Subject: Re: [FYI] Microsoft license spurns open source
From: Seth Gordon <sethg@ropine.com>
Date: 24 Jun 2001 17:35:36 -0000


   > Microsoft lawyers have joined the company's campaign against open-
   > source software, restricting how developers may use what it terms
   > "viral software" in connection with Microsoft programming tools.

   The legal theory behind these constraints escapes me -- or at least my
   ignorance of law impedes my comprehension.

By the time I saw the article on this subject in Slashdot, the link to
the microsoft.com page describing the license was broken.  Does anyone
have a mirror or link of the complete license text?

Assuming that all the relevant parts of the license text were quoted
in the Slashdot comments: the clause regarding "potentially viral
software" struck me as so poorly written that I don't think it would
last five minutes in court.  I think it was inserted by Microsoft's PR
department, not Microsoft's legal department, as part of their whole
anti-GPL FUD campaign.

Of course, IANAL.

By the way, someone who has the ear of The Press should point out that
Microsoft itself redistributes software with the "cancerous" GPL:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/interix/interixinc.asp

-- 
"Rav would never cross a bridge when an idolator was on it; he said, 'Maybe he
will be judged and I will be taken with him.'  Shmuel would only cross a
bridge when an idolator was on it; he said, 'Satan cannot rule two nations [at
once].'  Rabbi Yannai would examine [the bridge] and cross."  --Shabbat 32a
== Seth Gordon == sethg@ropine.com == http://ropine.com/ == std. disclaimer ==