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Microsoft

Microsoft EULA stokes crusade 461

Posted by sengan
from the viral's-anagram-is-rival dept.
Microsoft's new crusade against licenses that enforce source-code sharing has reached the EULA of their Mobile Internet Toolkit. It even disallows the use of any "Publicly Available Software" tool in the production of software using this SDK. This seems to be a very wide ranging restriction applying to compilers (gcc), editors (vim, staroffice), filesystems (backup on linux server), web-browsers (mozilla logging into some online tool provider), Java (sun's virtual machine). The licenses covered include: the GPL and LGPL, the Artistic License (e.g., PERL), the Mozilla Public License, the Netscape Public License, the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL). Is this legal? Thanks to Jonathan for the link. Update: 06/26 05:42 PM by S : Here's a legal opinion on the matter.
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Microsoft EULA stokes crusade

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ok, so under what license *can* I redistribute their SDK then?

    What? None? Then why are they specifically babbling on about GPL and Linux? What's the motive?

  • Now this is really funny... ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/developr/interix/gpl.txt
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2001 @12:14PM (#134556)
    The end user is required to: "not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software".

    It is later clarified that any "Publicly Available Software" is considered potentially viral.

    Publicly Available Software is defined in part as:

    "any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part)"
    from
    "any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models"

    We therefore have the following predicament:

    1) BSD's TCP/IP stack is distributed under an open source license.

    2) Windows is "derived in any manner, in whole or in part" from BSD's TCP/IP stack.

    3) Therefore, by the above definition, Windows is "Publicly Available Software"

    4) Therefore, end users may not use Windows to develop software including this Software.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2001 @11:11AM (#134557)
    I rated their page as '1' just to be mean. Hehe!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:29AM (#134558)
    WARNING ... Anyone under the age of 18 or living in a legally-challenged country should either close their eyes or emigrate ....

    GPL - virgin code but prepared to be free and easy

    LGPL - understands cohabitation but doesn't want to touch the last base

    BSD - bisexual and willing to go either way

    MIT - has condom ready as anti-warrenty against the spread of aid

    APSL - quite prepared to lend a dildo to help fuck up the partner

    SCSL - wears a chastity belt so suitors can check in but not out

    EULA - bend over, grab ankles, and prepared to be screwed

    MSFU - when do you want to be gang-banged today?

  • It's not legal to include the in the EULA statements that are in themselves a libel. For example, it will be illegal to write a license that disallows the program to be used by "murderers, including Jon Katz".
  • by mAIsE (548)
    Section 2 --
    Due to the nature of the development work, Microsoft provides no assurance that any specific errors or discrepancies in the Software will be corrected

    Of course its not going to be fixed if me the little guy has a problem with your software and of course I wont have access to your source code so i can fix my own production environment

    Section 2 item B

    Recipient may not use the Software in a live operating environment with data that has not been sufficiently backed up

    I hope someone from m$ is reading, I am a small businessman and I do see the oppressiveness of the machine that is called m$. m$ got where it was because it was the little guy working for the little guy. Now you are acting like some of your original competitors and soon will be relegated to your monolithic ancestors.
  • In addition, Recipient agrees (i) to promptly upgrade to and obtain a license for the commercially released version of the Software when it becomes generally available to the public; (ii) to install all updates as 'mandatory updates' by Microsoft within 2 business days of receipt of such updates"

    Ye gods!

    I'd seen (i) before but I hadn't spotted (ii). Legally compelled to install unspecified software within 2 business days, no matter what? What are the penalties on failure to comply with this? (yes, I know UCITA would change the penalties to potential jail time, but what are the penalties NOW?)

  • by Chris Johnson (580) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @03:01PM (#134564) Homepage Journal
    Oh, that's cute. Note how there is no suggestion of what price this is to be- or even whether it'll be the same price for everyone, or decided on a case-by-case basis?!?

    This is a recipe for "You've been a baaaad company, Soko. As you agreed, you are contractually obliged to obtain a license for the commercially released version of the software. Just for you, the price is $50,000 or your immortal soul ;) just kidding! $50,000 or controlling interest..."

  • Using their SDK is not the same as incorporating code from their SDK. This may not matter much for purposes of the GPL, but in the case of the LGPL, the first would imply no obligations whereas the latter would.
  • Someone needs to clue MS in that the GPL isn't an airborne virus.

    I'd suggest that Microsoft does, in fact, fully understand the GPL - it's not like they've ever been short of lawyers.

    I think what's really happening here is spin. A coordinated attack on the GPL (for whatever reason you might speculate) using every means of communication they have. Looks like their latest 'innovation' is the use of the EULA as a spin-delivery device. Which makes sense, really, considering its apparent credibility. It is, after all, legalese. Anything a customer sees there is given instant legal credibility in his/her mind.
  • Microsoft will connect the word "viral" to all that is GPL.

    And then, given Microsoft's other comments, people will believe viruses cause cancer.
  • If, or when, RMS, FSF, and GPL prevail and destroy all proprietary rights - they will have ruined my, and many other authors, proprietary rights too - and we will no longer be abile to make even a fair living thru the production of personally authored IP.

    Right, and so what? Many people before you who were involved in questionable businesses have had to switch jobs when the prevailing winds changed.

    --

  • If you really want to make Microsoft squirm write the best piece of software ever, and then make sure that it is released under the GPL. Microsoft knows that their business model will never work with open protocols and GPLed source code. IBM, Sun, and some of the others (perhaps RedHat?) could get by selling consulting, services, and hardware, but Microsoft's entire business model is centered around creating de-facto closed standards by leveraging their desktop monopoly, and then using this standard as a toll bridge that the rest of the industry has to pay to cross to get to the end user.

    Despite the fact that Dell, Compaq, and your local OEM down the street actually build the hardware and sell it, Microsoft controls what icons get deployed on the desktop, and what messages the machine displays while it boots. I imagine that it irks Dell to no end to realize that it actually competes with MSN (doesn't Dell have an ISP arm), and yet they have to include MSN icons by default on their boxen.

    However, the more competition that Free Software (specifically GPLed Free Software) puts up the more leverage all of us have against Microsoft. Eventually either Microsoft will change its tune, or people will simply migrate away (or GNU/Linux will cease to be viable and Gates will control computing).

    GPLed software already can not be used by Microsoft subversively. They can't close it up and charge for it, and they don't have a very good record as a service organization.

  • by Brian Kendig (1959) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @11:05AM (#134573) Homepage
    It's not like a EULA has any teeth, anyway. Remember about two years ago when many PC's were only sold with Windows, and people who used Linux instead tried to return their Windows CD's to Microsoft, as the EULA told them to? "If you do not agree to the terms of this software license," it said (and they didn't agree to the terms), "then return this Software Product to Microsoft for a full refund." They tried to get a $90 refund on the CD's, but Microsoft refused to oblige to the terms of the EULA.

    If people violate the EULA and continue to use open-source software in conjunction with Microsoft software, and if Microsoft fights back legally, just take a page from their book and make sure the court case is drawn out long and slowly, until it doesn't really matter any more.

  • by Brian Kendig (1959) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:59AM (#134574) Homepage
    But when has this ever happened? When has any open source software "created obligations" for the maker of a proprietary piece of software, or "granted to any third party any rights to or immunities under" the original maker's intellectual property rights?

    An example of this would be if you marketed and sold proprietary software, and one day someone knocked on your door and said, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but someone has just made your software part of the Emacs distribution. Because Emacs is licensed under the GPL, that means you must provide us with the source to your proprietary software right now, or we'll sue."

    This is nonsense, of course -- it's completely backwards from the way things work. A public license may preclude the use of restricted-license software in public-licensed work, but it won't try to force a restricted license to be treated as public. I really don't understand what Microsoft is trying to protect itself from. The only way that a public license would obligate Microsoft in any way would be if Microsoft were to try to use a public-license software program in one of their products.

    Actually, no, I know exactly what Microsoft is doing: trying to drive a wedge between Microsoft products and open-source projects. Microsoft is hoping to corral corporate America into going exclusively with Microsoft software, and to require them to keep away from open source.

    I hate the term 'Viral Software' as applied to open-source licenses, by the way.

  • Hmmm. If this is true, then could somebody
    sue Microsoft for not including the source for their software?

    Microsoft would need to defend itself, presumably by saying "The GPL doesn't say that we have to," which would necessarily go against their public stance of the GPL being "Virulent."
  • He's got the correct interpretation.

    Vermifax
  • by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr&ticam,utexas,edu> on Thursday June 21, 2001 @11:32AM (#134579) Homepage
    In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under the scope of this License.

    Secondly, YANAL: if I write program Foo that links against Microsoft code, and I GPL Foo, that doesn't mean squat to Microsoft, despite their current lying PR campaign. If the Microsoft code is part of their OS or compiler distribution, then my GPL'ing Foo means nothing. Otherwise, my GPL'ing Foo means that I am the only one allowed to redistribute Foo (because no one else could do so without violating the GPL). In neither case does anything "viral" happen.
  • It goes on to list specific 'examples' of such licences, including the GPL and other licences.
  • by Aloril (6529) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:15AM (#134587) Homepage
    That EULA says that the GPL requires separate works distributed with GPL software to be GPL'd, which is false. Microsoft itself sells software [microsoft.com] that includes GPL tools.
  • IIRC, the cygwin toolkit gcc compiler for windows 9x makes your compiled programs require a library, cygwin32.dll, which is GPL instead of LGPL....
  • I've put in a request for a magnetic barrier wall to be installed in our office, with all Msft software, data and users on one side, and everyone else on the other side, with no network or anything allowed to traverse. That way I'll be protected from the users who can't figure out their multi-language spell checking options in Msft Word®. Of course, I'll have the least expensive, most robust, productive environment while their busy tracking down whose Outlook is sending the latest Virus de Jour to everyone on their customer list. I'm going to miss those guys, but they can just drop off the paycheck thru the bullet-proof glass window.
  • by Cederic (9623) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:19AM (#134595) Journal

    The offending part of the EULA:
    "(c) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part."

    In other words, don't distribute any bits of their SDK using one of the "naughty" licences. Which is fair enough - distribute the software you write w/o any bits of their SDK, and tell people where to find the SDK separately.

    Shrug, no big issue here. Move on, etc.

    ~Cederic
  • So open-source stuff is "potentally viral software"? That's the most insanely comical thing I've heard out of Redmond since the bullet point in the Hailstorm hype that claimed it "put the user in control". :-)

    Verily, the pot calleth the kettle black.

  • Isn't it just a little ironic for a open source advocate to be questioning if a restrictive software license is legal? After all GPL does require you to give away the source to your software if you use GPLed source, or staticly link to a GPLed application.

    The GPL and EULAs are different beasts entirely.

    The GPL only covers distribution of the software in question, and explicitly grants you rights that you would not have under copyright law (namely, ability to publish and distribute the code or derivative works without compensation to the author).

    EULAs cover use of the software; as a result, they tend to restrict what you can do with their product, as traditional copyright already covers distribution of the software.
  • by FreeUser (11483) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @01:39PM (#134602)
    I hate the term 'Viral Software' as applied to open-source licenses, by the way.

    The please, please don't use the term. It is not only a negative connotation, it is entirely wrong, a denigrative label applied to the GPL back during the early BSD vs GPL flamefests and rebutted very thoroughly in those threads (search groups.google.com for gpl bsd license if you're interested in dredging up old grudges). Since those early, volite days both RMS and the BSD folks have chilled out quite a bit and done as much as they could to reconcile their differences, and to respect those differences where reconciliation was not possible. This includes the changes to the BSD license making it GPL compatible as well as the recent endorsement by the Free Software Foundation for releasing the ogg/vorbis specification under the BSD license (to facilitate widespread implimentation in embedded hardware. think: portable ogg/vorbis players).

    The GPL is not a virus, it is a vaccine, an innoculation against later abuse of your code by having someone, such as Microsoft, take your hard work, incorporate it into a proprietary product which is then extended and kept closed, marginalizing your project in the process.

    The BSD license lacks this protection, but it does have an advantage in that it more straighforwardly allows code to be (re)implemented in hardware and combined with other proprietary works where it makes sense. It is obvious to all but the most zealous that both licenses have their place, and are appropriate in some situations and inappropriate in others.

    Freedom is important, and in my opinion today's climate, as epitomized by the anti-freedom dishonesty and FUD Microsoft and its lackeys are spreading, we need all the innoculation against abuse we can get. That is why I prefer the GPL in most instances to the FreeBSD license, and why I based my own Free Media License on aspects of the GNU GPL (and GNU FDL).

    Don't kid yourselves. We may not think of this as a war, and certainly if we take the rhetoric of the Microsoft lurkers in the crowd here and at K5 seriously we will continue to not think of it as a war, but make no mistake about it: Microsoft considers it a war and they will not stop until our freedom to use, modify, copy, and distribute the software we write is gone. Either through legal maneuvers, or by cutting us off from developers, users, and (perhaps most importantly) hardware manufacturers. This is a battle for our very freedom, and we should be neither complacent nor shy in informing others of exactly what is at stake.
  • That's a shitty attitude to have.... Who actually pays attention to the GPL? Especially when it's quite dumb. Who knows how much commerical (non-GPL) software steals snips, chunks, functions [etc.] from GPL sources? Damn, I fed another troll. Must stop posting....


