Microsoft interdit les logiciels libres sur son Windows Marketplace

Jan Wildeboer vient de découvrir dans le contrat gouvernant le Windows Marketplace, l’ “App Store” du Windows Phone et de la XBox, quelques stipulations intéressantes…

Article 5 (traduit par mes soins):

e. L’Application ne doit inclure ni logiciel, ni documentation, ni aucun autre matériel qui, totalement ou en partie, est gouverné par ou sujet à une Licence Exclue, ou qui autrement causerait à l’Application d’être assujettie aux termes d’une Licence Exclue.

Comment le contrat définit-il une Licence Exclue ?

“Licence Exclue” comprend toute licence requérant, comme condition d’utilisation, de modification et/ou de distribution du logiciel assujetti à la licence, que le logiciel ou tout autre logiciel combiné et/ou distribué avec lui soit (i) dévoilé ou distribué sous la forme de code source; (ii) licencié dans le but de produire des œuvres dérivées; ou (iii) redistribuable sans frais*. Les Licences Exclues incluent, mais ne sons pas limitées aux Licences GPLv3. Dans le cadre de cette définition, “Licences GPLv3” désignent la Licence Générale Publique GNU version 3, la Licence Affero Générale Publique GNU version 3, la Licence Moindre Générale Publique GNU version 3, ainsi que tout équivalent à celles-ci.

Donc, ce n’est pas seulement le copyleft qui semble banni (comme on pourrait en faire l’interprétation concernant les conditions de l’App Store d’Apple) mais bien toute licence équivalant aux licences GPL désignées et surtout, tout logiciel qu’on peut partager librement…

Correction: le contrat exclut toute licence qui requiert la “redistribuabilité” sans frais du logiciel. Peut-on dire qu’une licence BSD/MIT requiert cela? Un logiciel n’est libre que si on a la liberté de redistribuer des copies. On ne peut pas dire que la licence du logiciel libre requiert la redistribution sans frais, mais elle requiert cette possibilité (donc on parle bien de “redistribuabilité”, en anglais “redistributable”).

* “redistribuable sans frais” : ça concerne bien tous les logiciels libres, GPL, BSD, MIT…

Does Microsoft care about their customers’ security?

A few days before the launching of Microsoft’s last operating system, FSFE wondered about users’ security since an important vulnerability has been silently ignored. I then asked myself the question, in what way Free Software is different regarding security?

It appears that our allegations were true and should have been taken seriously. As an article in Computerworld reports, Microsoft finally issued a security advisory about that high-risk vulnerability three days ago. The problem is still not fixed though.

What’s important there is that this vulnerability already triggered a warning (en) by the BSI agency more than a month ago! Despite the consequences, Microsoft meanwhile decided not to tell its customers in order to avoid bad publicity around the launching of Windows7.

Such despise towards their customers’ security has led me to ask: Does Microsoft care about their customers’ security less than they care about their good image? This experience proves the answer is yes. Microsoft has made the choice to keep their customers in ignorance and in the same time has put their systems at risk. This is yet another perfect illustration that proprietary software hijacks users: Microsoft is ready to sacrifice your security for their commercial purposes.

OOXML, ODF, standards and innovation: Steve Ballmer

Here is an interesting video from a conference Steve Ballmer (Microsoft) gave at Sciences Po, my university, in October 2007. My friend Pierre Slamich, who is also responsible for our association “Digital Freedom” asked Steve Ballmer about the future of OOXML since its failure to be accepted as an international standard in the first place.

You can download the video in Ogg/Theora.

Pierre: “Microsoft-Office”Open”XML (MS-OOXML)* was recently dismissed as an international standard, so what will Microsoft do about this? Will you merge it with the OpenDocument Format(ODF) standard or maintain two standards on the market place?”

Steve Ballmer: “Well, MS-OOXML is an international standard, it is an European standard actually […] The truth is, We don’t control MS-OOXML anymore, it is now controlled by the European Computer Manufacturer Association (ECMA) so whether it gets merged will be largely in function of how the standardisation organizations want to move forward. […] [ODF and MS-OOXML] do interoperate at some level of fidelity. We are encouraging people to take a pluralistic view of this.

Otherwise what will happen is: we don’t want standards to be the enemy of innovation.”

* funny to see how Pierre has troubles to say Office “Open”…because MS-OOXML is all but an open standard! For some more information about how Microsoft standard is “open” you can see this comparison with ODF.

I always like it when Microsoft talks about “innovation.” See this article from Georg Greve, Microsoft, Antitrust and innovation on Groklaw.