Intellectual "Property" in the Digital Age
Frank Field
Links Home : IP Controversies : Open vs. Commercial Source

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-REC Venezuela's Government Shifts to Open Source Software
[4 hits, 2 votes, Average Rating 4.50] [Added: 3rd Sep 2002]

LinuxToday; Brian Proffitt; September 3, 2002. Also, and article at The Register: Venezuela eliminates govt. software piracy

The announcement, made on Wednesday, stated that from now on, all software developed for the government must be licenced under the GPL. The entire policy was summed up in this statement by Dr. Felipe Pérez-Martí, Planning and Development Minister: "Open source whenever possible, propietary [sic] software only when necesary [sic]."

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-REC Allchin: Disclosure May Endanger U.S.
[7 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 10.00] [Added: 20th May 2002]

eWeek; Caron Carlson; May 13, 2002. "A senior Microsoft Corp. executive told a federal court last week that sharing information with competitors could damage national security and even threaten the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan. He later acknowledged that some Microsoft code was so flawed it could not be safely disclosed." Slashdot discussion: MS Cites National Security to Justify Closed Source
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-REC An Alternative to Microsoft Gains Support in High Places
[6 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating 10.00] [Added: 5th Sep 2002]

New York Times; Steve Lohr; September 5, 2002.

More than two dozen countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America, including China and Germany, are now encouraging their government agencies to use "open source" software — developed by communities of programmers who distribute the code without charge and donate their labor to cooperatively debug, modify and otherwise improve the software.

The best known of these projects is Linux, a computer operating system that Microsoft now regards as the leading competitive threat to its lucrative Windows franchise in the market for software that runs computer servers. The foremost corporate champion of Linux is I.B.M., which is working with many governments on Linux projects.

Against this opposition, Microsoft has found itself in the uncommon position of campaigning for the even-handed competition of "a level playing field." And I.B.M., once the feared monopolist of the era of mainframe computers, is casting itself as a force of liberation from Microsoft, the monopolist of today.

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-REC Balancing Linux and Microsoft
[6 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 9th Sep 2002]

New York Times; Steve Lohr; September 9, 2002. The fate of Bruce Perens, fired from HP because of his attitude toward Microsoft

For nearly two years, Bruce Perens was a senior strategist for open-source software at Hewlett-Packard — an evangelist and rabble-rouser on behalf of a computing counterculture that is increasingly moving into the mainstream. Part of the job description, he was told, was to "challenge H.P. management."

His last day as a Hewlett-Packard employee was 10 days ago. The parting was amicable, Mr. Perens said, but he was fired — "officially a termination," he noted. "It came after a long, long warning," Mr. Perens explained. "The thing that I did that was most hazardous for H.P. is the Microsoft-baiting I tend to do."

... Mr. Perens has stepped in himself and started an effort to respond to the Microsoft-backed group. His initiative, called Sincere Choice, has its own Web site (www, and its own set of principles. Mr. Perens asserts that governments could get huge cost savings and encourage the spread of open-source software by purchasing only software that operates well with other programs. Under his proposal, software companies would be required to supply software with open technology standards and open file formats that can be used by outside software developers, without having to pay royalties.

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-REC Code War: A SiliconValley.Com Roundtable
[2 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 25th Jun 2001]; June 25, 2001. A roundtable/forum discussion of the Microsoft challenge to the GPL, with viewpoints from many interested (and interesting) players. Slashdot has a discussion as well. Update: has changed their WWW site completely, breaking all their old links. I have found the new link for this site anyway: Code Wars
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-REC Public Money, Private Code
[5 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 4th Jan 2002]; Jeffrey Benner; January 4, 2002. "The drive to license academic research for profit is stifling the spread of software that could be of universal benefit." Letters to the Salon editors are here. And there's a Slashdot discussion, too
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-REC Shared Source vs. Open Source: Craig Mundie and Michael Tiemann
[4 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating -1.00] [Added: 16th Aug 2001]

