[sclug] Open Letter to the Community from Novell

Alex Butcher lug at assursys.co.uk
Wed Nov 22 10:05:57 UTC 2006

On Wed, 22 Nov 2006, Roland Turner (SCLUG) wrote:

> Note in particular clause 7. If Microsoft is maneuvered into actually
> suing someone for patent infringement over use of non-Novell Linux, and
> wins (so it becomes established in law that running Linux does require
> licenses on Microsoft patents), then Novell will have to abort (or at
> least suspend) its Linux business overnight:
> GPLv2> For example, if a patent
> GPLv2> license would not permit royalty-free redistribution
> GPLv2> of the Program by all those who receive copies
> GPLv2> directly or indirectly through you, then the only way
> GPLv2> you could satisfy both it and this License would be to
> GPLv2> refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

Not necessarily. Such an event would only prevent Novell/SuSE from
distributing individual infringing programs, rather than their entire
distro. I think it would be highly unlikely that every program in their
distro would be found to be infringing (though if it was the kernel, or X or
glibc, it'd certainly be a pain in the arse). Also, of course, this would
apply immediately to all other distro vendors anyway, even if they took a
combative attitude and decided to continue distributing until Microsoft got
round to suing them too.

Best Regards,
Alex Butcher, Bristol UK.                           PGP/GnuPG ID:0x5010dbff

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