  • by IntlHarvester (11985) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @12:27PM (#134605) Journal
    Nope - you get it for free every day on Slashdot.

    Guess you bots never thought your precious arguments would end up in a Microsoft EULA, did ya? Bill says keep up the good work-er-flamewars.
    --
  • (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part.

    Why does everyone choose not to emphasize that "includes"? The way I read both clauses i & ii it sounds to me like M$ simply is saying "you can't include the Software" (note the capitalization and the specific definition of "the Software" earlier in the license) "in any open-source/GPL/other undesireably licensed project, or any project using open-source tools". By "include" one would presume they mean "distribute".

    Presumably their SDK includes libraries, right? So you can't ship their libraries "in whole or in part" with your software if you you developed using any of the "evil" open source tools, or if your product is open sourced with one of the "evil" licenses.

    Seems within their rights to demand. Of course, it's ridiculous, but since when have EULA's been reasonable or even enforceable??

  • No more Microsoft products. We have just been given a reason to become a 100% microsoft free shop.

    Thanks microsoft for giving me the weapon I needed to push the board over the edge to completely embrace linux/bsd and opensource.
  • by rhavyn (12490) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @11:37AM (#134609)
    You're reading that completely wrong. If what you said is true then all of the Windows libraries (as well as Solaris's, HPUX's, AIX's, etc, etc) would have to have been GPL'd long ago because GCC, GDB, ls, mv, cp, etc, etc all link to them. Writing a program that links against a library in no way, shape or form modifies the library. The GPL includes verbiage that talks about linking to system libraries (and the author of a program can always say that this is licensed under the GPL and you have explicit permission to link to library X).

    Furthermore, there is no way for a license to superced the original license. You cant take something that I wrote and apply a new license to it.
  • by BeBoxer (14448) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @11:58AM (#134612)
    It seems pretty clear that M$ is trying very hard confuse the issue of when the GPL kicks in. In reality, the GPL affects very few potential users of GPL software. If a company uses Linux as a server OS, or serves their web pages with Apache, or edits their files with Emacs, then the GPL has basically no effect.

    But, this reality is not helpful to M$'s propaganda. So, they are intentially confusing the issue of when the "viral" part of the GPL kicks in. It only applies if you are writing software which includes source code which is GPL. The reality is that very few companies are in the business of selling software. The vast majority of companies are merely end users, and these are the companies M$ is trying to scare.

    Notice how they frame their restriction:

    (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software


    The confusion is created with the vague use of the word use. For most companies, use means to simply run a program. That's what I think of when I talk about "using" a program. I "use" Linux. I "use" MSWord. I "use" Windows. Technically, I'm sure they will claim that use means "include source code in another program" if pressed, since that is the only time that their claims are true. But, you will see these claims made again and again with vague references to "using" GPL software.

    We can hope this will backfire on them. After all, it's really a non-issue. If you are in the software development business, you damn well better read and understand the license on any source code you plan to include in your product, GPL or not. On the other hand, if you are just and end user of software, the GPL is about as close to public domain as you can possibly get. The mere "use" (i.e. running) of GPL software creates no obligations on the user. Contrast this to the EULA that M$ applies to all users. M$ is the one that requires users to agree to pages of dense legalese to understand what circumstances they can run the software under, not the open source community.
  • by sammy baby (14909) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:33AM (#134613) Journal

    Exactly. Furthermore, the license doesn't just prohibit applications developed using the SDK from being distributed under the GPL:

    3. APPROVED USES OF APPLICATIONS.

    (a) Except as provided in Subsection 3(b), Recipient may only use Applications on an internal basis for non-production purposes only and may not distribute or license the Applications to third parties or make the Applications available for use by any third party.

    Granted, the mention of open source as "viral" is egregious. But MS is actually prohibiting distribution of software in any form.

    What is a little more disturbing, though, is this part:

    Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part.

    Does this mean that I can't build, say, a library using this SDK that can be called from a Perl script? I don't know: I'm not a lawyer, and my head hurts. Plus, I need a nap.

  • Unfortunately, though much of the license appears reasonable, they make several statements which are not. Not even vaguely.
    And they do seem to forbid the use of even "Open Source" text editors in one's work.

    N.B.: They capitalized Open Source, so it distinctly includes a much wider family of programs than merely the GPL software. And they give particular examples which are wildly unreasonable, and then say "but that's not the limit of what we're claiming".

    Yes. I can look at that license fragment and quickly find sentences that appear totally reasonable. So? It's the license as a whole that matters. One onerous condition overwhelms a multitude of reasonable conditions. And that license fragment is filled with them.

    Not that it matters to me directly. I decided well over a year ago to never agree to one of those licenses again. And it doesn't seem to matter to most people, who assume that it's just meaningless, because it's never affected them in the past (I suspect that they're in for a surprise). But I will certainly advise anyone who asks to avoid agreeing to any such license.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • Actually, when they define they define the term Potentially Viral Software, they seem to define it as all Open Source software (with the capitals). This is quite encompassing. Much moreso than merely Free Software.
    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • But the the license fragment at:
    Another story that misrepresents the truth. (Score:5, Informative)
    by rabtech (russ_sdot.boneville@net.net.net) on 01:43 PM June 21st, 2001 EST (#121)

    and

    Re:sigh, story is a troll (Score:4, Informative)
    by Agthorr (agthorr@barsoom.org) on 01:46 PM June 21st, 2001 EST (#134)
    (User #135998 Info) http://www.barsoom.org/~agthorr

    (Be sure to read both!)

    This seems to include BSD as one of the things to be avoided.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • But that was in 1988. Since then quite a few laws have been passed that strenghtened the rights of companies, and weakened the rights of users. You may find that this is one of the cases undercut by, e.g., the DMCA.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • IANAL, but it seems to me that if MS weren't a monopoly, then it would be legal for them to impose these conditions. They aren't really that much more stringent than the conditions imposed by the GPL.

    And it seems like they will be found to not be a monopoly. Didn't Bush promise that at one point?

    So, to a court, the rules would not be those pertinant to a monopoly, but just the normal ones. And MS are the copyright holders of record. So they have the right to deny anyone the right to copy.

    Now, I may believe that MS is a monopoly. I may have no doubt about it. But that's not what's going to matter in front of a court.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • The SDK in question is a beta SDK. As far as point (i) goes, of course they're going to require the recipient to upgrade to the final version when it's released -- it makes no sense to continue supporting a beta once the gold version exists. And for point (ii), again, this is a beta. If Microsoft makes major changes to the SDK, changes that need more testing than their internal testers can do, then it once again makes sense to require your beta testers to update. On top of that, it also means that when you're supporting a beta SDK, you don't have to support every permutation of that beta, only the latest builds.

    Please try to understand what you're talking about, rather than slipping into the Slashdot FUD mode that seems to easy to obtain around here.

  • Does that mean I can't use it with Outlook?-)
  • by Soko (17987) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @12:29PM (#134626) Homepage
    Check this out:

    In addition, Recipient agrees (i)
    to promptly upgrade to and obtain a license for the commercially released version of the Software when it becomes generally available to the public;

    (Emphasis mine)
    Looks to me like the above language means "you test it, you buy it". I sure as fscking hell won't ever use this anyway, but thought that point may be usefull to explain to the PHBs why it's a bad idea in the first place.

  • by PenguinX (18932) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:20AM (#134627) Homepage
    How does this work with other software from Microsoft - for instance Office, Internet Explorer - etc. for MacOSX? I've been curious to see what it will be compiled with (gcc?) - so does this remove the Mac people from developing with any of the same tools that the rest of the company uses for development? Could be me, but this seems a stupid business move. "You can only play our way" will not bode well if the Monopoly case ever starts up again.


  • c) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software. By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing, Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software. "Publicly Available Software" means each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and (ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software (A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (C) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following: (A) GNU's General Public License (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (B) The Artistic License (e.g., PERL), (C) the Mozilla Public License, (D) the Netscape Public License, (E) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and (F) the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL).


    Wow. MS is really pushing the "viral" thing. I guess they found the meme they're gonna fight with, and this is it.

    It seems they're not afraid to scare off potential developers (who are already GNU software users and are unlikely to develop on MS anyway).

    For those of you who *still* develop on MS platform AND use GNU tools to do it.. ask yourselves "why?" Is it the only job you can get? Do you really need the money? MS doesn't want your kind in their camp.

    Sure, you are the Rosa Parks of the free software movement proving that you deserve to sit in the front of the MS bus.. but do you REALLY want to go where that bus is going? MS thought they wanted to garner a free-software-like grassroots community around MS to compete with OSS (they said as much in the Halloween documents), but it is clear that they have now completely given up on this and opened fire. YOU are now the enemy - why are you still treating MS as a friend?
  • PS. Bill I just piped your SDK through "less". Come and get me.
  • This EULA is legally unenforcible. But so what? Most EULAs are unenforcible pieces of pseudo-legalese.

    Microsoft, nor any other company or private concern, can take away the rights that copyright gives you WITHOUT a contract that you have explicitly agreed to. In the real world, contracts require your signature. Merely using the software is not good enough. Opening the shrink-wrap is not good enough. Clicking "ok" on an install screen is not good enough.

    The whole computer industry is under the delusion that they get to unilaterally create agreements. This is bogus.
  • IANAL, AIDWTB (I Am Not A Lawyer, And I Don't Want To Be).

    If I read this correctly, basically, Microsoft dictates what kind of products you can use to work on this code. Hmmm. How long until you have to agree to only use Microsoft tools?

    This, of course, is moronic. First of all, people are just going to ignore this, and unless Microsoft wants to have Code Police on guard, they're going to have the damndest time enforcing this.

    Secondly, they've just limited people's interests in working with this code. "Whoops, sorry, you're not allowed to use your beloved tool with us!"

    Third, if they keep throwing down gauntlets like this, someone is going to pick one up and give them a good smack. This is handing their competitors a wonderful opportunity ("Unlike Microsoft, we don't care what tools you use") and of course sticking their collective rear ends back in legal crosshairs ("How long until their agreements forbid the use of competitors non-OS tools?")

    I'll be the first to say I actually think M$ products get an unfair rap many times, and I'll also be the first to say they have the PR skills of an epileptic monkey and serious ethical problems.

    This is just another case of Microsoft, detached from common sense, doing what they've done for years. It's gonna catch up with them.

  • That is a nice idea, however it is counter to the Free Software philosophy. A piece of software cannot be Free if it restricts who can use it. (It is similar to the reason the ACLU occasionally backs hate groups in court.)

    --Ben

  • Capitolism is for losers? You've never seriously studied economics have you. So, your going to start a new ism? Capitolism, Communism, Walter Paradoxism. So when you go to the market, what do you give them for your bread? Free software? Maby some tech support. Sounds like bartering to me. Sorry won't work.
  • Your absolutly right, for a legal document, this contained very little in terms of definition of what "viral software" is. So by these terms I can't even use software I wrote for myself, as I didn't charge myself for it, and I have its source code. :) Or MSIE as you pointed out, though thats a different kind of "free" but they didn't specify.
  • Yes, but how do I get such a swimming pool, most likly by finding some people who will do it, and paying them money, thus returning it to people who have not. The only place where that breaks down is if the swimming pool company is a mega corporation, and they only buy products from other mega corportation. In which in any case those mega corportations still have employees without much money that eventually get paid. Money is constantly cycling and as long as we have a high enought GNP that means it is getting around to everyone. If the GNP starts slipping that means the money is going into hands that arn't spending it. But a simple fact, that has so far has always been true, but not nessearly been proven mathematically (meaning there are cases where it could go the other way). That thoughout history, any groups GNP (though maby its GDP or one of those other figures, all fairly simular though) is nearly proportional to the equal distribution of wealth. Meaning as a nations economy grows and produces more products, the difference in wealth between the poor and rich actually decreases. This can be easily observed in your 3rd world countries were there are ultra poor people starving everyday (few actually starving people in the US), while in the same country there are warlords, which are richer than you can imagine, in reality, richer than Bill Gates even. As there is a difference between being rich in a capitiolistic society, were you still have most of the rules apply to you. And rich in s different society were there are no rules period, and nobody questions you period.
  • Well the other way around, capitalism is just a part of economics. But it helps to give you an idea of the flow of money, and what it all really boils down too. I'm not really wanting to say that capitolism is the best, its just the best we have so far. And a good study of economics will aid in that understanding.
  • Thats called having a job, and doing something for money. Sure you can always build your own pool, especially if you run a pool building company, but you still have to buy the supplies nobody is just going to give you the supplies, just like nobody expects you to build them a pool for free. So you have to buy them, with money you earn from making pools for other people. And why do you say you shouldn't build the swimming pool in the first place? I don't understand, as you state there is virue in being poor, but I don't see the virtue in not having a job. Job=work you get paid for. Building a pool is part of that whole work thing you oviously don't understand. If noone worked you wouldn't have that nice pretty computer to sit and and chat with idiots like me. Now would you.
  • The EULA is a license that you agree to in order to use their (MS's) software. The right to use free tools is what you (apparently) give up to use it. Whether or not such a license clause is enforcible or would be upheld in court is another question, but it's surely legal for you to agree to be bound by restrictions in order to use someone else's software.

