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Microsoft Joins Group Working To 'Cure' Open-Source Licensing Issues (zdnet.com) 104

Microsoft is joining Red Hat, Facebook, Google and IBM in committing to extending right to "cure" open source licensing noncompliance before taking legal measures. From a report: On March 19, officials from Microsoft -- along with CA Technologies, Cisco, HPE, SAP and SUSE -- said they'd work with open together with the already-committed vendors to provide more "predictability" for users of open source software. "The large ecosystems of projects using the GPLv2 and LGPLv2.x licenses will benefit from adoption of this more balanced approach to termination derived from GPLv3," explained Red Hat in a press release announcing the new license-compliance partners. The companies which have agreed to adopt the "Common Cure Rights Commitment" said before they file or continue to prosecute those accused of violating covered licenses, they will allow for users to cure and reinstate their licenses.
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Microsoft Joins Group Working To 'Cure' Open-Source Licensing Issues

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  • BSD is the cure (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    just use that license, np

    • by orlanz ( 882574 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @01:35PM (#56284391)

      The GPL and LGPL aren't exactly hard to understand. I think the issue in most cases is that people don't read the license that allows them to use the software they use. In which case they just make random assumptions and move on.

      Such irresponsibility would lead to BSD violations too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        they just make random assumptions and move on.

        People do this with proprietary software as well. They don't read the EULA and they copy from friends. Why should they only get impunity for copyright violations of the GPL? Why doesn't Microsoft support a "first time free" policy for their own software?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          They don't want to support it. They feel like they have to. They make a lot of money from fees due to proprietary license violations. They would not give that up. They cannot make money from fees from GPL violations, so they might as well support what everyone else is doing to look good.

        • Why should they only get impunity for copyright violations of the GPL? Why doesn't Microsoft support a "first time free" policy for their own software?

          This isn't "first time free", it's that you get impunity if you come into compliance.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jellomizer ( 103300 )

        It is if you are trying push it to its limits, trying to mix non-GPL with GPL technologies. Using GPL technology as part of a larger service... Real life stuff, where it isn't as black and white as RMS sees it. And the GPL while may be written clearly, does have interesting loopholes. Such as the Anti-Tivoization rule, that makes the exception for IBM to do it on their mainframes. Cloud and SaaS usages havn't been completely defined.

        • Re: BSD is the cure (Score:5, Interesting)

          by stooo ( 2202012 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @03:48PM (#56285783)

          >> It is if you are trying push it to its limits, trying to mix non-GPL with GPL technologies
          No problem here.
          You can do pretty much everything with a GPL program, except statically link or mix in code with a non GPL compatible licence.
          BSD is GPL compatible.
          No problem here.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. I was once an open source nut during my college years, but attempting to coerce someone to give away the changes they make to an openly available source code base is nuts.

      • I too was an Open Source nut in college. However giving away changes to a an Open Source Application isn't nuts, it is probably the responsible thing to do. However if your changes do something significant to change the application, the GPL is a ball and chain.

      • I was once an open source nut during my college years, but attempting to coerce someone to give away the changes they make to an openly available source code base is nuts.

        That's Free Software, not Open Source. Open Source only means that you can get the source code, it means nothing whatsoever about distribution rights. The OSI likes to claim that they invented the term in 1998, but I have diehard proof that the phrase was already in use in the sense in which I have described by 1995 [hyperlogos.org]. I knew this of course, because I was one of the persons so using it, but the leading lights of the OSI would like us to believe differently because the lie makes them more influential.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You don't necessarily have to give away the changes either.

        Two options:

        You distribute a modified binary and a matching modified source code.

        You don't distribute either. --- this is perfectly acceptable (!).

      • but attempting to coerce someone to give away the changes they make to an openly available source code base is nuts.

        Why? Maybe GPL in particular is not all that useful for some applications, but, e.g., in case of LGPL, the idea that if you manage to improve a component not related to the core of your product, you can pay for it by sharing these non-core-related features to be useful to others seems pretty neat. After all, you *did* use someone else's work to lessen your workload in that particular non-core area by using said component in the first place.

      • Nobody's asking people to do that. Copyleft licenses say that, if you publish, you need to share your changes. You can't just release the binaries.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Came in here to say just that. Copyfree [copyfree.org] licenses, such as BSD, are what you should use if you want your code to be free and used for any purpose. GPL is what you want to use if you want to prevent commercial use of your code inside of another program. Or if you want to be an ass and make other copyfree things GPL/non commercial. It's the libertarianism vs communism of licensing.

