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Thread: MS offering to buy Yahoo ???

  1. #211
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    Default Confused

    If the license requires attribution, and MS owns the trademark and says "You can't use this trademark anymore for any purpose" (which they will have the right to do, and will do I think to kill Zimbra).

    Given that near certainty how do you read the license to see that the license allows further development/distribution?

    You cannot distribute zimbra without the trademarks (because of the attribution clause in the license), if MS denies you access to those trademarks, you will be in violation of either MS's trademarks or the Zimbra license, both of which MS will sue you for to kill Zimbra. How do you proceed? What is the answer to this?

  2. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMStone View Post
    But, since we live and die by our reputation, we fully disclose to prospective Zimbra hosting clients the fact that Microsoft has made this unsolicited bid,
    ........

    ........
    The net result is that our prospects have delayed making any commitments. None have chosen to upgrade their existing Exchange (or other) infrastructure, and none have signed up yet, either.
    Do you also disclose that all Linux distros are under a patent threat from Microsoft, that way, you can kill off the potential clients alot better.

    Quote Originally Posted by LMStone View Post
    given that Zimbra is such a terrific alternative to Exchange.
    Then let the product stand on its ability to enhance your clients IT needs.


    Quote Originally Posted by LMStone View Post
    Though we are not attorneys, our view is that Microsoft could not unilaterally cancel our NE license (except for breach), without subjecting themselves to a tortious interference claim. And that's good fodder for a class-action suit right there (as well as additional articles by PJ on Groklaw...)
    Finally, a bit of rational thinking

    Quote Originally Posted by LMStone View Post
    All of this is a long way of saying that we feel we really have no choice but to hang in there and wait to see how this shakes out.
    You will be waiting quite a while I think

  3. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavera View Post
    If the license requires attribution, and MS owns the trademark and says "You can't use this trademark anymore for any purpose" (which they will have the right to do, and will do I think to kill Zimbra).

    Given that near certainty how do you read the license to see that the license allows further development/distribution?

    You cannot distribute zimbra without the trademarks (because of the attribution clause in the license), if MS denies you access to those trademarks, you will be in violation of either MS's trademarks or the Zimbra license, both of which MS will sue you for to kill Zimbra. How do you proceed? What is the answer to this?
    I am no lawyer, but if the licence that is bundled with the software says you are authorized/must use the Zimbra logo in any future development/distribution of that copy of the software, then thats good enough for me, regardless of any future outcomes.

  4. #214
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    Well, I don't read the license that way. I believe the license is structured so as to always give control to the Zimbra corporation. Once MS owns Zimbra, they will have that control.

    I am also not an attorney, so I don't know the answer, that is why I would like clarification. This should be a simple question that Zimbra's chief legal council should be able to answer and put to rest once and for all. The fact that they haven't shows to me anyway, that they don't know themselves (scary), or the answer is my answer, that after MS owns Yahoo, Zimbra can be effectively shut down because of the license. It is then in Zimbra's best interest to keep quiet and milk as many customers as they can before the merger, because if they came out now and said "Yes, after this merger, MS can close zimbra down completely" obviously, there go all their customers.

    This is a simple question which should have been answered by now, I don't care about the NE stuff, that is proprietary and will be closed down by MS. However, I would love to hear from someone at Zimbra regarding the state of the OSS project post-merger. Does the attribution clause give MS a clear path to shutting down development/distribution by cutting off access to the trademarks and zimbra name?

    Obviously Zimbra won't have a solid corporate backing post-merger, MS will lay off or re-deploy the zimbra devs. Zimbra is against everything MS. It uses Linux, Java, and Open Source. To live in an MS world it will have to be re-written in C# on Windows at the very least.

  5. #215
    dijichi2 is offline OpenSource Builder & Moderator
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    bigmudcake,

    I am not writing zimbra off or dismissing it, at least by choice - I have recently paid my yearly fee for the licenses as I believe it will allow me at least to use the product for another year. I would be very surprised if I can do that again next year but live in hope.

    there's no point sticking your fingers in your ears and going 'la la la fud la la license looks ok la la fud fud'. people here are gloomy, but attempting to have a vaguely serious discussion about the facts. to everyone on here, it looks to us like there's no way out.

    1) Opensource and NE version license states logo/attribution is mandatory for use/development.
    2) Whoever owns the logo/trademark is within his/her right to stop use of it (think Redhat and CentOS).

    If anyone has any knowledge or proof to the contrary, then please make us all happy and say something. As others have pointed out, the fact that Zimbra have not said anything is pretty scary. Yahoo have implemented golden parachutes and personally I would have thought it highly unlikely Zimbra will exist in any other form than a ghost skeleton crew to fulfill the bare basics of NE licenses after a 'merger'. The best we can hope is that the Zimbra crew either do a deal to spin it off, or disband and reband to somehow start again with the small amount of code that isn't badgeware. Maybe they have something up their sleeves that they can't say, as you say they're too good a bunch to just let it go. However if you think M$ won't kill Zimbra at the drop of a hat you're living in cuckoo land - in fact it's their duty to protect Exchange/Outlook which provides a vast amount of their income.

