Jeremy Allison, a leading Samba developer and well-known open-source speaker, has decided to leave Novell because of his objections to the Microsoft/Novell patent agreement.
In his public letter of resignation, Allison said, “This has been a very difficult decision, but one I feel I have no choice but to make.”
“As many of you will guess, this is due to the Microsoft/Novell patent agreement, which I believe is a mistake and will be damaging to Novells success in the future.
“But my main issue with this deal is I believe that even if it does not violate the letter of the license it violates the intent of the GPL license the Samba code is released under, which is to treat all recipients of the code equally.”
Allison had been terribly conflicted about the Microsoft/Novell patent deal since its announcement. Those who knew him well were not surprised by his decision to leave Novell.
While Richard M. Stallman, the founder and leader of the Free Software Foundation, has said that the Microsoft/Novell agreement doesnt appear to violate the letter of the GPLv2, many open-source supporters believe, as Allison does, that it violates the GPLs spirit.