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

11.21.07

Ending the Exploitation of Developers by Novell, Microsoft and Others

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Law, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 11:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GPLv3 battles misuse of ‘free labour’

The GNU GPLv3 is a topic which is close to our hearts for a reason. It enables programmers to escape imprisonment of their code and it also sabotages Microsoft’s plan to subvert and eliminate Linux as we know it.

GPLv3 is on the right track. Yesterday we provided an example in the form of one project that has already adopted the new Affero GPLv3. The 451 Group has just blogged about the adoption and the role of GPLv3.

While GPLv3 originally set out to tackle the issue of software patents, another loophole emerged with the Microsoft-Novell partnership a year ago, adding some urgency and significance to the issue. To avoid passing its promise not to pursue patent-based legal action onto all Linux users, Microsoft gave its promise directly to SUSE Linux customers. GPLv3 grandfathered the clever deal, but again, the license would prevent a similar arrangement today.

SUSE Forums on the Ubuntu ‘Cookie Cutter’

Steve Ballmer rides SUSESome days ago we mentioned the impact of the Microsoft-Novell deal on OpenSUSE developers and volunteers. It wasn’t nice. There is plenty for them to lose and it’s hardly a surprise when you find signs of Ubuntu envy. I was sent the following bit last night. Let’s just call it what it is: jealousy.

Some interesting bits from the thread:

“Ubuntu is pretty, I’ll give it that, but it still strikes me as a fancy looking house with a still-framed interior. They tackled the easy parts and are ignoring the tricky parts, the ones that involve detail and low-level, uninteresting and unsexy effort”

“System configuration that is handled by a disparate collection of single purpose apps combined with necessary command line editing, for instance, versus a single unfied interface”

“And getting back to openSUSE, when you look at some of the tricky things in Yast… those are the luxury touches that define a home of distinction versus a cookie cutter home”

Interpretation of the above is not mine, but it was worth a quick mention nonetheless. The deal’s implications for OpenSUSE developers (a pledge) are worth exploring further.

Exploiting Free Software Programmers

There is a nice parallel here between programmers and artists. Consider large media companies that are explotiing writers, retaliating against artists, and unsurprisingly driving them away at the end. That’s just what Novell might have to face in the near future, especially when developers wake up and read the legal documents.

Such exploitation for profit has deep roots in Redmond, Washington. Here is a good old story:

Robert X. Cringely reveals the true reason why Paul Allen of Microsoft fame left the Redmond company, even though it was on track to become an extremely valuable stock. Considering Microsoft’s track record and behavior over the years, this should not be surprising, but if true it is beyond pall!

[...]

During one of those last long nights working to deliver DOS 2.0 in early 1983, I am told that Paul Allen heard Gates and Ballmer discussing his health and talking about how to get his Microsoft shares back if Allen were to die.

Maybe that’s just the sort of fiduciary discussion board members have to have, but it didn’t go over well with Paul Allen, who never returned to Microsoft, and over the next eight years, made huge efforts to secure his wealth from the fate of Microsoft.

Last week we wrote about the infectious selfishness and vanity that thrives at Microsoft and has apparently hit Novell. The story above makes a nice addition to this.

Related and older articles:

It appears that the standard operating procedure for Microsoft will be to send open sourced partners into the GPLv3 car park.

If Novell’s Linux business continues to grow, and it does this without the crutch of Microsoft, people will forgive and forget…slowly. In the meantime, Novell can’t pretend that it’s loved by the open-source community. The Microsoft deal did far too much damage to its credibility to expect that.

My recent Novell post got some private push-back from a Novell spokesman who insisted that I was being harsh.

[...]

I suspect many marketers, public relations experts and even executives entering open source for the first time don’t understand this point. They want to be judged on what they say today, and only today.

Sorry, folks. New rule. Open source doesn’t forget.

We never forgot.

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

A Single Comment

  1. eet said,

    November 22, 2007 at 4:01 am

    Gravatar

    Again trying to stirr-up an inter-distro war within the community, are you Roy? We won’t fall for your tricks, you know.

    It’s amazing how so much text (your posts) can contain so little content. Most of it is cut-and-paste of quotes that you say strengthen your POV but actually don’t. The rest is linking back to your own posts from the past which you claim prove your point of view. But they actually don’t. It’s all just a facade. This whole blog is one big facade built around a big ego and a large hole where the actual substance of your allegations should be.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an abusive Internet troll

What Else is New


  1. Links 10/12/2016: KDE neon User LTS Edition, AsteroidOS in Headlines Again

    Links for the day



  2. “Corrupt Benoît Battistelli and Željko Topić Today in Zagreb at 25th Anniversary of SIPO Croatia”

    Shortly after Željko Topić lost his court case for the third time (over allegations of corruption at SIPO), his EPO boss Benoît Battistelli joins SIPO celebrations



  3. The US Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Maintains High Pace of Patent Invalidation, in Spite of Appeals to CAFC

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), i.e. the court system, has become the last resort of serial litigators, as the PTAB gets in their way more and more often following AIA and Alice



  4. Good Luck to the US Supreme Court in Eliminating a Supremely Unjust Misuse of Patent Law

    In an important upcoming patent case, gross abuse of patent laws for the support of dubious business models can finally be tackled



  5. EPO Protest This Coming Wednesday Strives to Restore the Rule of Law and Freedom of Speech at the Office

    The level of autocracy at the European Patent Organisation, an institution which has effectively positioned itself above the law with Battistelli and his minions in charge of the Office, faces growing backlash from staff



  6. The EPO is Collapsing. Attacks on Journalists, Interns as Staff, Patents on Plants, and Bureaucratic Red Tape...

    A look at some of the latest issues surrounding the European Patent Office, whose insistence on denying the problems and instead attacking those who bring up legitimate concerns, will spell its doom



  7. Ignore the Bristows UPC Echo Chamber, the UPC is Not Happening

    Response to some of the latest UPC promotion, courtesy of some of the usual suspects, who stand to benefit financially if the UPC ever becomes a reality



  8. British Media Slams Battistelli for Attempting to Cover Up 2 Years of Juridical Abuses With Help From the Administrative Council of the EPO

    A growing voice of concern about the integrity of the European Patent Organisation, whose management appears to be in cahoots (overseers/regulators included) so as to cover up its own serious abuses



  9. Boards of Appeal Still Under Attack From Team Battistelli While the EPO Proceeds to Granting Patents on Carlsberg BEER!

