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Microsoft EULA stokes crusade

sengan posted more than 12 years ago | from the viral's-anagram-is-rival dept.

Microsoft 461

Microsoft's new crusade against licenses that enforce source-code sharing has reached the EULA of their Mobile Internet Toolkit. It even disallows the use of any "Publicly Available Software" tool in the production of software using this SDK. This seems to be a very wide ranging restriction applying to compilers (gcc), editors (vim, staroffice), filesystems (backup on linux server), web-browsers (mozilla logging into some online tool provider), Java (sun's virtual machine). The licenses covered include: the GPL and LGPL, the Artistic License (e.g., PERL), the Mozilla Public License, the Netscape Public License, the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL). Is this legal? Thanks to Jonathan for the link. Update: 06/26 05:42 PM by S : Here's a legal opinion on the matter.

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461 comments

No networking? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#134551)

Can't use their TCP/IP either, since it's BSD-derived.

Re:Is this legal? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#134554)

Ok, so under what license *can* I redistribute their SDK then?

What? None? Then why are they specifically babbling on about GPL and Linux? What's the motive?

A light-hearted look at licenses ... (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#134558)

WARNING ... Anyone under the age of 18 or living in a legally-challenged country should either close their eyes or emigrate ....

GPL - virgin code but prepared to be free and easy

LGPL - understands cohabitation but doesn't want to touch the last base

BSD - bisexual and willing to go either way

MIT - has condom ready as anti-warrenty against the spread of aid

APSL - quite prepared to lend a dildo to help fuck up the partner

SCSL - wears a chastity belt so suitors can check in but not out

EULA - bend over, grab ankles, and prepared to be screwed

MSFU - when do you want to be gang-banged today?

I can't see how this isn't legal (1)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 12 years ago | (#134561)

I suppose this probably is legal; I mean, in theory you could always not use their software if you don't like their terms.

Things are probably a little more complicated given MS's monopoly status, however. I can't imagine that even the Republicans could argue that this is just maintainance of their existing monopoly (although Bush does have a way of getting away with policies that should have Americans storming the White House with torches and pitchforks).

Anyhow, I'm sure this won't change anything -- people will take it as seriously as the other bits in the EULA. I mean, have *you* ever paid for a copy of Windows you were using? I haven't. If they can't enforce that they can't enforce anything.

----

Re:No m$? (2)

mAIsE (548) | more than 12 years ago | (#134562)

Section 2 --
Due to the nature of the development work, Microsoft provides no assurance that any specific errors or discrepancies in the Software will be corrected

Of course its not going to be fixed if me the little guy has a problem with your software and of course I wont have access to your source code so i can fix my own production environment

Section 2 item B

Recipient may not use the Software in a live operating environment with data that has not been sufficiently backed up

I hope someone from m$ is reading, I am a small businessman and I do see the oppressiveness of the machine that is called m$. m$ got where it was because it was the little guy working for the little guy. Now you are acting like some of your original competitors and soon will be relegated to your monolithic ancestors.

Okay, Microsofties (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 12 years ago | (#134566)

Posted by polar_bear:

I'm a very staunch pro-Linux advocate, but I try to keep the anti-Microsoft commentary to a minimum. It's just not necessary, I think Linux stands on its own merits.

But this...it's just going too far, don't you think? This license might as well just say "you cannot use any non-Microsoft tools in the development or deployment of .NET software" - even if you want to use .NET solutions on Win2K servers, but have a preference for using Emacs as your IDE...you're screwed if you follow their rules. They're putting developers in a "take it or leave it" situation that's simply inexcusable.

For God's sake, I hope that this scares people away from .NET and Microsoft in droves. They need a lesson in humility - a "time-out" as it were - before they should be allowed back into the computing community. Whether you agree with the ideals of Free Software or Open Source or not - you should at least stand up for your right to use whatever tools you want.

Anyone dumb enough to bend over for this treatment deserves what they get.

Re:Microsoft itself distributes GPL software. (2)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 12 years ago | (#134575)

Hmmm. If this is true, then could somebody
sue Microsoft for not including the source for their software?

Microsoft would need to defend itself, presumably by saying "The GPL doesn't say that we have to," which would necessarily go against their public stance of the GPL being "Virulent."

win-gimp et al soon to be extinct? (1)

salsa (4937) | more than 12 years ago | (#134585)

If the EULA becomes MS standard-operating-procedure will projects like wingimp become illegal, after MS relicenses all their DLLs?

Does wingimp use MS compilers?

(looks like GTK can be compiled with MSVC or gcc 2.95xxx)

Is it possible to write any windows application if you can't link with their DLL's?

Finally though all of us linux bigots will scream, is this that different from when the GPL is applied indiscriminately to things like libraries? I believe if a library is released under GPL and not LGPL it is not possible to link against it in non free (non GPL?) software.

I suppose in the context of MS being a monopoly we can say it is inherently different.

Microsoft itself distributes GPL software. (5)

Aloril (6529) | more than 12 years ago | (#134587)

That EULA says that the GPL requires separate works distributed with GPL software to be GPL'd, which is false. Microsoft itself sells software [microsoft.com] that includes GPL tools.

sigh, story is a troll (4)

Cederic (9623) | more than 12 years ago | (#134595)


The offending part of the EULA:
"(c) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part."

In other words, don't distribute any bits of their SDK using one of the "naughty" licences. Which is fair enough - distribute the software you write w/o any bits of their SDK, and tell people where to find the SDK separately.

Shrug, no big issue here. Move on, etc.

~Cederic

Re:MacOSX (1)

Tycho (11893) | more than 12 years ago | (#134603)

This "You can only play our way" is not very new. At least in MSIE 5 for "MacOS classic" the EULA states that you can only use MSIE in the OS it was intended for. Now I have never read the EULA for MSIE for Windows, but I'm guessing that it has a similar statement. My understanding is that this shoots down anyone trying to use MSIE in Linux under WINE. IANAL, but WINE could be considered emulation, and since emulation is legal I seriously doubt that Microsoft has a leg to stand on, but this has never stopped Microsoft before and probably never will.

