Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Did Violate the GPLv2

Steve Ballmer license
Image from Wikimedia



Summary: A red-handed Microsoft did after all violate the GNU GPL, according to the SFLC

Microsoft's rather belated claim that its self-serving [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] loadable module for Linux was in compliance all along is more or less being refuted or at least contradicted by the SFLC.



Kuhn had a few words to say on the subject:

Microsoft violated the General Public License v2 (GPLv2) when it distributed its Hyper-V Linux Integration Components (LinuxIC) without providing source code, says the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC).

The violation was rectified when Microsoft contributed more than 20,000 lines of source code to the Linux community last week. The drivers are designed to improve the performance of the Linux operating system when it is virtualized on the Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V hypervisor-based virtualization system.

[...]

"It seems to me that Sam [Ramji] is likely correct when he says that talk inside Microsoft about releasing the source was under way before the Linux developers began their enforcement effort," said Bradley Kuhn, a policy analyst and tech director at the SFLC.

"However, that talk doesn't mean that there wasn't a problem. As soon as one distributes the binaries of a GPL'd work, one must provide the source for those binaries, so Microsoft's delay in this regard was a GPL violation.

"The important thing to note from a perspective of freedom is that this software, whether it is released properly under the GPL or kept proprietary in violation of the GPL, is a piece of software designed to convince people to give up free virtualization platforms like Xen and KVM, and [to] use Microsoft's virtualization technology instead," Kuhn added.


Almost a week after the initial announcement, two pro-Microsoft journalists from IDG are still pushing this old news as though it is an endless PR campaign which struggles to portray what Microsoft did as an act of goodwill. It was a selfish deed. Get over it. The GPL was a requirement, neither a privilege nor choice. And it's all about selling Windows.

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