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

09.16.07

~~ Interlude ~~ Why Novell Harms GNU/Linux

Posted in Boycott Novell, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Novell at 4:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Repeating the old arguments

There are many implications to be considered here. Let us begin with the fact that Novell has awoken the sleeping giant which is software patents. The deal gave credibility to an argument that Linux infringes on Microsoft patents and is therefore required to license Microsoft technologies. Another important issue is the exclusionary nature of the deal with Microsoft. Novell gains access to and develops various bits of software that other Linux distributors cannot have. This undermines the principles and spirit of Free software which — among several other things — thrives in collaboration and sharing. The relationship should be reciprocal in order for progress of Linux as a whole to be fast.

Novell’s deal has an impact on a variety of other things, including the European Commission’s antitrust ruling. Novell is also engaged in supporting technology that helps Microsoft stifle the adoption of Linux.

I am pleased to find out that PJ feels the same way. In response to a recent interview which suggests that IBM continues to accept the Microsoft/Novell, PJ said this:

If it’s bad for the community, it will eventually be bad for customers too, because the community will disappear. Then you are back in the Cathedral, and you will have lost the Bazaar, which is what made Linux great in the first place. And Microsoft doesn’t have the goal of interoperability anyway. The MSOOXML story proved that to me. So the patent peace deals will not increase interoperability. They will increase the cost of Linux to Microsoft’s advantage and reduce the value received, because the patent license terms restrict what customers can do with Linux. They also restrict what programmers can do, which will kill Linux in the long term.

Why can’t everyone see this?

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

9 Comments

  1. Steve Carroll said,

    September 17, 2007 at 5:37 am

    Gravatar

    Am I missing something? It is Microsoft who paid Novell not the other way around. I know Balmer has said several things that are just contradictory to the deal made. Is that any reason to boycott Novell? I think not.

    It seems to me that the Linux community is turning out like the Republicans..”We eat our young.”

  2. Raymond Koekemoer said,

    September 17, 2007 at 6:33 am

    Gravatar

    Novell’s interoperability solutions are all opnsourced anyway so everyone gains whichever way you look at it.

  3. Eric Gearhart said,

    September 17, 2007 at 6:46 am

    Gravatar

    Sensationalist FUD.

    I have taken a hard look at this site (boycottnovell)… and all I can find are headlines that sell ads.

    Talk about living off the “backs of the community.”

  4. The understander said,

    September 17, 2007 at 8:57 am

    Gravatar

    What you (the previous commenters) probably don’t understand is that software coming from Novell, _looking like_ open (source) and free, really isn’t free. It’s a trojan horse, a virus bomb.

    What you get when you use Novell software is implementations of formats and protocols that are filled with patents. And only if you use Novell’s version of them, you can be assured not to be sued for patent infringement. This means, the source code is there, so it _looks like_ open source, but it’s filled with patented mumbo jumbo which means, you _cannot_ redistribute or modify the code, without risking being sued.

    No one gains from Novell’s programs, everybody loses, except Microsoft and Novell.

    Note, the above is only true for free software licenses that aren’t protected against _this_ kind of trojan horse attacks. GPLv3 is protected, but most free software isn’t GPLv3. And that’s not all, GPLv3 is not enough against _future_ attacks, which may very well come from the coalition which currently attacks free software, namely Novell and Microsoft.
    Until Novell proves to be more of _protectors_ of free software than _attackers_ of it, they should be boycotted, and I strongly feel that for instance Debian should take a stance here, and not have any Novell-infected programs.
    It’s just sad they haven’t done that already. Software infected by Novell _simply isn’t free_ anymore.

    Now, lots of people have absolutely no passion for free software, and accept to be brutally violated intellectually by majors corps with patents and evil intentions.
    But, there are those of us who rejects that, and until our intellectual race is extincted, there is a future for freedom of intellect.

  5. gpl1 said,

    September 17, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Gravatar

    Steve:


    Eben Moglen: Oh, I beg your pardon, certainly, I, the question was so obvious that it needed no repetition: “Could I explain the threat posed to GPL’d software’s freedom by the Microsoft/Novell agreement?”.