GPL, but... (2)

jscott (11965) | more than 12 years ago | (#134604)

That's a shitty attitude to have.... Who actually pays attention to the GPL? Especially when it's quite dumb. Who knows how much commerical (non-GPL) software steals snips, chunks, functions [etc.] from GPL sources? Damn, I fed another troll. Must stop posting....


It's not important! (1)

Kludge (13653) | more than 12 years ago | (#134610)

Petreley is right (http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/06/21/00821 6&mode=thread).
Stop following the alien to his hotel room. This isn't important.
Let's have some more article on open source authentication services vs. M$ passport.

Re:Is this legal? (3)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 12 years ago | (#134613)

Exactly. Furthermore, the license doesn't just prohibit applications developed using the SDK from being distributed under the GPL:

3. APPROVED USES OF APPLICATIONS.

(a) Except as provided in Subsection 3(b), Recipient may only use Applications on an internal basis for non-production purposes only and may not distribute or license the Applications to third parties or make the Applications available for use by any third party.

Granted, the mention of open source as "viral" is egregious. But MS is actually prohibiting distribution of software in any form.

What is a little more disturbing, though, is this part:

Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part.

Does this mean that I can't build, say, a library using this SDK that can be called from a Perl script? I don't know: I'm not a lawyer, and my head hurts. Plus, I need a nap.

MacOSX (3)

PenguinX (18932) | more than 12 years ago | (#134627)

How does this work with other software from Microsoft - for instance Office, Internet Explorer - etc. for MacOSX? I've been curious to see what it will be compiled with (gcc?) - so does this remove the Mac people from developing with any of the same tools that the rest of the company uses for development? Could be me, but this seems a stupid business move. "You can only play our way" will not bode well if the Monopoly case ever starts up again.

The back of the bus. (2)

nyet (19118) | more than 12 years ago | (#134628)


c) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software. By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing, Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software. "Publicly Available Software" means each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and (ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software (A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (C) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following: (A) GNU's General Public License (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (B) The Artistic License (e.g., PERL), (C) the Mozilla Public License, (D) the Netscape Public License, (E) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and (F) the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL).


Wow. MS is really pushing the "viral" thing. I guess they found the meme they're gonna fight with, and this is it.

It seems they're not afraid to scare off potential developers (who are already GNU software users and are unlikely to develop on MS anyway).

For those of you who *still* develop on MS platform AND use GNU tools to do it.. ask yourselves "why?" Is it the only job you can get? Do you really need the money? MS doesn't want your kind in their camp.

Sure, you are the Rosa Parks of the free software movement proving that you deserve to sit in the front of the MS bus.. but do you REALLY want to go where that bus is going? MS thought they wanted to garner a free-software-like grassroots community around MS to compete with OSS (they said as much in the Halloween documents), but it is clear that they have now completely given up on this and opened fire. YOU are now the enemy - why are you still treating MS as a friend?

Re:The back of the bus. (2)

nyet (19118) | more than 12 years ago | (#134629)

PS. Bill I just piped your SDK through "less". Come and get me.

Re:Fight fire with fire... (2)

frantzdb (22281) | more than 12 years ago | (#134634)

That is a nice idea, however it is counter to the Free Software philosophy. A piece of software cannot be Free if it restricts who can use it. (It is similar to the reason the ACLU occasionally backs hate groups in court.)

--Ben

Re:Is this legal? (3)

pangloss (25315) | more than 12 years ago | (#134643)

But it doesn't seem that the restrictions of the EULA *only* cover redistribution of the toolkit w/ GPL'ed source:

...and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part.

The passage above also seems to cover using GPL'ed software to develop your own software ("recipient software") that includes Microsoft's toolkit. But it's not exactly clear to me how this works.... Microsoft's product is not itself distributed as source, so what exactly would recipient software you create that includes Microsoft's toolkit (in whole or in part) look like? Seems like a pretty special case scenario. Seems like the restriction, if it was only concerned with redistribution wouldn't need the clause restricting the use GPL'ed software to *develop* GPL'ed software that includes the toolkit in the distribution--you just need to disallow including the toolkit period. The whole restriction on using GPL'ed software is bizarre.

Is this intended just to be confusing to scare middle managers into forbidding their developers from using GPL'ed software? Penning GPL'ed and a handful of other open source licenses as "viral" certainly suggests that that is part of the motivation.

is this legal? (1)

jgilbert (29889) | more than 12 years ago | (#134645)

I'm not sure what the legalize in the EULA is actually trying to say, IANAL. However, it's their software and as far as I'm concerned they can license it however they please. Same as with GPL'd software, if you don't like the terms of the license don't use the software. It's just that simple (assuming you can understand what the license restrictions are).

EULA??? (1)

cornjones (33009) | more than 12 years ago | (#134652)

c'mon, are you really telling me that you have ever even READ a EULA? I have asked some people in my group of friends and I don't know anybody that has ever read the entire agreement. If anybody here can honestly tell me they don't just hunt for the "agree" button I will be surprised.

Viral again... (3)

Quebec (35169) | more than 12 years ago | (#134653)

You can find the word "viral" in their EULA..

Microsoft will connect the word "viral" to all that is GPL.

They will shout it more often and louder then we'll alltogether (the open source community) be able to deny it.

I need an aspirine and a continuum shifter so that I can change universe....

Obsfuscation and Scare Tactics (5)

bridgette (35800) | more than 12 years ago | (#134657)

Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software.

They are deliberately trying to cloud the issue. They say that they don't want you to give away any of Microsoft's rights or try to put Microsoft under any legal obligations by distributing their SDK DLLs with "Potentially Viral Software" ... but no 3rd party can change M$ licencing. Period. No one can nullify the original M$ licencing terms by re-releasing under their own licence, so it's a completely mute point. A red herring.

