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OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

By Tina Gasperson on August 18, 2007 (3:14:08 PM)

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The OSI License-Discuss mailing list has been ablaze for the past few days since Microsoft submitted its Permissive License (MS-PL) to the OSI [Open Source Initiative] for official open source license approval. Jon Rosenberg, source program director for Microsoft, posted, "Microsoft believes that this license provides unique value to the open source community by delivering simplicity, brevity, and permissive terms combined with intellectual property protection."

Rosenberg compared the MS-PL to the new BSD license and the Apache 2.0 license. "However, the new BSD license does not contain an explicit patent grant," he wrote. "In addition, we sought to create a license that is simple, short, and easy to understand."

Code licensed under the MS-PL cannot be redistributed under the terms of any other license, but it can be combined with works released under the terms of other licenses, as long as those other licenses permit it.

Chuck Swiger, an active member of the license-discuss community, thinks that lets the GPL out of the mix. "...The MS-PL + BSD/MIT/Zlib/Apache2 coe is fine, but MS-PL+GPL or similar is not." Still, Swiger agreed that the MS-PL was "reasonably close" to the new BSD license, which he called a "canonical example of a permissive license."

Another community member, Donovan Hawkins, doesn't like the MS-PL's requirement to keep its code separate from any other code licensed differently. "I can think of cases where I made MAJOR changes to some open-source function to use in a project," he writes. "What sort of Frankenlicense would apply to that function if I wished to release my changes under GPL but the original was MPL or MSPL? Every other line of code under a different license?"

Things got really interesting when Chris DiBona, longtime OSI member, open source advocate, and open source programs manager for Google, Inc. chimed in:

I would like to ask what might be perceived as a diversion and maybe even a mean spirited one. Does this submission to the OSI mean that Microsoft will:

a) Stop using the market confusing term Shared Source
b) Not place these licenses and the other, clearly non-free , non-osd
licenses in the same place thus muddying the market further.
c) Continue its path of spreading misinformation about the nature of
open source software, especially that licensed under the GPL?
d) Stop threatening with patents and oem pricing manipulation schemes
to deter the use of open source software?

If not, why should the OSI approve of your efforts? That of a company who has called those who use the licenses that OSI purports to defend a communist or a cancer? Why should we see this seeking of approval as anything but yet another attack in the guise of friendliness?

That query got the attention of heretofore silent Bill Hilf, Microsoft's general manager of platform strategy. "I'm unclear how some of your questions are related to our license submissions, which is what I believe this list and the submission process are designed to facilitate," Hilf wrote. "You're questioning things such as Microsoft's marketing terms, press quotes, where we put licenses on our web site, and how we work with OEMs - none of which I could find at http://opensource.org/docs/osd. If you'd like to discuss this, I'd be happy to - and I have a number of questions for you about Google's use of and intentions with open source software as well. But this is unrelated to the OSD compliance of a license, so I will do this off-list and preferably face to face or over the phone."

Mee-ow!

Hilf went on to say that one of the reasons Microsoft coined the term "Shared Source" was "to acknowledge that these licenses had not been approved by the OSI, and some of our Shared Source licenses will not be submitted to the OSI." But, Hilf wrote, "I'm open to make this more distinguishable on where/how we post the [licenses] on the Web site, if it's important to the community."

DiBona also wanted to know why Microsoft thought it needed its own open source license, since there are so many OSI-approved licenses already available with similar terms. Hilf wrote that because so many projects already use the Microsoft licenses, "they represent a reasonably large set of existing code, the authors and users of which would benefit from having the licenses assessed as Open Source."

Community member Dag-Erling Smørgrav, a senior software developer at Linpro AS, accused DiBona of prejudice against Microsoft:

Basically, Chris doesn't want the OSI to approve a license submitted by an organization of which he personally disapproves, regardless of the merits of the license itself. Hey, I can sympathize - personally, I really don't approve of the FSF, and I'd love to see the OSI turn down the GPLv3.

Except I wouldn't, really, because then the OSI would lose every shred of credibility and quickly become irrelevant - just like it would if it failed to carefully consider the licenses submitted by Microsoft, or to approve them if they were found to adhere to the OSD. I don't want the OSI to lose its credibility and become irrelevant, and I believe that both licenses submitted by Microsoft are OSD-compliant.



Double Mee-ow!

DiBona replied:

OSI should not trade on its reputation lightly... this is not a discussion about licenses but whether or not it is wise for OSI to enable its most vicious competitor.

You may want to try to paint this as personal disapproval, but if you look on any search engine you would be hard pressed to find anything from me personally about Microsoft outside of windows refund day in 1998. Note that trying to turn this into a discussion about FSF or Google or me completely dodges the issue, so , you know, nice try and all. I'm more than happy to discuss Google's frankly incredibly awesome open source practices (including pr, press quotes, not creating new licenses, marketing and the rest) in a different thread.



