EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.24.09

Microsoft Claims GPL Compliance Came Before Any Violation Claims

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, Servers, Virtualisation at 6:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Exit sign

Summary: Microsoft’s loadable module had to be GPL licensed, but Microsoft asserts that it was compliant from the get-go

THE news about Microsoft’s Linux module simply won’t stop. We wrote about this in:

The claim that Microsoft complied after GPL violations is now being refuted by Vyatta’s management. Microsoft agrees.

Reports that Microsoft had to release the Hyper-V Linux Integration Components (LinuxIC) under the GPLv2 because they had violated the GPL have been rebutted by Microsoft and Vyatta. Vyatta had been referenced by reports as the source of the accusation.

This debunks some more reports such as this one, but it remains true that Novell was a notable collaborator. From Silicon.com:

What made Microsoft open up to Linux? Ask Novell

[...]

Microsoft’s move to offer several Linux drivers owes a lot to a key programmer at Novell.

More here:

Microsoft’s chief ally in the Linux realm, Novell, helped the software giant work with the Linux kernel community.

Vincent Danen asks, “What’s in it for them?” [for Microsoft]

As rudely as always, Microsoft defends its racketeering practices. SoftPedia does them a favour by printing what seems like a propaganda piece against Red Hat. This also includes a partial list of companies that participate in the Linux racket.

Novell stands out from the crowd of Linux vendors that have inked IP assurance agreements with Microsoft, but there are others, including Xandros, TurboLinux, Samsung, LG Electronics, Fuji-Xerox, Brother, TomTom and Kyocera Mita.

IDG approaches some routinely-Microsoft-hired analysts who pretend that Microsoft has changed. Even IDC, which is affiliated with IDG, gets quoted. It is the usual PR routine. Just the other day, the same writer, John Fontana, neglected to put TomTom in the timeline of Microsoft’s attitude towards Linux and instead gave the impression that things were improving. Selectivity can achieve a lot when it comes to reviewed history. Many nations selectively remember their better moments from the past and don’t teach the embarrassments at schools.

“That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game. On the other side, if Microsoft is concerned about its intellectual property, there is no one in the free software community that wants to violate anyone’s IP. Disclose the patents and we’ll fix the code. Alternatively, move on.”

Mark Shuttleworth

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

6 Comments

  1. BW said,

    July 24, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Gravatar

    It doesn’t actually rebut the claims, though, does it? If people had MS drivers without source code, then they were violating the GPL. Who cares who made the initial accusation? It doesn’t change the real reason for their source code release.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, like the first post claimed, it was merely an obligation. See how Microsoft Clarke spins it in El Reg.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Actually, you’re completely incorrect.

    Microsoft would be in violation of the GPL IF anyone to whom Microsoft had provided a binary driver were to request the sources, AND Microsoft were then to fail to provide them those sources in a timely fashion for no more than the “cost of physically performing source distribution”, i.e. the cost of the media plus reasonable postage and handling fees. See section 3 for details.

    They are in particular NOT required to publish the modified sources to the public, NOR are they obligated to provide absent a specific request, AND that request can only come from someone to whom Microsoft has provided a binary of “the program” in question.

    No binary, no request; no request, no violation. Do not pass “Go!”, do not collect $200.

    The guys over at gpl-violations.org lament the fact that some Linux-based devices are only sold in large quantities to customers who then rent them to users, e.g. some set-top boxes; if they can’t get hold of a binary (in the form of one embedded within a specific device)–in other words, if the code has not been “distributed” to them, and rental doesn’t constitute a distribution–they’ve got no standing to request sources for the GPL code in that device.

    Have you folks actually read the GPL? What else do you imagine it says? (Have we established that I know more about these things that you folks do yet…?)

    zatoichi Reply:

    And, by the way, when Dave Roberts was talking about some web sites that virtually put words into the mouths of Vyatta employees, he was talking about this web site.

    zatoichi Reply:

    …and rental doesn’t constitute a distribution…

    Clarification: at least, we don’t think it does, so far. There are some discussions going on over this point among FOS licensing pros in the FSFE legal network, with some interesting questions: what if I “rent” you something for 99 years? If I give you my Archos 5 media player to hold for five minutes, that doesn’t constitute a distribution whether you paid me a nickel to let you hold it or not; if I just give you the Archos, to keep, without an expectation of getting it back, that is a distribution…. Would a thief who stole one be entitled to ask for sources? These are the sorts of things lawyers mull over for fun.

