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DEPLOY: IPR/GPL




The following two messages are from Eben Moglen of FSF and Larry Rosen of OSI. I have received permission from both of them to forward these messages to the list. And yes, they are both lawyers.

(In my personal opinion, in light of the fact that the licensing situation is tricky, I would add that the deployment of this standard is likely to be hindered until this issue is resolved.)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Microsoft, Sender-ID and GPL
> Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 10:57:28 -0400
> From: Eben Moglen

The license posted by Microsoft is not compatible with GPL and is not
a free software compatible license. There are several problems, of which the most severe is the requirement that anyone who wants to redistribute a covered implementation must execute a license with Microsoft. If you cannot give people code that they can redistribute
without permission, you are not giving them free software. This
would be the conclusion under all the meta-definitions of freedom:
the OSD, the FSD, and the Debian FSG.


Eben

-----
-------- Original Message --------
> Subject: RE: Microsoft, Sender-ID and GPL
> Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 19:38:37 -0700
> From: Lawrence Rosen
Organization: Rosenlaw & Einschlag

This Microsoft license is *not* compatible with open source.

/Larry Rosen


There is also a quote in this news story
(http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1639556,00.asp) from Larry Rosen:

Lawrence Rosen, a partner in the law firm Rosenlaw & Einschlag and
author of "Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom and Intellectual
Property Law," said he has "explained to Microsoft that their license
is expressly incompatible with the warranty of provenance in the
Academic Free License and the Open Software License."

Specifically, he said, "the 'nontransferable, non-sublicenseable'
language in their reciprocal patent license imposes an impossible
administrative burden on the open-source development community and,
in essence, creates additional downstream patent licenses that will
be incompatible with the AFL/OSL and similar open-source licenses,
and with the open-source development process."

Rosen added that some issues go beyond just open-source concerns.
"The requirement that 'If you would like a license from Microsoft
(e.g., rebrand, redistribute), you need to contact Microsoft
directly' gives Microsoft information about its competitors' plans
that it has no reason to know."

In addition, he said, "No open-source license—and all of them allow
rebranding and distribution—can be conditioned on informing Microsoft
of anything at all. Other proposed licenses have been rejected by OSI
[Open Source Initiative] and FSF [Free Software Foundation] because
they required licensees to notify the licensor of their intentions."