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Novell's Hollow Gesture

Homer's picture

Photo of Hovsepian selling his soul to the devil

When Hovsepian signed a pact with Ballmer, it was tantamount to an admission of guilt over IP infringements, and thus put every other GNU/Linux distributor in a compromising position, putting pressure on those distributors to also make that "confession" and join that protection racket. This further undermined the perceived integrity of GNU/Linux - forcing companies to re-evaluate their positions on Open Source - and decide between either abandoning their GNU/Linux adoption plans, or stick with the "safe" Novell distribution. Pity it didn't quite work out the way Microsoft hoped but nevertheless, the intention was malicious, and Novell was complicit. I hope they enjoy their 30 pieces of silver, and don't spend it all at once.

Then there's the Novell exclusive support for a Windows XEN guest. I'm sure that's not harmful to other GNU/Linux distos, is it?

Or how about our dear friend Miguel de Icaza, slowly poisoning the Free Software tree with encumbered .NET toxic waste, presumably so GNU/Linux will eventually resemble the chaotic and encumbered mess of spaghetti code that is Windows. I'm sure Microsoft are pleased. They might eventually have genuine grounds to cry "infringement!".

Microvell now have a department called the "Joint Interoperability Lab" working to "partition the linux world" into those who support that "interoperability" (i.e. sign the pact), and those who don't. But I'm sure they will just give away the results of those efforts when they finished, just like they did with XEN Windows support. I mean that is what Open Source Free Software is all about, right?

Maybe someone should call Hovsepian and remind him.

So now they've helped develop Open Source graphics drivers, thanks to AMD providing some specifications (reserving others under NDA).

How kind of them.

But before I shake Hovsepian's hand, and extent the warm sentiment of gratitude he expects, perhaps he could answer this question for me:

Why did Novell risk the entire FOSS movement, and indeed continues to do so, for the sake of IP infringement allegations that have no substantive evidence to support them, and in fact where no attempt has ever been made to substantiate those unfounded claims?

Was it fear of litigation from a company that's stated repeatedly, and in no uncertain terms, that it does not initiate litigation on patents?

Or were they afraid that their already flagging business would die because of competition from Red Hat - so Hovsepian gleefully shook Ballmer's sweaty hand, and palmed a nice fat bribe?

Yes indeed - thank you Novell.

Thanks for nothing.