1. Home
  2. >>
  3. microsoft
  4. >>
  5. A Microsoft study attacks the GPL3

A Microsoft study attacks the GPL3



A Microsoft study attacks the GPL3


Alan MacCormack, a professor at Harvard Business School, has written, on commission from Microsoft, a study on the GPL3 that is raising a shower of criticism, and this time not just from open source advocates.

In fact, in the study MacCormack uses what ArsTechnica.com defines “questionable methodologies” to assert that most of the open source developers would like a less “nosy” GPL3 on the subject of patents and cross-licensing agreements. As is well known, in fact, one of the objectives of the next revision of the GNU license is to prevent agreements such as the one stipulated between Microsoft and Novell, which according to the Free Software Foundation provides “discriminatory legal protections”.

MacCormack says developers have been underrepresented in the ongoing debate over the new GPL license. With his own study the American professor says he wants to amplify the voice of those who write open code and in particular that of the managers of some of the best known open source projects.

However, the validity of the investigation is weighed down by the fact that, Of the 332 developers invited to take the survey, only 34 responded : a sample that appears to most people to be very unrepresentative. Of this sample, among other things, a good part of the respondents work on projects such as Apache and PostgreSQL, which notoriously do not use the GPL license.

The report was branded by many as pure propaganda and related to Microsoft’s recent patent infringement charges against Linux and open source software.

“I am amazed to see how, after taking a number of apparently positive steps in constructively confronting open source, within a few weeks Microsoft has decided to cut all bridges,” commented the well-known journalist Mary Jo Foley in her own. blog.

Some of the more sarcastic commentators said they were “admired” for MacCormack’s ability to write a 33-page report on a poll that involved just over thirty people.