Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 23rd Jul 2009 09:43 UTC
Microsoft Sometimes, some things are just too good to be true. Earlier this week, Microsoft made a relatively stunning announcement that it would contribute some 20000 lines of code to the Linux kernel, licensed under the GPL. Microsoft isn't particularly fond of either Linux or the GPL, so this was pretty big news. As it turns out, the code drop was brought on by... A GPL violation.
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Didn't require release
by albalbo on Thu 23rd Jul 2009 09:56 UTC
albalbo
Member since:
2006-08-25

Even if there was a GPL violation, that didn't mean Microsoft had to contribute their code: they could have resolved the violation by not distributing.

The "why" of what they did is much less important than the "what".

Reply Score: 3

RE: Didn't require release
by Liquidator on Thu 23rd Jul 2009 10:24 in reply to "Didn't require release"
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

But what does MS benefit from doing that? It's beyond me...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Didn't require release
by Ford Prefect on Thu 23rd Jul 2009 10:38 in reply to "Didn't require release"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

That is not correct.

What Microsoft did was a copyright violation and it doesn't get away by just stopping further violations.
Typically, the copyright holders of GPL code settle with the condition that the source code is released, a "late fix" of the violation.
If MS would not follow that path, the copyright holders would probably sue MS (with a lot of media coverage) and eventually get damages paid.

Edited 2009-07-23 10:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: Didn't require release
by Karitku on Thu 23rd Jul 2009 12:40 in reply to "RE: Didn't require release"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

That is not correct. What Microsoft did was a copyright violation and it doesn't get away by just stopping further violations. Typically, the copyright holders of GPL code settle with the condition that the source code is released, a "late fix" of the violation. If MS would not follow that path, the copyright holders would probably sue MS (with a lot of media coverage) and eventually get damages paid.

I think you get it wrong. Firstly whole code part is done by Microsoft so they can just change license. Secondly code was disqualified as being GPL licensed because it breaks it own rules, so it must be removed. Thirdly the closed source is most likely protected by some other license agreement.

What you think is that this is standard GPL violation where some GPL code is taken and then turned to something other without permission from authors, which this isn't. Like I said Microsoft is author of code, code itself can't be GPL because it links to closed source, so only reasonable solution is to remove that piece from kernel.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Didn't require release
by sbergman27 on Thu 23rd Jul 2009 12:01 in reply to "Didn't require release"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Even if there was a GPL violation, that didn't mean Microsoft had to contribute their code: they could have resolved the violation by not distributing.


---
Dear Microsoft customers,

Due to a licensing violation regarding our HyperV product, as of today we are temporarily halting sales of HyperV, and suspending operation of any previously purchased HyperV products. Sorry for any inconvencience...
---

Edited 2009-07-23 12:03 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE: Didn't require release
by Beta on Thu 23rd Jul 2009 17:31 in reply to "Didn't require release"
Beta Member since:
2005-07-06

Even if there was a GPL violation, that didn't mean Microsoft had to contribute their code: they could have resolved the violation by not distributing.

They had already distributed code, anyone in receipt of those binary drivers could have asked for source code. At that point, not providing it would have been a GPL violation, as well as the initial violation: them not abiding by the copyright terms of the original code.

AFAIK and IANAL.

Reply Parent Score: 4