    And I’m going to speak in slightly more general terms than that, beginning with: Imagine a party which wants to eliminate Free Software’s freedom or at least hobble its developers in serious ways, so as to inhibit their ability to compete. Imagine that such a party has patents of uncertain validity but in large numbers, which it could conceivably use to scare developers and users. Imagine that such a party then begins to make periodic threats in the form, “Gee, we have a lot of patents. Never mind how many. Never mind what they are. Never mind how good they are. We have a lot of patents, and someday something terrible will happen. Don’t use that software.”

    Imagine that that’s a strategy that the party adverse to freedom engages in because it’s better than suing. Suing is expensive. Suing is irreversible. And suing might actually cause you to have to explain which patents they are and why they’re any good. [Laughter] So threatening is better than suing, OK? Imagine a party who engages in recurrent threats every summer time, for years on end, on a sort of annual “be very afraid” tour, okay? [Laughter]

    I know, it sounds absurd.

    Imagine now that what happens is that the annual “Be very afraid” tour starts creating terrible pushback, because people call up who are the CEOs of major banks and financial institutions, and they say, “Those people you’re threatening are us. We’re the largest, richest, most powerful people in capitalism, and we determine the value of your stock. We think you should be quiet now.” OK?

    That happens if you do this thing of saying “be very afraid” to people who have lots and lots of money and lots and lots of power and who control the value of your stock. They will push back. The business model of threatening to sue people works if the people are 12-year-olds. It does not work real well if they are the pillars of finance capitalism. So as a party engaged in annual “be very afraid” tours, you’re going to start to get pushback by enterprise customers who say, “That’s *us* you’re threatening.”

    Now what if you could reduce their sense of being the people who are made afraid? What if you could find a way to give them quiet and peace — and make a little money on the side — so that the only people who are left quaking when you did your annual “Be Very Afraid” tour were the developers themselves? Now you would have given yourself a major ecological boost in swinging your patents around and threatening to hurt people.

    Deals for patent safety create the possibility of that risk to my clients, the development community. If enterprise thinks that it can go and buy the software my clients make from some party who gives them peace from the adversary in return for purchasing a license from them, then enterprises may think they have made a separate peace, and if they open the business section one morning and it says “Adversary Makes Trouble for Free Software”, they can think, “Not my problem. I bought the such-and-such distribution, and I’m OK.”

    This process of attempting to segregate the enterprise customers, whose insistence on their rights will stop the threatening, from the developers, who are at the end the real object of the threat, is what is wrong with the deals.

    So what you ought to do is to say to parties, Please don’t make separate peace at the community’s expense. Please don’t try to make your customers safe, if that’s going to result in the destruction of the upstream rain forest where your goods come from. We’re an ecological system. If you undermine community defenses, you’re undermining the whole ecology. And doing that for the benefit of your customers at the expense of your suppliers is not a good way to stay in business.

    So that’s the fundamental discussion about the problem created by such deals.

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20070517083516872

  6. Barney Fife said,

    September 17, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Gravatar

    @Understander:

    Have you ever heard of the GPL? Didn’t think so. Maybe you should read up on it. There’s plenty of info available. Try Google sometime.

    You can’t mix patents in with GPL’d software. End of story. End of discussion. End of senseless, idiotic rambling. Period. No further discussion necessary. Adios. See you later. Couldn’t be clearer. We’re done here. Nothing to talk about further. Please go home and take a nap.

    The ONLY way that Novell could taint GPL’d software is by writing all of it themselves and releasing it under the GPL. That’s not what’s happening here.

    Case closed.

    Stop posting these ignorant comments and stories in an attempt to harm the FOSS world. You guys are worse than Microsoft.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 17, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Gravatar

    Am I missing something? It is Microsoft who paid Novell not the other way around.

    Yes, Microsoft paid, not got paid. This comes to show you that Novell needed money to accept a deal which it knew was a bad one.

  8. Anon said,

    September 21, 2007 at 11:48 am

    Gravatar

    The understander:

    Good luck avoiding software that Novell contributes code to, it’s near impossible to do so.

