Microsoft won’t pursue legal action over GPLv2 compliance issues

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read

Microsoft and more tech giants have decided to offer developers and open source users the chance to remedy GPLv2 compliance issues rather than sue them.

On Monday, March 20, Microsoft promised that anyone who is not complying with its copyrighted open source code would not be sued as long as they comply as quickly as possible. The code that this agreement covers is licensed under the GPLv2, LGPLv2, and LGPLv2.1 licenses.

Microsoft joins ten tech companies to solve compliance issues

Microsoft joined a consortium of ten important tech companies to resolve compliance issues amicably. The process of dealing with this kind of problems is hardwired into GPLv3 which got released back in 2007. Linux and more significant projects still use GPLv2 that does not include provisions for dealing with such issues. More open-source organizations such as Open Source Initiative or Free Software Foundation claim that the compliance issues arise out of confusion over licensing terms.

Back in November 2017, Facebook, Google, Red Hat and IBM extended the GPLv3 approach for license compliance errors to the software code used under the affected licenses. Now Microsoft and five more companies, Cisco, HPE, CA Technologies, SUSE, and SAP joined them.

Microsoft wants to make it easier for developers to build exquisite products

Erich Andersen, a Microsoft corporate VP and chief IP counsel stated that the company wants to make it easier for developers to create great content using licenses prevalent in the community without having to worry too much about missing a step in license compliance. Microsoft wants to help advance an industry norm on this crucial issue that will result in promoting increasing collaboration and innovation among the members of Linux community.

Whys this sudden Linux interest?

There’s a strong reason for which Microsoft’s interest in Linux. The revenues from Windows and Office have been shrinking, and the ones coming from Azure have almost doubled which led to Microsoft becoming a major Linux vendor. According to the latest statistics, 40% of all virtual machines on Azure run Linux.

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