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Re: Microsoft's Linux Kernel Code Drop Result of GPL Violation

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Microsoft's Linux Kernel Code Drop Result of GPL Violation
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 2009 18:59:43 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090605)

Rjack wrote:
17 USC 301(a)

This is the preemption clause, which relegates all copyright
to federal law. It is completely irrelevant to the GPL, because
the GPL functions solely under copyright law.

Google [microsoft "fears the GPL"] and you'll get 36,000 hits. That's
the result of the FSF's propaganda campaign over the years -- yet
yesterday Micro$oft released 20,000 lines of code under the GPL.

Stever Ballmer is widely quoted as saying "Linux is a cancer that
attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it
touches." Perhaps that's the source of the "fear" impression. Also,
after Microsoft and Novell arranged a patent protection deal,
Microsoft moved very quickly to avoid possible entanglement in the
requirements of GPLv3.

The proper phrasing should be that Microsoft is very cautious with
respect to the GPL, because it believes that the GPL works as it
says it does, and it wishes to make sure that it is not put into a
situation where mixing of GPLed code with their own code arises,
when that code is not something they wish to make free software.

When they judge that releasing code under the GPL is warranted, they
do so. This was true of UNIX services for Windows, and it is true now.

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