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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <dennis.hamil...@acm.org>
Subject RE: Query On MSFT License
Date Sun, 07 Jul 2013 18:38:48 GMT
I think we’ve gone off-theme.
 
The original question was about license limitations on redistributables available from Microsoft.
 
That brings a transitive concern with regard to conditions on software with which those redistributables
are packaged.
 
Finally, there’s a perhaps-fringe concern over JavaScript (or JScript, in Microsoft Parlance)
samples from which derivatives have been made.  That’s probably the only direct source code
condition.  Another fringe case has to do with operation in a VM on a non-Windows platform,
but that’s arguably on the Microsoft platform.  Whether or not it is under a valid license
is someone else’s concern, unless an AOO project were to ship VM images [;<).
 
There is another case though.  Microsoft tools used to build binaries can also have domain-of-use
conditions that apply to what they are used on-and-for as well.  I’m thinking about the
freely available Express editions, but there may be other cases, including use of certain
libraries.  
 
Ignoring all of that, I would stick to the case that the safe thing for a project to do is
(1) not distribute the redistributables and (2) not provide them as companions for building
from source either.  That might make hands cleaner-than-clean.  It keeps life very simple.
 
-   Dennis
[Using HTML format to preserve Larry’s markup.  Not my preference.]
 
#IntoTheSwamp
 
 
If, for end-user software, (1) is relaxed, it should be at lease comparable to the treatment
of Category B software and I don’t know how the strange license condition on programs which
incorporate/employ the software is to be honored in principle.  Some efforts appear to claim
a shield around the redistributables and avoid extending the license of the combination to
them.  (How can it be otherwise – there’s no way to tell people where there is source
and they can have it.)
 
I have seen (LGPLd) open-source projects include Microsoft redistributables in their binary
distributions that are targeted to the Windows platform, including copies of the licenses
in identification of dependency on those redistributables.  That included licenses on .NET
Frameworks, too.
And just to verify my recollection, I just installed a binary distribution from an Apache
project that includes Microsoft Redistributables.  They are in the setup files and I saw the
installers run.  However, there is no copy of the requisite license anywhere and neither the
LICENSE nor NOTICE files (if you can find them) indicate that such files are part of the distribution
and what the license is, if any.  
 
#OutOfTheBlueIntoTheBlack
 
Sun and Oracle were more careful in the equivalent distributions of theirs.  So is The Document
Foundation.  What’s interesting is the limitations on use that happens even when there is
no condition on the license of the software that bundles the redistributable.  
 
When there are the conditions that Sam points out concerning terms of the combination’s
license, I have seem commercial software simply redistribute the Microsoft License and present
it, but not do anything to indicate how their license complies with that condition.  (I suspect
they are compliant, since the commercial producer typically doesn’t permit redistribution
of their product in any form.  It’s strange to hand over the redistributable license though.)
 
I guess it’s true.  Rust Never Sleeps.
 
From: Lawrence Rosen [mailto:lrosen@rosenlaw.com] 
Sent: Sunday, July 7, 2013 09:29 AM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org
Cc: Lawrence Rosen
Subject: RE: Query On MSFT License
 
Sam, my response is below. /Larry
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Sam Ruby [mailto:rubys@intertwingly.net] 
Sent: Sunday, July 07, 2013 5:01 AM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org <mailto:legal-discuss@apache.org> 
Subject: Re: Query On MSFT License
 
On Sat, Jul 6, 2013 at 4:34 PM, Lawrence Rosen < <mailto:lrosen@rosenlaw.com> lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
wrote:
> 
> LR: Is that really a problem for non-FOSS Microsoft DLLs that are 
> written specifically to run on the Windows platform and almost 
> certainly won't successfully run anywhere else?
 
I take it you have never heard of Wine?
 
 <http://www.winehq.org/> http://www.winehq.org/
 
LR: What does Wine have to do with Apache?
1. All Apache License 2.0 software is compatible with Wine (assuming that they ignore the
FSF position on the compatibility of the Apache license and believe our position instead!).
2. Wine software, under the LGPL, is not available (under current ASF policies) to be incorporated
into Apache Software. If they don’t care about us, why should we care about them? (Not that
I don’t care; I want Wine to succeed, but I see no reason to make that our licensing problem.)

3. No companies (e.g., Microsoft, IBM, Google, etc.) are required to make their proprietary
software available in source code form for Wine or Apache or anyone else. Do you expect to
change that somehow simply because of your position on this MSFT license issue?
 
- Sam Ruby
 
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