Feeds

Microsoft's patent promise 'empty'

And deadly

High performance access to file storage

Microsoft's promise not to whack unarmed free software developers is useless - and no protection from Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel. That's the view of former Freedom Software Foundation executive director Bradley Kuhn.

Kuhn says the pledge, formally called the "Patent Pledge for Non-Compensated Developers" and part of Microsoft's deal with Novell, "has little value" for the FOSS community. It only applies to software developed at home, and doesn't extend to downstream recipients of the code - such as software projects that might want to use it. Developers must pledge to remain unpaid, notes Kuhn.

"It's worse than useless, as this empty promise can create a false sense of security. Don't be confused by the illusion of a truce; developers are no safer from Microsoft patents now than they were before," he warns in an open letter.

The Free Software Foundation owns the copyright to key parts of the Novell's Linux distribution, and its attorney Eben Moglen is on sabbatical to run the Software Freedom Law Center for a year.

Kuhn is currently the Software Freedom Law Center CTO. Moglen has yet to pronounce on whether Novell is in breach of Section 7 of the GPL, under which the FSF's code (and a lot of other people's, too) is licensed.

Earlier this week Bruce Perens, the noted Open Source developer and author, told us he thought Novell had contravened Section 7. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Microsoft: Windows version you probably haven't upgraded to yet is ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of Windows 8.1 will no longer support patches
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.