MS continued attack on OSD #6

B Galliart bgallia at
Thu Mar 27 02:10:10 UTC 2008

Quoting Tzeng, Nigel H.:
> Because he's making a statement from an intern a part of some grand MS consipiracy against Open Source?

I don't believe there is some grand MS consipiracy.  Instead, there
seems to be a misconception at MS that non-commerical only licenses
can be open source and that MS is taking steps to spread that
misconception.  In terms of the bottom line, I don't think there is
much difference between MS doing this on purpose or just incompetent.
Either way, the misconception is continued to be re-stated by MS and
seems to be spreading both inside and outside MS as a result.

Quoting Rick Moen:
> I merely pointed out that Galliart's example of a project page attempting to pass it off as open source cannot be fairly called that, when it very clearly says "Available for academic non-commercial use".

To everyone on this mailing list, the OS status should already be
clear via that statement.  Outside of this mailing list, knowledge of
the OSD is not as common as you seem to believe.  The "MS-OSD" as
stated on Codeplex[1] is:  "An 'open source' style license means users
are, without a fee, permitted to view the code, and run it at least
for non-commercial purposes."


I have run into computer science college professors that claim to make
the subject of open source part of their course who can't provide a
definition for open source that is consistent with OSD.  The OSI's
mission "to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open
source" is an uphill battle and having a major corporation spread or
reaffirming misconceptions makes that job harder.

Microsoft also seems to honestly believe it is taking steps to
interoperate with open source even in cases when it falls short[2].
Without having a common definition on open source, MS can justify
their claims under the "MS-OSD."  Unless we can convince them that
there still remains problems with being able to interoperate with
OSI-OSD, they may choose to never fix what they consider not to be


Quoting Tzeng, Nigel H:
> With respect to CodePlex a good number of projects are MS-PL and presumably that number will grow and hopefully dominate.  The ratio will never likely quite approach that of SourceForge but even on SourceForge there are a few projects listed under "other" for license that point to home grown licenses that may, or may not fullfill all of the OSD.

There are over 20 projects on Codeplex under non-commercial licenses
and those are just the ones that I'm aware of.  Is there any projects
on SourceForge that are under a non-commercial license?

Please take a look at the licenses of the following:
Bocholt, CXPArchiveTranscoder, CXPWebViwer, ConferenceXP, FAZ,
GoTraxx, KenthallCC, MSCompBio, Nmodel, ShareGoBot, Tarion,
XgameInput, Xngine, cslainfra, csss, silverlight, singularity, spread,
tanksgame, tesvn and xnammo

This list seems to be continuing to grow as projects like singularity
are recent additions.

Quoting Tzeng, Nigel H.:
> If you know what Open Source is, it isn't hard to look at a project on CodePlex, as on SourceForge, flick to the license tab and determine that its using an open source license you can agree with.

The same can be said about the QNX source licenses[3].  Why did the
QNX case require the response it got from OSI and the Microsoft case


Quoting Tzeng, Nigel H:
> If there's a legitimate complaint about CodePlex its that their FAQ on what is an Open Source license should be updated to definition accepted by MS:  What meets the OSD.  I'm guessing if you asked, they'd fix that oversight since it appears to be the old corporate position.

The actions on the part of MS does not seem to indicate that the
"MS-OSD" is an old corporate position.  Not only has MS kept the claim
that MSCompBio is "open source" on their website for the last 6 months
but they continue to refer to it as such in other recent posts.
Towards the end of February, Bill Hilf referred to the AIDS Vaccine
Research Tools (MSCompBio) as part of the MS open source
interoperability initiative[4].  While Microsoft is becoming more
friendly to community development, the community they are targetting
is a new "MS-OSD" community that is willing to accept exclusionary
terms such as non-commercial.  Even on Port 25 which claims to be
"Communications from the Open Source Community at Microsoft" they
still fail to remain consistent with the OSI-OSD inclusionary


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