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Novell and Microsoft cut out the GPL cancer from open-source Silverlight

To say that Microsoft and Novell have a muddy history when it comes to open-source projects and the GPL would be an understatement. Things were looking up, with the release of the open-source implementation of Silverlight, Moonlight 2, last week, but today things took a turn for the worse: Novell has just cut all the open source code from MonoDevelop.

The implications of this aren't immediately clear, nor can we be certain of what Novell and the Mono development team have in store for us. All we know is that Novell has decided to lock Moonlight development up in a stricter, more-commercial LGPLv2 and MIT X11 license: generally it's a bad thing when free things become non-free.

This in itself might not be news, if it wasn't for Microsoft's recent 'Moonlight Covenant'. In it, Microsoft claims that end-users are safe from being sued should they overstep their ground -- sounds good, if their decree didn't have so many holes in. It is looking more and more like, after so much help from the community, Moonlight will be snatched back by Microsoft.

It is increasingly likely that Novell, in one last, desperate bid at freedom (hah) will screw Mono and Moonlight, pocket some cash from Microsoft, and make a runner. This is an example of the OSS movement gone wrong and I have a feeling that the community will fry Novell for it.

Tags: gpl, license, microsoft, mit, mono, moonlight, novell, open source, OpenSource, silverlight