[Cialug] MSFT to partner with Novell
dchampion at visionary.com
Mon Nov 6 10:30:07 CST 2006
Josh More wrote:
> 2) MS agrees not to "assert its patents" against noncommercial open
> source developers or developers whose code is accepted into the
> commercial SUSE* line.
> My opinon: MS has been less legalistic as of late, so this doesn't
> really cost them much. Novell (commercial) and the Debian/Ubuntu
> (noncommercial) line are clear winners here. Red Hat, however,
> does not seem to be covered. Further, this *could* be the start of
> a patent-centralization effort, which would be good.
> Unknowns: MS has licensed a lot of patents, and it is unlikely
> that this agreement covers those. We will likely see some squabbling
> over this before everything clarifies. If it stabilizes properly,
> we might be able to see free (as in speech and beer) and legal support
> Windows multimedia formats. This would be a very good thing.
I don't see how this is really any different than the SCO tactic of
saying they wouldn't sue you if you were a SCO customer.
Regardless of any deal with Novell, MS doesn't "own" linux, and any
preferential legal treatment of Suse users over RedHat and other
commercial Linux customers is bunk. One example is the MS patent on
automatic updates. Every Linux vendor has a version of this, and MS has
made noises in the past of invoking legal action on them, because they
patented it (well after it already existed in other forms).
It really doesn't gain them anything legally, it is simply a scare
tactic to get people to spend money with them or their partners.
MS isn't going to release Windows Media codecs as OSS. They wouldn't be
able to enforce DRM.
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