This story begins when Stephen Hemminger, principal engineer with open-source network vendor Vyatta and Linux contributor, finds out that a network driver in Microsoft's Hyper-V uses open source components licensed under the GPL. These components were statically linked to closed-source binaries, which the GPL does not allow.
Consequently, Hemminger contacted Linux Driver Project head Greg Kroah-Hartman, who works for Novell. Commendably, Hemminger wanted the case to be worked out without fireworks and massive media attention. "Since Novell has a (too) close association with Microsoft, my expectation was that Greg could prod the right people to get the issue resolved," he writes on his blog.
When the code drop was announced Monday, nor Microsoft, nor Kroah-Hartman spoke of the violation. To confirm the story, About-Microsoft blogger Mary-Jo Foley contacted Kroah-Hartman, and he confirmed that Hemminger is indeed correct: the code drop seems to have been brought on by a GPL violation.
A "break from the ordinary" and a "significant milestone"? None of that - just a silently handled case, with an overdose of marketing spin, to prevent a major embarrassment for Microsoft.