but keeps the option open for Xandros. Weird but true.

  31. Nolan said,

    April 25, 2008 at 5:42 am


    Humph. Nothing new. :/ That is just hearsay, no more.

    If you don’t have anything you can just admit it and not need to desperate grabs for other people quoting other people who might have heard something from someone who might know, or how one might interpret something someone has read in an as negative as possible way…

    So, no proof, no sources. REname your article ‘I have a bad feeling about it’ – and not “there you have it”, smoking gun-like.

  32. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 25, 2008 at 5:47 am


    It’s not hearsay. How deep in denial are Mono developers in?

  33. Homer Simpson said,

    April 25, 2008 at 6:00 am


    Haha. Just read that. True. No substance anywhere on the allegations. Only hearsay and bad-mouth, like all over this blog.

  34. mass-carpone said,

    April 25, 2008 at 4:32 pm


    I’m starting to think that it doesn’t make sense to try and talk some (sense) into these people communing with each other in shared fear and hatred for/of novell, microsoft, evil, whatever. There IS no talking sense into scared and hateful persons.

    So you might as wel give it up, Homer.

  35. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 25, 2008 at 5:20 pm


    Why do you guys post anonymously? Trying to mask affiliations, which I can only guess?

  36. mass-carpone said,

    April 25, 2008 at 6:05 pm


    ? You talking to me?

    Am I more anonymous than posters ‘CoolGuy’, ‘luke’, ‘k’, ‘cb400f’, kojiii, Homer Simpson, ig, cuss etc.? I don’t think so.

    And thank god this is the net, and I don’t have to give my name and address to people whom I consider weird at best…

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