Tina Gasperson writes about business and technology from an open source perspective.

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on OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

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OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.81.37.159] on August 18, 2007 06:22 PM
I think Hilf's reply, while probably truthful, makes Chris' point for him. Particularly the carefully worded part about: "...would benefit from having the licenses assessed as Open Source." I don't see anything there about open code, he's talking solely about the perception of the license, and the benefit of that perception to the authors of that "...large set of existing code...". In other words, an attempt by the wolf to get the sheep's clothing accepted. To illustrate, let me play a word substitution game... "..which would benefit from having OOXML assessed as an Open Standard...". Hmmm, why isn't everyone jumping on the bandwagon for that one? Microsoft is currently engaged in a campaign to undermine the perception of "open", and these license submissions are yet another front in that attack. Microsoft's definition of "open" is vague, and constantly changing to suit their immediate goals. Chris is absolutely right. We should not be looking solely at the clothing, which is what Hilf is pushing for, we need to look at who is wearing it as well.

#

Im suprised goold ol Bill didnt ask DiBona is he still beats his wife

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 216.239.83.14] on August 18, 2007 08:26 PM
I have as much interest in name definitions as I have in watching American Idol but muddying the waters seems to be the Microsoft aim here as well as sowing confusion, discord and FUD. (its ok, the open source community lives well in confusion and discord. Sort of like Italy.).

In practice this has no effect on me since I only contribute to projects using different versions of GPL, the term open source being too generic, too broad and not well framed.
But I do understand how subverting the term open source could affect the movement and agree with CB's question and the way it was framed.

And I dont know about where you people work but most jobs Ive had have been in companies where the CEO's words are of utmost importance.
Find me where in the last year Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer has said ANYTHING remotely positiive and non threatening to open source projects and I might give some credence (because you know...they could also lie. I know, unheard of in tech, eh?). What some middle management underling has to say about his little departments work means squat when the capo di tuttu capi says otherwise.
When it comes to whether I believe Bill Hilf or Steve Ballmer, Mr. Hilf's comments are meaningless next to his boss'.

I give Hilf credit for doing that "No, no, we love open source, you cant hold what some press release or marketing department says...we really do like open source." bit even though we've all heard the top two at Microsoft claim otherwise.
C'mon Bill, who is lying?
You or Steve Ballmer?

That of course will never be addressed. We will just have to live in the Hilf universe where there has been nothing said about open source at all.
Like Sgt Shultz, Hilf hears "notting".

So instead of answering the question, he pulls a simple yellow belt judo move and asks him the equivalent of do you still beat your wife? which is
"..and I have a number of questions for you about Google's use of and intentions with open source software as well."
Yes because when it comes to open source, Microsoft has lessons to give to Google about open source.
Bravo, this is a trick they teach you in high school on the debate team. Im happy Hilf paid attention but it doesnt distract most adults from what he does.

And I am not one of those who is against Microsoft joining a GPL project.
It is free (libre) for everyone, no exceptions. If Microsoft would want to have their people use and then add to the code as stipulate by the GPL license I would be THRILLED because it would be a great day for technology.
The rules of the GPL are pretty simple to follow if you want to.
If.
And that is one big IF as long as Gates and Ballmer are the heads honchos at Microsoft and they keep talking about open source as they do.

Of course, you could do like Hilf and just say "It doesnt matter what my bosses say."



Robuka

#

Im suprised goold ol Bill didnt ask DiBona is he still beats his wife

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 216.239.83.14] on August 18, 2007 08:29 PM
I have as much interest in name definitions as I have in watching American Idol but muddying the waters seems to be the Microsoft aim here as well as sowing confusion, discord and FUD. (its ok, the open source community lives well in confusion and discord. Sort of like Italy.).



In practice this has no effect on me since I only contribute to projects using different versions of GPL, the term open source being too generic, too broad and not well framed.

But I do understand how subverting the term open source could affect the movement and agree with CB's question and the way it was framed.



And I dont know about where you people work but most jobs Ive had have been in companies where the CEO's words are of utmost importance.
Find me where in the last year Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer has said ANYTHING remotely positiive and non threatening to open source projects and I might give some credence (because you know...they could also lie. I know, unheard of in tech, eh?). What some middle management underling has to say about his little departments work means squat when the capo di tuttu capi says otherwise.

When it comes to whether I believe Bill Hilf or Steve Ballmer, Mr. Hilf's comments are meaningless next to his boss'.




I give Hilf credit for doing that "No, no, we love open source, you cant hold what some press release or marketing department says...we really do like open source." bit even though we've all heard the top two at Microsoft claim otherwise.

