Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Violates Copyright Law (Corrected)

[Was: "Microsoft Violates the GNU GPL for Third Time in 2009"; see comments for correction]

"There's free software and then there’s open source... there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with."

--Bill Gates, April 2008



Summary: Microsoft is said to be breaking the law again, not just mimicking another Web site but also misappropriating someone else's code

Microsoft has just done it for the third time (at least) this year. It violated the very same licence it had been mocking for ages. Earlier today we mentioned the circumstances under which Microsoft got sued in China for copyright infringement. Windows 98, 2000, 2003 and Windows XP are banned as a result and it is a Vista 7 tool that was caught violating the GPL [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], which incidentally means that Microsoft violates copyright law all over the place, even in Linux [1, 2, 3].



The latest alleged violation has the victim offer sufficiently compelling proof to make it quite certain. We wrote about the offending service at the beginning of the month and as one reader of ours puts it:

This is the second code issue in as many months with Microsoft being alleged to have infringed on the GPL with code in their software. As usual it doesn’t take long for the “Microsoft blames” statements to arrive and in this instance it was in the form of blaming 3rd party developers for the “dodgy” code. The question I had at the time was, if Microsoft don’t have control of their own code (in that they were not aware) what else lurks inside their products which we may not be aware of.


Even Windows sites are covering this scandal and a reader wrote to us saying: "you might add a list including Sendo, SendIT, etc and going on back to Stac Electronics."

Microsoft does not mind the law when it competes.

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