    It's a "meeting of the minds" sort of thing. They agree to let you use their software, and you, in turn, agree to be bound by their restrictions. Don't like their restrictions? Fine, don't use their software.

    -sk (oh yeah, IANAL, but I play one on Slashdot.)

  • From a logical perspective, there is no way a EULA is a meeting of the minds, a meeting of the minds implies that both sides have a impact on the outcome. "Meeting of the minds", however, conveys the fact that there is a legal agreement going on here.

    What part of "I agree to not use gcc, perl, etc... when using this software" is illegal?

    -sk

  • Microsoft, who says all that is GPL is evil, ships GPL licensed GCC with their own Interix Unix to NT porting toolset.

    http://www.microsoft.com/WINDOWS2000/interix/

    Does this mean you cannot make use of interix to develop for this and other simliarly licensed MS code?

    More importantly does Microsoft provide the customers with a copy of the Microsoft modified source code for the above and any other GPLed products?

  • by pangloss (25315) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:43AM (#134643) Journal
    But it doesn't seem that the restrictions of the EULA *only* cover redistribution of the toolkit w/ GPL'ed source:

    ...and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part.

    The passage above also seems to cover using GPL'ed software to develop your own software ("recipient software") that includes Microsoft's toolkit. But it's not exactly clear to me how this works.... Microsoft's product is not itself distributed as source, so what exactly would recipient software you create that includes Microsoft's toolkit (in whole or in part) look like? Seems like a pretty special case scenario. Seems like the restriction, if it was only concerned with redistribution wouldn't need the clause restricting the use GPL'ed software to *develop* GPL'ed software that includes the toolkit in the distribution--you just need to disallow including the toolkit period. The whole restriction on using GPL'ed software is bizarre.

    Is this intended just to be confusing to scare middle managers into forbidding their developers from using GPL'ed software? Penning GPL'ed and a handful of other open source licenses as "viral" certainly suggests that that is part of the motivation.
  • Is there any way that the use of the term viral in relation to free osftware could be construed as slander (if MS says it) or libel (if they write it in a license)? Defamation of who? FSF perhaps?
  • by Flower (31351) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @11:56AM (#134649) Homepage
    That's true. And it's why you can't make a GPL'd program out of the stupid SDK anyway. The code is not GPL compatable and attaching a bunch of self-proclaimed GPL code to it isn't going to open it up. MS didn't have to put that section into its EULA. Their copyright takes precident.

    Which is why I find the thing so ridiculous. "Oooo, the GPL and the MPL and all these other 'open sores' licenses will force us to open all our code. They're a cancer to our business." Bull shit. That clause was never needed and is vague enough to require a lawyer's opinion if you are going to use the SDK with anything other than MS' development suite.

    Section 1c is one of the few things that I've seen which deserves "-1 redundant."

  • Unless Microsoft can show Exactly how such licenses would violate their Intelectual property rights such license restrictions are covered under 'Restraint of Trade' and are illegal.

  • by Quebec (35169) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:19AM (#134653) Homepage
    You can find the word "viral" in their EULA..

    Microsoft will connect the word "viral" to all that is GPL.

    They will shout it more often and louder then we'll alltogether (the open source community) be able to deny it.

    I need an aspirine and a continuum shifter so that I can change universe....

  • Seems fair to me. You can't Open Source MSFT components or use software that requires you to Open Source MSFT components.

    That bit is reasonable, but you can't do that anyway. Even without this clause in the EULA you'd get smacked down hard and fast for even trying.

    But look at these 2 clauses:

    not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part.

    and later in the examples of "Potentially Viral Software" :
    any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models;

    So you can't redistribute DLLs from the SDK with your application if you used emacs, gcc, linux or mozilla *even as tools* in the production of your application. That's the unreasonable part.
  • distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software

    I think that this is just an example they provide, since they also say "By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing" right before they say that.

    MS never prohibit using these tools. If they did, MS could be sued for product tying; and tool distributors could obtain an injuction to stop any distribution of this EULA dead in its tracks.

    It's really difficult to say for sure, since the language of the EULA is a major headache, but here's why I think that they are either prohibiting the use of free dev tools with the SDK or trying to imply that they are:

    (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part.

    Note that part (i) discusses distribution of the SDK and part (ii) discusses *use* of the SDK. Seems to me, part (ii) is saying don't use "Potentially Viral" tools to develop code that incudes any part of the SDK - whether or not it's being distributed!

    Now this begs the question "what is Potentially Viral Software?" but there is no software in existance that meets their definition so that would imply that the entire clause is meaningless, right? But they then go on to imply that "Potentially Viral Software" includes pretty much everything under the sun (anything free, open, GPLed, etc.) in the "By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing" clause by saying you can't distribute with all the listed stuff.

    It's very odd, they say -

    (a) don't distribute our stuff with X
    (b) don't develop using our stuff and X
    (c) therefore you can't distribute our stuff with Y

    This seems to imply that Y is a member of X and therefore you can't develop using their stuff and Y. But since the definition of X does not seem to really incude Y, it makes me wonder if (a) and (b) are really meaningless and the only actual statement is (c)?
  • by bridgette (35800) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:43AM (#134657)
    Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software.

    They are deliberately trying to cloud the issue. They say that they don't want you to give away any of Microsoft's rights or try to put Microsoft under any legal obligations by distributing their SDK DLLs with "Potentially Viral Software" ... but no 3rd party can change M$ licencing. Period. No one can nullify the original M$ licencing terms by re-releasing under their own licence, so it's a completely mute point. A red herring.

    But then they go on to take great zeal in knocking down the straw-man they just constructed:

    By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing, Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software. "Publicly Available Software" means each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and (ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software (A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (C) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following: (A) GNU's General Public License (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (B) The Artistic License (e.g., PERL), (C) the Mozilla Public License, (D) the Netscape Public License, (E) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and (F) the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL).


    Kinda like the Allchin, Balmer and Gates rants: All we want is for publically funded development to not be released under the GPL - not like that *ever* happens - but now we'll use that as a segue into a reant on the evils of the GPL.

    They are really pushing their luck, obligating people to not use a competitiors dev tools (emacs, gcc etc.) in order to use their SDK (which is often needed to develop apps for their OS) sounds like leveraging their monoploly to squash competition and playing dumb about it (Huh? We just didn't want other people to take away our licencing rights ... honest.)
  • So you can't redistribute DLLs from the SDK with your application if you used emacs, gcc, linux or mozilla *even as tools* in the production of your application. That's the unreasonable part.

    Actually its a good idea, except that it really should apply unconditionally. The whole "DLL hell" problem is the result developers redistributing DLL's from their SDK.
    Problem is that Microsoft should have done this 6 or 7 years ago (and ensured their own developers complied.)
  • What's even funnier is you resort to calling MS's license viral. As if the beloved GPL is not.