    The one good thing to come out of this, is I think most people in the opensource world will not touch attribution licensed software with a ten-thousand-foot bargepole from now on.
    Last edited by dijichi2; 02-25-2008 at 11:48 PM.

  6. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigmudcake View Post
    Do you also disclose that all Linux distros are under a patent threat from Microsoft, that way, you can kill off the potential clients alot better.
    Actually, we do disclose Microsoft's threats to our clients and prospects. And we use Novell/SuSE Linux Enterprise Server on our own and our clients' servers.



    Quote Originally Posted by bigmudcake View Post
    You will be waiting quite a while I think
    That may very well be, though eventually a client needing to replace an old groupware system will have no choice but to do so, and we will work with them to benchmark the benefits and risks of each platform, and then deploy and maintain that chosen system for them, whether it's Zimbra, Exchange, Horde or whatever.

    But, when there is differing legal and/or business risk between platforms, it is not our place to make that platform decision for our clients. That's a business, not a technology, decision. Our job is to help the client better understand the trade offs between the choices (and we do suggest our clients contact attorneys on a number of these choices periodically), so the client can make as informed, rational decision as possible.

    All the best,
    Mark

  7. #217
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    All I can say is that as an admin that is running NE, I am seriously keeping an eye out on the MS/Yahoo situation. I am also looking at alternatives already just to be prepared. If this situation has taught me anything, it's that not all open source licenses are created equal. I won't make the mistake again of recommending a product that isn't fully GPL. Not to mention, I won't recommend paying for a product that is partially closed source.

  8. #218
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    Question

    I like everyone else here am just hoping that Zimbra can continue.
    The silence on this matter is unbearable!

    Like many, I have not implemented Zimbra yet. I have been monitoring it for a couple of years now, and gradually watching the new features stack up and up against, and overtake those of M$ Exchange / Outlook.

    There's no doubt about it, this is the best groupware solution out there.

    I was at the point where I was waiting to buy new hardware to get Zimbra up and running and get a few users migrated.
    Now though it seems I'll have to wait and sit it out.

    Unfortunately the features that made Zimbra a definite target for us, are all in the NE edition.

    I'll be devastated to see all this hard work, and the best product out there, completely disappear.
    But with this badgeware license issue I can't see any light at the end of this tunnel

  9. #219
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    Exclamation There are issues, but I really don't think the badge is one!

    There are plenty of reasonable concerns over this merger, but I really don't think the badge--although it has gotten LOTS of focus here--is one of them.

    I came across this on the net several weeks ago and can't find the site, but there is apparently an old legal doctrine--I believe it's actually common law but it goes WAY back--that the writer of this other post said might apply in badgeware cases. I can't remember the exact Latin phrase, but the essential meat of it was "One cannot prohibit what he has elsewhere required." It's one of those provisions that, like the Magna Carta itself, force even rulers to be under the law.

    In our case, this means that since we are bound by a legal contract (the Zimbra and now Yahoo public licenses) to display the Zimbra logo, Microsoft or Zimbra or Yahoo themselves cannot suddenly say "Oops, now you are no longer allowed to use our logo" and thereby prohibit us from fulfilling a contract into which we entered legally and in good faith.

    Microsoft (or Yahoo!, for that matter) could stop development of the Zimbra product. They could refuse to release those parts of the software that they own, that are not under any public license. They could fire the whole Zimbra team lock, stock, and barrel. But what they can NEVER do is simply yank the rug from under the whole shootin' match by putting the clamps on their logo.

    As I said at the beginning, there are plenty of REASONABLE causes for concern in all this, and I'm no happier than some of the rest of you that there has been so little information from those that know. Unfortunately, when lawyers and non-disclosure agreements and corporate confidentiality and bureaucracy get in the way, the flow of information to us, the masses, tends to suffer. C'est la vie.

    Now time for the requisite disclaimer:
    I am neither a Zimbra/Yahoo/Microsoft employee nor an attorney. I am speaking entirely on my own behalf and at no one's prompting. I am doing my best to relate a legal statement I read somewhere, as a layman who could have it all wrong.
    But I still think you all should lighten up on the badgeware issue--there are potential problems, but this ain't it!

    Cheers,

    Dan

  10. #220
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    In any case, MS' overtures seem to be distracting Yahoo!
    Shareholder lawsuits etc are emerging. I wish Zimbra would have stayed
    independant. Never liked the deal from day 1. Now if RedHat or some
    other Linux server provider would have bought them the game would be a lot different. Woulda coulda shoulda I guess.

    PC World - Yahoo Says Microsoft Takeover Bid is a Distraction
    Last edited by tgx; 02-29-2008 at 08:59 AM.

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