[IronPython] Re: IronPython License

a p a01720 at gmail.com
Wed Apr 13 12:10:51 CEST 2005

FYI (I included users-ironpython.com at lists.ironpython.com into CC list
but GMAIL somehow
ingored it, so I am posting my respond to Jason here)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: a p <a01720 at gmail.com>
Date: Apr 13, 2005 5:55 AM
Subject: Re: IronPython License
To: Jason Matusow <jasonma at windows.microsoft.com>
Cc: Jim Hugunin <jimhug at microsoft.com>


You already know everything you need to know from your blog and especially from
IronPython mailing list. I am CC-ing my answer to this mailing list,
because it is not a private
communication we have here.

Microsoft has (or had?) a wonderful opportunity to dramatically
improve relationship
with Open Source people by making IronPython a success and enable it to be
integrated with Visual Studio. Jim has (or had?) a tremendous
recognition and his
willingless to join Microsoft created a lot of hope for the bright
future. Instead you
keep listening Microsoft lawyers and continue to try to destroy Open
Source movement
from within instead of embracing it.

Let's see what people already said and you are pretending to ignore it:

1. Anonimous said: "Why not make it clear that Microsoft will not sue
anyone using a derivative of this for violating its OWN patents?"

2. James Mastros said: "The license makes this software another piece
in the increasingly one-sided game of MAD called patents. Take this
scenario: I create a derived work from this, which I wish to sell
support contracts on. Whoops, that's a derived work, Microsoft sues me
for patent infringment, since the patent rights didn't transfer to
derived works per clause 6. Even better, if it turns out that
Microsoft folds the source for the bit of it that /I/ have patented
back into the mainstream, I can't sue them; if I try I'm in violation
of clause 5 and can no longer distribute my product. Doesn't seem like
a very symmetric relationship to me; it sounds like one that is
distinctly in the favor of Microsoft."

3. James Mastros said: "It does not give anyone the ability to offer
support contracts, unless they have the ability to relicense (for
which see below). Clause three of the license says it comes with none,
and explicitly says that you can't remove that section (which is
redundant as clause two of the license already says that)."

4. James Mastros said: "It does not give you the permission to
relicense the code under less permissive terms. It's perfectly legal
to take BSD'd code, modify it, and re-release it under the terms of
the GPL, or some other similar license, so long as you do not remove
"...the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the
following disclaimer". This allows one to simplfy the legal
mumbo-jumbo by distributing an entire bundle under one license."

5. Sriram Krishnan asked: "can IronPython code be used in a
GPL-project?" Jason: where is Microsoft answer? Is it NO?

6. Terry L. Triplett asked for CPL: "I'd like to see IronPython
continue to be distributable everywhere that CPython might be found
that also happens to have a compliant CLR implementation."

7. Jonathan LaCour said: So, to review my pie-in-the-sky wishes to
guarantee IronPython success:
>   1. Switch to a similar, but respected license.
>       - Bonus points for picking the same license as mono.
>   2. Ditch the gotdotnet forums.  Make the mailing list "the way".
>   3. Don't require a passport to file bugs.
>   4. Have a public SVN or CVS repository.
>   5. Be open to accepting external patches.
>   6. Have at least one other "committer" (to help lighten the load on you).
>       - Bonus points if this person is outside Microsoft.
>       - Extra bonus points if this person is a respected Mono hacker.
> Items 1, 3, and 5 are non-negotiable to me.  If you don't do these at least, I
> guarantee that the project will stagnate, and something like Boo will become
> more widely accepted (especially by Open Source types).
> Anyway. I don't want to criticize you too much, as I think IronPython is a great
> piece of work.  I would just hate to see such a great opportunity be missed!
> and Andreas Kotes, Fred Dixon, Ryan Williams and a lot of other people agreed with above!

8. Just make your license OSI certified, people saying it and you keep
ingoring this request.

9. use sourceforge instead of gotdotnet; do not use PASSPORT! Jonathan
LaCour said: "I think the Passport thing is probably a showstopper for
many Open Source people.  I am not going to argue the technical merits
for this, but to many OSS people, Passport is considered some great
evil." Look what Passport TOS said: "You must enter into a different
legal agreement with Microsoft if you wish to offer the .NET Passport
Services to users of your own application, Web site, or Web service.
You may not use any software or hardware that reduces the number of
users directly accessing or using the .NET Passport Services
(sometimes called "multiplexing" or "pooling" software or hardware)."

10. Use mailing list, use public cvs/svn server as all non-microsoft
open source people.

11. J. Merill said: "Here's a sentence from the FAQ concerning
patents:  [quote] This license grants you a patent license to use and
distribute the Software under any Microsoft patent
claims that read on the Software itself. [end quote]."

12. And more... but I hope you got my (really people's) point. Don't
even think that you and your lawyers can outsmart entire mankind.
Again: with IronPython your
Microsoft has a unique opportunity but based on your blog and what you
forcing Jum to
do looks to me as your readiness to waste the opportunity. Go ahead with your
plans... and I feel sorry for Jim.

On 4/13/05, Jason Matusow <jasonma at windows.microsoft.com> wrote:
> Hello AP -
> Thanks for your comment to my blog and to the IronPython mailing list. I am
> sorry to hear that your attorneys have had a negative reaction to our
> license. Would you be willing to share your company name and provide us with
> some feedback on the license in terms of what was objectionable about it?
> Our goal is simply to understand the objections so that we may improve our
> process in the future. Each clause in the IronPython license is mirrored in
> terms found in OSI-approved licenses. We recognized that there is more we
> can do to improve our relationship with the OSI, but at this time our source
> code releases are not generally done under the auspices of one of their
> licenses.
> Your feedback is very welcome. If you have tough criticism for us in this
> space please do not hold back. Our source licensing efforts are an ongoing
> learning process and your input is highly valued.
> Thanks.
> Jason Matusow
> Director, Shared Source
> Microsoft

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