[linux-elitists] On origins of MSFT code (hearsay) Re: [fsl-discuss] reusing code under BSD licence

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Tue Jun 24 08:35:39 PDT 2003

This matter was of sufficient interest to me, particularly in light of
the following FUD piece:

    Open source's moment of truth 

    By Richard Wilder
    June 24, 2003, 4:00 AM PT


    Regardless of the case's outcome, however, the specter of liability
    has already been raised among the notoriously risk-averse ranks of
    corporate information officers. Already, industry analysts from
    Gartner have advised corporations to reconsider implementing Linux,
    especially on "mission critical" systems. In addition, SCO ensured
    that at least 1,500 of IBM's customers were aware of the potential
    risks when it sent them letters threatening direct legal action.


The author's bio:

     Richard Wilder is a partner with law firm Sidley Austin Brown &
     Wood and is intellectual-property counsel for the Association for
     Competitive Technology. 

"ACT" is an industry lobby front whose membership list highlights, I'm
shocked, shocked...  Microsoft corporation.


So I just contacted Bradford L. Smith's office at Microsoft with
the following fax (after being informed by the Microsoft switchboard
that first contacts must be in writing):
    Mr. Smith:

    In light of current concerns over the provenance of software
    intellectual property, including contract and copyright claims
    concerning free and open source software, and asking on behalf of a
    website presenting information on such matters to the community
    (http://twiki.iwethey.org/), I would appreciate your answering the
    following question:

    What components and percentage of Microsoft software products are
    derived from free, open source, or otherwise publicly available
    sources?  For the purposes of this question, I'll limit interest to
    operating system, office, and backoffice (server) products.

    Your time in responding to this question is very greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

Of which there are several possible outcomes:

  - "We don't know".  Wups.  "Microsoft can't track its software source

  - "We know", followed by a figure.  Thank you, Mr. Smith.

  - Silence, or refusal to answer.  Wups.  "Microsoft refuses to reveal
    reliance on free, open source, or otherwise publicly available
    source code within its products".

on Fri, Jun 06, 2003 at 08:38:39PM +0100, Karsten M. Self (kmself@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
> This is hearsay.  But interesting hearsay, particularly in current
> contexts (SCO, and, say, Sonia Arrison's intelligence-free commentary on
> it).
> Peace.
> -- 
> Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
>  What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
>    What doesn't kill you makes you stranger.
>      -- Karsten M. Self, misreading as usual, San Marcos Pass Rd., 1988

> From: "Bryan J. Smith" <b.j.smith@ieee.org>
> Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 14:03:27 -0400 (EDT)
> To: Bernard Lang <Bernard.Lang@inria.fr>
> Cc: fsl-discuss@alt.org
> User-Agent: IMP/PHP IMAP webmail program 2.2.7
> List-Id: Free Software Law - General discussion <fsl-discuss.lists.alt.org>
> Subject: Re: [fsl-discuss] reusing code under BSD licence
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> Quoting Bernard Lang <Bernard.Lang@inria.fr>:
> > I also heard that it was discovered that MS is using some BSD code,
> > namely the IP stack.  Why did it have to be discovered ?
> It wasn't.  That's just the common perception.  The IT media is rather ignorant and naive.  Most IP 
> stacks are BSD UNIX-based.
> In fact, when the libz hole hit, the IT media totally overlooked the fact that the signature was also 
> in all Windows versions too.
> One Microsoft developer I know said that Windows currently comprises of between 30-40% of 
> public domain and BSD UNIX code.
> -- 
> Bryan J. Smith, E.I.  mailto:b.j.smith@ieee.org  http://thebs.org
> CCDA/CCNA CIWSA/MCIWA LPIC2/RHCE MCSA  http://thebs.org/certs.pdf
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
>      Microsoft(R):  The 'Data Longevity is Optional' Company 
> _______________________________________________
> fsl-discuss mailing list
> fsl-discuss@lists.alt.org
> http://lists.alt.org/mailman/listinfo/fsl-discuss

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
  Backgrounder on the Caldera/SCO vs. IBM and Linux dispute.
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