Linux Clarification — A MailBIT in TidBITS-302 regarding Novell’s intention to sell WordPerfect and Quattro Pro implied Ray Noorda, former CEO of Novell, controlled commercial rights to Linux, Linus Torvald’s popular Unix clone distributed under the GNU General Public Licence (GPL). The language was from Novell’s and Noorda’s public statements on the issue, and was misleading in stating Linux is shareware and implying Mr. Noorda controls all commercial rights to Linux.
First, Linux is distributed under the GPL and is not shareware. Second, Caldera, Inc., a company founded by Bryan Sparks with money from the Noorda Family Trust, distributes Linux under the terms of the GPL as part of its Caldera Network Desktop (now in "preview" release), along with additional proprietary components. This is by no means an exclusive arrangement; it would have been more accurate to say Noorda is involved with Caldera, which is preparing a Linux-based product line for corporate users. Caldera is also of interest to the Mac community since Caldera plans to support OpenDoc in the Caldera Network Desktop. [GD]