Stallman speaks out about MS-Novell

I know, I think we're all really bored of hearing this story now, but unless something major happens this is probably the last I'll say of it.

Richard Stallman, leader of the Free Software Foundation has publicly said that the Microsoft-Novell deal doesn't violate the GPLv2, but will be addressing the issue of patent licences for the third version of the GPL.

"What has happened is, Microsoft has not given Novell a patent license, and thus, section 7 of GPL version 2 does not come into play. Instead, Microsoft offered a patent license that is rather limited to Novell's customers alone."
"It turns out that perhaps it's a good thing that Microsoft did this now, because we discovered that the text we had written for GPL version 3 would not have blocked this, but it's not too late and we're going to make sure that when GPL version 3 really comes out it will block such deals. We were already concerned about possibilities like this, namely, the possibility that a distributor might receive a patent license which did not explicitly impose limits on downstream recipients but simply failed to protect them."

The GPLv3 is already a hotly debated topic within the FOSS community, with Linus Torvalds saying that he will not move the Linux kernel over to GPLv3, but the FSF will be moving all of the GNU tools over to the third revision of the licence. What this could mean for Novell is they might be unable to use newer versions of the GNU tools in their versions of SUSE Linux.

However, the licence is a way off yet (check the progress of it here), so we'll have to see exactly what happens.

[via LinuxWatch]

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold -

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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