back to article Microsoft taints open source CodePlex well

Microsoft is posting code to its much-trumpeted CodePlex open-source projects site using licenses and conditions that go against the principles of open source. The company has been posting projects under Microsoft licenses that stop you from running CodePlex projects on non-Windows platforms or restrict access to code. The …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Open Source

    Open source is source code that is open to view, no more no less.

    Freedom is without restrictions or responsibility, no more no less.

    Anyone who tries to tell you different is just playing with language.

    The GPL is known, as is the BSD and MIT licence. All of them allow you to view the source code, each one comes with restrictions some restrictions are less than others.

    MS, hehe, I bet they are going to the, look at the source code being the open source definition and they are right it is open source, but no one is going to look if it means a court case later if you happen to write code that is similar.

    Shareware was a better idea, open source well it is punchy but it is limited in what it actually means.

  2. yeah, right.

    In other news...

    .... the sky is blue, and Earth orbits the sun.

    Why is anyone even remotely surprised? Microsoft's sole purpose in life is to contaminate anything it touches in order to give Microsoft control. In Microsoft's own words, to "embrace, extend, and extinguish" anything that might pose a threat to Microsoft being able to continue its sometimes illegal, usually unethical, yet unfortunately successful tactics.

    This is just another example. They "embrace" open source, they "extend" the licenses that made that open source possible, and boom, they manage to extinguish a small part of the open source world. Lather, rinse, repeat. They are masters of doing this.

    Anyone doing business with Microsoft who claims to be an open source advocate is a liar. Or worse, a seriously self-deluded idiot. Either way, that person is not to be trusted. People who thought Microsoft could play it straight are fools, and continue to refuse to learn from almost 30 years of history that shows that Microsoft is utterly incapable of doing anything even remotely ethical.

  3. Jonas Finnemann Jensen

    Re: Open Source

    >>Open source is source code that is open to view, no more no less.

    I for one disagree open source is defined by the open source definition by OSI:

    Anyone claiming otherwise is just trying to screw the community.

    Saying that open source means access to look at the source is like claiming that anything that gives milk is a cow...

  4. John Angelico

    Gee, you can trust Micrtosoft... be Microsoft, can't you?

  5. Adrian Midgley

    AC - no.


  6. phat shantz

    Imagine all the codebase/Seize it if you can...

    In a club, open source is a keen idea. Helping one another with pet projects can only help the developer and the project.

    In the marketplace, open source is socialism. As we celebrate the US Fed "buying" into $700,000,000 worth of socialism, let us remember the utopias socialism has given history: the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, and possibly Chicago.

    Open source violates the ageless and fundamental principle that my labor is worth something. In my line of work, my ideas are my harvest. Demanding that I open my storehouse of ideas to marauders, dressed as the Angel of Open Source, is nothing more than theft by intimidation.

    Microsoft seems to give Open Source fanbois the answer to "if you're so smart, why ain't you rich?" You can point to Microsoft and cry "Foul!" or claim anti-competitive practices or even infer that crimes have been committed. If they have, then bring charges. (And remember there is a vast difference between contract dispute and criminal behavior. Also remember how easy it is to run afoul of government regulations, which are ceaselessly found by district courts to contradict even themselves.)

    Otherwise, learn to play by competitive rules. Get out there and copyright and patent your own ideas (should you stumble across one), and find out that there is a vast and wonderful world where ideas buy houses and cars and vacations in the mountains and a fine education for your children.

    One day, you could actually prevail in a tort against Microsoft and gain a court-ordered windfall of millions, posing that age-old question, "if you're so rich, why ain't you smart?"

  7. Mark

    And a Sony TV

    Doesn't have to be made by that Sony (Japan) corporation. It could be Sony, the latvian start up that just happens to make TVs.

    I'm sure that Sony Electronics wouldn't mind AT ALL...

    Now open source doesn't mean you can read it. Visible source is that: you can read it. But you can't "open source" like you "open doors", so what could "open" mean?

    Well, it means you can USE the source code for your own reasons. It is defined by OSI. Not by fiat but because the term "open source" meant nothing until OSI coined the term.

    Remember, MS is the company that sued Lindows for making off their name (and had to go all around the world to find a court that would agree with them). What do you think MS are doing with this "Open Source" moniker? Making off the name of Linux and other Open Source (OSI defined) projects such as Apache, etc.

