[Scottish] GPLv3 - history in action

Dan Shearer dan at shearer.org
Fri Jul 6 16:03:17 BST 2007

GPLv3 was released the week Eben was in Scotland, and some of his
comments were directed specifically towards The Monopoly. Microsoft has
now responded, the first time it has ever made a corporate-level
statement that I can recall specifically targetting free software. In
summary, even Microsoft is admitting the Novell deal is over:


Microsoft must surely know that this will drive GPLv3 adoption like nothing
else -- but they have no choice because if they cover any GPLv3 code with their
joint Novell certificates then their entire patent portfolio they were offering
cover for to Novell customers falls open for perpetual reuse by you and me and
any other user of GPLv3 work:

  If, pursuant to or in connection with a single transaction or arrangement, you
  convey, or propagate by procuring conveyance of, a covered work, and grant a
  patent license providing freedom to use, propagate, modify or convey a specific
  copy of the covered work to any of the parties receiving the covered work, then
  the patent license you grant is automatically extended to all recipients of the
  covered work and works based on it.

Eben predicted that Microsoft would have no room to move back in May, when he
  You have been watching for months as Microsoft gave away these coupons --
  which were supposed to be valuable to Microsoft, and for which it paid a lot of
  money -- as though the coupons themselves were hot, as indeed they are. All of
  this giving away coupons activity by Microsoft is meaningless and useless. The
  coupons have no expiration date, and Microsoft can be sure that some coupons
  will be turned into Novell in return for software after the effective date of
  GPL 3. Once that has happened, patent defenses will, under the license, have
  moved out into the broad community and be available to anybody who Microsoft
  should ever sue for infringement.
This is a very interesting moment.

Dan Shearer
dan at shearer.org

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