Re: GNOME Foundation Board Meeting Minutes :: 7/6/07

    In relation to Hubert's comment I'm interested to hear your view on the
    Microsoft Open Specification Promise (OSP) that Microsoft applies to
    OOXML since last October.

I had not heard of that before yesterday.  Today I obtained a copy.

I am not sure whether the license applies to partial implementations.
If it does not, then anyone who wants to implement this in countries
that allow software patents would have to implement the entire 6000
page spec before releasing anything patented.  That is probably impossible.
(Implementing  the 6000 page spec may be impossible anyway.)

The license seems to be incomplete:

    To clarify, ?Microsoft Necessary
      Claims? are those claims of Microsoft-owned or Microsoft-controlled
      patents that are necessary to implement only the required portions
      of the Covered Specification that are described in detail and not
      merely referenced in such Specification. ?Covered Specifications?
      are listed below.

I do not know what the excluded parts are.

Also, it has a patent retaliation clause

    If you
      file, maintain or voluntarily participate in a patent infringement
      lawsuit against a Microsoft implementation of such Covered
      Specification, then this personal promise does not apply with
      respect to any Covered Implementation of the same Covered
      Specification made or used by you.

which could be relevant to trying to use other patents to defend
GNU/Linux against Microsoft patents.  Thus, those organizations which
hold patents and want to use them for our defense had better not use
any free implementation of OOXML.  That makes the format still
dangerous to the community.

I will update my article sometime soon.

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