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[News] Microsoft's Ally SAP Pretends Not to be Attacking GNU/Linux/FOSS with Software Patents in EU

  • Subject: [News] Microsoft's Ally SAP Pretends Not to be Attacking GNU/Linux/FOSS with Software Patents in EU
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Feb 2010 22:59:33 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

SAP Slouches Towards Bethlehem

,----[ Quote ]
| Readers with a taste for high comedy may 
| remember my post âWhy SAP is Such a Sap 
| over Software Patentsâ, which rather took 
| to task a certain large German software 
| company over its stance on software 
| patents. Now, to be fair, SAP has done some 
| good things for free software â not many, 
| but some â and Matthew Aslett has produced 
| an excellent summary of these on his 451 
| CAOS Theory blog, which I urge you to read.
| [...]
| The other problem is the reference to RAND. 
| As the quotation notes, RAND for open 
| source projects means royalty-free â but 
| not for traditional software companies. In 
| that case, RAND means a âreasonableâ 
| licence fee â which may be small, but is, 
| as SAP must know, completely incompatible 
| with free software licences like the GNU 
| GPL. 


SAP as a case study for open source engagement

,----[ Quote ]
| Of course some issues remain. On a related 
| issue, one of the most significant for free 
| and open source advocates is the companyâs 
| attitude towards software patents. A good 
| explanation as to why this is the case is 
| provided by Glyn Moody.
| I asked Claus and Erwin for their 
| perspective on SAPâs stance on software 
| patents and how that impacted the 
| perception of SAP. Part of the response was 
| the expected position that as SAP exists in 
| a world where there are software patents it 
| has no choice but to engage in patenting 
| software itself if it is to retain a strong 
| position against competitors. The other, 
| with specific reference to open source, was 
| as follows:
|           âSAP actually is a big proponent 
|           of strong and concise IPR 
|           licensing regimes for all 
|           standards and open source 
|           initiatives we participate in. 
|           Whatever claims of patents and 
|           patent applications that 
|           essentially need to be infringed 
|           to implement a standard or use an 
|           open source component should 
|           always be licensed in a 
|           reasonable and non-discriminatory 
|           manner by the individuals and 
|           organizations that have 
|           contributed to the project 
|           (obviously, in open source 
|           projects RAND means royalty-
|           free). SAP does participate in 
|           open source projects particularly 
|           in order to drive adoption of a 
|           certain technology. There may be 
|           SAP patents in that very domain 
|           and they may be essential, but we 
|           require ourselves to freely 
|           license those patents to 
|           everybody. But we expect the same 
|           from any other project 
|           participant. And thatâs actually 
|           why we prefer governance models 
|           like the one from the Eclipse 
|           Foundation (that also comprises 
|           contribution analyses in order to 
|           minimize unintentional copyright 
|           infringements).â



Open Source at SAP in 2009

,----[ Quote ]
| In June SAP moved up its membership level at
| the Eclipse Foundation from Strategic Consumer
| to Strategic Developer, meaning that SAP
| commits to having at least 8 full-time
| developers on the project. However, what is
| more important than the membership level, is
| that SAP contributed a lot more code than in
| the past. SAP now has 13 active contributors
| at Eclipse and contributed more than 1.8
| million lines of code in 2009 which makes SAP
| the third largest corporate contributor to
| Eclipse. In 2009 SAP even initiated or co-
| innitiated two new projects at Eclipse, i.e.
| the Eclipse Pave project and the Eclipse EGit
| project.


Why SAP is a Sap

,----[ Quote ]
| The real reason SAP's call is hypocritical
| is this document [.pdf], essentially a
| love-letter to software patents, submitted
| as an amicus curiae brief to the European
| Patent Office. Software patents are simply
| incompatible with free software, because
| they are government-granted monopolies
| designed to stop people sharing stuff.
| They also prevent hackers from writing new
| code because they represent an ever-present
| digital sword of Damocles hanging over
| them.
| SAP simply cannot claim to be a true friend
| of openness while it also supports software
| patents in any jurisdiction, in any form -
| the same applies to other companies, too, I
| should note. They can share as much code as
| they like, but until they repudiate
| software patents - for example, by placing
| their patent portfolios in the public
| domain - that's little more than window-
| dressing.


