[freetds] TDS versions

James K. Lowden jklowden at freetds.org
Wed May 28 15:06:09 EDT 2008

Craig Berry wrote:
> >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
> >pledge.
> 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.

True.  I don't know if MCPP is compatible with LGPL (and GPL) or not.  And
I don't have the time, patience, or inclination to read, understand, and
bind myself to 22 pages of legalese.   I'm hanging my hat on the pledge.  

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

Best would be if the patent didn't exist.  Even better would be if
software patents didn't exist.  Meanwhile, here we are.  

I have to say, Microsoft is weirdly schizophrenic wrt TDS specifically. 
First they practically deny its existence, then they patent extensions to
it, then they promise not to pursue those patents against Open Source
projects.  I'm left to wonder: against whom could they be pursued?  Which
of Oracle, IBM, Sybase, et al. is about to implement TDS 7+, much less
MARS?  Who else has a TDS implementation besides Sybase, Microsoft,
FreeTDS and jTDS?  Why go to all the work and bluster to get a patent just
to preclude the possibility of a commercial competitor copying your
25-year old technology?  Isn't there anything more important to do?  


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