CyberTech Rambler

July 18, 2007

Microsoft scrambling for cover?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 6:23 pm

Mary Jo brings the story of Microsoft modifying its agreements with Linux distributors
in response to GPLv3 up to date.  There is a lot of activity, all of which expected.

In some sense, GPLv3 achieved its objective: To dilute the the protection racket offered by Microsoft. Right now GPLv3 threat is still theoretical as only those living on the bleeding edge will actually see GPLv3. Over time the large quantity of GPLv3 software will reduce “protection” to small and insignificant portion. Sure, the Linux kernel will be always in GPLv2 and safely under “protection”. But with GPLv3 in crucial management utilities and programs, they would be worthless. None of Microsoft’s Linux partner, including Novell, have the ability or the stomach to rewrite these applications.

As for whether GPLv3 “conveyance” property means Microsoft lose the ability to sue all GPL users, I will say it is a gray area. It is true that Microsoft feels it has to build potetial legal defense around it. Unfortunately, until somebody test it, we do not know whether it is enough. If common sense law applies they will probably be out-of-luck. But it all hinge on the fact whether GPLv3 allows the copyright holder to dictate the behaviour of everyone who “convey” his software.

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