Microsoft: We're not a party to GPLv3

Summary:Microsoft says it's not a party to the third version of the General Public License and assumes it's not under any legal obligations under the license. The statement, made on Thursday, is the first remarks on the GPLv3, which was released in its final form June 29.

Microsoft says it's not a party to the third version of the General Public License and assumes it's not under any legal obligations under the license.

The statement, made on Thursday, is the first remarks on the GPLv3, which was released in its final form June 29.

Here's what Microsoft says (see Techmeme discussion):

While there have been some claims that Microsoft’s distribution of certificates for Novell support services, under our interoperability collaboration with Novell, constitutes acceptance of the GPLv3 license, we do not believe that such claims have a valid legal basis under contract, intellectual property, or any other law. In fact, we do not believe that Microsoft needs a license under GPL to carry out any aspect of its collaboration with Novell, including its distribution of support certificates, even if Novell chooses to distribute GPLv3 code in the future. Furthermore, Microsoft does not grant any implied or express patent rights under or as a result of GPLv3, and GPLv3 licensors have no authority to represent or bind Microsoft in any way.

At this point in time, in order to avoid any doubt or legal debate on this issue, Microsoft has decided that the Novell support certificates that we distribute to customers will not entitle the recipient to receive from Novell, or any other party, any subscription for support and updates relating to any code licensed under GPLv3. We will closely study the situation and decide whether to expand the scope of the certificates in the future.

In other words, it's business as usual for companies that purchased certificates based on the Microsoft-Novell pact. Sun also demurred from adopting GPLv3 for OpenSolaris.

Update: Mary Jo Foley has another take worth checking out.

Topics: Microsoft, Open Source, Software

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Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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