CyberTech Rambler

July 9, 2007

No confrontation expected between Microsoft and FSF

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 10:38 am

As expected, the GPL3 blogosphere is busy after Microsoft release a statement about its position on GPLv3. I myself cannot resist this temptation. Having blog about it twice already, I am now going to do another piece. Other people’s comments here : PJ‘s, Bob Sutor‘s, Joe Wilcox and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

This blog is a continuation of a previous blog post on my comment on Brian Profitt’s commentary when GPL3 came out. In particular, his comment that Microsoft wants a confrontation with FSF. Microsoft’s statement was as predicted and the language, as predicted, is not written to lower the temperature. By default, releasing this statement increased the temperature.

So, are we heading for a meltdown? And if so, who will fire the first salvo? On the first question, not much had changed. Like a nuclear warfare, it’s not in anybody’s interest as nobody will survive the meltdown. Unfortunately, like the cold war, there are values in saber-rattling (PR statements) and the perfection of new weapon (new license, new patent agreement). Again, unfortunately, but this time unlike the cold war, meltdown will happen one day. The meltdown will not be Microsoft vs FSF but when some other, probably unrelated, lawsuit, when a judge has to decide on whether the act of procuring someone to convey something is held as being a party to something”.

Anyone waiting for Microsoft vs FSF or FSF vs Microsoft will be extremely likely to be disappointed. Besides broad campaigning against software patent, FSF offensive has mostly opted to educate, rather than legal recourse. Right now, FSF is just going to say that GPL3 settle this matter once and for all. I cannot see FSF recklessly and purposefully infringe on Microsoft’s patent to provoke Microsoft in order to test this theory. As for Microsoft, it will stick by its gun that it is not a party to GPL3 and have no obligation under GPLv3. It is not in its interest to have this theory tested either.

If I were to place a bet, I say Microsoft vs FSF is more likely than FSF vs Microsoft. Even more likely is GPLv3 is tested by Microsoft vs “someone else”. I believe the fuse for such a lawsuit is already lit. Only problem is we do not know when the bomb will explode.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] observation which talks about legal implications. Will the FSF ever face Microsoft in court? The following blogger believes it is unlikely. He provides some decent arguments to back his opinion. Anyone waiting for Microsoft vs FSF or FSF […]

    Pingback by Boycott Novell » Novell Identifies Microsoft-GPLv3-FSF Workaround — July 11, 2007 @ 3:52 am | Reply


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