The Free Software Foundation vs. Novell?

It turns out that while the FSF still intends to make sure that with the GPLv3 companies won't be able to make patent-deals like the one between Novell and Microsoft, it's not going after Novell's current right to distribute Linux. (Linux-Watch)

According to a recent Reuters report, the FSFs (Free Software Foundation) board was going to be looking into Novell Inc.s rights to continue selling its version of the Linux operating system. Thats not actually whats will be happening.

Eben Moglen, the Software Freedom Law Center executive director and FSF board member, explained: "This is a story being hyped by the Reuters guy who wrote it."

The Reuters quote was: "The community of people wants to do anything they can to interfere with this deal and all deals like it. They have every reason to be deeply concerned that this is the beginning of a significant patent aggression by Microsoft."

"What he actually asked me," said Moglen in an e-mail interview, "was Is it true that some members of the community want GPLv3 to keep Novell from distributing future versions of GPLd software? I said, Yes, the Free Software Foundation is opposed to the deal, and is thinking about what to do; there will be a new draft soon [of the GPLv3 (Gnu General Public License Version 3).]"

Therefore, "The actual quote he prints is entirely accurate, but his lede destroys the context and is making unnecessary waves."

The FSF, which governs the GPL (GNU General Public License), has long been concerned about Novell recent patent deal with Microsoft Corp. The Samba Group has stated that it wants Novell to abandon the deal. Open-source figure Bruce Perens started a petition that accused Novell of betraying the free software community. And, one group of free software supporters launched a Web site with a self-explanatory name, Boycott Novell.

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