Alexander Terekhov <address@hidden> wrote:
------ Microsoft's Sam Ramji posted today:
Microsoft's decision was not based on any perceived obligations
tied to the GPLv2 license. For business reasons and for
customers, we determined it was beneficial to release the drivers
to the kernel community under the GPLv2 license through a process
that involved working closely with Greg Kroah-Hartman, who helped
us understand the community norms and licensing options
surrounding the drivers.
If I'm reading the statement correctly, Microsoft disputes that
the decision to release LIC under the GPLv2 was based on any
obligations resulting from the use of GPLv2 components within the
original LIC code available prior to July 20. Sam does state
that Greg K-H helped Microsoft understand the "community norms
and licensing options." Hence, the decision to release LIC under
the GPLv2 was simply a business decision. It is possible that
the business decision was influenced by what customers and "the
community" would think if the questions about the LIC compliance
with the GPLv2 came to light.
A strategy which avoids litigation is a good business decision.
But that aside, ....
For once, Alex, I'm in agreement with you. Releasing code under
the GPL is a good business decision, and it's good to see MS
finally acknowledging this. For one thing, it reduces their
maintenance burden - some users who have difficulty getting the
code to work will be able to solve the problems themselves rather
than tying up MS's support engineers, or going round mouthing off
about their difficulties. Also, the Linux hackers will do the work
of adapting the code to new kernel releases.
Maybe it is too much to hope for at the moment, but perhaps in time
Microsoft will gradually move over to modern, efficient code
production and licensing practices, such as the GPL. This would be
a boon to all software users.