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Microsoft draws line in the sand July 7, 2007

Posted by rjdohnert in Uncategorized.

Despite comments made by the FSF and others regarding Microsoft and the GPLv3.  Microsoft cleared the air and told everyone what their obligations were.  In short Microsoft says it is not bound by the GPLv3.  “While there have been some claims that Microsoft’s distribution of certificates for Novell support services, under our interoperability collaboration with Novell, constitutes acceptance of the GPLv3 license, we do not believe that such claims have a valid legal basis under contract, intellectual property or any other law,” Guitterez a Microsoft rep also said that ” Microsoft does not grant any implied or express patent rights under or as a result of GPLv3, and GPLv3 licensors have no authority to represent or bind Microsoft in any way.”  So this thing may wind up going to court.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out.


For the full press release click here 

In other news Pamela Jones has some things to say about it.  As does Matt Asay and Stephe Walli

” The…Microsoft statement seems a bit premature and over reaching. Stating outright that they aren’t a party to it, means they’ve cut themselves off from using it in some future circumstance where it might be genuinely business beneficial. They would need to unmake this statement. By saying they can’t envision such a situation arising shows a lack of imagination, and makes them as religious on the issue as (Free Software Foundation founder Richard) Stallman. They remain “committed to working with the open source community” without actually wanting to participate in it.”

My response to that is Microsoft to me is not backing out of “the future”.  Microsoft has never been an adopter of GPL software, nor a distributor of GPL software this statement is telling people not to buy in the FSF rhetoric that the GPLv3 gives you distribution rights to Microsoft patents, it doesnt and if Pamela Jones wants to talk about respecting Intellectual Property rights I think that discussion also needs to take place in the OSS camp as well.   Matt Asay seems to think that this statement is a move backward for Microsoft.  From my perspective it seems like its business as usual with some clarification on Microsofts obligations or lack of in regards to the GPLv3.


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