This post by Microsoft (disclaiming its need to adhere to GPLv3) has me depressed. Not because of what it portends for open source, but because of how dumb it makes the company look, as Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet points out. Not to mention that it makes Novell look really dumb for trusting Microsoft to play nicely. (But then, that foolishness was never in doubt.)
Still, Novell has just released this response to Microsoft's position:
Shortly after the GPLv3 license was released, Microsoft issued a statement in which they expressed their view that Microsoft is not a party to the GPLv3 and it is therefore not applicable to them. Yesterday, they also articulated that, "to avoid any doubt or legal debate on this issue, Microsoft has decided that the Novell support certificates that we distribute to customers will not entitle the recipient to receive from Novell, or any other party, any subscription for support and updates that includes the receipt of any code licensed under GPLv3."
Microsoft's current position, taken unilaterally, is intended to eliminate any perceived ambiguity about the applicability of GPLv3 to Microsoft. Nonetheless and independent of Microsoft's position, we would like to make clear our commitment to our customers that Novell will continue to distribute SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with its full set of functionality and features, including those components that are licensed under GPLv3.
In other words, we'll carry the water for Microsoft since they really have turned out to be a terrible Linux partner. Who knew?
PJ at Groklaw rightly castigates Microsoft for backing out of its commitment. Stephe Walli goes one step further, chastising Microsoft for foolishly backing out of an entire future (which might well be perfectly rosy for Microsoft):… Read more