    They make contributions to at least the following software:

    - Linux kernel
    - gcc
    - CUPS
    - Xorg
    - GNOME
    - KDE
    - Xgl
    - Compiz
    - Mono
    - ALSA
    - OpenOffice

    To get away from Novell “tainted” code, you’d have to switch to BSD and not run X.

    Good luck with that :)

  9. Anon said,

    September 21, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Gravatar

    The understander:

    Good luck avoiding software that Novell contributes code to, it’s near impossible to do so.

    They make contributions to at least the following software:

    - Linux kernel
    - gcc
    - CUPS
    - Xorg
    - GNOME
    - KDE
    - Xgl
    - Compiz
    - Mono
    - ALSA
    - OpenOffice

    To get away from Novell “tainted” code, you’d have to switch to BSD and not run X.

    Until you make the switch, I’ll assume you’re just an ignoramus.

What Else is New


  1. India is Having Another Taste of the Dangers of Western Patents, Must Learn to Reject Software Patents in the Face of Great Pressure

    The growing software giant which is India continues to face cruel and aggressive lobbying from the West, enabling the West to control India by patents that should not exist in the first place



  2. Links 29/4/2016: GNOME 3.21.1, Fairphone

    Links for the day



  3. Microsoft Says It Will Continue to Extort Companies That Distribute Linux, Using Software Patents As Usual

    Microsoft's war on Linux, a war which is waged using software patents (for revenue and/or for coercion in bundling deals), is still going on in spite of all the PR tactics from Microsoft and its paid partners



  4. Australia Might be Next to Block Software Patents If Commission's Advice is Followed

    Australian advice against software patents, which can hopefully influence Australian politicians and put an end, once and for all, to all software patents in Australia



  5. [ES] ''Si la Forma de Pensar de la EPO fuese Seguida, Guantánamo Sería Posible en Suelo Alemán.”

    La EPO está todavía bajo fuego, pero mucho de ello pasa detrás de las cortinas y envuelve abogados y/o burócratas



  6. The European Copy-Paste Office (EPO)

    This morning's example (not the first) of how the EPO uses 'social' media



  7. Links 28/4/2016: Fedora 24, EE Goes Open Source

    Links for the day



  8. Amid Referendum “the New European Unitary Patent System is Likely to Collapse Before It Started”

    The Unitary Patent Court (UPC) vision seems like it may be just one month away from its gradual death, depending on British voices amongst other key factors



  9. USTR is Trying to Shame and Bully India Into Introducing Software Patents in India

    Lobbying body of the US (corporations-led) is trying its usual dirty tactics against India's sound policy which excludes software/algorithms from patent scope



  10. No, Visual Studio is NOT Open Source and Xamarin Openwashing is NOT News

    The latest example of Microsoft openwashing, courtesy of confidants of Microsoft and those who got bamboozled by them



  11. Latest Black Duck Puff Pieces a Good Example of Bad Journalism and How Not to Report

    Why the latest "Future of Open Source Survey" -- much like its predecessors -- isn't really a survey but just another churnalism opportunity for the Microsoft-connected Black Duck, which is a proprietary parasite inside the FOSS community



  12. If EPO “Form of Thinking Were to be Followed, Guantanamo on German Soil Would be Possible.”

    The EPO is still under fire, but a lot of it happens behind the scenes and involves lawyers and/or bureaucrats



  13. Links 28/4/2016: Tomb Raider for GNU/Linux, Proxmox VE 4.2

    Links for the day



  14. [ES] La Departura de la Readidad de la EPO Y Su Entrada en la Esféra Industrial China de Propaganda

    La deceptiva trampa del maximálism de patentes, donde se asume que artficialmente aumentando el número de patentes otorgadas traerá el resultado esperado



  15. [ES] Una Fársa de Sistema: ¿Cómo la SIPO, USPTO, y cada vez más la EPO se Convierten en Llenado de Patentes (No Se Requiere Propia Examinación)

    Una crítica al decline en la calidad de patentes en algunas de las más grandes oficinas de patentes del mundo, donde aspiración parece ser neo-liberal en el sentido económico