    No binary, no request; no request, no violation. Do not pass “Go!”, do not collect $200.

    Also, I misspelled, “No binary, no request; no request, no violation; no harm, no foul. Do not pass “Go!”, do not collect $200, do not publish articles claiming Microsoft was ‘accused’ of ‘violating’ the GPL.”

  2. zatoichi said,

    July 26, 2009 at 10:23 am

    Gravatar

    I’m still waiting for a response from Roy as to why this story remains uncorrected. I’m also still waiting for some clarification from ROy as to whether he’s ever actually read the GLPv2, or whether, having read it, he simply failed to understand it.

    You call Novell a “collaborator”—with regard to a contribution of code to the kernel! I don’t know whether you missed the memo, Roy, but we value collaboration in the FLOSS community.

    And we don’t base the acceptance of code on the moral character of the code’s author. The reasons that ReiserFS stalled weren’t because of a moral judgment on its author having gotten convicted of murder.

    You further refer to Microsoft’s “racketeering practices”, without specifying what those are supposed to actually be. Care to enumerate these “racketeering practices” so we’re all clear on what you’re talking about.

What Else is New


  1. Links 12/7/2020: KDE Plasma 5.20 Preview and Elive 3.8.14 Beta

    Links for the day



  2. [Humour] The 'Orange One' Does Not Respect Judges Either

    More than two years after taking over the European Patent Office (EPO) António Campinos has done absolutely nothing to restore judicial independence of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO



  3. The Systemd Song

    Speak out about IBM's strategy before we're all using GNU/Linux distros 'barcoded' with systemd



  4. Monopoly (or Vendor Lock-in) is Not Modularity

    IBM cannot totally control the kernel, Linux; IBM's control over GNU/Linux may be worth even more than what it paid for Red Hat as that's the key to overpriced support contracts and the general direction of development (important trends such as file systems and various low-level stacks)



  5. The Internet Archive Doesn't Forget, Whereas the Internet and the Web Forget Very Fast

    World Wide Web history is grossly undervalued and preservation of such history (e.g. by the Wayback Machine) is taken for granted by far too many people; the robber barons of today benefit the most from erosion of collective memory as they get to rewrite the past to suit their present and future interests



  6. Environmentalism and Free Software Can be Viewed as Closely Connected and Help One Another

    Modest lifestyles are an overlapping pattern in the Free software community and green activists; there's room for alliances and collaboration, bettering society by reducing consumption and discouraging voyeurism



  7. Free (as in Freedom) Software + Social Control Media ≠ Free Speech

    Speaking through middlemen and private platforms is bad enough (that gives others unjust power over speech); to claim that because the underlying platform is free/libre software it therefore becomes a non-issue is also dishonest



  8. António Campinos: President or Quasi-Autocratic Corporate Puppet?

    The culture of oppression — and censorship of evidence of oppression — is what today’s EPO is all about; the EPO learned how to better avoid (or block) negative publicity without actually changing its ways; and due to unprecedented speech restrictions you won’t hear that from SUEPO



  9. The Media Continues to Ignore Corruption of António Campinos

    António Campinos has Croatian scandals on his lap; the obedient media, however, refuses to even talk about it (or uses COVID as an excuse to write nothing on the subject, as some journalists have told us)



  10. A Call for Patent Sanity

    The public's call for reform is motivated by improved understanding of today's debased patent system and how out-of-order (detached from its original mission statement) it has gotten; patent maximalism, if it does not completely unravel this whole system, severely discredits it



  11. Declassified US Army Field Manuals Explain Microsoft's Public Relations Strategy (Similar to Selling Imperialism to the Occupied)

