Microsoft Shared Source licenses are now in OSI's hands

Microsoft Shared Source licenses are now in OSI's hands

Summary: On August 9, Microsoft made good on its promise to submit its Shared Source licenses to the Open Source Initiative for consideration as certified open-source licenses. Again, I am wondering why is Microsoft seeking OSI approval now.

TOPICS: Microsoft

On August 9, Microsoft made good on its promise to submit its Shared Source licenses to the Open Source Initiative for consideration as certified open-source licenses.

Microsoft submitted two of its three Shared Source licenses for consideration: The Microsoft Permissive License (MS-PL) and Microsoft Community License (MS-CL). It did not submit the Microsoft Reference License (MS-RL).

According to Microsoft Port 25 blogger Jon Rosenberg:

"We’ve also provided the license approval committee with our analysis of how these new submissions contribute to the body of OSI approved licenses.  In addition we’ve sent an e-mail to the license-discuss alias, describing the submission. We look forward to some lively discussion on license-discuss over the next week."

I asked at the end of July why Microsoft might be seeking OSI approval now (after rejecting that idea a year ago). My ZDNet blogging colleague Dana Blankenhorn noted that SugarCRM (one of Microsoft's interoperability partners) recently received OSI approval for its license. Blankenhorn believes the OSI intentionally is herding cats and attempting to corral all of them in the OSI pen, avoiding an open-source licensing war.

Do developers care whether Microsoft's Shared Source licenses are OSI-approved? To customers?

Topic: Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • the OSS must take action

    and speak up against the M$ dirty deeds.
    A good ideea could be to picket the OSI office to reject these M$ 'creations'.
    Linux Geek
    • I'm confident that OSI will make the right decision

      I'm confident that OSI will make the right decision. If they meet the standards, they meet the standards. If they don't, they don't.

      Rejecting them based on bias and hatred is the wrong thing to do. If they are to be rejected, they should be rejected because they don't meet the standards.
      • Bravo

        You make the correct point. Whether it be Microsoft or anyone else, the standards are the standards. Who is submitting should never be at issue - only the standards.
    • yes, you're right....

      Yes, you're, anything that come from Microsoft is inevitably bad... and there's a curse that make anyone that work for Microsoft to become stupid... its obvious. And, of course, YOU are a genius ;-)
  • once a shill always a shill

    Is there anythin about microsft MJF that isnt good. S squared D squared. She can only feed at the trough for so long. Her opinion is wortless. She is on MS Payroll.
    • That's just silly

      She's not the first blogger to report on this nor is she likely to be the last.

      Heck, even Groklaw mentioned it.

      I'll take her on any day of the week for shilling for MS but in this case she isn't. What she's writing about here is what is happening out there.

      MS has applied to have some of it's license approved by OSI. If they are up to snuff they'll get approved. If not, in their present form it's unlikely, they won't.

      They may not be compatable with the GPL but then a number of BSD licenses aren't nor is the Apache license and a number of others.

      Where's the shill here?

      Actually getting approval from OSI might be rather like tugging the tail of a hungry bengal tiger. It might be easy to grab onto if you're fool enough to but controlling it is another matter completely.

      MS playing in the open source realm is just that. For all their money they can't control the culture and ethic that the FOSS movement have given rise to.

      And, as they've learned, they can't buy it, they can't FUD it and they can't control it. Just about all they know how to do.


  • What remains to be seen

    is whether OSI is for sale or not. We
    already know that Microsoft has enough money
    to buy it. And we already know that
    Microsoft will not hesitate to buy anything
    that will benefit Microsoft.

    But..... we have to remember that Microsoft
    will not hesitate to steal or "take"
    whatever they want if it isn't nailed,
    screwed, and glued down and protected by
    armed guards.

    Knowing the facts, we will know what will
    have happened if Microsoft is allowed to
    claim a license within 1000 miles of Open
    Source software. Bought?, or stolen?, will
    be the only question.
    Ole Man
    • What in the world makes you think they haven't already?

      MS is well known for "borrowing", to be charitable, code from others in the past so what makes you think that they aren't using open source in their software already?

      My bet is they already are and have for some time.

      Having an OSI approved license just lets them play in an ecosystem they're ill equipped to play in.

      I'm not paranoid enough to think that OSI is for sale to Microsoft any more than they are to IBM, Red Hat, Mandriva, Oracle, Apache, HP, Canonical, the Free Software Foundation or any of the other big players already at the table. I'd suggest that it's difficult for OSI to "sell out" with IBM and the rest looking over their shoulders.


      • Never know what goes on

        Behind closed doors. Might catch somebody
        when no one is looking over their shoulder.

        Money talks. Millions run. Billions jump.
        And as much money as Microsoft has runs like
        hell and jumps no telling where.
        Ole Man