TUCoPS :: Truly Miscellaneous :: msoss.txt

Proper Use of Open Source Software at Microsoft


OSS includes a wide range of products distributed under a variety of
licenses such as the General Public License (GPL), Lesser General Public
License (LGPL), and Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) license. If you
are uncertain whether software you intend to use is considered
“open source”, or the license you plan to use will result in
the software being treated as OSS, please check with the Microsoft
Manager to whom you are assigned. 

Microsoft's goal with respect to the treatment of OSS is to avoid
inadvertently contributing our intellectual property to an open source
effort. The rules below are intended to protect valuable Microsoft
intellectual property and MUST be followed:

1. Do not incorporate OSS into MS products.

2. Do not contribute code to an open source project.

3. Do not review, modify or distribute OSS source code.

4. Other than OSS source code, it is okay to review other information
about open source projects (e.g., architecture descriptions included in
books, project descriptions provided at websites, development discussions
conducted on the Internet, etc.), provided that you comply with any
accompanying licenses or restrictions. If you have questions about the
rules governing access to specific information, check with your Microsoft
Manager to whom you are assigned.

5. You may run an OSS executable that is subject to the GNU General
Public License (GPL) or any similar agreement, so long as the license or
agreement does not require you to accept additional restrictions and/or
obligations as a condition of running the software. If you have questions
or concerns regarding the terms of a particular license or agreement,
check with your Microsoft Manager to whom you are assigned. 

6. For code that is developed, or otherwise owned by or licensed to MS,
do not distribute or otherwise make the code available under an
“open source” agreement

These rules apply to all activities related to the business of Microsoft,
regardless of the time or location of such activities. At times, you and
the Microsoft Manager to whom you are assigned may reach the preliminary
conclusion that there is a sound business reason for taking an action
that is otherwise prohibited by the above general rules. In that event,
the Microsoft Manager will check with their LCA contact who will assess
any legal risks associated with the action and advise on the steps the
Microsoft Manager needs to take to obtain executive approval for the
action. An executive approval must be in place in order to deviate from
the above rules.  <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O />

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Microsoft&#8217;s Open
Source Software (OSS) guidelines please contact the Microsoft Manager to
whom you are assigned or your agency or vendor employer contact.

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