Flutterby™! : Anti-OSS EULA from MS?

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Anti-OSS EULA from MS?

2004-07-02 00:02:10.463246+00 by Shawn 4 comments

(Sorry, I know we're heavy on the tech posts today, but...)

So, thanks to a tip dropped in an editorial (excellent piece, by the way) over at Joel on Software, I was installing Microsoft[Wiki]'s free Visual C++ 2003 compiler the other night. For no real reason, I decided to actually peruse the EULA for this one.

Now, I'm no lawyer, but it looks to me like they're pretty clearly saying: 1) you can't distribute anything you build with this compiler under an Open Source[Wiki] license, and 2) the apps you build are only allowed run on Windows[Wiki] platforms.

[ related topics: Free Software Microsoft Open Source Software Engineering ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2004-07-02 12:49:51.311195+00 by: meuon

And now they have patented: grouping taskbar buttons - I'm trying to figure out why the drawings include a basic computer systems diagram that includes a system bus, printer, and removable non-vol ram.. But it looks like this patent covers very basic user interface issues, I'm sure even MacOSX violates this.. but it's so complex and subject to interpretation.. what a mess, maybe the place to begin the armed revolt is a joint attack on the Patent Office and Microsoft.

#Comment Odd patent diagram made: 2004-07-02 16:26:05.348884+00 by: td

It is a legal requirement that the discursive text in a patent describe in detail a "preferred embodiment" of the invention. Many patent attorneys (mine, for example) have a couple of pages of boiler-plate describing a PC in detail, which they insert into every computer-related patent application to forestall a claim that the preferred embodiment isn't adequately disclosed. I think. IANAL.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-07-02 16:33:56.87945+00 by: Larry Burton

From my reading of the EULA, it appears that the restrictions on distribution of the compiled applications you mention are only there if you include any of the sample code included with the compiler.

#Comment Re: made: 2004-07-02 16:58:06.975309+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

There are two classes of "redistributables". The first involves sample code, while the second specifies "object code". Depending on how you define object code, I'm thinking it may very well extend the restriction to anything you build with the compiler. If they're including libraries, for example...