It''s not paranoia if they really ARE out to get you...

Charles S. Wilson cwilson@ece.gatech.edu
Thu Jun 21 12:33:00 GMT 2001


Trust me, this is on-topic...see the punchline at the end.

Microsoft has released their "Mobile Internet Toolkit" SDK under a new 
EULA, that seems to prohibit using any "Publicly Available Software" or 
"Potentially Viral Software" (aka GPL'ed) with the toolkit -- even if 
the "Potential Viral Software" is merely used as a tool, and not as part 
of your product.  That is, you can't compile your own code using gcc -- 
if your code will link to the SDK.  This is a LEGAL requirement, not a 
technical restriction.  You can't even use VIM to edit your own code if 
it will be linked with the SDK.  "Viral" licenses include: GPL, LGPL, 
Artistic, Mozilla Public License, Netscape Public License, Sun Community 
Source License, Sun Industry Standards License, etc.

Slashdot has a discussion going here: 
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/06/21/1810258&mode=nested

but there are currently far too few legal-beagles commenting on it, so 
most interpretations of the EULA are 'IANAL, but...'

Read the EULA for yourself here:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdn-files/027/001/516/eula_mit.htm

My favorite comment (and the reason I posted this to the cygwin list -- 
it really is on-topic, I promise):

"On the other hand the truly paranoid could make a case for the idea 
that they are testing the waters, and will soon be busting Cygnus for 
porting the GNU toolset to XP."

Okay, that's a bit extreme -- but if this EULA turns out to be legally 
enforceable, could they then apply the same license to the main Windows 
DLLs -- in XP or Windows.NET?  In that case, cygwin really is screwed.

--Chuck


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