Feeds

Microsoft tells GPLv3 to talk to the hand

Nothing to do with us

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

We were all wondering what Microsoft would do about GPLv3. Turns out the firm wants nothing to do with it, and has issued a statement outlining exactly how it plans to ignore the new license.

It also rejects any suggestion that the GPLv3 will have any effect on its patent immunity deal with Novell.

In a statement, the firm said: "Microsoft is not a party to the GPLv3 license and none of its actions are to be misinterpreted as accepting status as a contracting party of GPLv3 or assuming any legal obligations under such license."

The agreement between Microsoft and Novell sees Microsoft issue certificates to Novell's customers granting them immunity from prosecution for alleged infringement of Microsoft patents in the Linux source code.

It is controversial because GPL seeks to ensure that all users of licensed code have the same benefits, and so outlaws deals between vendors that grant their users exclusive rights. The Microsoft/Novell deal exploits a loophole in the earlier version of the license, as the agreement is technically between Microsoft and Novell's customers, not between Microsoft and Novell.

The deal has been "grandfathered" in GPLv3, that is, it is recognised, but future arrangements along similar lines are ruled out.

The Beast of Redmond says while some industry watchers might regard its deal with Novell as tacit acceptance of the terms of GPLv3, it does not.

"We do not believe that Microsoft needs a license under GPL to carry out any aspect of its collaboration with Novell, including its distribution of support certificates, even if Novell chooses to distribute GPLv3 code in the future," it said, adding that GPLv3 "licensors" have "no authority to represent or bind Microsoft in any way".

Microsoft acknowledges that the legal situation is still a little murky, for all its own clarity of thought on the matter. So until the legal situation is clarified, it is simply going to limit the scope of the Novell support certificates it provides so they do not entitle support or updates for any GPLv3 licensed code.

"The patent covenants offered by Microsoft and Novell to each other's customers are unchanged, and will continue to apply in the same way they did previously," it said. ®

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
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
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
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
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.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.