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 20/4/2018: Atom 1.26, MySQL 8.0

    Links for the day



  2. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  3. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  4. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls



  5. To Understand Why People Say That Lawyers are Liars Look No Further Than Misleading Promotion of Software Patents

    Some of the latest misleading claims from the patent microcosm, which is only interested in lots and lots of patents (its bread and butter is monopolies after all) irrespective of their merit, quality, and desirability



  6. When News About the EPO is Dominated by Sponsored 'Reports' and Press Releases Because Publishers Are Afraid of (or Bribed by) the EPO

    The lack of curiosity and genuine journalism in Europe may mean that serious abuses (if not corruption) will go unreported



  7. The Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Complain That They Are Understaffed, Not Just Lacking the Independence They Depend on

    The Boards of Appeal have released a report and once again they openly complain that they're unable to do their job properly, i.e. patent quality cannot be assured



  8. Links 18/4/2018: New Fedora 27 ISOs, Nextcloud Wins German Government Contract

    Links for the day



  9. Guest Post: Responding to Your Recent Posting “The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable”

    In France, where Battistelli does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, he can be held accountable like his "padrone" recently was



  10. The EPO in 2018: Partnering With Saudi Arabia and Cambodia (With Zero European Patents)

    The EPO's status in the world has declined to the point where former French colonies and countries with zero European Patents are hailed as "success stories" for Battistelli



  11. For Samsung and Apple the Biggest Threat Has Become Patent Trolls and Aggressors in China and the Eastern District of Texas, Not Each Other

    The latest stories about two of the world's largest phone OEMs, both of which find themselves subjected to a heavy barrage of patent lawsuits and even embargoes; Samsung has meanwhile obtained an antisuit injunction against Huawei



  12. The EPO Continues to Lie About Patent Quality Whilst Openly Promoting Software Patents, Even Outside Europe

    EPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it and software patents are openly being promoted/advocatedEPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it (the article above is new) and software patents are openly being promoted/advocated



  13. SCOTUS on WesternGeco v Ion Geophysical Almost Done; Will Oil States Decision Affirm the PTAB's Quality Assurance (IPRs) Soon?

    Ahead of WesternGeco and Oil States, following oral proceedings, it's expected that the highest court in the United States will deliver more blows to patent maximalism



  14. Links 17/4/2018: Linux 5.x Plans and Microsoft's 'Embrace'

    Links for the day



  15. The European Patent Office (EPO) Grants Patents in Error, Insiders Are Complaining That It's the Management's Fault

    The EPO has languished to the point where patents are granted in error, examiners aren't happy, and the resultant chaos benefits no-one but lawyers and patent trolls



  16. The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable

    With only one in seven EPO stakeholders believing that Battistelli's pick (António Campinos) will turn things around for the better, it certainly does not seem like people are happy and there's no real hope that Battistelli will ever be held accountable for his abuses after his immunity expires



  17. With Liars Like These...

    The European Patent Office continues to lie about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) amongst other things, still revealing its reluctance to say anything which is truthful or work to repair the damage caused by Benoît Battistelli



  18. Links 16/4/2018: Linux 4.17 RC 1, Mesa 18.0.1 RC, GNOME 3.28.1

    Links for the day



  19. IAM, Patently-O and Watchtroll (the Patent Trolls' Lobby) Try to Stop Patent Oppositions/Petitions (PTAB)

    In spite of fee hikes, introduced by Iancu's interim predecessor, petitions (IPRs) at the PTAB continue to grow in number and the patent maximalists are losing their minds over it



  20. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is Ending Software Patents One Patent at a Time

    At an accelerating pace and with growing determination, PTAB (part of AIA) crushes patent trolls and software patents; the statistics and latest stories speak for themselves



  21. Academics and Think Tanks for Patent Maximalism

    Right-wing think tanks and impressionable academics continue to lobby for patent maximalism, rarely revealing the funding sources and motivations; in reality, however, such maximalism mainly helps large (already-wealthy) corporations, monopolists, and law firms



  22. Killing Patent Quality and Encouraging 'Covert' Software Patents Using the Buzzwords Du Jour

    The epidemic of buzzwords and/or hype waves that are being exploited to dodge or bypass patent scope/limitations, as seen in Europe and the US these days



  23. Crisis of Quality at the EPO Extends to Staff (Notably Examiners) and Management as Institutional Integrity is Severely Compromised

    A rather pessimistic but likely realistic outlook for the European Patent Office (EPO), which seems unable to attract the sort of staff it attracted for a number of decades



  24. The 'Blockchaining' of Software Patents (to Dodge the Rules/Guidelines) Now Coming to Europe

    A lot of software patents are being declared invalid (or not granted in the first place); having said that, using all sorts of hype waves (like calling databases “blockchains”) firms and individuals manage to still be granted software patents and sometimes patent trolls hoard these



  25. Links 14/4/2018: Wine 3.6, KDE Elisa 0.1

    Links for the day



  26. East Asia Should Have Adopted the Patent Strategy of South Asia, Notably India

    China seems to be so interested in patent maximalism that it has lost sight of the effect on foreign investment, e.g. US/European/Taiwanese/Japanese/Korean firms operating/manufacturing in mainland China



  27. Samsung is the 'New IBM', Sans the Trolling With Patents

    The 'relic' company, IBM, loses its patent leadership (as measured using some yardstick) to Samsung, a company which is relatively calm when it comes to patent activity (unless/only when sued, as happens a lot nowadays)



  28. David Barcelou May or May Not be a Patent Troll, But He is Certainly a SLAPPing Bully and Watchtroll is Fine With It

    Like a thin-skinned person/entity (which many in the patent microcosm are), David Barcelou and Automated Transactions (“ATL”) SLAPP their critics and surprisingly enough it's Watchtroll, who has been threatened by WIPO, coming to the bully's rescue (double standards)



  29. Links 12/4/2018: Stable New Kernels, Neptune 5.1

    Links for the day



  30. The USPTO Has a Nepotism and Lobbying Problem That Jeopardises the Rationality of US Patent Law

    The influence games of Washington are spilling over to the US patent office and poisoning/harming its ability to conduct professional operations without corporate influence (from either side, both corporations and law firms)


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