If Microsoft is aiming for a courtroom collision with the world of free software, it may be disappointed. Novell's decision to enter an agreement with Redmond that covers the mutual exchange of intellectual property - including a "covenant not to sue" [*]won't prompt a litigation offensive, we learn. Instead it's adopting the …
Or . . . .
The Linux kernel Devs, Novell, and any/all other "open source" parties so inclined can simply fork their existing code (and all code currently provided by anyone under GPLv2), BEFORE it's re-licensed under GPLv3. Thus we see the emergence of GNU-2/Linux, perpetually available and developed under the GPLv2, completely ignoring the "progress" made by the FSF in GPLv3+.
Which path do you suppose any commercially supported open source interest will be inclined to follow? Change is hard - If I were the FSF, I'd think carefully about loosing the value provided by Sun, IBM, Novell, and every other open source commercial interest. Ideals are worth nothing if nobody uses your code.
Mind you, I like the potential implied by the idea of the "patent laundry" Novell could become, and the watershed of legal implications contained therein. But I wonder if the legal landscape of that event would be any less of a minefield than what we face now.
I hate to play devils advocate, but "the death of open source?" Don't be so quick to presume - there's still a lot that can happen in this little morality play we're all watching unfold.
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