Windows 7 tool violates GPL; Microsoft will open source it

Posted: 17/11/2009 in In The News, Windows 7


After pulling the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from its servers over reports that it might violate the GNU General Public License (GPL), Microsoft has decided to go open source with the tool.

Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool from the online Microsoft Store indeed violates the GNU General Public License (GPL). The problem isn’t just that Microsoft used open source code in the tool, but that the software giant also released the tool under a closed source license. As such, Redmond has decided it is best to rerelease the tool under the GPL sometime this week, according to a post on Port 25, the company’s open source community blog:

After looking at the code in question, we are now able to confirm this was indeed the case, although it was not intentional on our part. While we had contracted with a third party to create the tool, we share responsibility as we did not catch it as part of our code review process. We have furthermore conducted a review of other code provided through the Microsoft Store and this was the only incident of this sort we could find.

When it comes to our attention that a Microsoft component contains third party code, our aim is to be respectful of the terms under which that code is being shared. As a result, we will be making the source code as well as binaries for this tool available next week under the terms of the General Public License v2 as described here, and are also taking measures to apply what we have learned from this experience for future code reviews


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