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Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Bentley: "Here We Go Again: Microsoft Inks

From: Alexander Terekhov
Subject: Re: GPLv3 comedy unfolding -- Bentley: "Here We Go Again: Microsoft Inks Deal with Xandros"
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2007 14:30:46 +0200

Here We Go Again: Microsoft Inks Deal with Xandros

Posted by Lora Bentley on June 4, 2007 at 4:32 pm

As we pointed out earlier today, says Microsoft has a new
agreement. What’s the big deal? There isn’t one, really — unless you
consider that the other party to the agreement is Ottowa-based Linux
distributor Xandros. And the terms are similar to those in Microsoft’s
controversial agreement with Novell — including the covenant not to sue.

Yes, you read that correctly, and no, you shouldn’t be surprised.
Despite the prohibition in the last call draft of the GNU General Public
License v3, Microsoft and Xandros have entered into a collaboration
agreement that includes patent protection. Because it was effective
after March 28, 2007, the agreement puts in jeopardy Xandros’ right to
distribute software that is released under GPL v3.

Why would any company deliberately defy license terms? Because it can.
We’d imagine that Microsoft’s pockets are deep enough that it couldn’t
care less about legal action that might arise because of the agreement.
In fact, as this InformationWeek piece
to suggest, it may be that Microsoft wants to challenge the license in

If the Free Software Foundation thought changing the license terms to
prevent more Microsoft-Novell agreements would end the matter, it was
wrong. It seems that Eben Moglen and other free software attorneys will
be busy for quite some time.


"I can change the rules."

   Herr Prof Eben

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