C'mon Bill, who is lying?

You or Steve Ballmer?




That of course will never be addressed. We will just have to live in the Hilf universe where there has been nothing said about open source at all.

Like Sgt Shultz, Hilf hears "notting".



So instead of answering the question, he pulls a simple yellow belt judo move and asks him the equivalent of do you still beat your wife? which is
"..and I have a number of questions for you about Google's use of and intentions with open source software as well."

Yes because when it comes to open source, Microsoft has lessons to give to Google about open source.
Bravo, this is a trick they teach you in high school on the debate team. Im happy Hilf paid attention but it doesnt distract most adults from what he does.



And I am not one of those who is against Microsoft joining a GPL project.
It is free (libre) for everyone, no exceptions. If Microsoft would want to have their people use and then add to the code as stipulate by the GPL license I would be THRILLED because it would be a great day for technology.

The rules of the GPL are pretty simple to follow if you want to.

If.

And that is one big IF as long as Gates and Ballmer are the heads honchos at Microsoft and they keep talking about open source as they do.



Of course, you could do like Hilf and just say "It doesnt matter what my bosses say."






Robuka

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OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.158.7.136] on August 18, 2007 09:29 PM
Richard Stallman and the FSF might be irritating. But do you know why I find them irritating? Because increasingly I am finding that they are right!

The term "open source" has become so debased that the biggest enemy of open standards, interoperability and computer user freedom can contemplate one of it's stinky little licenses as being "open source".

Stallman is right. "Open source" is weak. It isn't enough. We do need to talk about "free as in freedom" a whole lot more.

#

Get real

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.192.250.149] on August 18, 2007 09:43 PM

If you take everything said by a company like Microsoft at face value, you'll always be confused.


Big picture: Microsoft wants to cripple the Free Software community. It has used deceitful advertising, FUD, patent threats, political lobbying, and illegal pressure on hardware manufacturers. No doubt it will continue to use these and other methods, and invent a few more.


You say I'm anti-Microsoft? Well, I don't keep my head in the sand, and I try to stay informed about what is going on around me, and I try to understand what I see. That has led me to hold certain opinions about Microsoft. It's wrong to be prejudiced against a company, but basing one's opinions on observed facts is not prejudice.


Now - with that as the background - read the story again. It's garbage, because it presents Microsoft mouthpieces as credible. There is no debate here. A debate pits one equally-credible person against another, and we don't have that here.

#

Re: Get real

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.254.147.36] on August 20, 2007 12:55 PM
Very well said.

I get accused of being anti-Microsoft at work despite my protestations that I am not. I also try to stay well informed yet the accusers (including my boss, an IT Manager!!) don't. The difference is I like to see what it happening in the world of IT whereas the accusers are happy with what they have or know. I am uptodate with the news whereas they are not. Still, I am anti-Microsoft. I tell them to look up Microsoft on the intraweb but of course they don't, because I am only making this up because I am anti-Microsoft.

#

Re: Get real

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.17.124.172] on August 23, 2007 02:09 AM
I always wonder if companies have ever seen what has happened to Partners of Microsoft over the years. Who's interest did Microsoft hold above all others?

Who did they leave in the wake after making the company lots of promises? What markets do Microsoft hold a firm grasp, and want to milk more money out of to go after new markets?

Peoples ability to ignore history is amazing to me, and I am not just talking about this one instance.

#

OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 200.83.177.139] on August 18, 2007 11:08 PM
I shall refer you to the <a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem#Ad_hominem_as_formal_fallacy>Ad Hominem Fallacy</a>. The fact that Microsoft is <insert favorite insult here> doesn't mean the license is not open source. The whole point of the license-discuss mailing list is to assess licenses, not the people behind them

#

Re: OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.80.34.124] on August 19, 2007 04:03 PM
Well I don't know all the fancy debating terminology but I can tell you this, "The whole point of the license-discuss mailing list is to assess licenses, not the people behind them" is bullshit.




If I offer you $20 and when you accept I hit you over the head with a baseball bat, the next time I offer you $20 you won't take into consideration anything but the $, right? The only logical thing to do is accept or reject the $20 based on it's value, connecting the bat in the head to your acceptance would be a logical fallacy. Thankfully we can make more complex decisions than your limited debating terms allow.

#

Re(1): OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.68.30.24] on August 19, 2007 08:56 PM
If you gave me $20 and hit me over the head with a baseball bat. I will thank you for the money and bring a lawsuit against you for hitting me. And repeat if you repeat. This in no way changes the value of the $20.

I'm not saying that M$ should be supported, but just remember to support any thing good they do, at least after they have good completion (or has that time already come?), so that another organization as powerful and evil wouldn't just replaces it.

