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novell


"Don't talk about Microsoft" is a meme some people would gladly adopt for it is true that many in the Free Software community often appear obsessed with what Microsoft does and how could that be a part of a plan to hurt Free Software and GNU/Linux specifically. However, there are certain facts that can't be validly denied; Microsoft has a reputation of being quite a devious "competitor", if we can even fairly attribute such a noble term to them. They simply shown that they will use every trick in the book, regardless even of legality or ethics, to stay on the top.


When Novell signed the now-famous agreement with Microsoft, I must admit that I was quite puzzled. For a company making most of its business by selling free and open source software, this seemed unreal; maybe there was a good reason for that, after all. But when I read the part on the patents and the indemnification of customers, I really found out that it was quite odd and contradicting anything I ever read about the GPL.

I have however refrained from giving in the Novell-bashing fashion for several reasons.


In a recent article on LinuxJournal, its Editor in Chief Nicholas Petreley wrote that we should be abandoning all code related to Novell and SuSE because it may become tainted with Microsoft's "Intellectual Property". He quoted a note with which he signed Bruce Perens' Open Letter where he says the following:


RegDeveloper has caught up with Eben Moglen to talk about the Novell's deal with Microsoft, FSF's response to it and GPLv3 as the basis of that response. Instead of litigation, which has been suggested by some on the basis of potential violation of the GPLv2, the tool which will be used against this largely negatively criticized deal is the new version of the GPL.

Should FSF sue Novell?


A recent article by LinuxJournal's Nicholas Petreley, named "A five year deal with Microsoft to dump Novell/SUSE", points to the contradiction in statements of the two companies in regard to the patent infringement issue and calls for two things, for customers and users to essentially boycott Novell SuSE ("first front") and FSF to take a stand and actually sue Novell ("second front"). The latter is obvious from a statement which also reflects an apparent disagreement with GPLv3 as means of combating DRM, quoting: