"Microsoft, in its new 'Royalty-Free CIFS Technical Reference
License Agreement,' unequivocally targets Free Software developers
who choose copyleft licensing terms. Microsoft's new license
directly attacks the GNU General Public License (GPL) and the GNU
Lesser General Public License (LGPL)--licenses published by the
Free Software Foundation (FSF) and used prominently by numerous
Free Software projects worldwide.
"Microsoft has veiled this attack in the trappings of a 'gift.'
Microsoft agrees to grant royalty-free permission to use and
exercise their CIFS patents in Free Software, but only to a limited
set of developers. Under the guise of fulfilling its obligations
under the anti-trust settlement, Microsoft has singled out
developers and companies who choose copyleft licenses (such as GPL
and LGPL). Software distributors of copylefted software are
forbidden from exercising the patents royalty-free, and thus are
effectively forbidden from exercising the patents at all under
copyleft. In effect, Microsoft has vindicated the warnings FSF set
forth in its Tunney act filing against the Proposed Revised Final
Judgment in United States vs. Microsoft. As we there warned the
Justice Department and the courts, the settlement terms are not in
the public interest because they permit Microsoft to deny effective
access to their APIs to Microsoft's most effective
competitors--Free Software developers..."