#

Re(2): OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.1.39.138] on August 19, 2007 09:44 PM
slight problem. your lawsuit would be dismissed in less than two seconds by any competent judge. So, you'd be out $20, have a headache, and be out court fees. Care to keep trolling or are you going to keep having reality pointed out to you?

#

Re(2): OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.80.34.124] on August 20, 2007 12:36 AM
Your inability to make decisions based on consequences makes you a shoe in for a Darwin award.

#

Re: OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.50.32.1] on August 19, 2007 04:44 PM
You're the reason why Oen Source will soon be dead. Hope you feel good about yourself.

#

Re(1): OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 212.95.119.47] on November 07, 2007 04:47 PM
i don´t agree. i think open source never will die, its an extremly part of the hole internet. if open source dies, the hole internet will too.



with best regards,


Maya from <a href="http://www.LB-Bueromoebel.de">LB Büromöbel GmbH</a>

#

Bill Hilf caught in a lie!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.167.59.236] on August 18, 2007 11:30 PM
Chris DiBona of Google Inc. has asked the question if the OSI license submission ment that Microsoft would "stop using the market confusing term Shared Source." While I disagree on several things, I think this question deserves a reasonable answer. Rather than answering the question, instead Bill Hilf provided the excuse that "the reasons we continued to call it the 'Shared Source' program was to acknowledge that these licenses had not been approved by the OSI." [1]
.
Based on what was said by Bill Hilf, a project covered under MS-CL or MS-PL should be referred in Microsoft marketing as a "Shared Source" application. But with the Sharedpoint Learning Kit, covered by the MS-CL [2], the term used by Microsoft is "open source application." [3] Independent of approval by the OSI, Microsoft has already pre-approved it's use of "Shared Source" and "open source" as interchangeable terms in a way that appears to be an attempt to purposely confuse. This could even be seen as a method to disrupt the moment that the previous open source terminology had gain in the popular press. Regardless of the intention, Microsoft's use of SS and OS as interchangeable terms is not consistent with Bill Hilf's claim.
.
So, this leads back to DiBona's question which is still left without a reasonable answer. Will Microsoft stop using the marketing term Shared Source as a method to confuse? If Microsoft is serious about working with the OSI, why is SS already used as an interchangeable term before the OSI has even approved the licenses?
.
[1] http://www.crynwr.com/cgi-bin/ezmlm-cgi?3:mss:13385:200708:mkohfpmjekmjelobgffa
[2] http://www.codeplex.com/SLK/Project/License.aspx
[3] http://www.microsoft.com/opensource/choice.mspx

#

Re: Bill Hilf caught in a lie!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.54.159.46] on August 20, 2007 07:03 PM
Please don't throw around the word "lie" unless you can really prove that Hilf is **knowingly** making wrongful statements. He may be incorrect in his statement, but that does not make it a lie and it should not be called such. As for me, I'm more than willing for Microsoft to call its licenses "Shared Source" to distinguish them from OSI-approved licenses. Whether or not it confuses, well, that's in the eye of the beholder. The folks at the FSF object to the term Open Source as muddying the water with Free Software. As long as Microsoft is not willfully portraying non-OSI-approved licenses as Open Source, I have no quarrel with them. If the term "Open Source" has any meaning in the market place, then it will be obvious that "Shared Source" is different. If Open Source has not distinguished itself as a "brand" in the market, then shame on us.

In short, please drop your faux moralistic tone. It's really annoying.

#

Reject it

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.227.163.88] on August 18, 2007 11:58 PM
This shouldn't even be a debate, it should be rejected on the grounds that it came from Micro$oft, end of story. All they do is try and find ways to weasel themselves into something they want to take over and monopolize. It should be rejected and there should be a vote to automatically reject any new license M$ tries to make in the future regardless of how nice sounding it is.

#

upsdie dwon

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 211.133.182.141] on August 19, 2007 12:21 AM
This license is full of technical problems, the least of which is the attempt to eliminate the MIT/BSD license "ambiguity" about whether alternative licenses can be used with it.

It may sound like I'm biased, but, like most Microsoft products, it attempts to enable a quick and simple implementation by implementing the obvious, but wrong elements of the theory.

Start with the name.

Permissive? Relative to the license, it is not permissive at all. No other license can be mixed in -- no perl artistic license, no GPL 1, 2, or 3, no Apache 1 or 2, no Mozilla, no BSD/MIT, not even a plain "Do with it what you want and I don't give a wooden nickel!" one liner license. At this point, I'm not sure even public domain source could be mixed in without opening a project that uses this Microsoft Permissive License up to lawsuits.

Relative to the source code, it is way too permissive. Anybody can join Microsoft's commune, so to speak. Anyone that can bring all contributors to the table, anyway. It's all a ("happy?") playground where everyone plays under the gentle gaze of the original authors who claim the original copyright of the original source code. For practical purposes, forks won't work well.

