[freetds] TDS versions

Dossy Shiobara dossy at panoptic.com
Thu May 29 10:54:55 EDT 2008

On 2008.05.29, James K. Lowden <jklowden at freetds.org> wrote:
> Regarding our philosophical discussion, I suppose it's clear I don't care
> for Microsoft's business practices.  Patent 7,318,075 represents no
> nonobvious innovation [...]

Personally, I think all patents--including the non-obvious
inventions--are ridiculous and only serve to stifle innovation out of

There, that's my opinion on the matter.  :-)  I hadn't brought it up
earlier because it was really irrelevant (IMHO) to the core of the
discussion we're having.

> Not so.  The LGPL allows mixed distribution: you can distribute (and
> sell) your closed-source binary as long as you provide a way for the
> recipient to relink your object code with another version of the LGPL
> code.  [...]
> OpenLink distributes FreeTDS in just this way.

Facts, as I see them:

1) FreeTDS is an open source project.

2) Contributors to FreeTDS can opt to implement materials covered under
   Microsoft patent using the Microsoft Open Source pledge.

3) Applications may link to FreeTDS, which is LGPL'ed, as long as they
   comply with the LGPL.

My hypothesis:

4) re: #3, such applications are also protected as the infringing
   portion (FreeTDS) is covered by the pledge, and applications are
   simply consumers of FreeTDS, which is protected by the pledge.

You think, however:

> The fact that they distribute FreeTDS sources in no way makes them "an
> open source project".  They're required to get an MCPP license
> irrespective of FreeTDS's license, because they're treading on
> Microsoft's patent and aren't a pure open-source enterprise.  The fact
> that the closed-source portion is noninfringing is irrelevant.  

Perhaps someone can get the FSF to get a real attorney to review this
matter and write something that constitutes legal advice on this matter.

Dossy Shiobara              | dossy at panoptic.com | http://dossy.org/
Panoptic Computer Network   | http://panoptic.com/
  "He realized the fastest way to change is to laugh at your own
    folly -- then you can let go and quickly move on." (p. 70)

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