They're involved in the distribution
Posted Jul 8, 2007 0:47 UTC (Sun) by rickmoen
In reply to: They're involved in the distribution
Parent article: Microsoft's proclamation on GPLv3
Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
According to the GPLv3 lawyers, they're "procuring the distribution of" GPL'd software, and that requires permission from the copyright holder. So Microsoft are either distributing under the permissions which the GPL grants them, or they are violating copyright.
Quite. Moreover, this does affect preexisting software covered by the Novell-Microsoft patent-shakedown agreement, too (not just future releases under GPLv3), because a great deal of existing software in both Novell SLES10/SLED10, per upstream licensors' terms, can be received by users under GPLv2 or, at their option, any later version.
For that matter, Microsoft Services for Unix (nee Interix) is affected in exactly the same fashion, because it, too, includes a great deal of upstream, third-party code that users may accept under GPLv2 or any later version.
So, this is not a consideration that could apply if Novell (and/or Microsoft) distributes GPLv3 software in the future. They've both already done it.
Anyway, Microsoft's uncredited "statement" is not for consumption by judges, but rather by business partners, stock analysts, and the IT press. You may recall this sort of fatuous and logically defective tactic popping up frequently in Darl McBride's SCO Group playbook, too, and the fact that it took a long time for the Laura DiDios of the world to cease repeating it uncritically.
The correct response is to calmly point out that Microsoft Corporation has, in fact, already distributed third-party GPLv3 code, irrespective of the firm's dealings with Novell -- and ask whether Microsoft has suddenly decided to rip off other people's copyright title, and ignore their licensing terms, whenever it's convenient.
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