Feeds

Microsoft tells GPLv3 to talk to the hand

Nothing to do with us

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.