Freedom for Java


SAP wants an open Java process (pot, meet kettle)


SAP and open source: it's about Oracle

,----[ Quote ]
| SAP has been trying to get the influential
| SAP Mentor group onside with open source.
| Thatâs probably one of the easiest tasks it
| has. Geeks love open source and care little
| for commercial issues. And the Mentors are
| extremely good geek advocates for what SAP
| does. Marketing wise itâs an internal SAP
| community slam dunk for SAP. ButâSAP has
| also made clear that IT doesnât believe
| open source means âfree.â Mentors may not
| be concerned about that from a development
| viewpoint but Iâm pretty darned sure theyâd
| get antsy if the license bills came at
| deployment time.
| As an aside, I have practical experience of
| running the SAP IP gauntlet. If SAP is
| truly committed to open source then this
| will relieve a lot of the pressure on
| developer groups. However, thatâs not a
| certainty.


SAP: Open Source's Friend or Foe?

,----[ Quote ]
| For example, the European Commission organised seven workgroups looking at
| various aspects of European software policy. One of these was on open source.
| Among the groups taking part in this was the Free Software Foundation Europe,
| and SAP. At the end of their joint report (PDF, HTML), there are a number of
| appendices that represent the particular views of participants. SAP's is by
| far the longest, running to some 17 pages.
| Most of that space is used to bolster the following statements through
| supporting comments of various kinds (mostly links to news items):
| A number of key open source projects depend on the contributions by mixed
| source / hybrid model companies
| Hybrid / mixed source models seem to be a key element of the larger open
| source ecosystem
| Open source development like closed source development has its pros and cons
| It is very difficult to discriminate between open source and non-open source
| vendors any longer
| Open source software is proprietary as well
| Different business models and business interest lead to different positions
| regarding IPR, standardization and interoperability


Interop: SAP CTO backs open source for the cloud

,----[ Quote ]
| "SAP is a big fan and supporter of open source," Sikka said.
| Now Sikka did not detail any specific open source project or efforts that SAP
| may be involved in, but it's still interesting to note how supportive his
| comment are of open source.


Open Source Business Intelligence Scores Another Channel Win

,----[ Quote ]
| openbiForgive The VAR Guy if he sounds like Yogi Berra today, but our
| resident blogger has deja vu all over again. The reason: The folks at OpenBI,
| a systems integrator in Chicago, have scored yet another win promoting
| Pentahoâs open source business intelligence software to customers. This is
| becoming a familiar story for OpenBI and Pentahoâs channel. Hereâs the scoop.


SAP Teams With HP, IBM For Business Software Appliances

,----[ Quote ]
| SAP, as part of its effort to lure more midsize business customers, will
| introduce appliance-like systems pre-loaded with its ERP software, a
| database, and a Linux operating system, running on hardware from
| Hewlett-Packard or IBM.


Options increase as giants open up

,----[ Quote ]
| IN a move to boost the growing demand for SUSE Linux Enterprise, Novell says
| it has extended its partnership with SAP to offer enhanced options for
| customers who choose to run open source.


Novell, SAP Work to Attract SMBs to SUSE Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| Novell and SAP are out to get even the smallest SAP user running
| mission-critical applications on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
| Novell and SAP have announced that they will customize SAP's enterprise
| applications to work even more efficiently with SUSE Linux Enterprise and its
| associated virtualization and identity management technologies.



SAP announces new partners for SME offerings

,----[ Quote ]
| The hardware for the prototype SAP is showing at CeBIT is provided by
| open-source software specialist Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise.


SAP Contributes New Tool to Open Source Eclipse Developer Community

,----[ Quote ]
| As part of its commitment to support the open-source developer community, SAP
| AG today announced that for the first time it will contribute software
| development capabilities to the Eclipse community.


The end of the proprietary database?

,----[ Quote ]
| While Packer does not believe that proprietary databases are doomed, he does
| see the writing on the wall in emerging markets and that the increased use of
| open source will eventually surround proprietary databases in established
| markets. Unless the proprietary suppliers respond they risk losing business
| in the long-term.



,----[ Quote ]
| SAP is recommending SUSE as its preferred Linux platform, the stuff of which
| stacks are made, and Novell is going start being the first line of defense
| for people running SAP applications on SUSE.


SAP certifies Netweaver for Red Hat Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| SAP's certification helps ensure full interoperability of Red Hat systems
| with all modules of SAP Netweaver, said Red Hat.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


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