[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Novell-MS Pact: Novell opens legal books to GPL pundits

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: Novell-MS Pact: Novell opens legal books to GPL pundits
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2006 20:07:46 +0100


Novell has partnered with the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) to
ensure that its partnership with Microsoft does not violate any terms of
the General Public Licence. 

"The SFLC has been offered cooperation by Novell sufficient to permit a
confidential audit to determine whether the licence provisions of the
GPL have been complied with," SFLC chairman Eben Moglen told 

The SFLC provides legal services to the open source community, and is
coordinating the forthcoming version 3 revision of the GPL.

Microsoft and Novell unveiled a partnership last week around Novell's
SuSE Linux Enterprise Linux distribution. The deal will protect SuSE
Linux users from potential legal claims by Microsoft.

Moglen sharply criticised the agreement last week, claiming that it
would be incompatible with the GPL3 and possibly the current GPL2.

Section seven of the GPL2 prohibits people or corporations from
distributing the GPL code if they have entered into any agreements that
contradict the conditions of the licence.

"If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your
obligations under this licence and any other pertinent obligations, you
may not distribute the program at all," the GPL states.

The upcoming version 3 further restricts the use of patents in
combination with the GPL by explicitly prohibiting distributors from
asserting any patent claims against open source developers.

Moglen insisted last week that the GPL3 provisions could not be

"Maybe it will turn out that [Novell and Microsoft] have cleared the
[GPL2] barrier by a millimetre. But they will not clear GPL3 by a
millimetre," he said.

Novell published a document on Tuesday on its website addressing some of
the concerns from the open source community. 

The company claims that it has worked around the GPL provisions by
providing patent licences directly to customers and not between the two

"Novell's customers receive a covenant not to sue directly from
Microsoft. We have not agreed with Microsoft to any condition that would
contradict the conditions of the GPL and we are in full compliance," the
company claims.

"Novell's end user customers receive a covenant not to sue directly from
Microsoft for their use of Novell products and services, but these
activities are outside the scope of the GPL."


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]