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A Tale of Two (Linux) Strategies
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| The Second Open Source Barometer shows the community growing like a hockey
| and the number of members choosing Red Hat RHEL mirroring that growth with
| the number of members choosing Suse flat in comparison. So maybe “it was the
| worst of times” and the response of the open source community is to let
| Suse “have a far, far better rest to go to than it has ever known”?
That's good news. The software patents plot ain't working for the monopolist.
Should We Boycott Microsoft? Can We?
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| Except that it's not quite that simple. Microsoft's vision of “live and let
| live” is predicated on its continuing use of software patents, and of the
| open source side letting Microsoft and Novell handle all the tiresome
| implications for open source. In effect, though, this amounts to recognising
| Microsoft's patents, and accepting its “solutions” for the open source
| community. “Live and let live” turns out to be tantamount to accepting
| Microsoft's right to file, own and use software patents, which, in its turn,
| means accepting they apply to the open source world.
| Above all, it will send a message to the company that the open source world
| is not falling for the old “embrace, extend and extinguish” trick, and that
| if Microsoft really wants collaborate, "live and let live" is simply not
| enough, because of the asymmetric bargain it implies. As a basic
| pre-condition of working together with open source, the company needs to
| accept free software's absolute foundation – the ability to share all its
| code in any way and with anyone – and that, by definition, means no software
| patents whatsoever.
MIX - Novell's de Icaza criticizes Microsoft patent deal
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| Open-source pioneer and Novell Vice President Miguel de Icaza Thursday for
| the first time publicly slammed his company's cross-patent licensing
| agreement with Microsoft as he defended himself against lack of patent
| protection for third parties that distribute his company's Moonlight project,
| which ports Microsoft's Silverlight technology to Linux.
| Speaking on a panel at the MIX 08 conference in Las Vegas, de Icaza said that
| Novell has done the best it could to balance open-source interests with
| patent indemnification. However, if he had his way, the company would have
| remained strictly open source and not gotten into bed with Microsoft. Novell
| entered into a controversial multimillion dollar cross-patent licensing and
| interoperability deal with Microsoft in November 2006.
| "I'm not happy about the fact that such an agreement was made, but [the
| decision] was above my pay grade; I think we should have stayed with the
| open-source community," de Icaza said. He was speaking on a panel that also
| included representatives from Microsoft and open-source companies Mozilla and
| De Icaza shot back that it was "unfair" of Schroepfer to paint Novell as the
| only company protected by patent covenants, as many companies have signed
| licensing agreements not only with Microsoft, but also with other companies
| such as IBM that have a large patent portfolio.
| The choice has drawn ire from open-source diehards who were displeased with
| Novell’s decision to sign a cross-licensing agreement with Microsoft in the
| first place. A Web site called “Boycott Novell” decried Moonlight as a
| Microsoft “pet project” and criticized the company’s decision not to port
| Silverlight to Linux itself.
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