[SASAG] Subject: Re: Repent!! The end is near!

Dan Wilder wilder at eskimo.com
Tue Nov 7 20:01:46 PST 2006

On Tue, Nov 07, 2006 at 07:23:57PM -0800, Jim Hogan wrote:
> Thanks to Groklaw, I found this eWeek article:
>  http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2050848,00.asp?kc=EWEWEMNL103006EP17A
> Don't trust me, read Ballmer's words, straight from the horse's mouth:
> /Ballmer - excerpt
> "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said his company is open to talking to other
> Linux distributors about reaching mutual patent coverage deals similar to
> the agreement signed Nov. 2 with Novell.
> Such talks would be a good idea, Ballmer suggested, since now only Novell's
> SUSE Linux customers are the only Linux vendors that have any assurance that
> Microsoft won't sue for patent infringement....
> The distributors of other versions of Linux cannot assure their customers
> that Microsoft won't sue for patent infringement. 'If a customer says,
> 'Look, do we have liability for the use of your patented work?' Essentially,
> If you're using non-SUSE Linux, then I'd say the answer is yes,' Ballmer
> said.

Further, according to details published today on GrokLaw, the assurance 
extends only to Novell's _paying_ customers.  All you freeloaders who download SUSE 
instead of buying the cereal box, straighten up and buy the boxed edition.  
If you should happen to put up a derived work on the Internet, well, you're 
taking your chances.  Keep it low-profile.  Unk Steve says something bad might 

  Under the Patent Cooperation Agreement, Microsoft commits to a covenant
  not to assert its patents against Novell's end-user customers for their
  use of Novell products and services for which Novell receives revenue
  directly or indirectly from such customers [ ... ] -- Novell's 8K filing.


Can you say "frontal assault on the GPL"?

Dan Wilder <wilder at eskimo.com>

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