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Microsoft says it's not bound by GPL v3

Nilay Patel

It's been a week since version 3 of the GPL was released, and the ripple effect is starting to make some pretty big waves: Microsoft -- which has been essentially selling Novell's SUSE Linux since last year -- released a terse statement today claiming that neither it nor its customers are parties to any terms of the revised license. Furthermore, "to avoid any doubt or legal debate on this issue," Microsoft will decline to support any GPL v3 code that might be distributed with SUSE. Microsoft does have a point: since Linux remains under GPL v2 (and probably will for the foreseeable future), there's very little binding them to the terms of GPL v3 -- specifically, the patent protection terms that would essentially undo the major element of the whole MS / Novell agreement. How the inclusion of GPL v3 code with SUSE affects the overall license is another matter entirely -- one that will result in a lot of legal chest-pounding until the GPL finally gets tested in an American court.

Disclaimer: While the author of this post is a copyright attorney, its contents are not meant to constitute legal advice or analysis.

[Via CNET]

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