Microsoft joins group working to 'cure' open-source licensing issues

Microsoft is one of 10 companies now committed to work through open-source software licensing problems involving the GPL with customers before resorting to legal action.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

GitHub: EU copyright crackdown could hurt open source development

Microsoft is joining Red Hat, Facebook, Google, and IBM in committing to extending right to "cure" open source licensing noncompliance before taking legal measures.

On March 19, officials from Microsoft -- along with CA Technologies, Cisco, HPE, SAP, and SUSE -- said they'd work with open together with the already-committed vendors to provide more "predictability" for users of open source software.

"The large ecosystems of projects using the GPLv2 and LGPLv2.x licenses will benefit from adoption of this more balanced approach to termination derived from GPLv3," explained Red Hat in a press release announcing the new license-compliance partners.

The companies that have agreed to adopt the "Common Cure Rights Commitment" said before they file or continue to prosecute those accused of violating covered licenses, they will allow for users to cure and reinstate their licenses. (More of the specific legal language around this is in Red Hat's press release.)

Microsoft's blog post on its decision to band together with these vendors around open source licensing notes that licensees of GPLv2 code will get "a reasonable period of time to correct license compliance issues."

The move is the latest from Microsoft in its campaign to become a leading open-source ecosystem member. As today's post from Microsoft notes, it's been 10 years since Microsoft submitted its first patch to a GPLv2 project (ADOdb, a database abstraction layer for PHP).

It's kind of amazing that just over a decade ago Microsoft was threatening Linux vendors by claiming free and open-source software infringed on 235 of Microsoft's patents. In 2007, Microsoft was very openly and publicly anti-GPLv3, claiming it was an attempt "to tear down the bridge between proprietary and open source technology that Microsoft has worked to build with the industry and customers."

Editorial standards