Red Hat responds to Microsoft/Novell deal

Direct from Red Hat:

We believe...

It was inevitable. The best technology has been acknowledged.

The relentless march of open source is shaking up the industry by freeing customers from proprietary lock-in and lack of choice.

We believe in the community.
We believe in collaboration.
We believe in choice.
We believe interoperability is created by open standards.

Just as they have for Apache, BIND, DNS, Eclipse, Fedora, Firefox, Hibernate, JBoss, Kerberos, LDAP, MySQL, Perl, PHP, Python, PostgreSQL, Sendmail, Tomcat. The list goes on. Where would customers be without these technologies?

We will not compromise.

Despite opposition, truth happens


Q: What do these announcements mean for Red Hat?

A: It means Linux has won. The world's largest software companies are saying what customers have known for years: Open source innovation delivers better software and better value.

Q: Did Red Hat consider a similar patent deal with Microsoft?

A: An innovation tax is unthinkable. Free and open source software provide the necessary environment for true innovation. Innovation without fear or threat. Activities that isolate communities or limit upstream adoption will inevitably stifle innovation.

We believe so strongly in this that we made a critical promise to our customers five years ago:

"To the extent any party exercises a Patent Right with respect to Open Source/Free Software which reads on any claim of any patent held by Red Hat, Red Hat agrees to refrain from enforcing the infringed patent against such party for such exercise ('Our Promise')."

Anything less would not be genuine. 200,000+ customers trust our Promise. 80+% of commercial Linux customers choose us every day. That's leadership--which respects the needs of the community and delivers the promise of open source to our customers.

Q: What's Red Hat's position on interoperability?

A: Our business has always been based on openly defined standards and interoperability.

Openly defined standards create interoperability everyone can implement. That's the real solution. It doesn't require a deal between two companies.

The interoperability solution has shifted to the intersection of applications, data, and business logic. We're focused on delivering an open source platform that addresses these issues.

Red Hat, its partners, and the community have been delivering solutions based on open standards, and our commitment continues.

Q: How does Red Hat help increase customer confidence when deploying open source solutions?

A: Red Hat has long been a leader in developing protections for open source:

* Our Patent Promise. Red Hat was the first to provide its Patent Promise, a covenant not to use its patents against users and developers of open source software. Our Patent Promise frees every user and developer to participate in the open source innovation engine without fear of Red Hat patents.
* Open Invention Network. Red Hat is a founding member in the Open Invention Network, an organization formed to ensure that users and developers have open access to intellectual property related to the Linux environment on a royalty-free basis.
* Open Source Assurance Program. Since 2003 Red Hat has offered the Open Source Assurance program.

Q: What is Red Hat's Open Source Assurance program?

A: Open Source Assurance is a program Red Hat designed to protect customers developing and deploying open source solutions. The program features an assurance program for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Middleware customers.

Q: How does the Open Source Assurance program protect customers?

A: The Open Source Assurance program is designed to allow customers to continue to use their chosen open source solution without interruption. It does this by either (i) replacing the infringing portion of the software, (ii) modifying the software so that it becomes non-infringing or (iii) obtaining the rights necessary for a customer to continue its use of the software.

Q: Who is covered under the Open Source Assurance program?

A: All customers (both direct and those purchasing from partners) with Red Hat subscriptions are covered under the Open Source Assurance program during the term of the subscription.

Q: Is this applicable to all versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Middleware?

A: Yes, all current and future versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Middleware are covered under the program.

Q: Has anything changed about Red Hat's Open Source Assurance program?

A: While customers have long purchased with confidence from Red Hat, Red Hat will now provide indemnification as an additional protection in its Open Source Assurance program.

Q: What does the additional protection cover?

A: The indemnification further protects against intellectual property infringement claims.

Q: How do customers obtain additional information and sign up?

A: Further information about the program and how to enroll will be provided shortly on


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