Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 7th Jun 2007 16:14 UTC, submitted by Punktyras
Legal "What's the best way to attract a pile of threatening lawyers' letters from Microsoft? Sell pirate copies of Windows? Write a DRM-busting program? Londoner Jamie Cansdale has just discovered a new approach. He had the temerity to make Redmond's software better. As a hobby, Cansdale developed an add-on for Microsoft Visual Studio. TestDriven.NET allows unit test suites to be run directly from within the Microsoft IDE. Cansdale gave away this gadget on his website, and initially received the praises of Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft was so pleased with him, it gave him a Most Valuable Professionals award, which it says it gives to 'exceptional technical community leaders from around the world who voluntarily share their high quality, real world expertise with others'. However, his cherished status did not last."
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part of EULA
by kozo on Thu 7th Jun 2007 17:13 UTC
kozo
Member since:
2006-02-02

"...you may use the software only as expressly permitted in this agreement. In doing so you must comply with any technical limitations in the software that only allow you to use it in certain ways... You may not work around any technical limitations in the software."

Technical limitation of VS.NET Express is that it has no built-in unit testing or any testing suit. Plugging in Testdriven.NET violates the EULA.

Reply Score: 5

RE: part of EULA
by Ressev on Thu 7th Jun 2007 17:23 in reply to "part of EULA"
Ressev Member since:
2005-07-18

Not having the information in front of me, where does it say not being able to test is an intentional limitation? If anything that enhances VE is then considered overcoming a technical limitation, then people will need to stop enhancing it.

Without a clear definition of the technical limitations, that clause in EULA is simply a legal tar baby.

Edited 2007-06-07 17:24

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: part of EULA
by sukru on Thu 7th Jun 2007 17:30 in reply to "RE: part of EULA"
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19

Well I've followed several blogs posts about the issue. I guess the most relevant one is at:
http://blogs.msdn.com/danielfe/archive/2007/06/01/testdriven-net-an...

As far as I understand, VS Express editions remove any extension functionality from the user (but cannot remove from the Core, since it's very modular like say Eclipse). However TestDriver.Net developer somehow found a way to circumvent the limitations (that requires registry hacks and special user actions in VS Express to inject code). This is the main issue at hand. (Bypassing techinical limitation by hacks).

Nevertheless Microsoft is not happy (they only distribute Express as free as long as there are no plugins. Otherwise their $299 standard edition would be obsolote). Thus for nearly 2 years they've been warning him to remove Express support.

For a long time he compiled, and now for no apparent reason he decided to support Express editions again.

It's roughly like this...

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: part of EULA
by dylansmrjones on Thu 7th Jun 2007 18:06 in reply to "part of EULA"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Again. It is only the End User who can violate the EULA and not the developer. At most Jamie Cansdale can lose his license to use VSE but that's all. He is not responsible for End Users plugging in extra functionality.

And again. He is living in UK, not USA. Or put differently. He lives within EU and as such as rights that the EULA attempts to limit, rendering the EULA void and null.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: part of EULA
by alexandru_lz on Thu 7th Jun 2007 19:29 in reply to "part of EULA"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

I'm not willing to be rude, but as far as I have seen, the whole thing is more about Microsoft threatening a developer to strip-down his code rather than fixing their own stuff.

The responsibility of breaking or not breaking the EULA is the user's. From what I've seen on the blog entry that sukru has kindly linked, Cansdale is really "working around" a limitation. However, from a programmer's point of view, Microsoft could have fixed the issue (after all, they even know *how* the limitation is circumvented). Nevertheless, it seems they do value their own corporate culture. It's a fortunate thing they have gone through the process typical for lawyer ignorance so often that people have learned to ignore them.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: part of EULA
by WarpKat on Thu 7th Jun 2007 20:28 in reply to "part of EULA"
WarpKat Member since:
2006-02-06

"...you may use the software only as expressly permitted in this agreement. In doing so you must comply with any technical limitations in the software that only allow you to use it in certain ways... You may not work around any technical limitations in the software."

There was no technical limitation to work around in the software. By technical limitation, I mean there was no mechanism preventing the plug-in to run in the first place. No technical limitation, no violation.

Microsoft botched it here, not TD.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: part of EULA
by phoudoin on Fri 8th Jun 2007 12:14 in reply to "part of EULA"
phoudoin Member since:
2006-06-09

The VS.NET Express plugin support alone violates the EULA. MS should have removes plugins support from VE if they were serious about this EULA point.

They should have, also, not made VS.NET API available for everyone to see it on MSDN if they were serious about forbidding plugins being developped for VE.

Reply Parent Score: 1