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.
  • Prashant

    MS is always known for their rip-off consistency. But there sure are some good products from them like Visio and Exchange Server. I think its time for them to stop earning and devise new models to help the community.

  • http://www.techarraz.com Chinmoy Kanjilal

    What is that codeplex hosted ‘yikes’? Why ‘yikes’? What do you mean by ‘yikes’ there?

    • http://www.pallab.net Pallab

      You missed the quotes around that sentence. I was actually quoting Rafael over there.
      And he used “yikes” because Codeplex is Ms’s own open source repository which they had launched as one of their initiatives to promote open source and to win the trust of the open source community.

      • http://www.techarraz.com Chinmoy Kanjilal

        ““yikes” because Codeplex is Ms’s own open source repository which they had launched as one of their initiatives to promote open source and to win the trust of the open source community”
        For that? Well, yikes from me too.
        So are you a MS supporter or FOSS supporter? If you are a FOSS supporter, it’s obvious. If MS supporter, it’s funny. I know you will make up a third category..
        And i know what Codeplex is – Just another place where Microsoft puts its hired employees, expecting the world to think otherwise, like its stupid ads. Although, Monty might deny it as always..

        • http://www.pallab.net Pallab

          So are you a MS supporter or FOSS supporter?

          I am neither a MS supporter nor a FOSS supporter. The only company you can say I am passionate about is Opera.
          In fact over the years I have developed a dislike for some of the ardent (translation: in your face) FOSS fanatics.

          Also, while using a software I don’t really bother if its open source or not. What matters to me is the end product.

          • http://www.techarraz.com Chinmoy Kanjilal

            hmm. I thought you are a MS fanatic. And ya, FOSS fanatics can be trouble at times but the arrogant lot is the one which actually knows something. See, I am not arrogant!
            And is it true? “Also, while using a software I don’t really bother if its open source or not. What matters to me is the end product.” – Kudos to you!
            BTW, Opera is good. The UI is good. Smooth. But, Firefox add-ons and the features in 3.6, I love them too much.

          • http://www.pallab.net Pallab

            And ya, FOSS fanatics can be trouble at times but the arrogant lot is the one which actually knows something. See, I am not arrogant!

            Did you just admit that you don’t know anything? :P

            But, Firefox add-ons and the features in 3.6, I love them too much.

            Neither add-ons nor features have anything to do with Fx being open source. So, you basically love it because the end product is good. Doesn’t have any relation with how it was developed. Glad we could agree :D

 
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