Subject: Re: Interesting "almost open source" Microsoft tactic
From: "La Monte H.P. Yarroll" <piggy@timesys.com>
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 13:08:01 -0500

Taran Rampersad wrote:

> ken_i_m@elegantinnovations.net wrote:
>
>> On Mon, Mar 01, 2004 at 11:59:34AM -0500, La Monte H.P. Yarroll 
>> (piggy@timesys.com) wrote:
>>  
>>
>>> Its very clear that they are attempting to be GPL compatable.
>>>
>>> The inability to sublicense just confuses me.  It isn't as if there 
>>> is a license registration procedure.
>>>   
>>
>>
>> IMNAL but I believe that this "inability to sublicense" precludes 
>> this "GPL compatable".
>>  
>>
> I concur. They might say it's 'Open Source Compatible', but it's 
> definitely not GPL compatible.
>
Even if they allowed sublicensing the license would be GPL incompatable 
on the
grounds that it would add licensing requirements not specified in the GPL.

Most legit copyleft licenses are mutually incompatable.  See
http://www.fsf.org/licenses/license-list.html#GPLIncompatibleLicenses 
for examples.

I'm still reserving judgement.  Their latest spate of openish licenses are
much closer to meeting Stallman's definition of Free Software than I ever
expected from that company.

E.g. it looks like OpenOffice.org will really be able to implement 
fully-compatable
file readers for the MS-published formats.  They will have to calve a 
subproject
and jump through some other hoops, but they'll able to make it work 
without needing
to do full white-room reverse-engineering.

-- 
  Anyone who quotes me in their sig is an idiot. -- Rusty Russell's sig