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[News] [Rival] Microsoft Pays Its Way into OSCON and Tries to Shackle Ruby Devs

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Microsoft bolsters Ruby efforts

,----[ Quote ]
| Also at OSCON, Microsoft will unveil IronRuby-Contrib, a Microsoft Public 
| License (Ms-PL) open source project... 
| [...]
| While often criticized by open-source advocates, Microsoft nonetheless has 
| established a presence at OSCON this week, with its sponsorship of the 
| Participate08 session at OSCON, which was focused on boosting dialogue about 
| open source and other collaborative communities.    


Trying to tie Ruby developers to Windows and to Microsoft licences.


Ruby project yields to Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft, meanwhile, has welcomed Ruby.NET project participants to its 
| IronRuby project, licensed under the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL). 


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.”    


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.     

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