O'; August 9, 2001. "On July 26, 2001, Microsoft Senior VP, Craig Mundie addressed the open source community during the morning keynote ad O'Reilly's Open Source Convention in San Diego, CA. Then Red Hat CTO, Michael Tiemann presented his counter argument to many of the points made by Mundie. Here is a transcript of both presentations."
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-A Few of Microsoft's Questions at RMS' NYU Speech ...
[7 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 6th Jun 2001]; June 6, 2001. Full title: A Few of Microsoft's Questions at RMS' NYU Speech & A New GPL FAQ on the Shared Source Page - includes links to some of the questions as well as some commentary by R. Stallman.
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-A third way for software development
[5 hits, 2 votes, Average Rating 3.50] [Added: 27th May 2001]; Bryan Sparks; May 24, 2001. A discussion of the various licenses out there - an odd little discussion here
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-A Tip of the Black hat from MS
[5 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 27th Jul 2001]; Farhad Manjoo; July 27, 2001. A report from the Open Source Convention debate on open/closed/shard source. Described by this observer as "fluff: and "meaningless."
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-Attorney Dan Ravicher on Open Source Legal Issues
[6 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 5th Jun 2001]

Slashdot; June 5, 2001. One lawyer's take on legal questions surrounding the GPL; part of the ongoing Slashdot "Ask X about Y" series.
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-Ballmer Calls Linux "A Cancer"
[9 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 1st Jun 2001]

Slashdot; June 1, 2001. A discussion of an interview with Steve Ballmer (CEO Microsoft) in the Chicago Sun-Times
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-Ballmer: "Linux is a cancer"
[5 hits, 1 votes, Average Rating -1.00] [Added: 3rd Jun 2001]

The Register; Thomas C. Greene; June 2, 2001.
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-Decoding Microsoft's open source argument
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 21st May 2001]

ZDNet; Michael Tiemann; May 21, 2001. A point-for-point rebuttal to Mundie's rebuttal to critics of his original presentation by the CTO at Red Hat, Inc.
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-Digital Culture - Give It Away Now!
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 20th May 2001]

FEED; Steven Johnson; May 16, 2001. An examination of Mundie's connection between the dot-com bubble and open source.
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-Does Publicly Funded Research Have to Result in Open Source Code?
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 15th Jan 2002]

O'Reilley Network; two position papers - one by Jason E. Stewart and Harray Mangalam, the other by Andrew Dalke; January 14, 2002. With a Slashdot discussion: Should Public Funds Mean Public Code?
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-Experiences at a Firm Hostile to Free Software
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 12th Aug 2002]

The Register; Terrell Prudé, Jr.; August 12, 2002.
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-First Legal Test of the GPL
[5 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 23rd May 2001]

Slashdot; May 23, 2001. There has been a longstanding conflict between a software author who has released his software under the GPL and a company that has produced a piece of software that could be construed as a "derivative work". Well, it may be going to court for the first real test of the GPL. Here's the Slashdot discussion, with links to background information.
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-Free Software Leaders Stand Together
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 18th May 2001]

A statement of commonality in the face of the Microsoft Shared Source initiative, led by Craig Mundie. The who's-who signatories from the Open and Free Software community are Richard Stallman, Eric Raymond, Linus Torvalds, Bruce Perens, Miguel de Icaza, Larry Wall, Guido van Rossum, Tim O'Reilly, Bob Young and Larry Augustin.
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-Free Software's Stallman strikes back at Microsoft
[6 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 30th May 2001]

eWeek; Mary Jo Foley; May 29, 2001. The eWeek take-aways from the Stallman speech. A good summary of the controversy and posturing.
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-Free Software: Freedom and Cooperation
[6 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 1st Jun 2001]

Transcript of of Stallman's speech at NYU, May 29, 2001 - part of the Mundie fallout
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-Gates wades into open-source debate
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 20th Jun 2001]

CNet; Mike Ricciuti; June 19, 2001. The GPL is "Pac-Man-like" - Slashdot's take
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-I'm Slow -- Microsoft Misdirection
[5 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 24th Jun 2001]

