Microsoft is slashing the number of licenses it will use for its Shared Source Initiative from now on, while at the same time radically shortening and simplifying the text of those licenses. The move, which will be announced on Wednesday morning at Oscon, the O’Reilly European Open Source Convention in Amsterdam, will see Microsoft cutting back the more than 10 Shared Source licenses that currently exist to only three template, or core, licenses.
Microsoft Slashes Shared Source Licenses
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2005-10-19 1:17 pmAnonymous
Their ability to innovate new booby-traps for programmers amazes me.
2005-10-19 4:10 pmrcsteiner
Actually, clean-room reverse engineering is still quite possible. You just have to be able to prove that you’ve never seen the released specifications.
You’re right, though, that IP-encumbered source code can become a legal minefield quite quickly. One look at MS’s code, and your ability to write free software in that area could well be greatly diminished…
2005-10-19 4:42 pmTBPrince
I highly doubt this might be the case. Reverse engineering is used to access information which are not disclosed. If you disclose such information, people using such information only need to implement their code in a different way than original developer did.
If there’s only one way to perform an operation (think about matemathical processes), that code is clearly not patentable. And that’s it.
Do you have any information or can you give more details to back such statements up?
I think you cast doubts which aren’t true. However, if you’re sure about it can you give me (and us) more details which can prove your point?
So let me get this right: Microsoft says it wants to try Open Source, and a little later says: “nah, I don’t feel like it anymore…”
Or am I misreading something?
(Correct me if I’m wrong)
2005-10-19 2:34 pmeMagius
You’re missing something. They’re simplifying the licenses that they’re using — the headline is misleading.
2005-10-19 3:53 pmdylansmrjones
Anyway… you still have to avoid these MS licenses. They are pure minefields.
Whatever new restrictions these new licenses impose is a thing that Microsoft would have done sooner or later anyway. They write the software, they can license in any way they want. But it’s good that the new licenses are shorter and clearer and that there are fewer of them.
I listened to the Massachusets mp3, where the Microsoft spokesperson emphasized the simplicity of the license for their XML schema. So I went online, and yeah, it’s short BUT: it is far from being simple. In fact, I could not make heads or tails of it. Even after reading it carefully a number of times, I was still left with questions concerning (what else?) its openness.
Symplifying licenses is the new buzzword at Microsoft, and just like most buzzwords, it is misleading. Basically, simplifcation = shortening them a bit, while still retaining a legal jargon that us, mere mortals cannot comprehend. Worse, we might think that we understand them perfectly, only to find out later (with the help of a lawyer perhaps) that we didn’t.
Oh I see. Thanks for clearing it up a little
I never payed much attention to the Open Source thing that Micosoft set up. So is it easier to wite Open Source for Mic? I’m guessing that it isn’t and as someone pointed out there are some “small print” type clauses in these licenses. Whatever lol
Any human can request Ubuntu to be sent to them for free, without cost, without shipping fees.
Ubuntu is truly a Linux distribution for humanity
With Ubuntu Linux I don’t have to pay or lick someone’s dirty anus to get into a beta testing scheme, nor do I have to pay for the final versions when they are released.
No man is an island – every purchase YOU make supports someone else’s philosophy.
Don’t support a convicted monopoly
2005-10-19 6:39 pmMystic TaCo
This is just an inflamatory post. If you have something interesting to add to the conversation, please do so.
Being a monopoly is not illegal in itself. Check the dictionary for the meaning of the word ‘convicted’. Here: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=convicted
> Actually, clean-room reverse engineering is still quite
> possible. You just have to be able to prove that you’ve
> never seen the released specifications.
Can you confirm this? As far as I know (and as far as the laws in Germany are concerned, which are probably different from US laws), MS would have to prove that you *did* see the released specs. This doesn’t make it a child’s play, but chances are at least a bit better for you.
Of course, messing with a giant is always a risky adventure…
2005-10-19 8:03 pmTBPrince
I agree. Moreover, there can be two distinct cases:
1) such process can be reproduced by different code. So no problems here: no rights apply.
2) such process can only be reproduced by a single way: I believe such code is then not patentable.
It looks just a flame to me. Or pure anti-MS misinformation.
Still not worth it even if they gave all proceeds to charity.
Gervase Markham, a Mozilla hacker had just blogged about this http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/gerv/archives/2005/10/microsoft_anno…
My comments where “What this (and the “open”XML formats) might be about is making reverse engineering moot. You can’t reverse engineer a file format (or source code) when it’s made freely available – and thus you’re not protected under law and fall into the licensing model which prevents you using the fileformat/code through its restrictions. “Open” Source MS Software might be 10x worse than the closed stuff”