    What utter rubbish. GPL compliers do not force you to use a specific licence with your applications or tell you what other tools you can and can't use. But this appears to be what Microsoft is using. That's nothing new they have been telling OEMs what software they can and can't preload with Windows for years.
  • IIRC, Microsoft Outlook is one of the biggest viral programs in existance.

    For that matter the Office 2000 and MSIE installers are "viral". e.g. there appears to way not to install "Task Scheduler", "Web Folders", etc.
  • A coordinated attack on the GPL (for whatever reason you might speculate) using every means of communication they have. Looks like their latest 'innovation' is the use of the EULA as a spin-delivery device. Which makes sense, really, considering its apparent credibility. It is, after all, legalese. Anything a customer sees there is given instant legal credibility in his/her mind.

    Assuming the average customer will even bother to read it in the first place.
  • It probaly is "Legal" for them to say that if you want to play with their toys you can't play with anyone else's, but it's probably ill-considered.

    It's simply an extension of the way they have been treating OEMs.
    As for it's legality any law making it legal would be rather mutually exclusive with a "free" society.
    The software business appears to be one of the very few which will even attempt this sort of stuff.
  • I'm not sure I understand the mechanism, but is MS telling a person what they can and cannot deploy on their own property?

    At the same time as moaning about open source being "viral".
    Microsoft can do something useful, providing a textbook example of projection.
  • i dunno... i say we test it...

    lets use the SDK and build all sorts of applications using free tools... release them under GPL, and flaunt it...

    wanna bet they never prosecute?

  • It does appear that building an app with GCC and distributing it under the GPL would conflict with the license for this SDK. Talk about viral - Microsoft is trying to proscribe limits on the license under which you distribute YOUR application!

    If the self-contradiction weren't so laughable, it'd make me retch.

    Particularly ridiculous is the mention of "non-production purposes". So you could prototype with gcc, but when it came to deploy the app on your OWN SERVERS, you'd have to use a different tool? Ha, ha, ha. This EULA is a piece of shit and wouldn't hold up for very long if tested, which it never will be.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • No, read it again. It says:

    1. Free tools may not so much as touch the SDK. This is unethical.

    2. The GPL places restrictions on what code it can be distributed with. This is false.

  • But if they spread lies about other licenses, they should be rebutted. Further, if they restrict their customers' freedoms, they should be fought.
  • "The GPL is, in places, so vague that 'interpreting' it can only be done by examining the entrails of freshly slaughtered animals. This vagueness is probably deliberate, and if the GPL is ever determined to be unlawful the vague wording will likely be the prime cause of its downfall."

    1. It is in no way vague - you just can't read legalese. It was drafted by a *very* clever lawyer, and has been reviewed by lawyers at *countless* companies. The only ones who think it is unclear are the ones who are trying to find loopholes - they need an excuse for their failure other than "Eben Moglen is one smart dude".

    2. Why would it be unlawful? Unenforcable, maybe... but not unlawful. And it *won't* be declared unenforcable - when companies in the past have inadvertently violated it, their lawyers have always determined that they would lose if they fought it in court.

    "The GPL states that linking to GPL code is not allowed unless the code doing the linking is also GPL'd. That is explicit. That is the letter of the
    GPL, that is the spirit of the GPL."

    Exactly.

    "That is, in some circumstances, clearly illegal."

    No, it's not. It is be illegal to distribute non-free code (except in system libraries) linked to GPL code. This is the distributor's problem, not the GPL's.

    "As a result, this EULA is equally explicit."

    It also spreads several lies about the GPL. It claims, falsely, that code distributed *with* (not linked against) GPL'd code must be GPL'd.

    "As a result, MS can smack you in multiple ways if you try to steal their code using the GPL. "

    One cannot steal code using the GPL.

    "It's entirely legal, and it is even justified."

    Is it legal to maliciously spread lies about your competitors? I don't think so. Are these lies justified? No.
  • by prizog (42097) <novalis-slashdot@@@novalis...org> on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:14AM (#134672) Homepage
    Further, Microsoft's new license is full of lies about the GPL.

    The new license says that the GPL requires separate works distributed with GPL software to be GPL'd, which is false.

    This has always been M$'s complaint about the GPL - and it has never been true. Now, tho, Microsoft's software contains these terms!

  • If you want to see an object lesson in why software EULAs are bogus, you need look no further than this ``agreement''. Here we have a body of text, and we have a whole community of reasonably intelligent people who have read it, and nobody can figure out what the hell it says. How is the mumbo-jumbo in this license any different from printing the whole works in Swahili with a little button at the bottom that says, ``I agree''. I agree to what? I for one can't make head nor tail of the damn thing.


    Personally, I can't wait for this style of ``agreement'' to catch on in other industries; I'm looking forward with great anticipation to the day I have to take my lawyer with me to the grocery store to interpret the license on a bag of tater tots. It makes a feller glad to be alive.


    -rpl

  • by Steve B (42864) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:15AM (#134674)
    This has always been M$'s complaint about the GPL - and it has never been true. Now, tho, Microsoft's software contains these terms!

    Establishing a special case where it is true will no doubt be used to support FUD assertions that it is true in general.
    /.

  • You can, from here [microsoft.com], apparently it's the genuine package at least microsoft says so [microsoft.com] (i didn't try to dl tons of unzipped tar to verify) it's even coming with the gpl [microsoft.com].
  • by dilute (74234) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @11:30AM (#134698)
    Sure, it may be enforceable. You're certainly free not to use the MS modules if you don't like it.

    On the other hand, it does not appear to be NECESSARY in order to protect MS's intellectual property rights, and should certainly not be seen as some kind of "best practices" licensing model!

    *IF* parts of the MS SDK got incorported in the end product, and *IF* the GPL'd product were used in such a way the the resulting schmeer (end product) constituted a "derivative work" of the GPL'd product, then, yes, the GPL might well require source code availability for the resulting end product work, including the incorporated elements of the MS SDK.

    However,

    First, this type of situation would not result merely from, say, using Emacs to edit a program. Or even gcc to compile it (isofar as, in that case, the LGPL would apply).

    Second, if this situation DID arise, it would simply highlight the fact that there was an incompatibility between MS's license and the GPL (surprise?). The "perpetrator" might be contractually obligated to the FSF to publish the entire source, but would STILL be liable to MS for breach of contract and/or infringement for doing so as to the embeded MS elements. So in the absence of this clause, our user/developer would not actually "get away" with anything.

    It is not clear to me, therefore, why MS or anyone else would NEED to put in a provision like this in in their license agreement in order to prevent their software from losing IP protection.

    Of course, if what you REALLY wanted to accomplish was to deny the availability of your proprietary software to anyone in the free software camp, for example, if you thought free software was a BIG THREAT, then you might well come up with an agreement like this to force the issue.

