Novell document dump makes it look like a scandal

This is not a PR battle, but a legal one. And the other side has more guns than we do.

document dump from La Shawn BarberÂ’s blog
The Washington game of dumping incriminating documents late on a Friday is well-known. When someone does it, suspicions are raised. (Image from the blog of La Shawn Barber.)

Now Novell has done just that with its Friday night document dump on the Microsoft agreement. Just to make us even more suspicious, the dump isn't complete. Tons of (presumably good) stuff is "redacted."

Our own Mary Jo Foley notes that, among other things, the documents reveal Microsoft will cease to distribute SUSE Linux "get out of court free" cards once the GPL v3 is approved with restrictions against agreements like this.

Groklaw reports that, as suspected, the SCOSource fiasco may have just been a dress rehearsal for the legal battle to come. The idea of a "right to use" something you already have was lifted directly from SCO.

Somehow, I don't think playing the same games the Nixon and Bush Administrations made famous is going to bring Novell a lot of love from the open source community.

The question is, what can we do about it, given that Microsoft has far-deeper pockets than SCO did and has the mistakes made by SCO to play off of? This is not a PR battle, but a legal one. And the other side has more guns than we do.

Happy Memorial Day.