Microsoft patent deal could leave Novell behind
Open source advocate Bruce Perens has warned Novell Inc that it risks being left behind by open source progress unless it turns its back on its recent patent covenant with Microsoft Corp.
Waltham, Massachusetts-based Novell might have negotiated the deal with Microsoft for its SUSE Linux Enterprise users, but that has left Microsoft free to accuse the wider Linux user base of infringing its intellectual property.
There have already been calls from some open source users and developers to boycott Novell's products, but perhaps more significantly for Novell, Perens has warned the company that Linux software licensing changes could leave it isolated if it does not renege on the Microsoft deal.
"The very software that you sell is owned by parties who are now hostile to your company," wrote Perens, creator of the Open Source Definition and founder of the Open Source Initiative and Linux Standards Base, in a letter to Novell's chief executive, Ron Hovsepian. "The C Library, essential to run every program on your system, is the property of the Free Software Foundation, which will surely re-license that library to LGPL 3."