    Maybe MS should go one step further, and go "VIRAL" itself (e.g., that anything you develop with THEIR SDK has to pass down this same restriction, so that YOUR USERS can't use "Publicly Available Software" either)! Why not go all the way?

    MS probably just sees itself as fighting an aggressive license agreement (the GPL) with one of its own -- fighting fire with fire.

    Now, if MS started doing this in all of its licenses, it could be pretty polarizing. I could see it leading to widespread corporate edicts (or attempted edicts) to banish open source. Or users could push back, or simply ignore either these provisions, or the fact that their people are using free development tools (Don't Ask, Don't Tell).

    Could be war. . . but probably not.

    --Ron Abramson (ra@panix.com)
  • by OmegaDan (101255) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:33AM (#134748) Homepage
    I've yet to read a EULA, although I'm ceartin shrinkwrap licenses aren't legally binding, they most certainly aren't if you haven't read them in the first place (I think legally thats called "lack of communication":)

    I'm sure it won't be long before a bill (UCITA?) tries to make them legally binding ... but right now ignorance is bliss

  • by chrysrobyn (106763) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:20AM (#134765)
    Rainman, sitting at a table. "Must compile code. Used NT to write it. NT has open sourced BSD networking code in it. Can't compile code. Can't compile code. Definitely can't compile code."
  • It is not simply a matter of MS being able to put whatever they want in their EULA, and you can "take it or leave it" as a number of posters have suggested.

    Instead, I think MS has not thought carefully enough about the possbility that this new EULA could form the basis for a copyright misuse claim -- which would invalidate at least that provision of the license and possibly even render MS' copyrights in the SDK unenforceable.

    The copyright misuse doctrine is very old, and derives from the concept of patent misuse -- to my knowledge, it has not been tested in any appellate court decision involving software. The basic idea is that the U.S. government is granting a monopoly by issuing copyrights; eg. the owner of a copyright has a legal monopoly to copy, distribute, license, sell, prepare derivative works, etc. As with any monopoly, however, if the monopoly holder abuses its power and attempts to extend one monopoly (the right to control the underlying software) into another monopoly (say, the right to control .NET development protocols, processes, toolkits, etc.) then the patent (or at least potentially the copyright) can be invalidated for misuse. It seems to me there are several arguments that that is exactly what MS is doing here -- taking the legal monopoly to the SDK granted by the U.S. government and trying to extend that into an illegal monopoly over .NET processes.

  • by icqqm (132707) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @11:10AM (#134787) Homepage Journal
    "Potentially Viral Software"? You can't BUY FUD like that!
  • by Agthorr (135998) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:46AM (#134788) Homepage
    Here's the full open source part of the license in question:
    (c) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software. By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing, Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software. "Publicly Available Software" means each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and (ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software (A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (C) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following: (A) GNU?s General Public License (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (B) The Artistic License (e.g., PERL), (C) the Mozilla Public License, (D) the Netscape Public License, (E) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and (F) the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL).

    (i) specifies to not distribute their code along with "viral" license code. However, the GPL allows distribution with non-GPLed code, as long as they're not part of the same program. Furthermore, (ii) specifies to not even use tools that have "viral" licenses. They speak generally of avoiding licenses that imply a legal obligation on Microsoft's part (reasonable), however they specifically mention software which could quite easily be used with creating any legal obligation (unreasonable).

    This story is not a troll.

    -- Agthorr
    (Reproducing this portion of their license is fair use, right? ;))

  • by startled (144833) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @11:03AM (#134798)
    Well, yes, they can probably put whatever they want in it. I've seen EULA's that literally say they get your first born. That's not the interesting question. The question is-- what will actually hold up?

    EULA's have severe limits. In Vault v. Quaid [seattleu.edu], it was held that an EULA can't infringe on federally protected consumer rights, such as noninfringing use, reverse engineering, and so on.

    I found a rather interesting article dealing with copyright law vs. shrinkwrap licenses here [umich.edu]. It's worth reading, since IP and EULA's seem to come up here quite often. It doesn't have an immediate interpretation of the current situation. However, it is evident that typically courts agree with the notion that EULA's cannot be used to artificially block legitimate competition, since that runs entirely counter to the purpose of the copyright laws they're predicated on.
  • by Misch (158807) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:21AM (#134814) Homepage
    From the EULA:

    (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software

    IIRC, Microsoft Outlook is one of the biggest viral programs in existance. One need only look at the "ILOVEYOU" virus to see just how viral Outlook really is. So, I suppose you can't use Microsoft Outlook as an e-mail client while developing for the Mobile Internet Toolkit.

  • by edp (171151) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @11:55AM (#134830) Homepage

    Licenses are fun. Around 1995, I filled in the warranty cards from several products and sent them to the respective publishers with a license offer. The license offered my consideration of products or services they wished to advertise to me in exchange for their agreement not to send me junk mail more than once a year. The company was to indicate its agreement to the license by using the two-letter code on the warranty card in the address of mail sent to me.

    The warranty card was clearly marked in red that use of the two-letter code indicated agreement to the license. The license contained some additional terms. Some of them specified payments for exceeding the junk mail threshold or sharing my personal information. One of the terms was that any future software of the publisher I acquired was transferred to me subject only to copyright law and not any license.

    Among other publishers, I sent one of these offers to Microsoft. They used the two-letter code to send me mail.

    Licenses are fun.

  • by DuneWolf (171296) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:47AM (#134832)
    If you refer to the GPL license at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html [gnu.org], you'll note the following:

    2b) You must cause any work that you distribute or publish, that in whole or in part contains or is derived from the Program or any part thereof, to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties under the terms of this License.

    IANAL but this implies that if I download the Microsoft SDK, develop some code against it, then release it under the GPL, or incorporate any GPL code, the GPL applies to the entire program, not just the modifications of the original GPL program. It is perfectly within the rights of Microsoft to prevent another license from superceding their own, or to allow users to be confused. This problem is exactly why LGPL was developed. For a program to be GPL, ALL OF THE SOURCE REQUIRED TO MAKE THE PROGRAM MUST BE GPL. You can't develop GPL code that works against non-GPL code, and distribute them together.
  • by the_other_one (178565) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:33AM (#134846) Homepage

    A Simplified EULA

    By Reading this license you agree that Microsoft Corporation does not want to be part of the Mobile Internet Market. You Furthermore agree that you do not wish to uuse this software. You must return this software for a refund.

