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

From: Seth Johnson
Subject: Re: this affects DotGNU (was: this doesn't affect DotGNU (wasRe:[DotGNU]New addendum for MS redistributables))
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2002 21:50:57 -0500

Um, isn't this a matter of using "clean room" procedures?

Seth Johnson

John wrote:
> 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 engineering - in a country where such license terms would be superceded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
> Software?
> 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
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