Freedom and openness are _not_ permissive. We are clear, are we not, that the GPL is by no means permissive? You are allowed to use the software only under the principles of protecting everyone's freedom to use the software. That gives project leaders the authority to maintain their natural stewardship over the project while allowing _freedom_ minded individuals and groups to join in. One way they can join in is to fork the project, but the license provides the framework for a clean fork.

Even the BSD/MIT licenses are not truly permissive. The apparent ambiguities allow room for project leaders to maintain their projects, and allow room for clashes to result in project forks.

The BSD/MIT licenses also technically allow "darkening" a fork, where a user refuses to pay his natural duty to the community by contributing back his or her changes. But the license provides no inherent leverage for the dark forks to use against the open forks. The license also allows the natural consequences of darkening a fork to occur. (Darkened forks naturally tend to wither away.)

Again, the apparent permissiveness is in comparison to the radical pseudo-traditional idea that source code should be closed.from public view. (That was actually very permissive, because whatever was done was done behind closed doors, and the guy with the biggest pocketbook got to play with whomever whenever with relatively few social consequences.)

Other than the name, the terms of the license are inverted. The limitations are stated after the grants, which is going to make for some really difficult-to-untangle legal arguments.

The use-at-your-own-risk warning almost appears to not be there, which is probably appropriate for Microsoft's sales machine, but is not at all appropriate for the end users.

The grants are not complete. The patent protection clause is a club, not a shield.

The above is just a start. Like I said, it is a typical product of Microsoft, implementing the wrong stuff simply, to sell to the unwashed masses.

joudanzuki

#

upsdie dwon

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 211.133.182.141] on August 19, 2007 12:51 AM

(Posted this to slashdot, too.)



This license is full of technical problems, the least of which is the attempt to eliminate the MIT/BSD license "ambiguity" about whether alternative licenses can be used with it.



It may sound like I'm biased, but, like most Microsoft products, it attempts to enable a quick and simple implementation by implementing the obvious, but wrong elements of the theory.



Start with the name.



Permissive? Relative to the license, it is not permissive at all. No other license can be mixed in -- no perl artistic license, no GPL 1, 2, or 3, no Apache 1 or 2, no Mozilla, no BSD/MIT, not even a plain "Do with it what you want and I don't give a wooden nickel!" one liner license. At this point, I'm not sure even public domain source could be mixed in without opening a project that uses this Microsoft Permissive License up to lawsuits.



Relative to the source code, it is way too permissive. Anybody can join Microsoft's commune, so to speak. Anyone that can bring all contributors to the table, anyway. It's all a ("happy?") playground where everyone plays under the gentle gaze of the original authors who claim the original copyright of the original source code. For practical purposes, forks won't work well.



(Think of how it would be if someone with a strong personality like Theo, but lacking the commitment to freedom, were to release something like openbsd under this license.)



Freedom and openness are <u>not</u> permissive. We are clear, are we not, that the GPL is by no means permissive? You are allowed to use the software only under the principles of protecting everyone's freedom to use the software. They way the license structures the limits and grants gives project leaders the authority to maintain their natural stewardship over the project while allowing <u>freedom</u> minded individuals and groups to join in.



One way they can join in is to fork the project, but the license provides the framework for a clean fork. You can legally move on without leaving your source behind you, and that is a huge part of the freedom.



Even the BSD/MIT licenses are not truly permissive. The apparent ambiguities effectively allow room for project leaders to maintain their stewardship, and allow room for clashes to result in project forks.



The BSD/MIT licenses also technically allow "darkening" a fork, where a user refuses to pay his natural duty to the community by contributing back his or her changes. But the license provides no inherent leverage for the dark forks to use against the open forks. The license also allows the natural consequences of darkening a fork to occur. (Darkened forks naturally tend to wither away.)



(This "Microsoft Permissive License", on the other hand, will effectively work agaist project forks, and will effectively work in favor of keeping project leaders in charge way beyond their time.)



Again, the apparent permissiveness of the BSD/MIT licenses is in comparison to the radical pseudo-traditional idea that source code should be closed from public view. (Closed is actually very permissive, because whatever was done was done behind closed doors, and the guy with the biggest pocketbook got to play with whomever whenever with relatively few social consequences.)



The terms of the Microsoft Permissive License are inverted. The limitations are stated after the grants, which is going to make for some really difficult-to-untangle legal arguments.



The use-at-your-own-risk clause almost appears to not be there, which is probably appropriate for Microsoft's sales machine, but is not at all appropriate for the end users.



The grants are not complete. In the end, your lawyer is going to be telling you, you can't do that more often than not, preventing the implementation of useful features which is one of the primary benefits of truly open licenses.



