Saturday, September 12, 2009


ars technica:New Microsoft-backed open source foundation faces questions

Microsoft has launched the CodePlex Foundation, a nonprofit organization tasked with getting commercial software vendors to invest time on open source development. It has $1 million in seed money and some questions about how neutral it will be.

By Ryan Paul | Last updated September 11, 2009 9:38 AM CT

Microsoftは資本金百万ドルを投じて,このCodePlex Foundationを設立した.

Microsoft has launched a nonprofit organization with the aim of encouraging commercial software vendors to participate in open source software development. Microsoft has provided the organization, which is called the CodePlex Foundation, with $1 million in funding to get it started.

Linux FoundationのエグゼクティヴはMicrosoftを反則技だと批判した.
この問題にCodePlex Foundationがどのような役割かは定かではないが,ひとまず関係のないように見える.

This move arrives on the heels of a controversy over a Microsoft patent auction—allegedly aimed at undermining Linux—that compelled the executive director of the Linux Foundation to criticize the company for foul play. It's unclear if the CodePlex Foundation has been established in response to the controversy: the foundation itself appears unrelated, but there is certainly a possibility that the timing wasn't coincidental.


The typical role of open source software foundations is to serve as a neutral vehicle for copyright assignment. This allows the developers to have an independent entity with a collectively directed governance model that can handle functions like relicensing and license enforcement. Foundations can also provide a venue for collaboratively setting policy for projects or managing the business relationships between open source software communities and participating companies.

CodePlex Foundationの資料によると,従来型の団体であるようだ.

A look at the CodePlex Foundation's documents indicates that it will function a lot like conventional open source foundations. Participants sign a contributor agreement through which they assign copyright to the organization. They also grant perpetual royalty-free patent licenses to all recipients of the code, including downstream redistributors. The language in the patent grant section is very similar to the language used in other open source foundation contributor agreements, such as the Apache Foundation's Individual Contributor License Agreement. This means that any code that is contributed through the foundation is free of the patent concerns that some critics have raised regarding adoption of Microsoft's technologies.

その中にはMonoプロジェクトのMiguel de Icazaも含まれている.
この活動はMicrosoftのオープンソース代表のSam Ramjiによって進められている.

The foundation will be managed by an interim board that largely consists of Microsoft employees. It also includes Miguel de Icaza, the prominent open source software developer behind the Mono project. The interim board's function is to assemble a permanent board and name an executive director. They hope to bring together a diverse board that will include representatives of open source software communities and commercial software companies. The effort will be led by Microsoft's Sam Ramji, an open source advocate within Microsoft.


Ramji's view, which he described during the recent Linux collaboration summit, is that open source software is not synonymous with the Linux platform. There are obviously many open source software projects that complement, rather than compete with, Microsoft's core software products. Ramji believes that Microsoft can embrace open source in those contexts while it continues to compete with Linux.

Linux FoundationエグゼクティヴのJim Zemlinは

Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin, however, contends that the means through which Microsoft competes with Linux are detrimental to Microsoft's interoperability efforts and are harmful to the company's consumers.

PDFのメタデータのtitle部分は,"For Microsoft Internal Discussion Purposes Only"になっている.

On an amusing side note, I discovered a few curiosities when I was looking at the PDF metadata of the foundation's assignment agreement. The value of the "title" metadata field is "For Microsoft Internal Discussion Purposes Only". This may suggest that the foundation concept has been under internal discussion for a while and was executed in a hurry. Or it may just be boilerplate for documents created by Microsoft.

CodePlex Foundationにまだ陪審員はいない.
しかし,昨今のLinux FoundationからのMicrosoftに対する批判から見ると,
CodePlex Foundationはしばらく監視の対象となりそうである.

The jury is still out on the CodePlex Foundation. In its current form, the organization's neutrality is clearly an open question, but that could improve considerably if it follows through with its goals for establishing a more diverse board. The patent provisions in the contributor agreement look very promising and are sufficiently broad to provide the requisite level of protection. But, in light of the recent criticisms against Microsoft from the Linux Foundation, it seems likely that the CodePlex Foundation will face heavy scrutiny.

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