But then they go on to take great zeal in knocking down the straw-man they just constructed:

By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing, Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software. "Publicly Available Software" means each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and (ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software (A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (C) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following: (A) GNU's General Public License (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (B) The Artistic License (e.g., PERL), (C) the Mozilla Public License, (D) the Netscape Public License, (E) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and (F) the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL).


Kinda like the Allchin, Balmer and Gates rants: All we want is for publically funded development to not be released under the GPL - not like that *ever* happens - but now we'll use that as a segue into a reant on the evils of the GPL.

They are really pushing their luck, obligating people to not use a competitiors dev tools (emacs, gcc etc.) in order to use their SDK (which is often needed to develop apps for their OS) sounds like leveraging their monoploly to squash competition and playing dumb about it (Huh? We just didn't want other people to take away our licencing rights ... honest.)

Hmm... (1)

Hershmire (41460) | more than 12 years ago | (#134666)

I read it to say that you cannot distribute their product in conjunction with any open source software. That's completely different from saying you can't use it.
Perhaps I interpreted incorrectly. If that's the case, then I wonder how the average joe user is going to handle this legalese.

Re:All things MS are illegal on /. (1)

prizog (42097) | more than 12 years ago | (#134667)

No, they're intentionally misconstruing the GPL to slander it. Read the fucking documents some time.

Re:sigh, story is a troll (2)

prizog (42097) | more than 12 years ago | (#134669)

No, read it again. It says:

1. Free tools may not so much as touch the SDK. This is unethical.

2. The GPL places restrictions on what code it can be distributed with. This is false.

Re:It's their license... (2)

prizog (42097) | more than 12 years ago | (#134670)

But if they spread lies about other licenses, they should be rebutted. Further, if they restrict their customers' freedoms, they should be fought.

Microsoft's Lies (3)

prizog (42097) | more than 12 years ago | (#134672)

Further, Microsoft's new license is full of lies about the GPL.

The new license says that the GPL requires separate works distributed with GPL software to be GPL'd, which is false.

This has always been M$'s complaint about the GPL - and it has never been true. Now, tho, Microsoft's software contains these terms!

Re:Microsoft's Lies (3)

Steve B (42864) | more than 12 years ago | (#134674)

This has always been M$'s complaint about the GPL - and it has never been true. Now, tho, Microsoft's software contains these terms!

Establishing a special case where it is true will no doubt be used to support FUD assertions that it is true in general.
/.

Re:We made Microsoft angry.. (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 12 years ago | (#134678)

Good job in pissing them off, development just got 100 times harder (and more expensive).*/sarcasm*
For whom? Not me, chum. I don't develop on MS platforms, or with MS tools. Why? Aside form the fact that they're crap, there's the important fact that when you deal with the devil, sooner or later you get burned. *Sniff* *sniff*...is that roasted developer I smell?

If you think that development on MS platforms just got 100 time harder and more expensive, I invite you to take the opportunity to move to an easier and cheaper platform that doesn't suck.

Tom Swiss | the infamous tms | http://www.infamous.net/

Actually, this is pretty damning. (2)

be-fan (61476) | more than 12 years ago | (#134686)

Microsoft is going to try to spin this by saying that they are not trying to prevent people from adopting Open Source, but to protect themselves from licensing problems. I think there was a thread a while ago about what would happen if an MS drone used some GPL'ed code in Windows. They'll say that this is what they're trying to prevent. I'd give them the benifet of the doubt IF it wasn't for the following line: "ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part." Meaning you can't use GCC to compile the resultant program. Since no existing OSS license automatically places its output under said license, this clause is entirely an attempt to keep people from using GPL'ed development tools (and thus threatening their precious Visual Studio.) MS is making mistakes now. They're freaked about open source and their not reacting in the most subtle way possible. Their tactics would work if they were trying to go up against another big company like Sun, but directly going up against a community of developers is not good image. If they want to take out Linux, they're going to have to fire their stragegists and hire some people who know how to fight guirilla style.

Setting the terms of the debate (2)

KurtP (64223) | more than 12 years ago | (#134689)

The interesting part of this, to me, is the use of the term 'potentially viral software' directly in the license terms. Thus, during litigation, the term would be bandied about in evidence, and during testimony, and so on.

Back when I did debate in school, we called this 'setting the terms of the debate', because terminology has a huge impact on how the judges think about the issue.

It's not very subtle, in this case, but it will have an impact. A useful response is to hold such terminology up to scrutiny as an object of ridicule. For instance, referring to .NET as a 'potentially viral software platform' in a license because it would be a nice way to propagate virii would be good. It muddies the opponent's attempt to set the tone of discourse, and at the same time makes a pointed comment about the traditional MS tactic of using their control of de-facto standards to 'virally' force other developers to support their initiatives.

The important thing, of course, is to do it right away before the this 'potentially viral' thing gets into common use as a term.

Re:MacOSX (1)

Knobby (71829) | more than 12 years ago | (#134695)

The MS apps for OS X are all Carbon based apps. Therefore, the developers could use a handful of apps such as MetroWorks CodeWarrior, MrC/C++ (from Apple), or ProjectBuilder (Apple/gcc).. I'm sure these are all the same tools that the MS has been using for years...

this is something new? (2)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 12 years ago | (#134703)

how is this any different from the limits on distributing the VB runtimes, or necessary proprietary DLLs?

It's a beta. What's the fuss about again? (1)

dave-fu (86011) | more than 12 years ago | (#134711)

You think their license sucks? Great. Fine.
Go out and make your own SDK and open-source it. It's still a free world.

Another nail in the coffin (1)

AirLace (86148) | more than 12 years ago | (#134712)

Another nail in the coffin ... but we cannot yet be sure whether it is the coffin of Microsoft, or of Free Software.

Wrong course of action (1)

JohnG (93975) | more than 12 years ago | (#134730)

It seems to me that if MS is scared of open source, they would be trying alot harder to NOT piss off open source developers.
All their failure to play nicely with open source is going to do is force open source developers to code replacement tools or build replacement hardware (Linux is gaining ground quickly in embedded systems).
These new products that MS forced the development of can only hurt MS's market penetration, even if it is only by one or two users, that's still a loss.
What could they POSSIBLY have to gain from this? Isn't overzealousness what most non open source fans hate most about open source fans? Does not the pendulum swing both ways.
With RMS telling developers they HAVE to release source and MS telling them that the CANNOT release source, how long before the developers say 'Screw both of you!' and all shift to MacOS X? :-)

Re:Fight fire with fire... (1)

JohnG (93975) | more than 12 years ago | (#134731)

hehe, if the GPL pisses them off, imagine if BSD and the like added a clause specifically against Microsoft! haha, I love it!

Re:The Rational Behind This (2)

El (94934) | more than 12 years ago | (#134733)

When given ultimatums, I always choose the opposite of what the person issuing the ultimatums wants me to do. I guess I WON'T be renewing my MSDN membership! Yes, it appears to me that MICROS~1 is shooting themselves in both feet with their current initiatives, but only time will tell...

One step over the line? (1)

swirlyhead (95291) | more than 12 years ago | (#134735)

Look, we all know that McSoft has a level of hubristic arrogance that is rare outside of greek tragedies. It probaly is "Legal" for them to say that if you want to play with their toys you can't play with anyone else's, but it's probably ill-considered. The practice of restrictive licensing may not be all that smart in that this will probably spur the use of other toolkits (java and IBM both have mobile agent frameworks out there) and have the opposite effect. On the other hand the truly paranoid could make a case for the idea that they are testing the waters, and will soon be busting Cygnus for porting the GNU toolset to XP.(yucko)

Re:Yes, but... (3)

OmegaDan (101255) | more than 12 years ago | (#134748)

I've yet to read a EULA, although I'm ceartin shrinkwrap licenses aren't legally binding, they most certainly aren't if you haven't read them in the first place (I think legally thats called "lack of communication":)

I'm sure it won't be long before a bill (UCITA?) tries to make them legally binding ... but right now ignorance is bliss

Re:The Rational Behind This (1)

Cheshire Cat (105171) | more than 12 years ago | (#134761)

You personally might not renew your MSDN membership, but I doubt many software shops will be so bold. If your companies bread-and-butter is making Windows-based products, cancelling your MSDN membership is just not an option.

Really this is just a trial ballon that MS is floating. If no huge cry of protest goes up, expect to see this issued as a EULA in a great deal of their software from now on.

The Rational Behind This (2)

Cheshire Cat (105171) | more than 12 years ago | (#134762)

MS knows that using OSS will not require that anything produced with their SDK will neccessitate one to release ones product under the GPL, for example. However, MS is attempting to convince people of this. This is just another layer in their campaign of FUD.

Furthermore by adding this into their EULA, they're also attempting to force people to choose between MS and the rest of the world. In other words, its either Gate's way, or the highway. I wonder if any coding shops will change their practices because of this...

Definition of 'Potentially Viral Software" (2)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 12 years ago | (#134763)

Which doesn't necessarily mean you are distributing it with free software but that you used free software as a "tool" in its development. This would in fact cover many things as was mentioned in the original /. post.

From the EULA:
For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that:
(x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software.
Seems fair to me. You can't Open Source MSFT components or use software that requires you to Open Source MSFT components.

--

I can just picture... (5)

chrysrobyn (106763) | more than 12 years ago | (#134765)

Rainman, sitting at a table. "Must compile code. Used NT to write it. NT has open sourced BSD networking code in it. Can't compile code. Can't compile code. Definitely can't compile code."

FUD in the license (2)

MrGrendel (119863) | more than 12 years ago | (#134778)

'Publicly Available Software' means each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and
(ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software (A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (C) be redistributable at no charge.

Amazing! They even put FUD into their licenses now. Free Software and Open Source licenses are distribuition licenses, not usage licenses. The GPL has no restriction whatsoever on who can use the software and for what purposes. It certainly does not require those using it to release any software they have written in source code form (or any form, for that matter). In fact, section 2 of the GPL states:

... it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or contest your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the intent is to exercise the right to control the distribution of derivative or collective works based on the Program.
Restrictions only come into play when a developer redistributes a program containing GPL (or other free-licensed) code. The MS lawyers are certainly smart enough to understand this, and yet, they lie anyway. As other posters have mentioned in previous articles, MS itself distributes the gcc compiler.

nonono (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 12 years ago | (#134783)

"Is this legal?" Stop asking this question on slashdot! Someone's gonna get hurt, purely by accident! And someone knowledgable could speak the absolute truth and it'd either be moderated incorrectly or someone would misinterpret it. Ask a lawyer if it's legal, not slashdot!

Peace,
Amit
ICQ 77863057

Re:sigh, story is a troll (4)

Agthorr (135998) | more than 12 years ago | (#134788)

Here's the full open source part of the license in question:
(c) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software. By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing, Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software. "Publicly Available Software" means each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and (ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software (A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (C) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following: (A) GNU?s General Public License (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (B) The Artistic License (e.g., PERL), (C) the Mozilla Public License, (D) the Netscape Public License, (E) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and (F) the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL).

(i) specifies to not distribute their code along with "viral" license code. However, the GPL allows distribution with non-GPLed code, as long as they're not part of the same program. Furthermore, (ii) specifies to not even use tools that have "viral" licenses. They speak generally of avoiding licenses that imply a legal obligation on Microsoft's part (reasonable), however they specifically mention software which could quite easily be used with creating any legal obligation (unreasonable).

This story is not a troll.

-- Agthorr
(Reproducing this portion of their license is fair use, right? ;))

How the heck do you enforce something like that? (1)

fetta (141344) | more than 12 years ago | (#134793)

"This seems to be a very wide ranging restriction applying to compilers (gcc), editors (vim, staroffice), filesystems (backup on linux server), web-browsers (mozilla logging into some online tool provider), Java (sun's virtual machine)."

Here is the relevant part of the EULA
(c) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software. By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing, Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software. "Publicly Available Software" means each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and (ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software (A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (C) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following: (A) GNU's General Public License (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (B) The Artistic License (e.g., PERL), (C) the Mozilla Public License, (D) the Netscape Public License, (E) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and (F) the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL).

How would you enforce these kind of restrictions?

"Is this legal?" I'm afraid so... (1)

hex1753 (146414) | more than 12 years ago | (#134802)

IANAL, but if Microsoft wishes to prevent people from using free software to develop on their SDK, they probably can. You can either abide by their rules, use free software and hope you don't get caught, or just don't use their SDK. Since it's their SDK, they get to control how it's used. Although it seems extreme, and it -should- be illegal, I wouldn't count on them getting sued anytime soon...

What about section (ii) ? (1)

cmickel (146480) | more than 12 years ago | (#134803)

I'd agree that section (i) says don't distribute under a 'naughty' license. I can understand that, it's their code, and if they don't want it GPL'd that's their business. What I don't understand is section (ii). So what if you use emacs/vi to edit you code? How does that in anyway effect the 'licence' status of the resulting code? It doesn't. I'm not really sure that that section of the EULA is really legal. It's certainly silly. Now MS is telling us what editor we can use to edit our code. Not that I care... I don't want their goofy little SDK anyway.

Depends on what they mean, "use" (1)

metallidrone (149048) | more than 12 years ago | (#134806)

I agree with your assessment about them not wanting people to redistribute their SDK (in particular, with Openly/Freely licensed code), but the phrase, "not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part" (emphasis mine) is what bothers me.

Maybe it means something else in legalese, but the way I read it leads me to believe that you couldn't use, say, Emacs to develope software (they don't specifically mention the developed software's license). Basically, it seems to me like they're trying to force developers under this license to use only non-Free editors.

I hope it's just my lack of understanding regarding legalese at fault here, and I would hope that someone would point it out if my interpretation is way off-base with fact.

Yes, it probably is legal. (1)

deepstephen (149398) | more than 12 years ago | (#134807)

IANAL, but it would seem to me that software authors can release their work under any license they choose. So I'm free to release my work under the GPL, and MS are free to release theirs under their EULA.

Round and Round we go (1)

gamorck (151734) | more than 12 years ago | (#134808)

The term software refers to the toolkit itself - NOT THE SOFTWARE YOU CREATE WITH IT.

Besides - you guys HAVE NO ROOM TO TALK. You dont want your free shit distributed with commercial stuff (debian anybody?) and it goes vice versa for them.

You have NO LEGS to stand on.

Gam
"FLame at Will"

GPL FAQ (1)

bfmartin (152511) | more than 12 years ago | (#134809)

After reading this license, go back and read MS's FAQ on the GPL, but this time substitute the MS EULA in place of the GPL.

That will make you stop and think...

Re:Is this legal? (1)

franimal (157291) | more than 12 years ago | (#134810)

Still it's rather irritating and finally (for all the talk) real, bias against open source.
This and those (*#@^%@(#&% 'dumb' tags in the new IE are gonna be enough to drive me over the edge... and use openBSD ... hey it supports all kinds of cool stuff fresh off the wire now :)

I can't use Microsoft Outlook? (4)

Misch (158807) | more than 12 years ago | (#134814)

From the EULA:

(ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software

IIRC, Microsoft Outlook is one of the biggest viral programs in existance. One need only look at the "ILOVEYOU" virus to see just how viral Outlook really is. So, I suppose you can't use Microsoft Outlook as an e-mail client while developing for the Mobile Internet Toolkit.

Re:Another nail in the coffin (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#134829)

I'll agree. M$ is taking a big big risk. They are trying to eliminate the FSF by putting themselves in great risk of killing themselves.

Microsoft can't die, though!!!! They make the best joysticks....

Makes perfect sense (1)

DuneWolf (171296) | more than 12 years ago | (#134831)

If you refer to the GPL license at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html [gnu.org], you'll note the following:

2b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.

IANAL but this implies that if I download the Microsoft SDK, develop some code against it, then release it under the GPL, or incorporate any GPL code, the GPL applies to the entire program, not just the modifications of the original GPL program. It is perfectly within the rights of Microsoft to prevent another license from superceding their own, or to allow users to be confused. This problem is exactly why LGPL was developed. For a program to be GPL, ALL OF THE SOURCE REQUIRED TO MAKE THE PROGRAM MUST BE GPL. You can't develop GPL code that works against non-GPL code, and distribute them together.

GPL does restrict seperate works distributed with (3)

DuneWolf (171296) | more than 12 years ago | (#134832)

If you refer to the GPL license at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html [gnu.org], you'll note the following:

2b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.

IANAL but this implies that if I download the Microsoft SDK, develop some code against it, then release it under the GPL, or incorporate any GPL code, the GPL applies to the entire program, not just the modifications of the original GPL program. It is perfectly within the rights of Microsoft to prevent another license from superceding their own, or to allow users to be confused. This problem is exactly why LGPL was developed. For a program to be GPL, ALL OF THE SOURCE REQUIRED TO MAKE THE PROGRAM MUST BE GPL. You can't develop GPL code that works against non-GPL code, and distribute them together.

How IS it legal??? (1)

RobertAG (176761) | more than 12 years ago | (#134837)

This particular EULA only allows for the distribution of internal, non-production applications or external applications on approved hosts.

Then there is the provision against using open source. I'm not sure I understand the mechanism, but is MS telling a person what they can and cannot deploy on their own property? I can understand if they don't want a beta product to be used as a production tool (and this seems to be a EULA for a beta product). But I don't think MS CAN tell a person what they can and can't use in conjunction with the software.

That's like the manufacturers of Tupperware saying you can't use plastic wrap to seal their containers. Personally, I think this provision has lots of bark and no bite. Screw them.

Yes, but... (2)

pizen (178182) | more than 12 years ago | (#134844)

Who actually pays attention to the EULA? Especially when it's quite dumb.
---

SEULA (5)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 12 years ago | (#134846)

A Simplified EULA

By Reading this license you agree that Microsoft Corporation does not want to be part of the Mobile Internet Market. You Furthermore agree that you do not wish to uuse this software. You must return this software for a refund.

It's FUD (1)

hackerhue (182083) | more than 12 years ago | (#134852)

"Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software.

The open-source and free software licences do not create any obligations for Microsoft nor do they try to grant rights or immunities to Microsoft's intellectual property. So this doesn't apply.

They are only mentioned in an example, and (IANAL) examples cannot be legally binding (especially if they are incorrect). They just want to spread more FUD.

In addition, the example that they use is that "Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software." It doesn't prohibit, e.g. using "Publicly Available Software" to edit programs that you write. Just that you can't distribute programs linked to software that would require you to distribute all the source code, and linked to their library at the same time. This isn't anything new, because if you did that, you'd be violating the licence of the open-source/free-software library that you're using.

The MS Point of view? (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 12 years ago | (#134855)

Ok, So I am going to play devils advocate for a moment. I Stress first that I absolutely do not agree with M$ on any of this crap. However, as a software company, distributing your respective widgets, would you want to support someone using your widgets in an environemnt you don't have any direct support/control for? We can all return to our days now, writing useful code on useful operating systems...or even in somecases writing useful code on thier useless operating system using another companies widgets and compilers.

I can see the future... (1)

colinm1981 (185957) | more than 12 years ago | (#134856)

Using MS Windows2006 XP SE Ultra Ass Whooping Edition: *attempt to install GCC 6.0* "Error: You are attempting to install Potentially Viral Software (PVS)(tm). Please call Microsoft at 1-800-WE-H8-GPL to explain yourself or Windows will be deactivated on next restart." Of course, this begs the question, why would I be using GCC on a windows system in the first place... ? ;)

sengan? Are you new... (1)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 12 years ago | (#134861)

To this planet?

Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software

It simply means that MS is giving you access to some of there source code and specifically stating you can't use THEIR SOFTWARE in the distribution or development of any open source software. Duh.

It doesn't mean you can't use open source tools to do whatever they are allowing you to do with their code.

Obviously common sense is not as common as it should be.

Is this legal? (5)

Daemosthenes (199490) | more than 12 years ago | (#134867)

of COURSE it's legal;

to qoute a comment from k5:
Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit Beta 2 Accompanying this Agreement is a prerelease copy of the Microsoft software identified above, which includes software and related documentation and information (collectively the "Software"). This means that this is a beta release of a toolkit, which is somewhat different than a development tool, (i.e. a compiler, or an IDE). This also means that the term the "Software" refers to the toolkit and not code that you've written...thus, essentially what that clause is saying is that you can't redistribute the Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit Beta 2 code with your GPL'ed source, presumably because they want to track downloads of the source. Yay.


HotMail? (1)

jpm242 (202316) | more than 12 years ago | (#134869)

Does that mean I can't use my WinCE pocket pc to log on to my Microsoft HotMail account???

Re:Another nail in the coffin (2)

anichan (205614) | more than 12 years ago | (#134874)

When one corporation sets itself up against the developers of the entire world, how could it not hurt them?

Of course, as you point out, this is Microsoft. A government certified "secure" OS with more holes than swiss cheese. I just wonder when the rest of the world is going to pay attention to what's going on.

Microsoft attacks the terms of the GPL, and yet, it's probably against their EULA to sneeze while you're typing. I don't understand.

Re:Microsoft's Lies (1)

Questy (209818) | more than 12 years ago | (#134877)

The way I read it, it seems to say that you cannot distribute their code with any GPL or LGPL project in whole or in part. Did I miss a section or a memo?

Fight fire with fire... (2)

sdo1 (213835) | more than 12 years ago | (#134882)

Anyone developing "free" software should stipulate in their license that it can not be used in any way by Microsoft Corporation.

-S

Re:Is this legal? (3)

abdulwahid (214915) | more than 12 years ago | (#134885)

That's not quite what it is saying rather you have only highlighted part of it. It also says...

not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software,

Which doesn't necessarily mean you are distributing it with free software but that you used free software as a "tool" in its development. This would in fact cover many things as was mentioned in the original /. post.

Quote from Gandhi (1)

BlowCat (216402) | more than 12 years ago | (#134887)

Gandhi said:
First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.
Look, Microsoft doesn't laugh anymore!

Does this mean no Halo on NT? (1)

mactari (220786) | more than 12 years ago | (#134893)

Hmmmm. If MS broadens their use of this license to Windows or Office, things could get a little messy. I guess Apache and Win2k would be right out. And MS Office on Mac OS X would be impossible. And *gulp* NT comes with vi [microsoft.com] when you install some resource bundles ... does that mean I can't use non-viral licensed software on NT?!! (That last one was sort of a joke -- I take it the version of vi on NT isn't Free[dom] Software)

This license is an interesting shot back from MS, but it's clearly just to get us in an uproar. No way could they add this viral license to their OS or popular products. If they thought people were bad at obeying licenses now... If I had to guess, I'd say this "media-spin-cloaked-in-a-license" is just an attempt to get the term "viral license" into the collective lexicon -- or at least a few online rags.

Ruffin Bailey

Another story that misrepresents the truth. (5)

rabtech (223758) | more than 12 years ago | (#134894)

While this looks very ominous, you must take a look at what this license is for. It concerns BETA/prerelease software. This isn't production code. The license very clearly states that you may only use the SDK "for the sole purposes of designing, developing, and testing Recipient's Applications,"

Here is the relevant Open Source section. Please note that "The Software" referrs to Microsoft's SDK, and will be highlighted in bold text.


(c) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient
(i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and
(ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software. By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing, Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software.

"Publicly Available Software" means each of
(i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and
(ii)any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software
(A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form;
(B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or
(C) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following:
(A) GNU's General Public License (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL),
(B) The Artistic License (e.g., PERL),
(C) the Mozilla Public License,
(D) the Netscape Public License,
(E) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL)
(F) the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL).


While that may at first appear very drastic, one must consider what is being said: You cannot distribute the SDK, or any of its components/examples with Open Source projects. This says nothing of the runtime -- only the SDK itself. Basically you can't lump the SDK into a package covered under another license. We must also notice this little paragraph, which would seem rather important:


3. APPROVED USES OF APPLICATIONS.
(a) Except as provided in Subsection 3(b), Recipient may only use Applications on an internal basis for non-production purposes only and may not distribute or license the Applications to third parties or make the Applications available for use by any third party.


All told, this is fairly standard as a Microsoft prerelease/beta license agreement. They are giving you tools, code samples, documentation, etc... and you are agreeing not to distribute this SDK as part of any other projects, especially Open Source ones. You are also agreeing not to distribute any projects that you create, or use them in "production" systems. Now if the final release version of the runtime included these clauses, we should start raising some eyebrowes.
-- russ

Well, it's their toys, their rules, isn't it? (1)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 12 years ago | (#134899)

Can't really fault them for wanting to add licensing restrictions of their own. From an advocacy standpoint, what we really need to focus on is the following counter-FUD:

Is this SDK better than anything that free software offers? Can this SDK offer anything that free software doesn't?

Are we able to differentiate between MS's use of the word "viral" and the common stigma of the word "virus" in a way that the average joe office manager can understand? Are we prepared to make this distinction whenever possible?

Can we use this restriction against MS somehow? For instance, not allowing users of the SDK to incorporate LGPL libraries, for instance, doesn't make much sense on the surface, and could restrict the user from using stuff that (a) doesn't infect their own programs with the GPL, (b) cut off a user from great potential resources such as (fill in your favourite LGPL stuff here).

Can we take MS's attempts at creating confusion and use them against MS? For instance, the SDL is an LGPL library that incorporates some DirectX stuff. Does this mean that you're not allowed to use aids such as the SDL that help make DirectX easier to use, even if no proprietary code gets infected with the GPL with the use?

Where can we ask tons of questions like, "I really like Windows and I also really like Apache. This SDK licensing seems to suggest that I can't do Apache development for the Windows platform. Why is that? Why are you limiting developers this way?"

Re:Microsoft's Lies (1)

cicadia (231571) | more than 12 years ago | (#134900)

I read this paragraph as implying that if you even compile some source code with a freely available tool, such as gcc, then you program becomes "Potentially Viral Software".

One of the conditions of the licence is your

(ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part.

They're implying that if you so much as compile a line of source with gcc, then your whole project, including the bits that you've compiled with their toolkit, and the toolkit itself, will immediately be covered by the GPL!

Someone needs to clue MS in that the GPL isn't an airborne virus. They can't get it from someone breathing near their software.

Sounds like Pac Man to me (1)

Water Paradox (231902) | more than 12 years ago | (#134901)

Now how in the world can they prohibit such things. Jeepers. What will they think of next, a license which is a virus, infecting everything it touches?

Re:Viral again... (1)

Water Paradox (231902) | more than 12 years ago | (#134902)

Silly. Have you no faith?

Microsoft is on the way to giving the word 'viral' an ameliorated connotation.

Pretty soon, people will be lining up to buy viruses. Then Microsoft will realize that they tackled the wrong enemy. Open Source will not "win" by people "advocating" it. Or "lose" by MSoft "attacking" it. Open Source already won because it is more noble than money-driven proprietary software.

If you believe in the precepts of capitalism, you'll be a day late and a dollar short on anything of real substance. Capitalism is for losers. Open source is based on a principled idea. MS is based on greed, which lasts briefly.

Now for the backlash (1)

pheph (234655) | more than 12 years ago | (#134913)

What about modules and examples? Those are publicly available.

It seems like this could go in the same direction as the DeCSS, where the line for code/software is drawn in some arbitrary location.

Ask Slashdot (2)

prototype (242023) | more than 12 years ago | (#134917)

Oh well. I just finished typing this up as a submission to Ask Slashdot as I wondered what the future might hold with respect to this. Maybe someone can comment here on the future direction and implications this might hold if such an agreement were carried over to .net compilers and such. Here's the submission:

Here's something odd I found buried on an MSDN page at Microsoft. Apparently MS is prohibiting developers from releasing software created under an OpenSource license like the GPL. It's a license agreement to something called the "Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit Beta 2" but it goes on to speak about releasing software created with it and specifically about OpenSource:

Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below);

It goes on to describe Publically Availalble Software and Potentially Viral Software as:

Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software. "Publicly Available Software" means each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models

As the maintainer of a free, OpenSource C++ DirectX wrapper (http://www.cdxlib.com [cdxlib.com]), I don't think this affects groups like mine but could this be paving a way towards other MS tactics like this? I'm not sure how this affects us but would like to hear commments from the SlashDot community on this.

The full agreement can be found here:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdn-files/027/001/516/e ula_mit.htm [microsoft.com]

Pot: "Kettle, you're black!" (3)

tulare (244053) | more than 12 years ago | (#134918)

After all the schmaltz about "potentially viral" software up near the top of the eula (where it is more likely to be read, I suppose), there was this little gem:
"Recipient agrees (i) to promptly upgrade to and obtain a license for the commercially released version of the Software when it becomes generally available to the public; (ii) to install all updates as ?mandatory updates? by Microsoft within 2 business days of receipt of such updates (all updates delivered to Recipient by Microsoft shall be subject to this Agreement);"
So, GNU software is potentially viral, but you'd damn well better install our updates.Right.

I wonder how long it takes for Microsoft to start hiring guys to work for them wearing white plastic body suits. I admit that I prefer most of Office to most comparable software, but these people are acting less and less like a software company - and more and more like a government. It needs to stop.
By the way - did anyone else try to read that eula using Mozilla? Talk about sphagetti code!

Super FUD (4)

dodson (248550) | more than 12 years ago | (#134920)

Provide the world with questions about a liscense.

Encourage legal departments to carefully consider the ramifications of the vague and viral GPL.

Provide the world with answers to list of questions.

Package it all in a EULA that enjoins the use of liscense.

Force companies to carefully consider if EULA can actually prohibit them from using Open Source Software.

Hope all will give up because EULA brings MS legal threat into the equation.

They are not a monopoly though.

Us and Them (1)

winchester (265873) | more than 12 years ago | (#134936)

Increasingly, the computer industry seems to be devided between Us and Them, the group of people who belive open is good and who open up their sources, technologies etc. and the group of people and companies who want to keep their stuff closed.

History has already given us enough examples of which group will win in the end.

Re:We made Microsoft angry.. (2)

tb3 (313150) | more than 12 years ago | (#134962)

So let 'em know what you think. Here's a link to the Mobile Internet Toolkit Homepage [microsoft.com] and there's a feedback section at the bottom. Everyone go ask 'em why you can't use Open-Sourced tools with their toolkit.

"What are we going to do tonight, Bill?"

Not enforcible (1)

tuxlove (316502) | more than 12 years ago | (#134967)

This cannot be legal. I am quite sure they have no right to dictate how you develop software just because you use their SDK. They can dictate how you use their SDK itself, but that's it.

I am constantly nauseated by MS and their licensing agreements that make illegal pronouncements like this. They've *all* got obviously illegal stipulations of one sort or another, but nobody's got the wherewithal or drive to fight them, it seems.

For example, the "you can't give negative reviews to our software" clause that keeps magazines from publishing bad reports about MS software.

Another example, the clause they use for their apps which states that the software can only be run on an MS operating system, a clause intended to thwart efforts like Wine. I don't know if they still have clauses like this in their software, but they used to.

And the list goes on. How can they continue to get away with it?

Re:No networking? (3)

Nurgster (320198) | more than 12 years ago | (#134969)

Actually, the license only forbids development using tools that make use of viral licenses. It's not worded vert well, but here is the relevent clause:


(c) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software. By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing, Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software. "Publicly Available Software" means each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and (ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software (A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (C) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following: (A) GNU's General Public License (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (B) The Artistic License (e.g., PERL), (C) the Mozilla Public License, (D) the Netscape Public License, (E) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and (F) the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL).


The BSD licence (which TCP/IP is based on) is not mentioned, nor is it similar to any of the listed licenses.

This is just another move by Microsoft in their campaign against the GPL (which is, IMO, a good move on their part).

This license ensures developers can't be forced to use a specific license further down the line.

Re:sigh, story is a troll (2)

jonniesmokes (323978) | more than 12 years ago | (#134973)

Actually I'm not convinced that this is OK. I read it as saying that I couldn't use their object code libraries to develop a piece of software which was free. This is different that anything before. I'm starting to think Stallman might be right. *shiver*

I always used supplied libraries to develop my applications. That was the whole point of an SDK. Now I guess I can't, unless I charge for the software. This puts MS at an advantage, since they often put out software at cheap or free prices to undercut their competitors.

Glad the league for programming freedom is out there somewhere fighting the good fight.

"(c) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i)
not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as
defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient
software which includes the Software, in whole or in part." -- in part? does that include the library routines?

Potentially Viral? (1)

Idylwyld (324288) | more than 12 years ago | (#134974)

Come on now, according to M$'s own recent propaganda all Open Source and similar licenses are viral.

The big question is, given that this license requires (seems to require?) the use of .NET servers doesn't that make this EULA a potentially viral program?

In the Beginning was Beer, and it was Good...

Open source is suddenly a virus (1)

CrazyJim0 (324487) | more than 12 years ago | (#134975)

) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or

Re:Super FUD (1)

TheAwfulTruth (325623) | more than 12 years ago | (#134976)

That title could be applied to /. in spades. Lets be honest. The anti-MS FUD here is RAMPANT. I'd sort of hope that MS was big enough to ignore it. But I don't think you can run up to a bear and kick it in the nuts 100 times without it taking a swipe at you. Well now it's YOUR turn to be bigger than that. And so far the posts have been 10 little minds to one big... Oh well.

Damn! (1)

Louis_Cyphier (452923) | more than 12 years ago | (#134991)

I got a much better deal when I sold my soul to Satan, and he was upfront about what I'd lose, and what I'd gain. This is too sneaky for even the Prince of Darkness, the bad mamajama himself Lucifer. Satan also likes Iron Maiden, so it was cool. Now Microsoft on the other hand, fuck 'em. We should just ignore them, it'd be one plight removed. That's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Enforcibility (2)

dfackrell (459465) | more than 12 years ago | (#134999)

The point is not that they can enforce the license agreement against individuals. They don't even try now, although they want everyone to believe otherwise.

The money, and hence their focus, revolves around business users. And business users are quite careful about such things.

You can take as an example anything you wish. You don't go after one person for an infringement of $15-500. Takes much too much effort to do it, unless you want to make an example, which has proven ineffective.

Now, suppose you also have the option to target a corporate user with 100, or even 100,000 individuals using the software. Besides, they have deeper pockets, and it has been shown repeatedly that deep pockets are easier targets. Unfortunately, unless we can make Open Source work in the corporate environment as well (it already does to a great extent), the entire movement is doomed to remain "a thing of geeks."

Besides, there are still individuals who get duped into paying for information such as operating systems, office suites, and games (take note, gamers). We need a stronger education campaign to battle the FUD-slinging that's currently going around.

We made Microsoft angry.. (1)

Yahiko (461616) | more than 12 years ago | (#135001)

Maybe if everyone didn't jump on Microsoft's ass whenever they used open sourced stuff because they made statements against Linux this wouldn't happen.

Good job in pissing them off, development just got 100 times harder (and more expensive).*/sarcasm*

--Yahiko
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