07.09.07

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Without GPLv3 Obligations, Microsoft and Its Linux Partners Stay Stuck in 2007 (Updated)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, Samba, SLES/SLED at 6:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Attempts to make GPL reception a disaster have apparently failed. With Samba and other projects now confirming their upgrade to GPLv3, it seems rather obvious that Microsoft will lose access to some very valuable Free software.

The Samba team will continue to provide security fixes to the GPLv2 versions, but new features will be added only to the GPLv3 versions, the team said.

The Free Software Foundation has already released a number of elements of its Gnu’s Not Unix (GNU) project under GPLv3, including the widely used “tar” command for compressing and decompressing files.

As a quick recap, Microsoft escapes the GPLv3, arrogantly denies any involvement with it, and wishfully thinks that its monovalent plans will prevail. The matter of fact is that support for GPLv3 is growing. Groklaw explains why Microsoft is knee-deep in trouble (and it knows it).

Bug fixes is code, folks. Ditto revisions, enhancements, localizations, updates, upgrades and modifications. Now tell me Microsoft, had they not run for the exit, wouldn’t have been distributing software under GPLv3, let alone conveying or propagating. Puh lease.

I think after reading all this, you can see why the company decided to try to scrape the Novell vouchers off of its shoes like toilet paper stuck to the bottom. But with the vouchers having no expiration dates, I really wonder if what they have done is enough. So when I read Microsoft’s statement that it isn’t bound by GPLv3, I’d call it hopeful optimism that the changes they’ve announced will help them retreat from what would inevitably have been a huge GPLv3 impact. I read it as saying, *Now* we aren’t bound, any more, because we stopped doing what we were doing that would have bound us.”

Who would wish to buy ‘Microsoft-approved’ Linux at this stage? Those who defected are likely to end up with a crippled and out-of-date versions of GNU, among other pieces of software which can be compromised.

Off-topic side notes:

  • If you spot any errors, please say something so that we can correct them. Personally, I write these posts quickly, so typos and grammatical errors are always expected
  • Any parallels between this Web site and Groklaw are probably the result of involvement in both. The sites are by no means affiliated (or siblings) though.

Update:: with growing support and at least 5,000 on the path to GPLv3, one might wonder about speed of adoption. According to this article, the new licence is being embraced quite quickly.

GPLv3 attracts 116 projects in first week

The third version of the General Public Licence (GPLv3) has been adopted by 116 open source projects in its first week of operation, according to an overview compiled by software risk management firm Palamida.

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