The patent protection clause is a club, not a shield. Very one-way.



The above is just a start. Like I said, it is a typical product of Microsoft, implementing the wrong stuff simply, to sell to the unwashed masses.



joudanzuki

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OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Josè Gilberto Lugo on August 19, 2007 03:22 AM
Thanks very much...!!! I want to know more about this O.S, in Venezuela the goverment will implement it.

#

"free" and "open" have different meanings for them

Posted by: gus3 on August 19, 2007 07:36 AM
As I've begun saying lately:



If you tell your dog to "sit," then punish him for doing anything but lie down, because "what 'sit' means today isn't what it meant yesterday," your dog will become confused at least, psychotic at worst. Guess what? If you standardize on Microsoft, you're the dog. (Think how .doc and .xls don't mean today what they meant 10 years ago.)



In this case, "free" and "open" are terms to be twisted into what Microsoft wants them to mean. Dag-Erling gets it totally wrong, and DiBona hits the nail on the head: Microsoft is not, and has never been, interested in "playing nice" with people who expose their rank incompetence in OS design. Windows Vista is faltering at best (more like sinking fast), people aren't upgrading the way Microsoft is trying to dictate, the "need new hardware to run new software" cycle is breaking down, and even the new hardware is still coming with Windows XP pre-installed. On the non-software side, their attempts through the Baystar Group to fund SCO's lawsuit against Novell have come to naught, costing them a little cash and lots more reputation.



Their desperation is becoming obvious, and this so-called "permissive license" is just another tentacle of the Redmond beast to be cut off.

#

Re: "free" and "open" have different meanings for them

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.135.45.42] on August 20, 2007 07:38 PM
Totally agree with gus3 here.
The key point of this article is that Microsoft's Permissive License (MS-PL) is just one more way to slow down the eventual acceptance of version 3 of the GNU Public License, GPLv3.
That is really all there is to this new "initiative"!!!

#

OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.95.64.176] on August 19, 2007 09:19 AM
Embrace, extend, extinguish. Beware of Microsoft bearing gifts.

#

OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Pushy on August 19, 2007 12:52 PM
Of course,never microsoft corporation could entry in a free software world,in a open source system.
Way ?,So simple.....monney,position.
Although microsoft operatings system are so easier for all kind of users and from point of view the contribution of Bill gates is huge ,we do not forget that this, OS Windows ,is so vulnerable,and slow in speed ,it is blocking all the time ,unstable,and more and more issues.
So how can handle OS WINDOWS in a open source ,where all are changing always and there are so manny smart users??

In fact this is the major difference quality of the users.Because Linux/Unix is more difficult to learn,use and the gammers are some problems with quality of the play manny people from commodity choose Windows.
And all advantages of Linus are forgotten.Linux have so manny qualities in performance ,incomparable with windows or others.
But ,in time,depends again of the quality of users ,manny windows users goes to Linux and they use th e both systems a while and finally only Linux.

So 3 OS dominate the software world:WINDOWS,LINUX,MacINTOSH

No problem ,
always will be user for all 3.

But WINDOWS has to really change their atitude regarding open source and other OS.

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OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.129.62.9] on August 19, 2007 02:32 PM
I found the licenses of Microsoft very good.

But of course the market strategy needs to be discussed.

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Like injecting a virus into a healthy body. Free Open Source is dead.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.50.32.1] on August 19, 2007 04:42 PM
This is insane. It won't be long before every single piece of code - whether GPL, BSD or other - will contain copyright strings and confusion regarding reuse; all thanks to Microsoft.


Open Source use to have a very specific meaning. There was safety and freedom associated with it - no strings... Projects and forks of projects created one of the richest periods of software contribution in any era of since the computing age began. Novell, Xandros, Linspire, OpenSUSE have help change this. There are also way too many people defending what Microsoft is doing and continuing to play their part as pawns. Anyone working freely for OpenSUSE is killing Open Source and Linux itself.


GNU/Linux as a free, unencumbered Operating System is dead, folks. I read above that the BSD/Apache license allows itself to be mixed with propretary code, sigh...


This statement says it all:


"Code licensed under the MS-PL cannot be redistributed under the terms of any other license, but it can be combined with works released under the terms of other licenses, as long as those other licenses permit it."


It's a typical Microsoft tactic. We can hurt you but you can't do a thing to hurt us. By the time they're done, their FUD will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Distributions are allowing this type of viral code to enter their upstreams - Game Over.

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Re: Like injecting a virus into a healthy body. Free Open Source is dead.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.99.156.5] on August 19, 2007 11:03 PM
"GNU/Linux as a free, unencumbered Operating System is dead, folks."


