[Tango-artists] Boycott Everything Novell

Landy DeField landy at revelinux.com
Sat Nov 4 12:45:01 PST 2006

Hylke Bons wrote:
> Hi Landy,
> I guess that would be a hard time for you Landy, almost every piece of
> popular open source software includes contributions and/or bugfixes bij
> SUSE/Novell. It would mean to use either Windows or MacOS, and I don't
> think that is what you want... Please give me arguments why this choice
> of Novell is "something very foolish". Boycotting openSUSE/SLED is the
> most damaging thing to do to open source adoption instead of Microsoft
> supporting the openSUSE system.
> Hylke Bons
>> On Fri, 2006-11-03 at 20:18 -0800, Landy DeField wrote:
>>> It is indeed a sad week for anyone who supports and contributes to free 
>>> software. Unfortunately Novell the company who is funding the 
>>> development of the Tango icon set has gone and done something very 
>>> foolish. As a result many developers and other companies that have a 
>>> much longer and better history of contributing to FOSS may be seriously 
>>> hurt. I cannot in good conscious use or support the use of the Tango 
>>> icon set. I would encourage everyone who values freedom above all else 
>>> to remove all SUSE/Novell products and discontinue use of all Novell 
>>> projects including Tango.
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Tango-artists mailing list
>>> Tango-artists at lists.freedesktop.org
>>> http://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/tango-artists
> _______________________________________________
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> http://lists.freedesktop.org/mailman/listinfo/tango-artists
It is clear that the agreement between M$ and Novell violates the GPL in 
two key areas please refer to
The GPL is incompatible with "patent protection". From the GPL Preamble:

"Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. 
We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will 
individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program 
proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must 
be licensed for everyone's free use or not licensed at all."

Also from the GPL:

"If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your 
obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then 
as a
consequence you may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a 
patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the 
Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through 
you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would 
be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program."

In light of the violation of the GPL and slap in the face to the Linux 
community, I am choosing to boycott the use of all software, services 
and products from Novell.

As for how I am able to continue using Linux while choosing to boycott 
Novell. The patches they send upstream again brings us back to the GPL.  
If you release a modified version of a GPL'd application to the public 
in some way, the GPL requires you to make the modified source code 
available to the program's users, under the GPL. They have no choice but 
to comply it is also abundantly clear that given the opportunity Novell 
will try to get away with violating the GPL. Refer to the two points I 
made above. So I see no contradiction there.

As for being childish I don't think so but you are free to believe what 
you wish. I think this is a very serious issue that any person who has 
any idea how amazing it is to be able to use and contribute to FOSS 
should cause them take pause and consider boycotting Novell as well.

Is this off topic? I don't think so Novell had to develop a strategy in 
order to justify the creation of and the funding of Tango thats just 
business. Also the people who work for Novell happen to also be the last 
word in regards to this project. If I am mistaken please provide me with 
the evidence to the contrary.

If and when Novell comes back into compliance with the GPL I will no 
longer push for a boycott. This would however involve them walking away 
from their current partnership with M$.

Novell truly has gone and done something foolish not only have they 
clearly violated the GPL but one should ask has any company ever truly 
survived or recovered from a partnership of any kind with M$.

I do give you that my initial post was completely lacking in details for 
which I apologize. I do hope this reply amply addresses that.

I used the following references in this reply.

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