Microsoft: GPLv3 Doesn't Touch Us

Microsoft Corp. Thursday rejected the idea that its deal last year with Novell Inc. ties it to the new General Public License Version 3 (GPLv3) and said it will not support any software distributed under the just-released open-source license. The Microsoft-Novell partnership signed in November 2006 featured promises to make Windows interoperable with SuSE Linux, a pact in which Microsoft vows not to sue Novell for any potential patent infringement, royalty payments on the part of Novell to Microsoft based on Linux sales, or a major purchase of Linux support contracts by Microsoft.

In a statement Thursday, Microsoft disavowed any link between itself and GPLv3. "Microsoft is not a party to the GPLv3 license and none of its actions are to be misinterpreted as accepting status as a contracting party of GPLv3 or assuming any legal obligations under such license," said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's vice president of intellectual property and licensing, in a statement. GPLv3, which was unveiled only a week ago, has been touted by its creator, Richard Stallman, as a poison pill that will prevent future deals like the one Microsoft made with Novell.

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News source: PC World

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17 Comments

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Not at all. People need to step back and get a grip first off. You don't have to use GPL to do open-source work. BSD is moving along just fine and it's got a pretty different license right there. And this is only my opinion, but I'd take FreeBSD over any linux distro when it comes to running a server.

Lots of people have good free apps that aren't under GPL, a license should never tie you down.

No, it's not wrong to dislike it. However, I read this story not as being about it being right or wrong to like it (heck MS isn't particulary fond of GPL1 or 2 either -- hence their own set of "shared source" licenses), but the matter of if the GPL3 would apply anywhere for them.

You certainly have a choice. Nobody's forcing you to licence your software under the GPL, regardless of the version you choose.

Computer Guru said,
I'm an open-source and free software developer and I hate the GPL... especially v3. Is that so wrong?
It is just about different viewpoints of what is "freedom" in software licensing.

Is it more free to use a BSD-style license where people can lock up the community code, make secret changes to it and re-license it under very un-free terms? Or to force all given freedoms GPL-style to be passed on, so that everyone downstream also receives the same freedoms you received the code under.

GPL guarantees (forces) code openness. BSD is so 'free' that people can close the code in proprietary branches/forks.

There is no right/wrong. Just differing perspectives.

markjensen said,
It is just about different viewpoints of what is "freedom" in software licensing.

Is it more free to use a BSD-style license where people can lock up the community code, make secret changes to it and re-license it under very un-free terms? Or to force all given freedoms GPL-style to be passed on, so that everyone downstream also receives the same freedoms you received the code under.

GPL guarantees (forces) code openness. BSD is so 'free' that people can close the code in proprietary branches/forks.

There is no right/wrong. Just differing perspectives.

LGPL is far more tolerable than GPL. The GPL guarantees that proprietry solutions (sometimes, they are the best way) cannot under any circumstances benefit from the "Free" (in quotation marks because that explicitly makes it NOT Free as in Libre) code, whereas LGPL allows closed source stuff to benefit - but any changes still go back out to benefit the original writers. If I were to use a FSF license, it'd be the LGPL. NOT the GPL. That said, looking at the stated intentions of Richard Stallman and the Free (if you do as we tell you) Software Foundation, then I would certainly choose to write my own instead.

I don't see why anyone uses GPL in the first place, it's a silly license that locks you in whether you want to or not. BSD is ar better and doesn't limit your ability to use yoru code as you will. even when devlping Open source software, you have to accept that it must be able to communicate with closed source apps, and in some cases, it will need to have closed source plugins and such.

The only thing achieved by using GPL is all the problems you get with Nvidia drivers or opy protection schemes not being implentable on Linux and such.

HawkMan said,
I don't see why anyone uses GPL in the first place, it's a silly license that locks you in whether you want to or not. BSD is ar better and doesn't limit your ability to use yoru code as you will. even when devlping Open source software, you have to accept that it must be able to communicate with closed source apps, and in some cases, it will need to have closed source plugins and such.

The only thing achieved by using GPL is all the problems you get with Nvidia drivers or opy protection schemes not being implentable on Linux and such.

Yes, Bill would certainly love if no one used the GPL to protect their own work. Actually the GPL protects a developer b/c it lets them put their source code out there and then get changes back, and it also lets them dual license their code so they can make money for it for people who want to use it in proprietary products (see Trolltech and QT). It also has ancillary advantages such as unifying codebases and stopping the classic lock-in tactic of embrace and extend.

Keep in mind it's ONLY a distribution license. The nVidia problems are because the Linux kernel makes the (correct IMO) choice not to have stable binary interface: they want the drivers' source, and this enables them to be portable and solve security (yes you can get root exploits, see madwifi and nVidia drivers) and other buggy issues-- compare nVidia bugs that are not fixed, like black windows and problems with ACPI and suspend, and you will find the open source drivers are much higher quality.

Anyways, since the GPL is a copyright license that only comes into effect on *public distribution*, scripts like that which Ubuntu has are fine.

The only things GPL has achieved...GCC, GNU Project, Samba, the Linux kernel, KDE, GNOME, GTK, QT, Safari (KHTML, Webkit), Mozilla/Gecko, just stupid things that anyone can replace. Who would ever use GPL! /sarcasm