Being a bit pessimistic, aren`t we ? The battle is not over yet...

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Re: Like injecting a virus into a healthy body. Free Open Source is dead.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.248.0.41] on August 20, 2007 03:32 PM
"Code licensed under the MS-PL cannot be redistributed under the terms of any other license, but it can be combined with works released under the terms of other licenses, as long as those other licenses permit it."

I dont see how that is any different from the GPL. Just like you cant take a piece of GPL code and redistribute as BSD, you cant do the same with MS-PL. Stop spreading FUD just cos its Microsoft.

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OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.158.7.136] on August 19, 2007 06:03 PM
Perhaps Microsoft...like Alice...lives in "Wonderland".


“"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”

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'Open' Source

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 74.71.191.127] on August 19, 2007 07:22 PM
What I find disturbing is the synonymous use of GPL with open source.



For one, there being far more licenses that technically fall under the scope of this category, but for another and far more imperative to the understanding of 'the open source movement' (or rather how certain people would have you perceive it to be) is the simple act of a poeple's claims: "when you take away someone's freedoms they have no freedom" - then proceeding some sort of bazaar of forced propogation of the GPL et al.



To be succinct, the BSD license is more 'free' than the GPL. To be blunt, the right of choice is the inherent right to freedom. Summarily, taking away a person's choice (attempting to force your views upon another) is contrapositive to freedom in and of itself.



Respectfully,

UP



---

Use your own brain to think for yourself, instead of allowing others to think for you.

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Re: 'Open' Source

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.98.42.47] on August 19, 2007 10:34 PM
Your definition of freedom is different from mine.

I see no reason to give my code away for free if you or someone else can then take it and make it non-free.

What is the point of giving it away for free if I do not ensure that it will stay free?

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Re(1): 'Open' Source

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.50.32.1] on August 21, 2007 02:30 AM
It still stays free. After a user takes your code and closes it, your original code still remains free. Anyone can take your code and build on it. They can then keep it free or close it for resell, to give away, or anything else... in this regard, the BSD license *is* freer (sic) - you have the right to speak for yourself but do not have the right to speak for someone else. The GPL is more socialist or even communistic (commune) - where the community shares everything (including further advances to the code). Both are good license and many degrees better that today's EULAs.

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Re(2): 'Open' Source

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 125.60.240.202] on August 22, 2007 12:04 AM
BSD license is about "allowing abuse on other peoples hard work." Taking code without having to give back. That sums it all up.

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Re: 'Open' Source

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 205.208.133.177] on August 19, 2007 11:09 PM
And Public Domain is more free (and less annoying) than BSD, what is your point?

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Re: 'Open' Source

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.17.124.172] on August 23, 2007 02:04 AM
The problem you have with BSD is that it is too free. It doesn't require all uses of the code to be the same license. This means a company can take said code, interject it into theirs for free, modify the code for free, release to the public for outrageous prices.

No changes are ever propagated back, and now the people that are using the code they were charge the price for are using a proprietary code base that originally was BSD and "Free".

Not that we have monopolistic companies around that would possibly do this to software, but the possibility exists.

GPL guarantees that the code the developer released as "Free" remains free for EVERYONE from that point forward. BTW, Microsoft has stated in press conferences that they really LIKE the BSD license, and find NO problems with it. Wonder what they used?

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OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.105.216.98] on August 19, 2007 11:42 PM
This is why the Open Source community should avoid Microsoft like the plague. There is a butt-f**king in there somewhere. It has been and always will be, Microsoft's SOP.

I have worked since 1995 having NEVER owned, or used, legally or illegally a Microsoft product. Why in God's name do I "need" them now??

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Which projects already use the Microsoft licenses??

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.163.21.143] on August 20, 2007 12:01 AM
"Hilf wrote that because so many projects already use the Microsoft licenses, "they represent a reasonably large set of existing code, the authors and users of which would benefit from having the licenses assessed as Open Source."


What projects are covered by the MS licenses? How many projects are covered ny these MS licenses? How many lines of code are involved? How many of these projects are initated and or maintained and have their primary site in a MS controlled DNS domain?


I haven't been able to find support for Hilf's asserion on freshmeat (http://themes.freshmeat.net/stats/) or newsforge (http://sourceforge.net/docman/display_doc.php?docid=778&group_id=1) two popular OSS source code sites.


Have have this grunting feeling that Hilf's statement is yet another of these pesky little MS lies. These MS licenses are not popular. Their popularity isn't MS's motive for wanting to have them labeled as "Open Source" licenses.


MS faces in Open Source its biggest competetive threat in its entire history. It is not in MS's interest, nor in line with its decades old behavior, to be friends with Open Source. It is in its interest to kill Open Source.


MS's is goal is to confuse and to erode Open Source from within.