Robert Scoble's Weblog; June 24, 2001. Is this really what it's all about? Pushing .NET at the Linux base?
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-Linux Log: The Natural Resource View of Open Source Profit
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 10th Jan 2002]; Steve Lit; January 2002. An interesting analogy, to wit:
  • Open source is a renewable resource with no cost of acqusition, e.g., a weed;
  • The value of open source derives from its use, not its acquistion;
  • Programmers create open source because the economic rent they gain from use exceeds the cost of production
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-Microsoft co-opts Caldera, Torvalds in Shared Source Offensive
[2 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 18th May 2001]

The Register; Andrew Orlowski; May 18, 2001. A report on Craig Mundie's moves to push the Microsoft Shared Source concept and to split the Open and Free Software community by challenging Eric Raymond, Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman.
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-Microsoft Is Set To Be Top Foe of Free Code
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 22nd May 2001]

New York Times; John Markoff; May 3, 2001. A preface to the Craig Mundie speech
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-Microsoft Shared Source
[5 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 17th May 2001]

Microsoft's explanation of their shared source concept, as referenced by Craig Mundie in his criticisms of the GPL.
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-Microsoft Tech Specs Prohibit GPL Implementations
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 5th Apr 2002]; April 5, 2002. CIFS/SMB tension - "As described in this Advogato entry, MS is trying to pull a swifty with their latest 'release' of their CIFS (the networked filesystem Samba implements) Technical Reference. The licence specifically prohibits any GPLed or (or LGPLed ) program from implementing it, defining it as an 'IPR Impairing Licence'! Fortunately the CIFS community is about to release its own Technical Reference based on earlier MS documents and long experience in attempting to interoperate with the MS product."
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-Microsoft to reveal Palladium source code
[7 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 25th Jun 2002]

ZDNet News; Robert Lemos; June 25, 2002. Hoist by their own petard?

Microsoft, long a proponent of keeping source code secret, plans to publish the source code to a critical part of its Palladium project to enhance security, a representative of the software giant said Monday.

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-Microsoft torches RMS, RMS torches Caldera
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 30th May 2001]

The Register; Andrew Orlowski;May 30, 2001. The Register's usual sardonic look at things Microsoftian; most interestingly, the article lists a number of the questions that Microsoft circulated among the press corps to get Stallman's goat and/or to trip him up.
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-Microsoft Uses Open Source, Despite Critical Stance
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 28th Jun 2001]

The Industry Standard; IDG; June 27, 2001. "Despite its aggressive criticism of the open source movement, the software giant has quietly been publishing source code for one of its own products for the past two years.". A discussion of Microsoft's Interix, a tool for porting Unix applications to Windows, which includes gcc (Gnu Compiler Collection).
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-Microsoft Uses Open-Source Despite Denying Use of Such Software
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 20th Jun 2001]

Wall Street Journal Interactive; Lee Gomes; June 18, 2001. This is discussed in Microsoft and Truth, Dan Gilmore's June 18 Weblog with subsequent denials cited.
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-Microsoft vs. open Source: Torvalds Responds
[5 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 22nd May 2001]; Dan Gillmore's weblog; May 4, 2001.
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-Microsoft Wages War on Open Source
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 10th Jul 2001]

Business 2.0; John Frederick Moore; June 27, 2001. "What's behind Microsoft's new attacks on open source? A growing threat to ,Net plans."
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-Microsoft will share source code for some tools
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 28th Jun 2001]; Kristi Helm; June 27, 2001. ".Development software can be adapted for non-commercial uses".
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-Microsoft's "Shared Source" plan -- such a deal!
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 18th May 2001]

LinuxToday; Eric Raymond; May 18, 2001. Eric Raymond's take on the Microsoft initiative; with some additional commentary.
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-Microsoft's Mundie slams Liberty at WCIT
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 1st Mar 2002]

ZDNet News; Jeanne-Vida Douglas; February 28, 2002. "Speaking at the 2002 World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT), currently running in Adelaide Austrail, Microsoft's chief technical officer Craig Mundie reaffirmed the importance of the protection of intellectual property and copyright within the software industry."
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-Microsoft, TCP/IP, Open Source and Licensing
[5 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 24th Jun 2001]; adamba; June 19, 2001. An article posted by someone claiming to have been a Microsoft employee, discussing the Wall Street Journal article that stated that Microsoft uses open source software (specifically, BSD-license materials) in NT/2000. With discussion.
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-Microsoft: Free-software licenses are the devil's work!
[2 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 22nd May 2001]

