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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Varghese: "is the FSF about to pardon Nove

From: rjack
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Varghese: "is the FSF about to pardon Novell?"
Date: Thu, 31 May 2007 16:09:45 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20070326)

Alexander Terekhov wrote:

is the FSF about to pardon Novell? By Sam Varghese Thursday, 31 May 2007
Has the Free Software Foundation, like many others, chosen the path of
least resistance and decided to bend with the wind? A Reuters report
about the forthcoming final draft of the GPLv3 would make it appear so.

According to this report, the FSF has decided to leave out language in
the final draft that would make the Microsoft-Novell deal invalid.

The report claims that the draft would be issued by June 4 and that
Novell would not be penalised in any way for the deal.

If this is true, then it would mean that the FSF has excised portions
which existed in the last draft which it released at the end of March.

In an explanatory note issued a day before the release of the March
draft, the FSF said: "The basic harm that such an agreement (the Novell
deal) can do is to make the free software subject to it effectively
proprietary. This result occurs to the extent that users feel compelled,
by the threat of the patent, to get their copies in this way."

This was in reference to the portion of the agreement between Microsoft
and Novell which specifies that neither company would sue the other's
customers for patent violations.

"We take the threat seriously, and we have decided to act to block such
threats, and to reduce their potential to do harm," the note said.

In the March draft, section 11 specifically deals with this problem and
does not allow deals of this nature to be struck, deals that ensure that
the distribution sold by one company is exempt from patent claims.
But if the Reuters report is correct - and Reuters has proved to be
extremely unreliable on this subject in the past - then the FSF could
reasonably be accused of a volte-face.

I've asked Richard Stallman to comment on the report.


"I can change the rules."

   Herr Prof Eben


ACT put the fear of the Lord in Herr Moglen, Stallman and Perens.,1895,2111879,00.asp

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