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Free and Open Source Software (Foss)

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By Darkgamer05
Words 419
Pages 2
IT 320
Research Paper 2

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has been a pinnacle of the corporate world ever since it came around. It has been an easy to use and replicate without worry of patent or licensing infringement. However, in 2006 Microsoft found that many of their patents had been infringed upon by several different aspects. The Linux kernel found in most servers was one of them.

Microsoft took a big leap going after FOSS for 235 patents. FOSS is run by Stallman who was responsible for the GNU Manifesto also known to most as the GNU General Public License (GPL) . With Microsoft heading the full speed train against FOSS it took a demanding tire on both parties. While Microsoft, in the mean time was also striking a deal with Novell on its Linux based server support. FOSS was sure to go under as Linux was the base of all its open source used in many applications and the applications within Linux such as samaba or Open Office.

The Deal with Novell was made to walk around the GPL of the GNU and expose loop holes for Microsoft’s gain but also creating a pressing dilemma for the GNU. The deal struck between Novell and Microsoft was a “we don’t sue you and you don’t sue us” which indicates that not only was FOSS involved in patent infringement but also Microsoft. The Deal included over 200 million dollars to Novell and 43 Million to Microsoft for “license distribution” of Novells’ Server software.
The after effects of this deal resulted in a addition to the GPL from Stallman and his lawyer. This was meant to entrap Microsoft from making a deal like the one struck with Novell again and prohibit a resale effect of “coupons” that were redeemable for Novell products. FOSS has still been unable to fully secure this re-work of the GPL as loopholes have still been found. To include allowing developers to not make available the updates to...

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