[Samba] Samba Team Asks Novell to Reconsider

Aaron Kincer kincera at gmail.com
Sun Nov 12 18:17:05 GMT 2006


As an IT Manager, I support this statement fully. I was a phone call away
from ordering a copy of Suse to power an email server. Also, I was in the
very early stages for planning a  desktop migration to Linux utilizing
Novell. This action has removed them from the mix entirely. I cannot in good
conscience for the well being of my employer recommend Novell Linux knowing
that their actions has, at the very least, blurred the lines between free
and proprietary software.

The whole point to choosing them as a vendor would have been the support of
a large company for unencumbered software. That they seem to want to back
pedal away from this advantage boggles my mind and removes the comfort

To Novell (In the event that someone from Novell is reading this):

I want to make it perfectly clear that this is a very bad business decision.
Whomever thought it was a good one is egregiously wrong. You depend on the
FOSS community--not the other way around. Your recent actions are the exact
antithesis of the values for which the community as a whole stands.

I hope you understand that the software you use is under the dominion of the
developrs and that they do retain the right to revoke your distribution
under section 4 of the GPL in the event that you violate the license. For
reference, see Nmap and The SCO Group. I believe you are very familiar with
them. I am not making threats, but merely pointing out that the software you
distribute is not yours to make arrangements contrary to the license by
which it is provided.

I hope you regain some sense about you.


Aaron Kincer
IT Manager

On 11/12/06, Gerald (Jerry) Carter <jerry at samba.org> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> The Samba Team disapproves strongly of the actions taken
> by Novell on November 2nd.
> One of the fundamental differences between the proprietary
> software world and the free software world is that the
> proprietary software world divides users by forcing them
> to agree to coercive licensing agreements which restrict
> their rights to share with each other, whereas the free
> software world encourages users to unite and share the
> benefits of the software.
> The patent agreement struck between Novell and Microsoft
> is a divisive agreement. It deals with users and creators
> of free software differently depending on their "commercial"
> versus "non-commercial" status, and deals with them
> differently depending on whether they obtained their free
> software directly from Novell or from someone else.
> The goals of the Free Software community and the GNU GPL
> allow for no such distinctions.
> Furthermore, the GPL makes it clear that all distributors
> of GPL'd software must stand together in the fight against
> software patents. Only by standing together do we stand a
> chance of defending against the peril represented by software
> patents. With this agreement Novell is attempting to destroy
> that unified defense, exchanging the long term interests of
> the entire Free Software community for a short term advantage
> for Novell over their competitors.
> For Novell to make this deal shows a profound disregard for
> the relationship that they have with the Free Software community.
> We are, in essence, their suppliers, and Novell should know
> that they have no right to make self serving deals on behalf
> of others which run contrary to the goals and ideals of the
> Free Software community.
> Using patents as competitive tools in the free software
> world is not acceptable. Novell, as a participant in numerous
> debates, discussions and conferences on the topic knew this
> to be the case. We call upon Novell to work with the
> Software Freedom Law Center to undo the patent agreement
> and acknowledge its obligations as a beneficiary of the
> Free Software community.
> - -- The Samba Team
> http://news.samba.org/announcements/team_to_novell/
> Version: GnuPG v1.4.2 (GNU/Linux)
> Comment: Using GnuPG with SUSE - http://enigmail.mozdev.org
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