Microsoft Caught Violating the GPL: Once Again!
By on November 11th, 2009

Last month, we had featured Windows USB/DVD Tool (WUDT), which allowed users to create bootable setup media for Windows 7. In their hurry to release WUDT, Microsoft may have blatantly ripped off code licensed under GPL.

While tinkering with the UDF-related internals of WUDT, Rafael Rivera a Windows Guru, discovered that the source code was obviously lifted from the CodePlex-hosted (yikes) GPLv2-licensed ImageMaster project. The piece of code in question is actually a derivative of LGPL 7zip, which was reused by ImageMaster in accordance with the license.

Microsoft appears to have violated the GNU General Public License v2 on two counts. Firstly, they modified and distributed ImageMaster code without making the source code of the derivative product available. Secondly, they also imposed their own license on the software, which further restricted the user’s rights.

Microsoft has already removed WUDT from the Microsoft store and has promised to investigate this matter. It is worth noting that Microsoft has a bad reputation when it comes to open source. Steve Ballmer infamously called Linux a cancer and compared open source with communism. In fact, Microsoft has a tradition of stealing open source code and using it in their proprietary applications. So, it’s no wonder that they are despised by FOSS supporters and treated with suspicion by most Open Source advocates. This latest transgression will only make matters worse.

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Author: Pallab De Google Profile for Pallab De
Pallab De is a blogger from India who has a soft spot for anything techie. He loves trying out new software and spends most of his day breaking and fixing his PC. Pallab loves participating in the social web; he has been active in technology forums since he was a teenager and is an active user of both twitter (@indyan) and facebook .

Pallab De has written and can be contacted at pallab@techie-buzz.com.

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