Novell is Now the New SCO

Take the second highest ranked distribution of Linux on the planet. Show the community that your developers actually care about desktop Linux. Show your attention to detail. Show your sense of duty to the community by offering that desktop for free. Develop a robust community surrounding that distribution you offer for free. Now throw it all away in one swift, idiotic motion.

If you live under a rock and haven’t heard of the Novell Microsoft ‘deal’ then please read about it then come back to find out how Novell is the new SCO. And by the way, how is it that Novell places the link above in the ‘coolsolutions’ section of its website under ‘tips’? That’s reaching quite a bit. I wouldn’t consider this a coolsolution at all..

If there was a bonehead move of the year award, Novell would win it with this latest one.

So how is Novell the new SCO? First and foremost, I’m not the first one to talk about the correlation between this deal and SCO’s indemnification licenses…Groklaw has detailed postings on it. Let’s look at this concept a bit more. This deal between Microsoft and Novell isn’t about getting Linux to play nice with Windows…it’s about patents, intellectual property, and indemnification licenses. All your patents are belong to Microsoft…well, maybe they don’t…but believe me, Microsoft would like them to. The language of the agreement puts you right in the mindset that Novell is selling indemnification licenses to their customers just like SCO. Look closely at #2 on this article, then tell me I’m crazy.

Thus, I now dub Novell “Sir ScoVell”, champion of allowing Microsoft to make bogus profits and also making bogus profits yourself while painting a target on all other distros and spreading FUD in the community. As groklaw reported many years ago, SCO sold those same licenses to its customers to make money for itself. What’s in this for ScoVell? Where are their interests? One can be sure that the community is not where they are storing those interests. One thing is sure; they’re going to make money on those licenses just like SCO did.

Microsoft isn’t a company one hears about when discussing trust. Just a few years ago circa 2001, Microsoft said Linux was a cancer. Have they changed that much since then? No they haven’t. What has changed is the world around them. They realize that it isn’t cool to say things like “Linux is Cancer” or “Linux is Communism” anymore because too many of their customers use Linux now. Saying this would alienate them from their own customers. They had to do something to show that they were part of the solution and not part of the problem. Enter ScoVell Deal.

ScoVell has waltzed into a tangled, proprietary, close source environment…one they can profit from and one they can pay Microsoft to be a member of as well. They’re in this muddy mix and are trying to drag the GPL along with them.

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