MS "bans" GPL

David LeBlanc whisper at oz.nospamnet
Thu Jul 5 20:39:06 CEST 2001

In article <9htctp0a0j at>, aleaxit at says...
> "David LeBlanc" <whisper at oz.nospamnet> wrote in message
> news:9hst9p$oqv$5 at
>     ...
> > Opinion: It would not be illegal for Microsoft to make it a condition of
> > use that you not install open source software if you want to use their
> > OS. It's not restraint of trade since technically, open software is not
> > traded - there's no _overt_ exchange of value nor is there a "buyer" or a
> > "seller" who could be harmed monetarily through such a restraint
> Counter-opinion: where did you get the strange idea that open-source
> software can't be traded/sold/bought?  It's far from unusual for a
> developer to develop application X for a specific customer (and for
> plenty of $$$) and put X under the GPL (the developer may have to,
> if he uses GPL'd stuff in X, or may simply choose to -- maybe he
> thinks this will help spread X's use and his superior familiarity with
> X's core sources gives him competitive advantage in bidding for
> support & enhancement contracts on X once it's widespread, &c).
> > (besides, you have the freedom to choose another OS according to MS).
> Remember the US Appeals court did endorse the findings of fact
> and law in the MS antitrust case -- so MS _is_ officially a monopoly.
> This subjects them to much stricter restraints (in theory -- what
> remedies will be decided against their illegal antitrust behavior is
> another issue of course).
> Alex

I didn't say it couldn't be bought/sold/traded. As far as I know it's 
just that it generally isn't. In the cases when it is licensed for sale, 
then that particular version isn't open source is it? (Actually, I don't 
know how often people make other arrangements with an author for 
commmercial distribution.)

I can think of one case where a restraint on using open source could be 
restraint of trade: in the case where someone is prevented from charging 
for service/support of that software (which is the compensation model 
that open source is based on, no?). Of course some clever M$ shark could 
say that since they can't use it in the first place due to their agreeing 
to the OS license, then that can't make a difference. After all, you gave 
up the right to choose in return for the <ahem> "value, quality and 
inovation" inherent in the <ahem ahem> "fine" m$ you bought (and soon 
will pay through the nose for until you die! - oh wait, you already do 
that with the loss in productivity, hardware costs, extra-cost 
documentation etc. etc. etc. ETC!

My opinion...

Dave LeBlanc

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