Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Novell, Microsoft, Linux, and GPLv3

Bruce Peren's has written an open letter of protest to Novell. It can be read and signed here. Thank's Bruce.

There have been many significant and critical moments within the history of the Free and Open Source Software movements. This is no exception. I don't know what Linus Torvalds and other core Linux kernel hackers are thinking now that Microsoft and Novell have made their announcement. It is well known that Linus has been opposed to GPLv3. However, with this seditious MS/Novell "partnership", one would hope his view has shifted. Given the recent news, the normally apolitical but reasonable Torvalds may see the urgency of this matter and give serious consideration to GPLv3.

Hey, if Han can eventually become rebel alliance hero, anything is possible.

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Anonymous Ciaran O'Riordan said...

Stallman's latest Nov 21st comments on GPLv3 and Novell/MS can be found here:

Blogger Gnuosphere said...

Ciaran, thanks for this information and your continued involvement to help make GPLv3 and free software the best it can be.

I found the following part of the link interesting. I had a similar thought to RMS -

"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."

One wonders if this was just a big Microsoft blunder. Does Microsoft realize what they have done? Have they shot themselves in the foot? And if the Linux kernel is pushed to GPL3 partly because of the MS/Novell deal, is that simply taking a firearm to the other foot?

Anonymous Ciaran O'Riordan said...

I think they shot themselves in the foot.

There's a chance they thought this would be a good time because it might generate some FUD about GNU+Linux just before the release of Vista, but if they thought that, it seems they miscalculated.

I think it's more likely that this was just a really stupid timing decision by someone who banged their forehead on their desk afterward.


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