    Also, can anyone tell me why, since MS like the BSD license so much and want others to use it, they don't use BSD license for their code released "Open Source"? I mean, GPL is viral for MS but the BSD is sweet. So use it.

  8. Eddie Johnson

    Same old same old

    Embrace, extend, pollute, destroy. Its the standard MS approach to standards.

    They will redefine the concept of open source until no one remembers what it once was.

    In their definition open source will mean that if you pay a fee and sign an NDA you are given a limited glimpse at an outdated copy of the source code to give you a safe feeling that they haven't trojanized it.

  9. Jeff Deacon

    Re: In other news...

    I have been beaten to it, but all the way through the article I too was thinking "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish". MS never change.

    Not really a joke, but undoubtedly that is the way Redmond will see it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Excuse me, but what does having non-OSI licensed projects on CodePlex have to do with the the assertion that Microsoft is watering down the license? MS-PL is an open-source license, and Microsoft says that it will only call something open-source if it is an OSI license. Did anyone say the MS-LPL projects were open source?

  11. David Kelly


    M$ taint Open Source? Surely they wouldn't do something like that? I mean look at Java, erm C# ..

  12. Rob Beard

    Open Source Definition & Free Software Definition

    @ AC...

    The Open Source Definition is here

    It covers a lot more than just 'viewing the source code'. I can't be bothered to copy and past it (it's a long list) but Microsoft's definition certainly doesn't appear to be Open Source compatible.

    The Free Software Definition is here and is pretty simple...

    * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).

    * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

    * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).

    * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.


  13. Tom Chiverton

    Surprised ?

    This is the 'embrace' stage, right ?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Er, no

    @AC. Er, no, Open Source, in common parlance, is software that is licensed according to an OSI compliant license. You, clearly, appear to be using open source in your own, made up, way.

    I really don't think you've thought this through. Freedom without any restrictions is anarchy. I prefer FSF or OSI freedoms where the restrictions push control to the user of the software and ensure that every receiver of the software enjoys the same freedoms.

    Why is shareware better? Show me the MySQL or JBoss of the Shareware world.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Yeah, right

    "Anyone doing business with Microsoft who claims to be an open source advocate is a liar"

    That seems a bit harsh. I'm sure there must be some open source advocates out there that at one time or another had to deal with Microsoft for reasons beyond their control.

  16. Mark

    re: Huh?

    1) MS-LPL isn't OSI approved. It's on there, though.

    2) GPL3 is OSI approved but the MS website bans any software under that license.

    That's why we say this.

    For the 70% of people programming who do so on Windows, they will be unable to tell the difference (unless they port the code to a non-windows platform and MS spot it). However, this isn't open source (note: although this moniker doesn't have capitals as per trademark attempt by the OSI, this doesn't make a difference. Just as sony electronics won't manage to get away with that name if Sony Electronics notices). And so the meaning of open source is diluted, which is why sony's products would not be allowed in the marketplace where Sony has a brand: Sony's brand would be diluted.

  17. Dave Silver badge

    @Jonas Finnemann Jensen

    This was always going to happen - the OSI should really have chosen a better name than 'Open Source'. That term, as used by a layman, would clearly apply to these projects.

    What OSI are interested in is 'copyleft', to coin an existing phrase.

  18. Nano nano


    "In the marketplace, open source is socialism." - erm yes, since it intends to place source "ownership" into public rather that private hands.

    Your point being ?

  19. Mark

    re: @Jonas Finnemann Jensen

    And microsoft should have chosen a better name than "Windows".

    They still got to sue Lindows for using a name ***LIKE*** Windows.

    OSI isn't the copyleft. FSF are.

    Do your homework before commenting as authoritative.

  20. Edward Rose

    @phat shantz

    You really don't get it do you?

    O-S doesn't mean you must give your labour or ideas away for free. Not even vaguely. You may well believe that all that matters in life is YOU and YOUR MONEY.

    I don't. I believe all that matters in life is me being happy.

    1) People around me being sad makes me sad - So, free of charge I try to make them happy.

    2) The pleasure is first in the making, and then in the giving. I take joy out of the small amount of programming I do. I also like the idea that other people can get on and enjoy using it. I don't need the money, I don't care for it.

    3) I do a large amount of charity work. Someone did the same for me when I was younger and it changed my life. To pay them back I now do that work for other people, hopefully it perpetuates.

