Monday, September 10, 2007

Free Software Foundation Statement RE: Claims by Microsoft

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today released the following statement in response to claims by Microsoft regarding their obligations under the GNU GeneralPublic License version 3 (GPLv3).

Microsoft cannot declare itself exempt from the requirements of GPLv3

In its November 2006 deal with Novell, Microsoft attempted to use its patent portfolio to divide and conquer the free software community. It did so by extending narrow and discriminatory promises not to sue certain classes of Novell SUSE GNU/Linux customers for patent infringement, while leaving others vulnerable to attack, including noncommercial developers and users of other GNU/Linux distributions. Microsoft's ultimate aim in this scheme was the de facto proprietization of free software: it hoped that frightened users would be willing to pay one favored distributor just to be safe from lawsuits. Though the details and timing were a surprise, it was no isolated incident; Microsoft has engaged in anticompetitive conduct in the software industry for many years, and has sought to attack free software for almost as long.

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