    The misuse of public broadcast to brainwash the public is well understood and thoroughly exploited by both Microsoft and the Gates Foundation (which sells this ridiculous lie that the world’s richest people speak for and fight for the poorest, i.e. those impoverished by endless greed)



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 10, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, July 10, 2020



  13. Links 11/7/2020: Slackel 7.3 Openbox, Kiwi TCMS 8.5, Librem 5 Dogwood Update 3

    Links for the day



  14. Education Without Free Software is Training or Indoctrination

    Kids need to decide for themselves what they want to do and what they wish to use when they grow up; schools need to provide general tools and the mental capacity to make good decisions (rather than make these decisions for the kids, sometimes at the behest of foreign monopolists)



  15. Links 10/7/2020: Wayland-Info, diffoscope 151 and Tor 0.4.4.2-alpha

    Links for the day



  16. European FRAND (Related to SEP) Proponent and Famed Programmer Comes to Realise That It's Actually a “Scam”

    Even people who have long promoted the practice of mandatory "licensing" (in effect patent tax one is unable to work around) are apparently changing their minds and their tune



  17. Not Even a Single Corporate Journalist Has Written Anything About These Very Important Bits of News (Updated)

    Constant propaganda from patent maximalists has long infested the media, which is sometimes controlled and even bribed to set the tone and the agenda; important developments are being tucked away and require very deep digging for ordinary citizens to find



  18. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 09, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, July 09, 2020



  19. Racism in Technology (and Who Typically Lectures Us About the Subject)

    Racism is a real problem; some approaches to tackling racism, however, can also be problematic and those who take the lead 'on behalf' of victims tend to be opportunistic and privileged few (piggybacking others' grievances to further advance their financial agenda)



  20. Links 10/7/2020: Debian 8 Long Term Support EOL, Mobian Project, Mesa 20.1.3

    Links for the day



  21. [Humour] COVID-19 is Very, Very Afraid of Human Beings Making More Monopolies Instead of Fighting Together

    The European Patent Office (EPO) to the rescue! Fighting a dangerous pandemic one profitable monopoly at a time!



  22. The News is Never 'Slow', It's Just Journalism That's Slowing Down (and Investigative Journalism Coming Under Attack)

    A mix of censorship and subtle mind control contribute to misinformed societies that shape their perception or misunderstanding of the world based on false measures of authority (where money can determine what is true and what is untrue); many topics remain completely untouched, leading to apathy in a vacuum; it's very much applicable to international organisations, which are presumed benign by virtue of being multi-national or supranational



  23. Social Control Media is About Social Control and If It Doesn't Ban You It'll Shut Down Everyone's Account (One Day)

    It’s time to leave the ‘Internet rot’ which is social control media well behind us; blogging and RSS/XML may seem like a thing of the past, but they may as well become the future (again; if we make the correct and informed choices)



  24. Microsoft's Fingers in Every Pie: The Cult Mentality That Society Needs to Become Wary of

    Microsoft and its co-founder (pretending to do his for-profit 'charity' via the Gates Foundation) are trying to control the world; in the process they've moved to control even their most potent competitor, according to Gates himself, which is GNU/Linux



  25. Links 9/7/2020: Google’s Open Usage Commons, GNOME 3.36.4, Neptune 6.5

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 08, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, July 08, 2020



  27. Links 8/7/2020: SUSE to Acquire Rancher Labs, Btrfs as Default in Fedora, Qt Creator 4.12.4

    Links for the day



  28. Yes, Master

    When the Linux Foundation tells us to tone down our language we ought to remember what kind of hypocritical stance these people have (note: the above have nothing to do with slavery, either)



  29. Fraunhofer is Again Evergreening Software Patents to Maintain Its Codecs Cartel, Forcing Everyone to Pay to View/Stream Multimedia Files

    The roller-coaster of software patents on multimedia isn't stopping; we know the culprits who can be named for perpetuating this injustice



  30. [Humour/Meme] Focusing on the Bombings and Who's Included in the Bombings

    Supremacist agenda disguised as "tolerant and inclusive" is still objectionable supremacist agenda


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts