[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Edlug Archive Mar 2004 ]

Re: [edlug] EU Forcing Microsoft to Open Source?

On Wed, 24 Mar 2004, Justin B Rye wrote:

> What Auntie Beeb seems to be talking about is MS being obliged to open
> up particular APIs/ABIs so rivals can write media-player apps for XP
> without having to work out all the system calls by reverse-engineering.
> A minor annoyance for Microsoft, but I don't see it helping the free
> world terribly much except in that it makes SCO's position even more
> absurd (amazing how that keeps happening).

I came across this http://swpat.ffii.org/news/04/mstv0129/index.en.html
today, that suggests how Microsoft intend to approach this kind of thing.
With moves afoot by the Council of Ministers of the EU, it could be that
this strategy could soon work in Europe.

I wasn't able to find details of the licensing terms mentioned in the
link above, but came across something relating to CIFS and SMB in which
Microsoft forbid licensees from using their licensed <whatever> in any
software that fell under an 'intellectual property impairing' license,
which according to their definition of this, the GPL falls under.

Perhaps a question for the debate on Thursday might go something along the
lines of - if open source (and free software) is not a viable business
model, why does Microsoft feel the need to attack it with tactics like
those above? Rather than expect any kind of meaningful answer from
Microsoft, we might help raise awareness of the threat that software
patents and associated licensing poses to free software.


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