The Samba team, which is responsible for software that enables Linux systems to use and provide Windows-compatible file and print servers, announced on Nov. 12 that it “disapproves strongly” of Novells recently announced patent agreement with Microsoft.
The Microsoft/Novell patent deal was part of the two companies larger agreements about improving sales and working together to improve interoperability between Windows and Linux.
The Samba group in a public letter to Novell wrote that “one of the fundamental differences between the proprietary software world and the free software world is that the proprietary software world divides users by forcing them to agree to coercive licensing agreements which restrict their rights to share with each other, whereas the free software world encourages users to unite and share the benefits of the software.”
Therefore, the Samba developers continue, “the patent agreement struck between Novell and Microsoft is a divisive agreement.
“It deals with users and creators of free software differently depending on their commercial versus non-commercial status, and deals with them differently depending on whether they obtained their free software directly from Novell or from someone else.”