[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: this affects DotGNU (was: this doesn't affect DotGNU (was Re:[DotGN

From: John
Subject: Re: this affects DotGNU (was: this doesn't affect DotGNU (was Re:[DotGNU]New addendum for MS redistributables))
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2002 18:29:35 -0600

Norbert Bollow wrote:
> > In either case, yes - this hobbles any program created with
> > MS development tools.
> With the exception of C# programs, probably, because
> corresponding free libs are under construction so that no
> non-free libs are going to be necessary for running
> typical compiled C# programs.
> Concerning other programs, in what ways are they hobbled
> exactly?  Do you think that this license actually gives
> Microsoft legal means to take action against someone who
> runs their "redistributable" on a computer which does not
> have Microsoft Windows installed?  Or is it just (like I
> tend to think) a matter of putting "requires Microsoft
> Windows" on the box of any software that is produced with
> Microsoft's tools?

Even this is a rather onerous complication for DotGNU. It gives the user
the impression that the technology is *only capable* of running under
Microsoft Windows. Possibly, we might someday make this technically
false. If, in fact, we were to perform the appropriate reverse
engineering - in a country where such license terms would be superceded
by that country's laws (and I think that we could easily argue
interoperability as a goal in some other countries to defeat the
license) - then we might make this statement a technical lie. The
question would then be who we could take to court in order to have the
slogan on the box ruled as false advertising? The necessity for such a
tactic a long way off however.

Legal question: can one go to a court of law and ask a judge to declare
something an attempt at interoperability before a product is developed?
Firing the first shot as it were? Interesting possibility there -
pro-activity rather than re-activity.

What this license provision really does is prevent us from embracing and
extending Microsoft's APIs - ie having the front-end be the same, but
the backend requiring equivalent functionality in GNU/Linux GNU/Hurd or
what have you. The user will be given the false impression that the
software won't run, and won't even try, and in some countries it may be
court actionable to try. Thus the further question is how do we fight
such a license restriction? Perhaps with one of our own?

Can we append to the GPL/LGPL, a term that says essentially "Any product
distributes that meets the conditions of this license must contain on
the packaging, website and advertising materials a prominent label which
says 'This product does not require Microsoft Windows'"? Or something
similar? Would such a limitation be contrary to the concept of Free

Point is, if Microsoft lies; we need to tell a bigger truth more loudly.
That's the way to combat untruths that intend to FUD - tell the truth
more loudly! It's sadly all in the marketting and the user perception -
it's a war we must win.

John Le'Brecage

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]