[freetds] TDS versions

James K. Lowden jklowden at freetds.org
Wed May 28 13:57:51 EDT 2008

Dossy Shiobara wrote:
> On 2008.05.28, James K. Lowden <jklowden at freetds.org> wrote:
> > Thank you for pointing out this patent.  I wish I'd never read it.  It
> > means that Microsoft is patenting its changes to the protocol.  It is
> > the first step to preventing the creation of a compatible,
> > interoperable implementation of their protocol.  
> Huh?  Did you read this page:
> http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/intellectualproperty/protocols/mcpp.mspx
>     | Patent Pledge for Open Source Developers
>     | 
>     | Microsoft irrevocably promises not to assert any Microsoft
>     | Necessary Claims against you as an open source software developer
>     | ("You") for making, using, importing, or distributing any
>     | implementation of a Covered Specification 

No, I hadn't read it.  Thanks for pointing it out.  

TDS and SQL Server are conspicuously absent from the list in the above
document, but it appears Microsoft was simply sloppy about what it
includes.  A link below shows a discussion in which a Microsoft
representative states the MS-TDS document (which includes a description of
protocol changes, including MARS, covered by patent 5,974,416) is one of
the protocols covered by the MCPP.  

This list is from mcpp.mspx, above.  Note TDS is missing:  

Client-to-Server Tasks
   The patent licenses available under this program have been grouped
   according to server task. Pricing for each of these tasks is given in
   the MCPP License Agreement.
     * Authentication Services
     * Collaboration Services
     * File Services
     * Network Access Protection Services
     * Multiplayer Games Services 
     * Proxy/Firewall/NAT Services 
     * Systems Management Services
     * Virtual Private Network Services
     * Windows Update Services 
     * Certificate Services
     * Digital Rights Management Services
     * General Services
     * Media Streaming Services
     * Print and FAX Services
     * Rights Management Services
     * Terminal Services
     * Web Services

And the download site for MCPP also does not mention MS-TDS:


All we have at the moment is indirect assurance as part of a public forum


I quote for posterity:

  "Second item:  I noticed that these 5 WSPP protocols that are on
   http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc197979.aspx do not have
   patent mappings on either WSPP or MCPP maps (ie the above PDFs).  They
   a) MS-BKUP
   b) MS-FSCC
   c) MS-TDS
   d) MS-WSSO
   e) MS-WSSFO
   So not sure if either the WSPP map needs to be updated to reflect
   these posted WSPP protocols OR if these 5 were inadvertently posted to
   WSPP and are part of Sharepoint, SQL, MCPP, etc."

The reply came from Keith Hageman, program manager at Microsoft in the
Windows Division

  "25 Apr 2008, 8:36 PM UTC
   Keith Hageman - MSFT 
   Answer Re: Misc. comments on protocol to patent mapping
   For your first issue, you are asking about document short names and
   not protocols. These 3 documents are included in the WSPP protocols.
   For your second issue, these documents are also a part of WSPP
   Thank you for these questions.  In future versions of the patent maps,
   we will include information that shows the relationships between the
   protocols, the documents that describe the protocols, and the patents
   that cover those documents - that should help resolve questions like
   these in the future.

   Keith Hageman - MSFT"

That answer is good enough for me.  I do wish, though, that a the TDS
protocol and the MS-TDS document describing it would be expressly included
in the list of patentable protocols covered by the MCPP pledge and in the
list of documents describing said protocols.  

I also welcome additional specific information.  I specifically invite
anyone from Microsoft to post messages here to clarify the company's
position.  And, if the topic interests you, I encourage you to write
politely to Microsoft to request the website be updated to make clear
TDS's status regarding the MCPP pledge.  

Wow.  Is there a lawyer in the house?  I'm not used to this.  


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