Microsoft Now Ships GPL Code

Visual Studio now includes GPLv2 code, derived from the libgit2 project. They are also collaborating with GitHub over the project. Did hell just freeze over? I don’t think so, as I explain in InfoWorld today, but it’s definitely part of a cooling trend in Microsoft’s war on FOSS which could eventually lead to a Hadean skating rink.

For those who are interested, they have been able to do this because libgit2 adds an extremely broad exception to GPLv2 that defines a clean project boundary absolving Microsoft from any need to apply the GPL to other parts of Visual Studio or Team Foundation Server. I view this as another manifestation of the trend toward the middle ground of open source licensing, although as with LGPL this remains a “strong copyleft” license, just with a limit to its scope.

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