In a recent interview with IT Business Edge, LXer.com editor-in-chief Don Parris said the patent problem that has arisen between Microsoft and Novell could be resolved amicably -- well, as amicably as anything involving Redmond and open source can be -- if Microsoft would simply issue cease and desist requests to the open source coders that it thinks have infringed its patents.
That, of course, begs the question: Where are the cease and desist letters? Not to mention, "Where is the offending code?"
After Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told conference attendees that Linux uses Microsoft code, and that's what motivated the company to enter into the patent agreement with Novell, Groklaw bloggers asked him to point out the infringing code so developers could get rid of it.
It could be as simple as that. Instead, we have Microsoft and Novell scrambling to negotiate better covenant terms, folks at the Free Software Foundation determined to tweak the GPL v3 to void the agreement, and the rest of the open source world pondering whether this single deal represents the end of open source as we know it.
What's so hard about asking someone to stop using your code? It sure seems easier than all the fuss. Unless fuss -- or FUD, as many speculate -- is really what you're after.