Open source vendor Novell has asserted that there is no truth in speculations of it losing out on the General Public License (GPL) to sell Linux operating system software.
Following Novell’s collaboration with software giant Microsoft to provide customers choice and flexibility through improved interoperability and manageability between Linux and Windows, rumors were ripe in the industry about the Free Software Foundation (FSF) reviewing Novell’s right to sell new versions of Linux software.
“Novell will not lose its license to sell Linux. We are a founding member of the Open Invention Network and also a founding member of the new Linux Foundation,” claimed Sandeep Menon, director-Linux business, Novell West Asia.
“Linux is core to Novell’s business strategy, and we recognize that working with the community to ship these core components is essential to our business. Therefore, ensuring that we can ship the core free software components that make up Linux is a top priority for Novell,” Menon added.
Commenting on efforts being taken by Novell, Menon said, “The GPL version 3 (GPLv3) is still a work in progress. Novell has supported the Free Software Foundation’s pursuit of transparent discussions that surface and address the needs of all relevant constituencies, viz., customers, developers, and vendors.”
Menon stated that the FSF and Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) have publicly promised to ensure that the drafting of the new license will take place in an open, transparent way, and that they will work with all constituencies to ensure that the new license has broad buy-in.
The open source community heavily criticized Novell for the partnership. “Passion typically runs high when we approach an Open Source versus Proprietary Software conversation, and the initial reactions were understandable,” said Menon. He added that the initial pushback came from the developer community that was not clear as to the full intentions of the relationship.
Keen to explain the need for the tie-up with Microsoft, Menon added, “The tie-up was for the sake of customers. The world has come to realize that we live in a mixed IT environment world there are applications that run better on Linux, and others that better run on Windows. We are ensuring that SUSE Linux and Windows work with each other seamlessly, taking this burden away from the customer. Secondly, it protects the customers against any liability for IP infringements.”
Adhering to his company’s stand, Menon said that there was no reason to view the step taken by it as anti Linux. “This is good for customer confidence in Linux, the open source community and the broader IT ecosystem,” he said.
February 24, 2007
Novell Will Continue To Hold GPL
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