      (Yes, you can throw the argument of commercial GPL software out there. It exists, I know. And now you have cloud services as a resu

      • Bullshit, BSD has restrictions that don't work for everybody, it is just a lie to represent it the way you do. It is your favorite, that's great. But it doesn't have the least restrictions, and it isn't for any purpose.

        There are more than 2 licenses in use, BTW. Look it up if you don't believe.

      • by Trogre ( 513942 )

        I gather you've never heard of the Affero GPL.

    • Nope, you still have the exact same problem because BSD has very strict compliance requirements that not everybody is even willing to engage in.

      The weird part is that you seem to be claiming to have knowledge about different licenses, and yet even though you've been corrected about this point on this very website repeatedly, you still make the same idiotic claim about the BSD license. You spam the same words every time it comes up.

      So look, No. The only license that lets users stop caring about it is the Apa

  • by Anonymous Coward
    That sound you heard was that of several thousand lawyers sighing at what could have been billions in lost revenue
    • Nope, that was just a giant wooshing sound, not a flushing sound.

      These particular types of copyright violations don't result in cash payments, they result in the withdrawal of a free license. It doesn't result in billions of dollars in lost legal fees, because the non-monetary nature of the case substantially limits the legal work involved.

      Also, there is nothing to fight when you're out of compliance; you can't use tactics like attacking the contract, because you'd only lose your license that way too. So if

  • At the top... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 19, 2018 @01:32PM (#56284375)

    You find yourself at the top of the slippery side of Mt. Software License.

    Companies tired of getting called out for violating your open source license are offering you an olive branch one step down the slippery side.

    Think hard before walking out to greet them...

    • If you'd stop standing on your head, you could probably see plainly that it is the authors of the software who are reported as having done something, not the users of the software. Whoopsie, you were only off by *-1

  • Proprietary touch to the already complicated and overly verbal licenses.

    Just keep the damn thing simple. licenses don't need more than a couple of lines to describe what you can and cannot do with the product. until everybody KISS, there will be more and more violations, and corporate lawyers aren't gonna KISS for sure.
    • by DeBaas ( 470886 )

      Just keep the damn thing simple. licenses don't need more than a couple of lines to describe what you can and cannot do with the product. until everybody KISS, there will be more and more violations, and corporate lawyers aren't gonna KISS for sure.

      Well I for won't kiss a corporate lawyer either.....

  • Are they going to do the same about their proprietary licenses? Yeah, sure...

  • It's all fake (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Monday March 19, 2018 @01:53PM (#56284527) Homepage Journal
    The companies involved have never been known to bring suit regarding Open Source licenses. The promise to give a cure period is thus hollow.
  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @01:55PM (#56284549) Journal

    Microsoft is as likely to cure OSS licensing problems as undertakers are to cure cancer.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I wouldn't be quite so cynical. The President of Microsoft is a lawyer, and out of my small group of friends, three are lawyers that work at Microsoft. I'm sure they would like to decrease their legal costs. I know their move to Git was held-up for months by their lawyers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by stooo ( 2202012 )

        >> three are lawyers that work at Microsoft. I'm sure they would like to decrease their legal costs. I know their move to Git was held-up for months by their lawyers.
        Microsoft should hire programmers. Not lawyers.
        You should search some new friends :)

  • Surgeon Microsoft has advised the patient, "Sometimes, the easiest cure is to kill the patient."
  • by TheFakeTimCook ( 4641057 ) on Monday March 19, 2018 @03:22PM (#56285569)

    ...Is this is "Extend" or "Extinguish" phase?

    It's surely one or the other.

  • Microsoft and the Party Pooper Proprietary just want a Mulligan: no court, no fine - just let them off, and they'll not get caught next time.

    If they really wanted "a more balanced approach", they would give a Mulligan to anyone caught using their code. And just to be fair and balanced, they would need to make all of their code available for everyone's perusal. Yeah, right. That's going to happen.

  • by sad_ ( 7868 )

    'fix' the license problem.
    and it's a problem for who, exactly?
    riiiiight...

  • "When we get caught stealing, we get to make it go away instead of paying any penalties. It's the American way."

Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?

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