Linux vouchers, Microsoft, and GPL3: separating the signal from the noise

Free Software Foundation (FSF) lawyer Eben Moglen claims that the absence of an expiration date on SUSE vouchers distributed by Microsoft will make Microsoft subject to terms of the GPL3, thus undermining Microsoft’s patent threats against Linux by forcing the company to provide nearly unlimited upstream patent licenses. During an OpenLogic online seminar last week, Moglen said that in his opinion, Microsoft is subject to the GPL because the company is distributing SUSE Linux vouchers. Although SUSE Linux is licensed under the current version of the GPL, which has only weak upstream patent licensing requirements, Moglen argues that since the vouchers have no expiration date, Microsoft would become subject to GPL3 requirements—including strong upstream patent licensing requirements—if a company that purchased a voucher from Microsoft holds onto it and redeems it after SUSE Linux software is released under the GPL3.

Read the rest of the article at Ars Technica… 

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