    The lunacy of the EPO with its patent maximalism will likely go unchecked (and uncorrected) if Battistelli gets his way and turns the EPO into another SIPO (Croatian in the human rights sense and Chinese in the quality sense)



  10. Memo “Deliberately Leaked to Cover up the UPC” With Its Many Associated Issues Amid Brexit

    Some eye-opening updates about the awkward move from Lucy Neville-Rolfe, who made promises (expression of intent) she can neither fulfill nor justify to the British public



  11. Links 8/12/2016: Korora GNU/Linux 25, SparkyLinux 4.5.1

    Links for the day



  12. Links 7/12/2016: ROSA Desktop Fresh R8 Plasma 5, Ubuntu Touch OTA-14

    Links for the day



  13. The UPC Scam Part VII: A Fine Mess in the Making, as Nothing Can be Made of It Amid/After Brexit

    The final part in this multi-part series about UPC, which cannot be implemented in the UK as long as Brexit is on the agenda



  14. The UPC Scam Part VI: The Real Story Which People Missed Due to Puff Pieces Seeded by Battistelli-Bribed Media is That UPC Technically Cannot Come to the UK

    Another long installment in a multi-part series about UPC at times of post-truth Battistelli-led EPO, which pays the media to repeat the lies and pretend that the UPC is inevitable so as to compel politicians to welcome it regardless of desirability and practicability



  15. EPO Spiraling Down the Drain as Experienced Examiners and Judges Are Seemingly Being Replaced by Interns

    Implementing yet more of his terrible ideas and so-called 'reforms', Battistelli seems to be racing to the bottom of everything (patent quality, staff experience, labour rights, working conditions, access to justice etc.)



  16. A Lot of News From the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Today, With Some Important Decisions on Patents Coming Soon

    A roundup of today's outcomes from the US Supreme Court, which intends to review and decide on important patent cases



  17. In Historic Blow to Design Patents, Apple Loses to Samsung at the Supreme Court

    A $399 million judgment against Android devices from Samsung, with potential implications for other Android OEMs, is rejected by SCOTUS



  18. Good Riddance. Ray Niro is Dead.

    The infamous father of patent trolling is dead, so we need to remember his real legacy rather than rewrite his history to appease his rich relatives (enriched by destroying real companies)



  19. EPO Suicides Greater in Number Than is Widely Reported, Unjust System a Contributor to These

    The horrible regime of Benoît Battistelli has an enormous human toll (fatalities), far greater than the Office is willing to publicly acknowledge



  20. Lobbying Disguised as 'Reporting' by the Patent Microcosm, Which Wants More Patents and More Lawsuits (Lawyers Needed)

    A rebuttal to some new articles about patents, especially those that strive to increase patent-related activities (usually for personal gain)



  21. USPTO Echo Chamber That Lacks Actual Software Professionals Deciding on Patentability of Software

    A look at yesterday's "Roundtable on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility," which lacked involvement from those actually affected by patents rather than those who sell, trade, and exploit these



  22. More Examples of Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Taxing Linux, Even After Microsoft 'Joined' (Paid) the Linux Foundation

    A quick look at the past week's news and clues about Microsoft's (and its broad army of patent trolls) strategy for taxing Linux, or imposing bundling at zero cost (to Microsoft)



  23. Heiko Maas, the SPD “Cash for Access” Affair, and Suspicions of Unwarranted Censorship at IP Kat (Again)

    Unsayable views or just a glitch? Readers of IP Kat express concern about a culture of censorship at IP Kat



  24. Endgame for Battistelli at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Battistelli turns bad into worse by spitting on the very notion of accepting justice (from the highest court in The Hague or even the UN in this case)



  25. Les Échos Chamber: Having Corrupted the Media (With EPO Money), Battistelli Now Uses It for More UPC Propaganda

    The lies about the Unitary Patent are now being broadcast (Battistelli given the platform) by the publication that Battistelli pays



  26. Rumour: EPO in Berlin the Next Casualty of Battistelli's 'Reform' (Organisational Suicide Plan)

    Months after we learned that a former staff representative in Berlin had been dismissed we come across an anonymous claim that Berlin's 'branch' of the EPO will be folded onto Munich's



  27. Caricature: the Maas App

    The failure of Maas to even bother with regulation of Battistelli (among others) earns him this cartoon



  28. Links 5/12/2016: Linux 4.9 RC 8, DeepMind as FOSS

    Links for the day



  29. Leaked: Battistelli Acknowledges Bunk 'Justice' in About 100 Cases at the Internal Appeals Committee of the EPO

    A look at Battistelli's response to the latest from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), exceptionally delivering two decisions at the very end of last month



  30. The UPC Scam Part V: Unitary Patent Regime a Fantasy of Patent Trolls

    "Good for trolls" is a good way to sum up the Unitary Patent, which would give litigators plenty of business (defendants and plaintiffs, plus commissions on high claims of damages) if it ever became a reality


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