Salon; Andrew Leonard; May 3, 2001. What is Microsoft really saying?
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-Milk, Magnets, Megamarts and ... Mundie?
[5 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 18th May 2001]

LinuxToday; Dean Pannell (aka Dinotrac); May 17, 2001. An opinion piece, discussing the Shared Source initiative and querying the peculiar circumstance where the "megamart" is complaining about the "mon-and-pop" software shops.
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-MS masters NC mindset
[5 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 21st Jun 2001]

Infoworld; Nicholas Petreley; June 15, 2001. "Wake up, open-source community. The battle is not for the desktop; it is not for the server; it is not for the operating system; it is not for the development environment; it is not about the GNU General Public License (GPL) vs. Microsoft's business model. The battle is primarily about who will control user-authentication services."
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-Mundie Clarifies Open Source position
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 30th Jul 2001]; July 26, 2001. An extensive open letter from Craig Mundie, with commentary by the use.perl community.
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-Mundie Responds
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 17th May 2001]

Slashdot; May 17, 2001. The discussion of Craig Mundie's response to the community comments on his Stern School speech.
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-Mundie Speech @ OCSON - Blogged in Real Time
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 27th Jul 2001]

Slashdot; July 26, 2001. Rundown of the discussion around open source at the O'Reilly conference. Many notables present including, of course, Craig Mundie.
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-Mundie: 'Open Source Isn't the issue'
[2 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 30th Jul 2001]

The Register; Ban Berkes and Pat Galbraith; July 30, 2001. More fallout from the O'Reilly open Source Conference discussion....
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-My Definition of 'Freedom Zero'
[2 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 30th Jul 2001]

O'Reilly Network Weblogs; Tim O'Reilly; July 28, 2001. A discussion of the Stallman 'Four Freedoms' of computing, and how the shared source/open source controversy has suggested a revision.
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-New Economy: Open-Source Movement Advances
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 4th Jun 2001]

New York Times; Laurie J. Flynn; June 4, 2001. A NYTimes review and evaluation of the Mundie-Stallman contretemps over the perception of open source.
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-Open source terror stalks Microsoft's lawyers
[2 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 25th Jun 2001]

The Register; John Lettice; June 25, 2001. A sardonic look at Microsoft's latest license, where "viral" software licenses are raised as a Bad Thing™
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-Open-Source Fight Flares At Pentagon
[7 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 23rd May 2002]

Washington Post; Jonathan Krim; May 23, 2002.

In what one military source called a "barrage" of contacts with officials at the Defense Information Systems Agency and the office of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld over the past few months, the company said "open source" software threatens security and its intellectual property.

But the effort may have backfired. A May 10 report prepared for the Defense Department concluded that open source often results in more secure, less expensive applications and that, if anything, its use should be expanded.

Slashdot discusses it here. LawMeme has a good article with references. Also can find this article in SFGate.
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-opening closed minds to open source
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 15th Jun 2001]

ZDNet; Richard French, sr. vice president, Open Source Development Network; June 15, 2001 - commentary.
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-Report Flays Open-Source licenses
[7 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 11th Jun 2002]; Farhad Manjoo; June 11, 2002. A look at the breathlessly anticipated Alexis de Tocqueville Institute's slam on GPL code. The first release was pulled after it was easily slammed in The Register (Anti-open source 'whitepaper' devastated) because of its poorly edited content - and even more so because of its foolish claims. Slashdot also puts in its two cents: ADTI Whitepaper Released
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-RMS Says Free Software Is Good
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 29th May 2001]

Slashdot; May 29, 2001. A report, with commentary, on Stallman's rebuttal to the Mundie position
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-Salon's Free Software Project
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 6th Jun 2001] - Salon describes this site as follows: "the site you are reading is very much under construction. What we're doing is taking a book about the history, ideas and personalities behind the free-software/open-source movement -- a book that Andrew Leonard is in the process of writing -- and posting it, in pieces, here, as it's written. We're publishing the book as a work in progress and inviting readers -- Linux veterans and newbies alike -- to post their comments, criticisms and reactions. " - a place to read about the Weltanschaung of Linux
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-Shared Source?
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 18th May 2001]

Slashdot; May 18, 2001. The first of what will certainly be many discussions on Slashdot about this Microsoft proposal.
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-Should government mandate open source?
[7 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 12th Aug 2002]

ZDNet News; Michael Kanellos and Stephen Shankland; August 12, 2002.