  16. [ES] Microsoft ‘Asalto con Todo’ Contra Android, Java, y GNU/Linux, Usando la Clásica E.E.E. Táctica de Nuevo

    Otro recordatorio de la realidad que Microsoft está muy activo en el frente E.E.E., not no sólo contra GNU/Linux pero también Android y Java



  17. [ES] Más Rumores y Llamadas Acerca de Prospectos de Microsoft Vaya a Comprar Canonical (Ubuntu con todo y Zapatos)

    Teniendo en cuenta los últimos movimientos de Canonical, algunos expertos piensan que es posible que Shuttleworth elija el dinero a Microsoft sobre principios sino también inste para que esto ocurra



  18. Links 27/4/2016: A Lot About OpenStack, Vivaldi 1.1 Released

    Links for the day



  19. A Farce of a System: How SIPO, USPTO, and Increasingly the EPO Too Turn Into Filing Systems (No Proper Examination/Filtering Required)

    A critique of the declining quality of patents in some of the world's biggest patent offices, where the aspiration seems to be neo-liberal in the economic sense



  20. Microsoft's 'Full Assault' on Android, Java, and GNU/Linux, Using Classic E.E.E. Tactics Again

    Another reminder of the fact that Microsoft is very active on the E.E.E. front, not just against GNU/Linux but also Android and Java



  21. More Rumours and Calls Surrounding Prospects of Microsoft Buying Canonical (Ubuntu and More)

    Taking some of Canonical's recent moves into account, some pundits not only think it's possible for Shuttleworth to choose Microsoft money over principles but also urge for this to happen



  22. [ES] El Nuevo Impulso Finánciado por Microsoft Para Reforzar las Patentes de Software en los EE.UU., Apoyado por los Sospechosos Usuales (La Sagrada Familia) Mientras que Microsoft Cada Vez Más Lucha Como Compañíá Productiva

    Una mirada al esfuérzo de trae una resurgencia de las patentes de software en los Estados Unidos (con un clarísimo rol de Microsoft en él) y la fundación/conf ianza de Microsoften las patentes de software como arma contr Linux/Android porque las ganancias de Windows se están secando y el Windows Phone está al borde del colápso



  23. Links 26/4/2016: Firefox 46.0, Thunderbird's Stewardship

    Links for the day



  24. Links 25/4/2016: Kodi 16.1, OpenStack Summit

    Links for the day



  25. New Microsoft-Funded Push to Make Software Patents Stronger in the US, Backed by the Usual Suspects as Microsoft Increasingly Struggles as a Producing Company

    A look at the effort to bring about a software patents resurgence to the US (with clear Microsoft role in it) and Microsoft's reliance on software patents as a weapon against Linux/Android because Windows profits dry up and Windows Phone is on the verge of collapse



  26. Patents Roundup: Marijuana Patents, Patent Satellites, Patent Trolls, Wars, and Merchants (Notably Lawyers)

    Various strands of news about patents, focused on issues raised in the latter half of last week



  27. The EPO's Departure From Truth and Entrance Into the Realms of Chinese Industrial-Grade Propaganda

    The entrapping delusion of patent maximalism, wherein artificially or superficially increasing the number of granted patents is assumed to be a desirable outcome



  28. [ES] La Fundación de Frontera Electrónica (EFF) Continua su Batalla por la Sanidad de Patentes en los Estados Unidos

    Una mirada a las últimas actividades de la EFF en el área de patentes, donde probablemente habrá mayor énfasis en los daños de las patentes de software y la necesidad de eliminarlas completamente



  29. [ES] La Sociedad Regional de Economía Comprehensiva (RCEP) Amenaza Traer las Patentes de Software a la India

    La amenaza que arrastra otro acuerdo denominado de "comercio" cuyo impacto a favor de los MONOPOLIOS contra los intereses del pueblo de la India y por lo tanto debe ser rechazadas por ellos



  30. [ES] Toma Menos de 10 Votos para 'Ganar' una Elección en la Mini Unión (Minion) de Battistelli

    Una mirada al minúsculo tamaño de la Unión apadrinada por Battistelli, la que parece tener una docena de miembros activos


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