The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has just come out with a scathing analysis of Microsoft’s Open Specification Promise(OSP). In short, the SFLC concludes that the OSP still leaves developers with the potential for patent risk.
In a release on the analysis the SFLC noted that:
SFLC published the paper in response to questions from its clients and the community about the OSP and its compatibility with the GNU General Public License (GPL). The paper says that the promise should not be relied upon because of Microsoft’s ability to revoke the promise for future versions of specifications, the promise’s limited scope, and its incompatibility with free software licenses, including the GPL.
That’s pretty harsh, but then again when the latest iteration of the OSP first became public I had my fair share of questions too.
Considering the influence of the SFLC on open source matters (which is non-trivial to say the least) it will be very interesting to see how Microsoft responds to the analysis in the coming days (and weeks). Check out the full analysis paper for yourself to get the gory details.