UPDATE 2: Groklaw covered this post and Justin's. Comments following are insightful, and far outstretching the content here. Read more here.
UPDATE: Justin wrote up a good review of the conference on his blog. You can find his post here.
I had the opportunity today, along with John, Kyle, Justin and Mike (some local LUG members), to meet with Bruce Perens during the Novell Brainshare Conference. Although, this meeting was not part of Brainshare, and was strictly a press conference. However, the insights that were shed on the Novell / Microsoft deal were priceless.
The press conference was good. It was held at the Shilo Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. My friends and I arrived about an hour early to help get a few details coordinated before the meeting started at 12 noon. When 12 hit, there were only a couple press present, so we were worried that a good turnout would not show. But, apparently, Novell had them held up in a Q&A session that went a few minutes over. It wasn't long before the room was filled, seating about 20 or so. The meeting lasted an hour, which went by too quickly, and was loaded with really good information.
Pete Ashdown, Democratic Candidate for the U.S. Senate last year and CEO of XMission, was present and introduced Bruce to the press. I would like to thank Pete for allowing us to use XMission to host the images and media of the event. I would also like to thank my employer introPLAY, for sharing their account on the XMission servers.
You can find all the images and audio from the event here.
A few highlights from the meeting:
- Microsoft is spreading FUD with this deal with Novell to the Open Source community.
- The Novell / Microsoft deal poses a real threat to Open Source due to software patents.
- Novell and Microsoft both hope to sue end users if the Open Source Software is not purchased from them.
- Version 3 of the GNU General Public License is written to thwart those lawsuits.
- Every piece of software, Free and non-Free infringes on a software patent one way or another.
- Software patents are the ability for corporations to protect themselves first and innovate later.
- Software patents stifle Open Source Software development.
The conclusion of the meeting? Nothing good is coming from this deal between Microsoft and Novell. If it were just a technical partnership, everything would be okay, but it's not. Bruce kept saying "is this really a Novell exit strategy?" I can't help but wonder if it is. The worst nightmares of every Open Source developer is becoming a realization. The GPLv3 is our savior from a potential litigation nightmare on Open Source that will come about because of this.
At any rate, I would highly encourage you to listen to the audio provided on the XMission page. Very insightful stuff.