Libyan Dictator Warns Against Facebook, Microsoft Bans OpenSource

These stories are closely related at a philosophical level: Both stalwart entities have similar philosophies about what they think they can tell other people to do, how they do things, and what they fear:

Libyan dictator warns against use of Facebook, 40 protesters injured

Many Libyan Internet activists have declared their support for the pro-democracy movements and revolutions in the Middle East. After seeing the power of the people succeed in Tunisia and Egypt, they created groups on Facebook to call for political and economic reforms in Libya. Libya’s dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, has responded by warning against the use of Facebook, according to IFEX.

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Microsoft bans open source from the Marketplace

Microsoft has raised the ire of the open source community with its Windows Marketplace licence by specifically refusing to allow software covered under an open licence to be distributed.

The licence, which anyone wishing to distribute Windows, Windows Phone, or Xbox applications through the company’s copy of Apple’s App Store is required to agree to, is the usual torrent of legalese – but hides a nasty surprise for those who support open source ideals.

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7 thoughts on “Libyan Dictator Warns Against Facebook, Microsoft Bans OpenSource

  1. On the open source front, Microsoft is not distributing software distributed under GNU General Public License. They can’t or don’t want to meet the terms of this license agreement so they are opting out.

    Just because they are evil doesn’t make everything they do evil.

  2. Mr Ed, I’m not sure I get your point. The GPL license does not require an entire company or its products to follow the license, only specific pieces of software. The app store in question is a vehicle for you or me or others to distribute apps for various platforms. Micorosft is telling you that if you want to develop an app for the Windows Phone (for instance) you can’t distribute it via their store to the customers if it uses GPL.

    There can only be one reason to do that: To stifle OpenSource. That is an evil act.

    Or is there something I’m missing here?

  3. I suspect the Microsoft thing is the result of overzealous and ill-informed lawyers worried about liability. If the terms don’t change in the next week or so we’ll know this is deliberate.

  4. I think that article is just a little misleading. They aren’t banning open source software. Just one particular license, GPLv3. It seems that GPLv2 may still be ok. LPGL is most definitely ok. BSD, Apache, and other OSS licenses appear in the clear as well.

  5. “I think that article is just a little misleading.”

    I believe this is a new Microsoft TE (Technical Evangelist) talking point. I’ve seen it too many times in relation to this move by them to be statistically insignificant. The key word is “misleading”. It’s getting a lot of visibility in the comment sections wherever Microsoft’s latest attempt at hurting FLOSS is covered.

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