Cédric Walter | Oct 8, 2020 | 0
Don’t trust Microsoft’s promises: is OSP another backdoor
From the software Freedom Law Center
There has been much discussion in the free software community and in the press about the inadequacy of Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) as a standard, including good analysis of some of the shortcomings of Microsoft’s Open Specification Promise (OSP), a promise that is supposed to protect projects from patent risk. Nonetheless, following the close of the ISO-BRM meeting in Geneva, SFLC’s clients and colleagues have continued to express uncertainty as to whether the OSP would adequately apply to implementations licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). In response to these requests for clarification, we publicly conclude that the OSP provides no assurance to GPL developers and that it is unsafe to rely upon the OSP for any free software implementation, whether under the GPL or another free software license.
Note that all my #Joomla! components are now covered by the GPL v3
And this because I agree with the new protection coming with the GPL v3
[We] update the GPL to protect its copyleft from being undermined by legal or technological developments. The most recent version protects users from three recent threats:
- Tivoization: Some companies have created various different kinds of devices that run GPLed software, and then rigged the hardware so that they can change the software that’s running, but you cannot. If a device can run arbitrary software, it’s a general-purpose computer, and its owner should control what it does. When a device thwarts you from doing that, we call that tivoization.
- Laws prohibiting free software: Legislation like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the European Union Copyright Directive make it a crime to write or share software that can break DRM. These laws should not interfere with the rights the GPL grants you.
- Discriminatory patent deals: Microsoft has recently started telling people that they will not sue free software users for patent infringement—as long as you get the software from a vendor that’s paying Microsoft for the privilege. Ultimately, Microsoft is trying to collect royalties for the use of free software, which interferes with users’ freedom. No company should be able to do this.