Microsoft's newest Halloween documents

,----[ Quote ]
| * Microsoft is trying to look like it's all about interoperability
| through futile projects like Mono, Moonlight, and patent agreements with
| Novell and also-ran Linux vendors. But these deals are really nothing
| more than a way to tax open-source innovation to ensure open source is
| hobbled by Microsoft's fees.
| And so on. Microsoft is much more open about its intentions vis-a-vis open
| source. That doesn't mean it's any more supportive of open source. It just
| means that it's getting easier to glean from public documents how the company
| feels about open source.
| We don't need Halloween Documents to read the tea leaves on Microsoft and
| open source. We just need to pay attention to what the company is doing. In
| the open. On an increasing basis.

Halloween XII: What’s really behind those Microsoft licenses?

,----[ Quote ]
| Given the OSI’s stated desire to reduce the number of open source licenses,
| not increase them, I asked the OSI board why they had approved it. “We won’t
| approve licenses that are too similar to existing licenses”, board member
| Russ Nelson responded in an email. However he praised the licenses for being
| simply written, for addressing trademarks and patents, and for not naming a
| specific jurisdiction.
| Is that enough to differentiate them? Not according to Greg Stein of the
| Apache Foundation, who is opposed to the creation and use of new licenses
| when existing, popular licenses already do the job. “License proliferation,”
| he writes, “slows development and discourages usage by making it more
| difficult to combine and remix code.”

Sam posted this a few months ago:

Reverse-Halloween: The Marketing Checkbox Strategy

,----[ Quote ]
| Getting Microsoft software licenses OSI-approved and similarly getting
| Microsoft's proprietary document formats approved at ISO are like painting an
| old Chevrolet.
| [...]
| This may be enough to satisfy the enterprise customer that he is achieving
| something different. Clearly, the substance is no different: it's a lock-in
| in sheep's clothing.


OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

,----[ Quote ]
| Things got really interesting when Chris DiBona, longtime OSI member, open
| source advocate, and open source programs manager for Google, Inc. chimed in:
| I would like to ask what might be perceived as a diversion and maybe even
| a mean spirited one. Does this submission to the OSI mean that Microsoft
| will:
| a) Stop using the market confusing term Shared Source
| b) Not place these licenses and the other, clearly non-free , non-osd
| licenses in the same place thus muddying the market further.
| c) Continue its path of spreading misinformation about the nature of
| open source software, especially that licensed under the GPL?
| d) Stop threatening with patents and oem pricing manipulation schemes
| to deter the use of open source software?
| If not, why should the OSI approve of your efforts? That of a company who
| has called those who use the licenses that OSI purports to defend a
| communist or a cancer? Why should we see this seeking of approval as
| anything but yet another attack in the guise of friendliness?

Merging "Open Source" and "Free Software"

,----[ Quote ]
| Of course, they are not. Other Shared Source licenses may very well be too
| restrictive to be considered Open Source. But, Microsoft may conveniently
| divert the attention from this little detail to the fact that some of
| Shared Source licenses are Open Source.

Microsoft not so 'open' after all?

,----[ Quote ]
| Head of open-source group says more than half of licenses don't pass muster
| [...]
| Michael Tiemann, president of the non-profit Open Source Initiative, said
| that provisions in three out of five of Microsoft's shared-source licenses
| that restrict source code to running only on the Windows operating system
| would contravene a fundamental tenet of open-source licenses as laid out by
| the OSI. By those rules, code must be free for anyone to view, use, modify as
| they see fit.
| [...]
| By his count, the OSI has rejected "two dozen" or so license applications for
| language that restricted the use or redistribution of software and its source
| code, even when the restrictions were written with what Tiemann
| called "moral" intent. For instance, the OSI has rejected license
| applications from Quakers and other pacifists who sought to prevent the use
| of software for weapons such as landmines.
| "I am highly sympathetic to that point of view," he said. "But the OSI is not
| in the business of legislating moral use. We allow all use, commercial or
| non-commercial, mortal or medical."

Is Microsoft Hijacking Open Source?

,----[ Quote ]
| What really worries me is what looks like an emerging pattern in Microsoft's
| behaviour. The EU agreement is perhaps the first fruit of this, but I predict
| it will not be the last. What is happening is that Microsoft is effectively
| being allowed to define the meaning of “open source” as it wishes, not as
| everyone else understands the term. For example, in the pledge quoted above,
| an open source project is “not commercially distributed by its
| participants” - and this is a distinction also made by Kroes and her FAQ. * * *
| In this context, the recent approval of two Microsoft licences as
| officially “open source” is only going to make things worse. Although I felt
| this was the right decision – to have ad hoc rules just because it's
| Microsoft would damage the open source process - I also believe it's going to
| prove a problem. After all, it means that Microsoft can rightfully point to
| its OSI-approved licences as proof that open source and Microsoft no longer
| stand in opposition to each other. This alone is likely to perplex people who
| thought they understood what open source meant. * * *
| [...]
| What we are seeing here are a series of major assaults on different but
| related fields – open source, open file formats and open standards. All are
| directed to one goal: the hijacking of the very concept of openness. If we
| are to stop this inner corrosion, we must point out whenever we see wilful
| misuse and lazy misunderstandings of the term, and we must strive to make the *
| real state of affairs quite clear. If we don't, then core concepts like “open
| source” will be massaged, kneaded and pummelled into uselessness. * *