Microsoft Windows 7 download tool may have violated GPL

According to a report by Rafael Rivera, Microsoft's recently released Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool has used GPL code illegally.

The tool, which has been pulled by Microsoft, allows end users to upgrade to Windows 7 in an easy way. Rivera states "while poking through the UDF-related internals of the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, I had a weird feeling there was just wayyyyyyyyy too much code in there for such a simple tool. A simple search of some method names and properties, gleaned from Reflector's output, revealed the source code was obviously lifted from the CodePlex-hosted (yikes) GPLv2-licensed ImageMaster project."

The GNU General Public License (or simply GPL) is a widely used free software license typically used in licensing open source software.

According to Mary Jo Foley, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that Microsoft had removed the tool stating "Microsoft is looking into this issue and is taking down the WUDT tool from the Microsoft Store site until its investigations are complete. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."

It's not immediately clear whether the allegations are true but if Microsoft has pulled the download then clearly there were reasons to do so. Stay tuned for further updates.

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