08.06.09

Sun’s Chief Open Source Officer: Microsoft’s Linux Code Apparently About Avoidance of a GPL Lawsuit

Posted in Courtroom, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel, Law, SUN at 5:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Courtroom

Summary: Microsoft’s true attitude towards the GPL is still obvious to many

SIMON PHIPPS, pointing to this summary of issues that we covered here a lot recently [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], writes very succinctly about Microsoft’s loadable module for Linux: “There had to be a reason beyond goodwill, and it seems that reason was avoidance of a lawsuit.

“Microsoft’s attitude towards the GPL may only change due to misery, due to lack of other options.”Microsoft did not release something under the GPL out of choice; rather, it was due to lack of choice. Here is what Microsoft’s Vice President Brian Roberts said some years ago: “For every acquisition, we identify very early what the key value drivers are. And we will design our due-diligence process and integration approach around these drivers. If we surface concerns that cannot be mitigated by a deal structure or an integration approach, we will part paths. And there are many examples of issues that can become deal killers. It may be our assessment of the culture. Maybe the talent is not as good as we’d hoped as we get to meet more of the team. The code quality could be poor, or worse, the code may be subject to the General Public License (GPL) often used for distribution of open source software.

As Jason puts it, “I just like the idea that Microsoft considers GPL code “worse” than poor quality code.”

Yes, Microsoft’s attitude towards the GPL may only change due to misery, due to lack of other options. Microsoft is still trying to sneakily substitute the GPL (it hopes to destroy it this way). And then the company calls its opponents “hateful” or “intolerant”.

“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.”

Andre Gide

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