[freetds] TDS versions

Craig Berry craigberry at mac.com
Wed May 28 13:59:52 EDT 2008

On Wednesday, May 28, 2008, at 11:18AM, "Dossy Shiobara" <dossy at panoptic.com> 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

I can't find anything there indicating that TDS is considered to be one of the MCPP protocols.  It's not in the (presumably full) list of protocols mentioned in the license agreement for those availing themselves of the commercial license.  Perhaps it's merely a timing issue as the TDS patent is quite recent, but I don't see that this program currently offers licenses to anything governed by the TDS patent.

>So, you have two routes: obtain a patent license via the MCPP Licensing
>team, or for Open Source projects, you can simply accept the patent

IANAL, but it doesn't sound to me like it's at all compatible with the LGPL.  So even if changes to the TDS protocol governed by the new patent became licensable under MCPP, I doubt if the FreeTDS maintainers would be interested in all the necessary restrictions.

>This is quite pleasant, IMHO: commercial projects need to license, open
>source doesn't need to explicitly license.  

That may be your opinion, but unless I'm mistaken that's completely incompatible with the LGPL.  It sure sounds to me as if, to use the MCPP license, an open source project would have to give up the right to say who else can use their software (and under what terms) and grant that right to Microsoft.  I wonder what Samba is doing since CIFS is included in the MCPP protocols.

I'm no expert, and I haven't attempted to read the patent in full, but I don't see any good news here.

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