CyberTech Rambler

June 4, 2007

Novell’s PR on GPLv3 Final Draft : The eternal optimist

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 12:11 pm

Novell PR is really worth its salt. While Novell’s filing to SEC admits “potential problems” with GPLv3, its PR department is still sticking with its guns that

“Nothing in the last call draft of GPLv3 suggests that the final version of GPLv3 will inhibit Novell’s ability to include GPLv3 technologies in SUSE Linux Enterprise, openSUSE, and other Novell offerings as these technologies become available”

“The terms of the last call draft suggest that the final version of GPLv3 will not interrupt our partnership with Microsoft”

PR departments are not FUD purveyor. You can call Steve Ballmer an FUD spreading machine, but you cannot say Microsoft’s PR department can be accused of spreading FUD. PR department works on trust, and they cannot afford to abuse this trust.

But they will stretch the truth rather thinly, if it is necessary. One way of doing it is to pretend not to understand the question is, choose the part of the question it wants to answer and/or give you the answer that is an over-generalization of your question. This is an classic example. GPLv3 does NOT terminates Novell’s ability to distribute GPLv3 software. Microsoft-Novell’s agreement is much broader than the covenent not to sue and have merits of its own. This means the agreement is worth continuing (after amendments if necessary) so Novell-Microsoft partnership will not just stop because of GPLv3. But this does not answer your question did it?

What is being asked is how GPLv3 will impact the Microsoft-Novell agreement. Instead, Novell’s PR choose to answer the question as if they were two separate questions, and ignore the fact that everyone is interested in the interaction between the two questioms.

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