What Will GPL v3 Mean for Microsoft-Novell?

Lora Bentley

Late last month, after reading a piece from Boston.com, we contemplated just what the forthcoming new version of the GNU General Public License might do to the now infamous patent pact between Novell and Microsoft.


Perplexed by what the Free Software Foundation is trying to do, we posed a few questions to patent and technology attorney Antoinette Tease, who is currently serving as chair of the information technology division of the American Bar Association's Intellectual Property Law section.


Among other things, she clarified for us that Microsoft would not be governed by the GPL v3 as it is currently written, unless the company decides to release software source code under the license. The current draft of the license does, however, obligate Novell to "shield" its customers from patent infringement suits arising out of their use of SuSE Linux.


Tease is not convinced that the current draft of the GPL v3 accomplishes what the FSF wants to do vis-a-vis patent agreements like the Microsoft-Novell one.


You can check out the entire interview here.

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