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05.22.07

Microsoft ‘Study’ Smears GPLv3 (Updated)

Posted in Deception, GPL, Microsoft, Novell at 6:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sheer GPLv3 hatred is nothing new from Microsoft. Now comes their little ‘study’.

A study (PDF) funded by Microsoft and carried out by Harvard Business School professor Alan MacCormack aims to determine what kind of features and protections developers want in version 3 of the widely-used General Public License (GPL 3). The study, which uses extremely questionable methodology, concludes that open-source software developers don’t want the GPL 3 to impose extensive patent licensing requirements or prevent agreements like the controversial cross-licensing deal between Novell and Microsoft.

This is not too surprising. Here you have a survey funded by Microsoft which assesses a licence they have little to do with (only transitively). Microsoft and Novell have had a highly controversial study about customer satisfaction with their little deal, as well.

Microsoft has said on numerous occasions (even recently) that it hates GPLv3 and that it was probably the cause it threatened to sue just over a week ago, according to their executives.

The company has also used a lot of lobbying and placements in the media (using proxies) to discredit GPLv3 and create a scare.

This is just something to be aware of.

The reality about the GPLv3 is much brighter, but media manipulation can have you misled.

Update: see the criticism of this ‘study’ at Groklaw. It’s titled “Only 11% of OS Targeted Programmers Willing to Help MS-Funded Study”.

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A Single Comment

  1. shane said,

    May 22, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    Gravatar

    OK, well I actually don’t really want the GPLv3 to specifically go after Novell, just address the issues that have arisen since v2′s inception.

    I do like the more specific patent provisions, but I have come to feel that GPLv3 would do better to remove paragraph 5 from section 11 completely (rather than leave it in with the grandfather clause).

    Novell (and everyone else, for that matter) are still bound by paragraph 4, which is pretty explicit in regards to patent rights for all, and a marked improvement over the implied defenses in GPLv2

    If, pursuant to or in connection with a single transaction or arrangement, you convey, or propagate by procuring conveyance of, a covered work, and grant a patent license providing freedom to use, propagate, modify or convey a specific copy of the covered work to any of the parties receiving the covered work, then the patent license you grant is automatically extended to all recipients of the covered work and works based on it.

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