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Is there a REALLY good reason to accept it? If not, reject it.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.245.159.254] on August 20, 2007 02:33 PM
Is there a REALLY good reason to accept it? If not, reject it.




OSI has probably already approved too many licenses, we don't need more. OTOH, if there were a compelling case as to why the community in general (rather than some particular company) needed it, then I'd say "Go for it!".




OTOH, this is from a company that has repeated proven that it cannot be trusted. As such, even if there were a clear need, I'd want an offering to be scrutinized very carefully, by three independent teams of lawyers.

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Re: Is there a REALLY good reason to accept it? If not, reject it.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.188.192.15] on August 20, 2007 05:28 PM
Why reject it?!
It`s a very fine open source licence. I think I will use it my next project.

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Re: Is there a REALLY good reason to accept it? If not, reject it.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.54.159.46] on August 20, 2007 07:12 PM
"OTOH, this is from a company that has repeated proven that it cannot be trusted. As such, even if there were a clear need, I'd want an offering to be scrutinized very carefully, by three independent teams of lawyers." Huh??? A license is a piece of legal text. It has no prejudices. It simply is what it is. You're somehow implying that because Microsoft has done certain things in the past that you don't approve of that you'd be against their submission, or at least that you'd want to give it more scrutiny than that of somebody else? That seems wrong to me. Evaluate the submission on its merits, as if it was from an anonymous source. If it stands, accept it. If it falls, reject it. No biggie. No high drama. To put this into perspective, choosing to use the GPL (even v3) doesn't mean that you approve of everything Richard Stallman or the FSF have said or done. The GPL is a fine license if the license terms agree with what you want to achieve. By choosing it, you're not admitting any agreement with any larger philosophy. And the same here with Microsoft. Just because anybody chooses a license that may have been submitted by Microsoft does not make them complicit in any Microsoft shenanigans. Yes, Microsoft is no friend of Open Source, but the license is what it is and should be evaluated as such.

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OSI needs to disapprove. It's laden with patent clause.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 125.60.240.202] on August 20, 2007 11:11 PM
"(B) If you bring a patent claim against any contributor over patents that you claim are infringed by the software, your patent license from such contributor to the software ends automatically."

This means that contributors can only hope and pray that the original author do not sue them for a code they haven't yet seen. This is what you call, "I dictate what get's contributed in the code." And the original author can simply make up anything to claim he had made such a source code (in closed form) and sue a patent against the contributor.

Therefore, it's far from being a permissive license the MS-PL is actually a "Restrictive" license.

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to bill hilf, MS, and the author of this article

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 125.60.240.202] on August 20, 2007 11:14 PM
Mee-ow!

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Re(1): Is there a REALLY good reason to accept it? If not, reject it.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.80.34.124] on August 21, 2007 02:25 AM
Again this argument that the intentions and reputation of the contributor have nothing to do with the license. As has been mentioned in other posts there are a lot of ways for MS to use this for it's own ends. A piece of legal text may have no prejudices but it can certainly have a lot of ambiguities otherwise we would not have all the corporate lawsuits that we do.



We may not know what all MS intentions are but we do know what they are not. Their intentions are not to give something back to a community of programmers. Their intentions are not to encourage free software. Their intentions are not to allow any of their intellectual property to be used for free in a way that might benefit someone other than Microsoft. Their intentions are not to be a cooperative friendly member of the OSI. Their intentions are not to release anything that might get used on a platform other than their own.




Stop with this ridiculous assertion that the source of the license doesn't matter. Of course it does. Nobody is arguing that MS has eats babies so we should not support them. Everyone is arguing that MS has abused it's relationships with software companies and within the computing industry to eliminate competition and steal ideas. This is not the kind of company that you assume is benevolent or without an agenda. This si the kind of company you first assume is trying to put one over on you and try to avoid letting it happen.

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OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 125.60.240.202] on August 20, 2007 11:06 PM
"(B) If you bring a patent claim against any contributor over patents that you claim are infringed by the software, your patent license from such contributor to the software ends automatically."

OSI should just drop this... laden with patent complications.

So, if the original author wishes to sue a contributor over patents he can do so. And, the contributor automatically loose such patent license even before it had to be proven by court.

Open Source license is there to encourage people to be creative or innovate. MS-PL brings threat even on contributors of the same project.

You want to work with the community then drop that patent threat.

The MS-PL has a totally different tone than that of BSD license, and the OSI folks shouldn't be too naive about that.

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OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 78.135.25.33] on November 04, 2007 04:05 PM
MAJOR changes to some open-source function to use in a project," he writes. "What sort of Frankenlicense would apply to that function if I wished to release my changes under GPL but the original was MPL or MSPL? Every other line of code under a different license?" this example http://www.ayi.org/

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