    You see, it's not about money, it's about giving to other people and knowing you've done your bit to make the world a happier place. So, get over it (okay, you were probably just trolling).

  21. phat shantz
    Paris Hilton

    @Edward Rose

    I'm confused, it's true.

    There are two conflicting statements in your post that I'm trying to reconcile:

    1) O-S doesn't mean you must give your labour or ideas away for free. Not even vaguely.

    2) So, free of charge I try to make them happy.

    These two statements seem to be contradictory. Free-of-charge and give-away seem to be the same to me.

    There exists a value to your labor. You control the marketplace for your labor, so you may do with it what you want.

    I still have a family, a mortgage, and obligations that demand I pay others what I owe. You may give your labor away, if that is what you desire. I do not. I cannot.

    Open Source IS about working for free -- especially with the idea that your labor is not worthless. Charity would mean nothing if you offered worthless handouts or worthless code.

    Read again, I stated clearly and up-front that open source is quite valuable in small-group settings or club-like atmospheres, but that it can only inhibit the marketplace at a certain level.

    I do get it. Surprisingly enough, I work in many environments and some of them actually use code from Open Source contributors. Bless 'em, Open Source folks are mostly pretty good at what they do.

    But where a business must rely on its own proprietary business rules and keep it's code close to the chest -- especially when the code is the business -- Open Source advocacy is equivalent to asking the business to commit businesscide.

    Please continue to give away your code. I'm sure there's a place in heaven where the open source geeks will get special distros and RCs that the rest of us don't get. But don't devalue my work because you give yours away.

    Paris, because she's given it away so much, she's going to need charity soon.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Socialist Open Source :D

    To Edward Rose and phat shantz,

    I don't understand, do either of you even realise how much 'open source' has done for you? Heck, most of the technology modern life is based on comes out of it. We're not talking just the OSI, but could you imagine electricity being sold under a patent? The Open Source world also doesnt demand that everyone open their code, instead, those who wish to do so, are welcome to. There are many closed and proprietery systems which run on Open source operating systems. No demand has been placed on them to suddenly in validate their copyrights or ownership of said software.

    On the aspects of socialism (do not confuse this with communism), capitalism is a brutal selfish and exploitary system that rapes everything it comes in contact with for its own gain, particularly those who 'own' the company. There's always ways to make money from open source, services (which tends to be the direction of most IT systems now), and it being open source means that WEALTH (not money) is spread alot further. Taking a look at the US in its present state, the collapse of its financial systems as if it were a war torn country should demand a reevaluation of how business operates. Open source is fair in that you compete on level ground no matter how big the next guy is. It might even help the US survive a very difficult time.

    As for M$, they aren't governed or directed by ethics, they are a capitalist machine looking to strip mine the next resource. And if allowed, will certainly only kill innovation and stifle recovery. The more we allow them to pertuate their distrustful behaviour, te more likely it is that we as consumers and proffesionals surrender our freedoms to them. Which tends to communism, (not to be confused for socialism), and under communism, you have no rights unless the dictators say you do, and then, they can revoke it at anytime.

    I'm all for open source, but even more for good, ethical and pro-competitive business pratices.

    TsueDesu a.k.a The Stick

    Location : South Africa (A sunny warm place that has a dual image, of rich and poor)

  23. Mark

    @ fat skank

    "1) O-S doesn't mean you must give your labour or ideas away for free. Not even vaguely.

    2) So, free of charge I try to make them happy."

    Yup. Don't HAVE to give up your labour or ideas DOES NOT MEAN **cannot** give up your labour or ideas.

    Thick as pigshit, boy.

  24. Edward Rose

    You missed the point.

    "Open source violates the ageless and fundamental principle that *my* labor is worth something."

    "1) O-S doesn't mean you must give *your* labour or ideas away for free. Not even vaguely."

    I've highlighted the two important words. You seem to believe the world is about you. That O-S is forcing YOU to do something. It isn't. And, your original comment made it seem money was the center of all. To a lot of people (like myself) money is needed to live, nothing more.

    @AC, Erm, why are you looking at me? I have a good idea of what a)O-S has done, b)what all the selfless work others have done, has done for me. I am extremely grateful for it. And, seeing that there are people so willing to give up a part of their freedom (or even just time:) reminds me to be proud to be human.

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