[freetds] TDS versions

Craig Berry craigberry at mac.com
Wed May 28 16:29:29 EDT 2008

On Wednesday, May 28, 2008, at 02:06PM, "James K. Lowden" <jklowden at freetds.org> wrote:
> 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.  

The pledge is what I was referring to, specifically the part that says, 

"If You engage in the commercial distribution or importation of software derived from an open source project or if You make or use such software outside the scope of creating such software code, You do not benefit from this promise [i.e., the pledge] for such distribution or for these other activities."

So if I contribute code  I'm covered, but if my blender of the future wants to embed FreeTDS in its firmware so it can retrieve the latest margarita recipes from the mother ship, and if that future version of FreeTDS includes anything covered by the patent, then my layman's reading is that the open source pledge does nothing at all for me; instead I have to pay licensing fees to Microsoft just as if I had obtained the implementation from them.  I had thought (correct me if I'm wrong) that the LGPL would allow such use with some restrictions.

>> 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?  

The likes of Easysoft, Attunity, and such may depend on all the TDS happening on the Windows side using Microsoft's ODBC driver, or they may have their own TDS implementations, or they may have obtained commercial licenses (and code) from Microsoft.  Or they may use FreeTDS, couldn't they?  If the latter, then it appears to me that if they used a hypothetical future version that supports anything covered by the new patent, then they would owe royalties to Microsoft even though Microsoft had nothing to do with creating the implementation.

Hopefully I'm simply wrong about all of this.  

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