01.11.09

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Old Proof That Microsoft Dislikes Free/Open Source Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft: Get your grubby hands off education” — Unnamed

Darth Vader Microsoft
Picture by SubSonica

“Microsoft has a PhD scholarship grants program which specifically excludes Free Software (Notice: NOT “Open Source”), the GPL, Sun, Netscape and Apache,” says one of our informants. Microsoft disinterested in open source? That can’t be. Or can it? Microsoft just pretends to like open source in order to weaken it and to change it. Moreover, in education, Microsoft’s track record has been abysmal and distasteful, to say the very least. It even bribes professors.

“There is so much scientific work which uses Free Software,” says our informant “and needing students who would deserve a scholarship can’t afford to spend money in proprietary software… let alone the fact of the philosophy commonly shared by freedom of knowledge fostered by Free Software and the scientific exchange of knowledge.”

Here are the conditions of the grants program, for those who don’t believe it:

«7.2 The University shall ensure that the Resulting IPR does not include any Publicly Available Software, that is to say each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software or similar licensing or distribution models; and (ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that such software or other software incorporated into, derived from or distributed with such software (a) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; and/or (b) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; and/or (c) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licences or distribution models, or licences or distribution models similar to any of the following: (a) GNU’s General Public Licence (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (b) The Artistic Licence (e.g., PERL), (c) the Mozilla Public Licence, (d) the Netscape Public Licence (e) the Sun Community Source Licence (SCSL), (f) the Sun Industry Source Licence (SISL), and (g) the Apache Server Licence. »

Yes, Microsoft just loves open source.

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A Single Comment

  1. SubSonica said,

    January 12, 2009 at 5:27 pm

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    Seems your informer rushed his/her conclusions since the clause does specify “no open source”. I wonder if the terms will be changed in order to accomodate microsoft’s newly found open-source-friendlyness. I suspect not, since the alleged “openness” and all the not-so-open-not-free-at-all licences Microsoft has made up are just a lame PR stunt.

    If you review the terms of the grant it gets even better, the student should concede Microsoft the privilege of approve/modify o otherwise have a previous supervision/censorshipp of the work. Microsoft must thinks of PhD works as simmilar products like the market analysis it commission… also, if any PhD work is interesting enough, they can go, steal the idea and even patent it before allowig the student to publish his/her work, ironically, the student could even end up paying royalties for using his own work since he/she won’t own the patent… and Universities accepting to collaborate in such programs might be under legal threats by patent infringement… (¿Unless they cease providing access to Free(dom) Software to the student community and foster Microsoft offerings instead, for example?) the patent protection racket extended to the academic world… at the same time is a way to woo young talent and mindsets close to Redmond and away from open and collaborative development models, getting fresh qualified labor on the cheap and stealing/privatising quality works that othewise might be liberated under free licences to the public… sure Microsoft don’t want new Linuses Torvalds coming out from the universities….

    “Subject to Clause 6.2 the University shall procure that the Thesis, and
    any publication or presentation containing any of the results of the Research shall be sent to MSRC’s nominated contact for approval before submission, presentation or publication (as applicable). Within fourteen (14) days, MSRC shall reply with such amendments or deletions as it deems reasonably necessary to protect the confidentiality or patentability of any Resulting IPR. The University shall make such amendments or deletions before submission, publication or presentation, or delay submission, publication or presentation by fourteen (14) days to give MSRC time to apply for patent protection for any such Resulting IPR (if requested)”

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