Linux Advocates Wary Of Novell-Microsoft Tie

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SUSE

Novell investors may be cheering the Linux vendor's historic partnership with Microsoft, but Linux advocates had an entirely different reaction, expressing concerns that the deal may hint at future patent lawsuits and possibly even violate Linux's software license.

"Excuse me while I go throw up," wrote Pamela Jones, the editor of the Groklaw.net blog, which tracks legal issues in the free software community. "I gather Microsoft no longer thinks Linux is a cancer or communism. Now it just wants a patent royalty."

Microsoft and Novell agreed Thursday to work together on marketing and development of their respective products and pledged to make it easier for Windows and Novell's Suse Linux to co-exist in the data center.

But, included in that announcement is a patent cross-licensing agreement that is raising concerns. As part of the agreement, Microsoft has said that it will not sue noncommercial Linux developers and users of Suse Linux, but some worry that this move leaves the door open for the company to sue other Linux companies or even Linux users.

"This is actually really bad news," said Bruce Perens, a well-known Linux advocate. "It sets up Microsoft to assert its patents against all commercial open source users. The deal is going to be, 'You have to buy Microsoft-licensed Linux distribution from Novell or there is an implicit threat that Microsoft will assert their patents against you."

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A memorable bit of feedback...

...from a Slashdotter.

Hey Novell!
Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?
-snuf23

(Yes, that is the line from Batman) Smile

The Novell-Microsoft Agreement: Time to Take a Deep Breath

The Novell execs should write a letter of thanks to Pastor Ted Haggard. His now public walk on the wild side is what's keeping the already infamous deal between Novell and Microsoft off the front page. And just like Pastor Ted, who goes around in public decrying homosexual relationships but allegedly in private has been maintaining one, Novell has been caught in a contradiction. Upon their purchase of the top-tier distribution SuSE, they claimed they saw the light and found their savior in Free and Open Source software. The truth is, they've been negotiating a patent pact with the proprietary devils in Redmond and yesterday, they came out of the closet.

And the Linux Community is not happy.

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You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

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