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OSI Approves Microsoft Licenses Submissions

Oct 16, 2007, 14:00 (20 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Michael Tiemann for these links. ]

"Acting on the advice of the License Approval Chair, the OSI Board today approved the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL). The decision to approve was informed by the overwhelming (though not unanimous) consensus from the open source community that these licenses satisfied the 10 criteria of the Open Source definition, and should therefore be approved.

"The formal evaluation of these licenses began in August and the discussion of these licenses was vigourous and thorough. The community raised questions that Microsoft (and others) answered; they raised issues that, when germane to the licenses in question, Microsoft addressed..."

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George Clooney, Princess Diana, and Microsoft

"George Clooney's quote is reflective of an opinion I expressed last month, which can be read to say that the only thing worse than approving licenses submitted by companies who have been abusive toward open source would be to arbitrarily attempt to restrict them from competing as open source companies. In the same way that George Clooney is a First Amendment guy, I am an Open Source Definition guy, and the fact that Microsoft was willing to draft new licenses with the goal of OSD compliance, submit to our process, participate in our discussion, make changes in response to those discussions, and then ask for an up-or-down vote gives us a new understanding of the power of Open Source. So now the OSI has approved two Microsoft licenses. Is this the beginning of the end? Or is this the end of the beginning? I know that the eyes of the technology world will be on the OSI and on Microsoft to see what happens next. If, as some fear, the approval of these licenses ends up damaging open source, perhaps we will learn of some 11th condition or some change to the 10 that must be made to better preserve the integrity of what we call open source..."

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