Microsoft tries to prevent Free Software (Spiegel Article)

Frank Heckenbach frank at
Wed Jul 4 04:35:05 UTC 2001

Eike Lange wrote:

> An article in the german magazine "Der Spiegel Online"
> reports about Microsoft' plans to prevent the use of Free
> and Open-Source-Software with their "Mobile Internet Toolkit". See:
> for details.

Like the passage Alessandro cited from the new Microsoft EULA
recently, this again refers to "viral" licenses. To avoid confusion
on this isssue, maybe FSFE should set up an information page.
Something like:

By analogy with biology (viruses attacking other cells) and computer
sciencs (virus code modifying other code and data) a viral license
should mean a license that affects other licenses.

Examples of non-viral licenses:

GNU GPL (affects only code derived from GPL'd code which is covered
by the GPL'd code author's copyright according to copyright law;
somewhat like inheritance in biology).

Examples of viral licenses:

The new Microsoft EULA (affects licenses of other code that is not
covered by Microsoft's copyright).


Frank Heckenbach, frank at
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