  • by Daemosthenes (199490) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:14AM (#134867)
    of COURSE it's legal;

    to qoute a comment from k5:
    Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit Beta 2 Accompanying this Agreement is a prerelease copy of the Microsoft software identified above, which includes software and related documentation and information (collectively the "Software"). This means that this is a beta release of a toolkit, which is somewhat different than a development tool, (i.e. a compiler, or an IDE). This also means that the term the "Software" refers to the toolkit and not code that you've written...thus, essentially what that clause is saying is that you can't redistribute the Microsoft Mobile Internet Toolkit Beta 2 code with your GPL'ed source, presumably because they want to track downloads of the source. Yay.


  • by abdulwahid (214915) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:25AM (#134885) Homepage

    That's not quite what it is saying rather you have only highlighted part of it. It also says...

    not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software,

    Which doesn't necessarily mean you are distributing it with free software but that you used free software as a "tool" in its development. This would in fact cover many things as was mentioned in the original /. post.

  • by rabtech (223758) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:43AM (#134894) Homepage
    While this looks very ominous, you must take a look at what this license is for. It concerns BETA/prerelease software. This isn't production code. The license very clearly states that you may only use the SDK "for the sole purposes of designing, developing, and testing Recipient's Applications,"

    Here is the relevant Open Source section. Please note that "The Software" referrs to Microsoft's SDK, and will be highlighted in bold text.


    (c) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient
    (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and
    (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software. By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing, Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software.

    "Publicly Available Software" means each of
    (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and
    (ii)any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software
    (A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form;
    (B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or
    (C) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following:
    (A) GNU's General Public License (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL),
    (B) The Artistic License (e.g., PERL),
    (C) the Mozilla Public License,
    (D) the Netscape Public License,
    (E) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL)
    (F) the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL).


    While that may at first appear very drastic, one must consider what is being said: You cannot distribute the SDK, or any of its components/examples with Open Source projects. This says nothing of the runtime -- only the SDK itself. Basically you can't lump the SDK into a package covered under another license. We must also notice this little paragraph, which would seem rather important:


    3. APPROVED USES OF APPLICATIONS.
    (a) Except as provided in Subsection 3(b), Recipient may only use Applications on an internal basis for non-production purposes only and may not distribute or license the Applications to third parties or make the Applications available for use by any third party.


    All told, this is fairly standard as a Microsoft prerelease/beta license agreement. They are giving you tools, code samples, documentation, etc... and you are agreeing not to distribute this SDK as part of any other projects, especially Open Source ones. You are also agreeing not to distribute any projects that you create, or use them in "production" systems. Now if the final release version of the runtime included these clauses, we should start raising some eyebrowes.
    -- russ
  • by The Monster (227884) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @04:37PM (#134896) Homepage
    #include <ianal.h>

    Would someone who is comment on whether this license defames the GPL et. al., and those who use it, to the point that it could be the basis of a suit against MS? This thing defines "Potentially Viral":

    (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software
    Had they left it at that, it would have been one thing, but by naming the five specific licenses as included in this definition, they assert that which is simply untrue. From my admittedly non-expert reading, nothing in any of the enumerated licenses could do that, unless Microsoft itself were to release the code under one of them, so all that's left is to prove that the lies are damaging to the plaintiffs, and that MS acted with reckless disregard for the truth. (If I remember the elements as explained to me by the last real lawyer I talked to on the subject of libel.)

  • Sometimes organizations become so abusive that they destroy themselves.

  • "The license will create FUD in the minds of it's recipients as to what tools they can use."

    That is my opinion, also. Microsoft seems to be trying to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

    It is interesting that Microsoft often acts like an emotionally disturbed 5-year-old: "Does not play well with others."
  • by tulare (244053) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:37AM (#134918) Journal
    After all the schmaltz about "potentially viral" software up near the top of the eula (where it is more likely to be read, I suppose), there was this little gem:
    "Recipient agrees (i) to promptly upgrade to and obtain a license for the commercially released version of the Software when it becomes generally available to the public; (ii) to install all updates as ?mandatory updates? by Microsoft within 2 business days of receipt of such updates (all updates delivered to Recipient by Microsoft shall be subject to this Agreement);"
    So, GNU software is potentially viral, but you'd damn well better install our updates.Right.

    I wonder how long it takes for Microsoft to start hiring guys to work for them wearing white plastic body suits. I admit that I prefer most of Office to most comparable software, but these people are acting less and less like a software company - and more and more like a government. It needs to stop.
    By the way - did anyone else try to read that eula using Mozilla? Talk about sphagetti code!
  • by dodson (248550) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:22AM (#134920)
    Provide the world with questions about a liscense.

    Encourage legal departments to carefully consider the ramifications of the vague and viral GPL.

    Provide the world with answers to list of questions.

    Package it all in a EULA that enjoins the use of liscense.

    Force companies to carefully consider if EULA can actually prohibit them from using Open Source Software.

    Hope all will give up because EULA brings MS legal threat into the equation.

    They are not a monopoly though.
  • by tb3 (313150) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @11:02AM (#134964) Homepage
    I dunno. The site says you can download the source for "bc, ci, co, cpio, csplit, dc, diff, diff3, gawk, gzip, gunzip, ident, merge, nl, rcs, rcsdiff, rcsmerge and rlog", but there's no mention of gcc g++ or g77, which they ship with Interix. I'd say they screwed up, and the FSF should nail them for it.

    "What are we going to do tonight, Bill?"
  • by Nurgster (320198) on Thursday June 21, 2001 @10:37AM (#134969) Homepage
    Actually, the license only forbids development using tools that make use of viral licenses. It's not worded vert well, but here is the relevent clause:


    (c) Open Source. Recipient's license rights to the Software are conditioned upon Recipient (i) not distributing such Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with Potentially Viral Software (as defined below); and (ii) not using Potentially Viral Software (e.g. tools) to develop Recipient software which includes the Software, in whole or in part. For purposes of the foregoing, "Potentially Viral Software" means software which is licensed pursuant to terms that: (x) create, or purport to create, obligations for Microsoft with respect to the Software or (y) grant, or purport to grant, to any third party any rights to or immunities under Microsoft's intellectual property or proprietary rights in the Software. By way of example but not limitation of the foregoing, Recipient shall not distribute the Software, in whole or in part, in conjunction with any Publicly Available Software. "Publicly Available Software" means each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software (e.g. Linux) or similar licensing or distribution models; and (ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that other software distributed with such software (A) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; (B) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (C) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licenses or distribution models, or licenses or distribution models similar to any of the following: (A) GNU's General Public License (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (B) The Artistic License (e.g., PERL), (C) the Mozilla Public License, (D) the Netscape Public License, (E) the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), and (F) the Sun Industry Standards License (SISL).


    The BSD licence (which TCP/IP is based on) is not mentioned, nor is it similar to any of the listed licenses.

    This is just another move by Microsoft in their campaign against the GPL (which is, IMO, a good move on their part).

    This license ensures developers can't be forced to use a specific license further down the line.

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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