Feeds

Microsoft: GPL violation didn't drive Linux donation

Questions unanswered

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

OSCON Microsoft is standing by its decision to release thousands of lines of code to the GPL, saying the decision wasn't based on a violation of the popular license.

Sam Ramji, senior director of platform strategy, has blogged that Microsoft released the Hyper-V Linux driver code to GPL for the "mutual benefit of our customers, partners, the community, and Microsoft.

"Microsoft's decision was not based on any perceived obligations tied to the GPLv2 license," he said.

It was the only reference to any violation of the GPL, meaning Microsoft has not tackled the original question of how it was in violation, why it happened, and what steps it has taken to prevent such an occurrence from happening in the future.

Ramji went on to reiterate Microsoft's reason for picking GPL: "The primary reason we made this determination in this case is because GPLv2 is the preferred license required by the Linux community for their broad acceptance and engagement."

Leaders of the Linux community, meanwhile, continue to express their support for the code drop itself.

Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin, in conversation with The Reg at OSCON, called it "good behavior we want to encourage."

"I look at the fact Microsoft not so long ago said the GPL was terrible and open-source software is a cancer, and now it's part of the process. I see that as good, it's good for Linux that the tide has definitely turned."

He noted Microsoft was acting for business reasons, not a licensing issue, and said putting drivers in the Linux kernel was more likely designed to help Hyper-V compete against VMware.

Linux father Linus Torvalds, meanwhile, is reported to have told Linux Magazine that he welcomed Microsoft as a "new member of the community" and said we should steer clear of the "hating Microsoft disease".

He has yet to view the code in question, but indicated that on principle he's open to accepting it in Linux because he believes in open development.

"I'm a big believer in 'technology over politics'. I don't care who it comes from, as long as there are solid reasons for the code, and as long as we don't have to worry about licensing etc issues," Torvalds told the magazine.

"I may make jokes about Microsoft at times, but at the same time, I think the Microsoft hatred is a disease. I believe in open development, and that very much involves not just making the source open, but also not shutting other people and companies out."

He called it hypocrisy to attack Microsoft for having acted out of self interest, because self interest drives development of open source. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.