Microsoft bans GPLv3 open-source software from Windows Phone and Xbox apps

Summary:Microsoft has banned GPLv3 open-source software from Windows Phone and Xbox apps, according to Jan Wildeboer, an open source evangelist and Red Hat employee.

Microsoft has banned GPLv3 open-source software from Windows Phone and Xbox apps, according to Jan Wildeboer, an open source evangelist and Red Hat employee.

Wildeboer is unimpressed:

This is rather uncool, IMHO, I stumbled upon this forum entry and was quite astonished. It points to the Microsoft Application Provider Agreement that governs the Windows Marketplace, the App Store where users can get apps and developers publish them.

The devil's in the Application Requirements documentation:

e. The Application must not include software, documentation, or other materials that, in whole or in part, are governed by or subject to an Excluded License, or that would otherwise cause the Application to be subject to the terms of an Excluded License.

 Hmm, "Excluded License"? What does that mean? More digging through the license:

"Excluded License" means any license requiring, as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of the software subject to the license, that the software or other software combined and/or distributed with it be (i) disclosed or distributed in source code form; (ii) licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (iii) redistributable at no charge. Excluded Licenses include, but are not limited to the GPLv3 Licenses. For the purpose of this definition, "GPLv3 Licenses" means the GNU General Public License version 3, the GNU Affero General Public License version 3, the GNU Lesser General Public License version 3, and any equivalents to the foregoing.

In other words, GPLv3, LGPLv3, Affero GPLv3 licenses are excluded.

Why has Microsoft chosen to do this? According to Wildeboer the reasons are pretty clear:

The consequences of this strange exclusion are not fully clear to me as I am not a lawyer. But one thing is extremely obvious. Microsoft wants to keep its platform clear of Free Software. Period.

Seems like that to me too.

Topics: Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Open Source, Windows

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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