Open-source software advocates will unfurl a legislative proposal next week to prohibit the state of California from buying software from Microsoft or any other company that doesn't open its source code and licensing policies.

Named the "Digital Software Security Act," the proposal essentially would make California the "Live Free or Die" state when it comes to software. If enacted as written, state agencies would be able to buy software only from companies that do not place restrictions on use or access to source code. The agencies would also be given the freedom to "make and distribute copies of the software."

"The legislative intent is that for software to be acceptable to the state, it is not enough that it is technically capable of fulfilling a task, but that the contractual condition for purchase and/or licensing must satisfy a series of requirements regarding the license," the proposal states.

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-Some Guidance From Microsoft
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 4th Jun 2001]

New York Times; John Schwartz; June 4, 2001. Coverage of the fact that Microsoft has been supplying/planting questions among the working press covering the Free Source/Open Source/Shared Source debates. As the article says, Microsoft is just "trying to help"
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-Stallman takes Gates to task over GPL
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 1st May 2002]

ZDNet News; Matt Loney; May 1, 2002. "Attacks by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on the GNU General Public License, under which much open source and free software is distributed, have been driven by a fear that the GPL creates a domain of software that Microsoft cannot privatize and control, according to GPL founder Richard Stallman."
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-Stallman to Respond to Mundie Tuesday
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 27th May 2001]

Slashdot; May 27. The lead up to discussion of the upcoming presentation to at NYU - Free Software: Freedom and Cooperation."
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-Study: Governments need open source
[6 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 26th Aug 2002]

ZDNet News; Matthew Broersma; August 26, 2002.

A new study has recommended that governments require the use of open-source software, fanning the flames of the increasingly heated debate over the place of open-source in public policy.

The Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) study, from the University of Maastricht's International Institute of Infonomics, argues that open-source software can bring substantial benefits to governments, including reduced costs, and that governments should require that the software they buy uses an open-source license.

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-The campaign against Linus is uphill battle for Microsoft
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 14th Jun 2001] and The Wall Street Journal; Lee Gomes; June 14, 2001. "Microsoft draws criticism from legal experts."
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-The Commercial Software Model
[3 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 17th May 2001]

Remarks made by Craig Mundie at the NYU Stern School of Business that really fired the warning shots across the bow of Open Source Community. May 3, 2001.
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-The Free Software Foundation's GPL FAQ
[7 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 24th May 2001]

The latest description of the GPL, from the lead proponents. There's also Slashdot discussion of the release.
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-The recording industry eats its young
[5 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 27th May 2001]; interview by Amy Standen; May 18, 2001. An audio interview (MP3 capability required) discussing the implications of the Vivendi-Universal buy of and the larger view for the entire industry.
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-The true struggle behind the MS-open source fight: ideology
[4 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 27th Jul 2001]

ZDNet News; David Coursey; July 27, 2001. David Coursey is emerging as a key MS apologist in many respects. The comments to this article are also worth reading.
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-This is how free software works
[5 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 22nd May 2001]

WideOpenNews, part of RedHat, Inc; Alan Cox. The thoughts of one of the lead Linux kernel hackers on the Mundie speech.
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-Why Microsoft is wary of open source
[6 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 21st Jun 2001]

CNet; Joe Wilcox and Stephen Shankland; June 18, 2001. "There's more to Microsoft's recent attacks on the open-source movement than mere rhetoric; Linux's popularity could hinder the software giant in its quest to gain control of a server market that's crucial to its long-term goals."
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-Why open source is still questionable
[2 hits, 0 votes, Average Rating 0] [Added: 17th May 2001]

ZDNet; Craig Mundie; May 17, 2001. A continuation of the debate started on May 3, 2001 - look for other Mundie references.
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