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FSF: Microsoft Attacks Free Software Developers with New License

Apr 11, 2002, 16:00 (66 Talkback[s])

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[ Thanks to Bradley M. Kuhn for this link. ]

"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..."

Complete Story

Link to Royalty-Free CIFS Technical Reference License Agreement

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