Microsoft today announced that they are joining RedHat, Facebook, Google, IBM, CA Technologies, Cisco, HPE, SAP, and SUSE to promote greater predictability in open source licensing. They are making an open source license commitment that is designed to help licensees overcome common mistakes in using open source software. As part of this commitment, licensees of GPLv2 code can have a reasonable period of time to correct license compliance issues.
GPL version 3 (GPLv3) introduced an approach to termination that offers distributors of the code an opportunity to correct errors and mistakes in license compliance. This approach allows for enforcement of license compliance consistent with a community in which heavy-handed approaches to enforcement, including for financial gain, are out of place.
Microsoft and others believe that this commitment will lead to greater cooperation with distributors of open source software to correct errors and increased participation in open source software development.
Read Microsoft’s commitment below.
Before filing or continuing to prosecute any legal proceeding or claim (other than a Defensive Action) arising from termination of a Covered License, Microsoft commits to extend to the person or entity (“you”) accused of violating the Covered License the following provisions regarding cure and reinstatement, taken from GPL version 3. As used here, the term ‘this License’ refers to the specific Covered License being enforced.
However, if you cease all violation of this License, then your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated (a) provisionally, unless and until the copyright holder explicitly and finally terminates your license, and (b) permanently, if the copyright holder fails to notify you of the violation by some reasonable means prior to 60 days after the cessation.
Moreover, your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated permanently if the copyright holder notifies you of the violation by some reasonable means, this is the first time you have received notice of violation of this License (for any work) from that copyright holder, and you cure the violation prior to 30 days after your receipt of the notice.
Microsoft intends this Commitment to be irrevocable, and binding and enforceable against Microsoft and assignees of or successors to Microsoft’s copyrights.
Microsoft may modify this Commitment by publishing a new edition on this page or a successor location.
‘Covered License’ means the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPLv2), the GNU Lesser General Public License, version 2.1 (LGPLv2.1), or the GNU Library
General Public License, version 2 (LGPLv2), all as published by the Free Software Foundation.
‘Defensive Action’ means a legal proceeding or claim that Microsoft brings against you in response to a prior proceeding or claim initiated by you or your affiliate.
‘Microsoft’ means Microsoft Corp. and its affiliates.