Key Developer Quits Novell over Microsoft Patent Pact

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2006-12-21 Email Print this article Print


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Well-known open-source developer and spokesperson Jeremy Allison leaves Novell because of his objections to the Microsoft/Novell patent agreement. (Linux-Watch)

Jeremy Allison, a leading Samba developer and well-known open-source speaker, has decided to leave Novell because of his objections to the Microsoft/Novell patent agreement.

In his public letter of resignation, Allison said, "This has been a very difficult decision, but one I feel I have no choice but to make."

"As many of you will guess, this is due to the Microsoft/Novell patent agreement, which I believe is a mistake and will be damaging to Novell's success in the future.

"But my main issue with this deal is I believe that even if it does not violate the letter of the license it violates the intent of the GPL license the Samba code is released under, which is to treat all recipients of the code equally."

Microsoft clarifies the agreement with Novell. Click here to read more.

Allison had been terribly conflicted about the Microsoft/Novell patent deal since its announcement. Those who knew him well were not surprised by his decision to leave Novell.

While Richard M. Stallman, the founder and leader of the Free Software Foundation, has said that the Microsoft/Novell agreement doesn't appear to violate the letter of the GPLv2, many open-source supporters believe, as Allison does, that it violates the GPL's spirit.

Read the full story on Linux-Watch: Key Developer Quits Novell over Microsoft Patent Pact

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor of's Linux & Open Source Center and Ziff Davis Channel Zone. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.


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