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    The Bungee Line was an audio podcast for web developers, covering web API's, software development, and the creation of richly interactive web applications.

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Questions with Ron Hovsepian

My apologies to our listeners for the delay in posting any interviews about the Novell-Microsoft agreement. I know that there are a lot of questions and I have seen plenty of concern and speculation among the community at large. (There is an annual sales kickoff event that has everyone at Novell tied up. That’s not an excuse, it’s just the terrain I have to navigate to get information.)

The outcry from the free software community about the Novell-Microsoft agreement has been substantial, and a lot of people have been turning to me and asking for answers. I hear you, and I am at last starting to assmble some material.

I finally secured an interview with Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian and Novell General Counsel Joe LaSala this afternoon. Having received many questions from the community, I chose two major items to take up with Ron: Why deal with Microsoft, and, Is Novell abiding by the GPL? More specifically, the questions are essentially these:

  1. Few companies have ever lived to tell about their partnership with Microsoft. Why should Novell be any different?
  2. Is Novell paying Microsoft royalties for software patents? And, if so, is Novell possibly violating section 7 of the GNU General Public License?
  3. By collaborating with Microsoft on Windows-Linux interoperability while operating under a patent agreement, will Novell possibly contaminate open source projects with Microsoft intellectual property?
  4. Why has there been such a delay on getting out more information?

I know that there is a lot more ground that needs to be covered than these four questions, but because they will get into technical detail, I will commit to going deeper and further into the matter with people who are involved in the technical aspects.

I’m staying up late tonight to review the audio, and I’ll be mastering this edition myself. As soon as I get it done, I have to put it through approvals (which happens when questions involve legal matters). I hope to have it online by mid-day Thursday (MST), depending on how quickly some of the stakeholders can get back to me. Thanks for bearing with me on this.


5 Responses

  1. Awesome Ted and much appreciated.

    Thanks for this,

  2. Great work Ted.

    Looking forward to listen to this podcast. Well to be honest I always look forward to it. But I think you’re doing a great job bridging Novell and the Community. Don’t ever stop.


  3. Thanks for that. Muchly appreciated as always.

  4. Here’s the question I’d ask:

    If GNU+Linux users that are Novell customers are safe from Microsoft patents, and GNU+Linux users that are not Novell customers are not safe from Microsoft patents, doesn’t that create a situation whereby Novell have a commercial interest in sustaining or increasing the danger posed to the free software community by Microsoft’s patents?

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