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Novell to Use Its Patents to Protect Open-Source Programs October 13, 2004

Posted by rjdohnert in Software reviews.

What a load. To protect its IP rights or an attemp to wrestle Linux from the Open Source community. I do not see in any way how Novell could even pursue or protect its patents on any aggresor because the GPL states that:

Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software
patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free
program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the
program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any
patent must be licensed for everyone’s free use or not licensed at all.

Basically Novell waives any rights it has to its patents under the GPL with any of its Open Source code. I would feel more comfortable if these patents were put under the control of OSDL or the FSF so that they can be used unbiased against infringers instead of using them to force a competitor to remove its products due to like functionality. Novell could easily rear its ugly head and try to shut down a competitor just because that competitors product is more popular or easier to use. I know this for certain I woill never do business with Novell.



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