Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 13th Jun 2006 22:16 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source It's time for the Windows and Linux communities to drop the religious war and get together in a hurry to put the strengths of each operating system to best use, according to a nationally recognized authority on Windows Server. At the same time, Microsoft has been reaching out to the open-source community to try to find ways to overcome the incompatibilities between software distributed under the GNU General Public License and its own commercial software.
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dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

A commercial company has to build intellectual property, while the GPL, by its very nature, does not allow intellectual property to be built, making the two approaches fundamentally incompatible, Muglia said.

Hmm... The GPL is compatible with intellectual property. It actually relies heavily on IP to work. The GPL is however not compatible with proprietary (closed) software, but that is irrelevant in regard to IP.

Just another example of MS-FUD.

Reply Score: 4

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

I would put it a different way: The GPL relies heavily (totally, in fact) on copyright, which is one of the forms of intellectual property protected by most governments. When the MS shill spewed forth from its mouth-parts that the GPL is at odds with IP, it really meant to say that it doesn't assign an exclusive patent grant to any particular party. As you know, the patent is another form of protection under the umbrella of IP.

Microsoft's problem with the GPL first starts when they have to prove to the patent office that they indeed deserve the credit for the work they (hypothetically) contribute to GPL software and therefore the right of patent protection. Then they need to decide how they are going to enforce their IP in GPL software (they lose their protection if they don't take this initiative). Most often, this is done by making sure that nobody else attempts to use the IP in another product. Here's where the problems get serious: This would clearly be at odds with the provisions of the GPL, which clearly states the restrictions on redistribution and prohibits any further restrictions.

The only way I can see patented IP working in the context of GPL software is if the method of enforcement was to prohibit anyone from using the IP in non-GPL software, which is prohibited by the GPL anyway. So, given these considerations, Microsoft's problem with the GPL starts with the issue of the exclusive patent grant, but ends up as a problem with the redistribution provisions of the GPL itself.

There's some FUD in the way, but what Microsoft is saying to the open source community is that they want to use open source software in their products, but they don't want to release their derivative works as open source software. The GPL doesn't let them do this, and so they make this an issue of interoperability when it's really about control. There is no amount of interoperability work that will bridge this impasse.

I offer a solution to the thousands of GPL projects: offer a dual license. Put a page on your project site that offers exclusive rights to license the code as desired to any company that pays a one-time sum of... $250,000 USD, for example (use your own judgement). If Microsoft really wants to use your code in a proprietary project, then they will pay the price, and you will be happy to compromise your ideals just this once. Think about how your GPL project will flourish if you can afford to pay developers for their contributions!

Reply Parent Score: 5

Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

I offer a solution to the thousands of GPL projects: offer a dual license. Put a page on your project site that offers exclusive rights to license the code as desired to any company that pays a one-time sum of... $250,000 USD, for example (use your own judgement)

It's not good enough. Good enough is to pay for 3-5 % of revenue for one year, to pay each quarter (yes, tha'ts a lot of money). Giving MS so much IP for $250 000 is a joke.

If Microsoft really wants to use your code in a proprietary project, then they will pay the price, and you will be happy to compromise your ideals just this once

No you won't, but the money will help your ideals happen. Especially from MS. Paying 3 % of their annual revenue for a project will make them think twice. And I'm not talking things like Linux kernel or Gnome or KDE there, as it would not be 3 %, but rather twice the revenues accumulated from the 7 years before.

Reply Parent Score: 1