Sunday, March 18, 2007

Using GPL V3 against Novell-Microsoft

Eben Moglen plans to use a modified version of the GPLV3 to attack the Novell-Microsoft 'protection from patent suits' deal. Here is the relevant bit (quoting Moglen):
Suppose GPL3 says something like, 'if you distribute (or procure the distribution), of a program (or parts of a program) - and if you make patent promises partially to some subset of the distributees of the program - then under this license you have given the same promise or license at no cost in royalties or other obligations to all persons to whom the program is distributed'. If GPL 3 goes into effect with these terms in it, Novell will suddenly becomes a patent laundry; the minute Microsoft realizes the laundry is under construction it will withdraw.
Its an ingenious strategy though the devil always lies in the details. While a a great deal of the tool chain needed to build the Linux kernel will/might adopt GPL V3, it remains to be seen if Novell can't come up with some circumvention strategy. If you are interested in this, you might want to ask Eben for more details when he speaks tomorrow at NYU's Information Law Institute.


Post a Comment

<< Home