Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Feb 2011 20:33 UTC, submitted by Radio
Windows Well, well, well. We all know Apple's App Store policies are incompatible with the GPL, and as such, software using this license can't be distributed in the App Store. So, what about Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Marketplace? Well, whereas the App Store doesn't specifically mention the GPL (Apple's terms are simply incompatible), Microsoft drops the pretence and simply bans GPL and GPL-esque licenses outright.
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RE[2]: Not entirely accurate
by colstrom on Thu 17th Feb 2011 22:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Not entirely accurate"
colstrom
Member since:
2011-02-17

Let's be reasonable here. As much as Microsoft has a long and colorful history of undermining free software, this situation is far less political than it might seem on the surface. The Windows Phone Market uses digital signatures. Section 6 of the GPLv3 requires the disclosure of "any methods, procedures, authorization keys, or other information required to install and execute modified versions of a covered work in that User Product from a modified version of its Corresponding Source."

So Microsoft gets to choose between releasing the signing keys used in the Marketplace, and undermining their business model there... or disallowing software that can't legally be distributed through the Marketplace without violating the license.

I've written a bit about this at: http://chris.olstrom.com/opinion/windows-phone-marketplace-and-the-...

Reply Parent Score: 12

RE[3]: Not entirely accurate
by moltonel on Fri 18th Feb 2011 10:52 in reply to "RE[2]: Not entirely accurate"
moltonel Member since:
2006-02-24

So Microsoft gets to choose between releasing the signing keys used in the Marketplace, and undermining their business model there... or disallowing software that can't legally be distributed through the Marketplace without violating the license.


There's a perfectly valid 3rd solution : let the marketplace distribute apps without DRM if the author wants to. That fixes the GPLv3 requirement for "disclosure of keys and methods". As for the other GPL requirements (source code, etc), they can be provided by the app itself.

But they're either too lazy to do the work, or too happy to hurt FOSS, or too intent on a fully-DRMed world in general.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: Not entirely accurate
by aliquis on Fri 18th Feb 2011 20:36 in reply to "RE[3]: Not entirely accurate"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

So make your own FOSS Windows Phone market software repository.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Not entirely accurate
by sorpigal on Fri 18th Feb 2011 14:53 in reply to "RE[2]: Not entirely accurate"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

There's a really simple solution: Allow software to be installed (not via their marketplace, but by some means) without being signed by Microsoft. Then the keys are not required. Although a hardline reading of the GPL might still require the keys, I think it could be successfully argued that the GPL does not require in this case that the user who receives the GPL'd app to be able to upload a modified version *to the marketplace*, only that he be able to put a modified version on his phone "somehow."

Otherwise you are quite correct and most of the commenters here are just being crazy.

Edited 2011-02-18 14:54 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

They could allow unsigned apps with a clear warning. "we didn't vett this. it might break your device horribly if you contniue [Allow||Deny]" Nokia did just this with the Mameo repositories. Nokia signed apps slide in with no warning, non-signed apps have a clear warning and opt-in checkbox to allow the install to continue. It wouldn't be rocket science.

Reply Parent Score: 4

oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

Chris please read and understand before keeping on being a idiot. http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GiveUpKeys

Person must be given the key used to sign the binary? answer is no. Hang on how can this be no. "A Key" only has to be given if user cannot install the software and have it function.

If you cannot install software and have it function without a key it is a walled garden.

Next does the "A key" have to be a master key to all devices. Answer no. User must be provided with a key that the software they build works on the device they own. So this could be serial number based. Also nothing about GPLv3 says that device warranty cannot be voided in exchange for key to install own software.

Now this is still a walled garden but a tolerant one to home-brew.

"any methods, procedures, authorization keys, or other information required to install and execute modified versions of a covered work in that User Product from a modified version of its Corresponding Source."

The key word in the GPLv3 is required. As long as a person can install and execute modified version on the device they own GPLv3 is met. So Windows Phone Market digital signatures don't have to be at risk.

Now here is the stupid part. MS has no legal requirement to hand over the key on any device that follows Windows Phone 7 support for modification.

All they have to do is hand over a program that allows side loading and say load it yourself. Yes side loading is how you test out development version applications on Windows Phone 7 anyhow.

Reply Parent Score: 3