[Accessibility] LGPL compatibility of the UI Automation Community Promise

Olaf Schmidt ojschmidt at kde.org
Tue Mar 25 02:20:25 PDT 2008


Hi!

I have found some more information that relates to the questions whether 
Microsoft's "UI Automation Community Promise" is sufficiently open for our 
purposes.

It seems that no lawyer has done an analysis of the UI Automation promise 
itself, but it is closely related to the OSP, which has been analysed both be 
the LinuxFoundation's Andy Updegrove and by the Software Freedom Law Center.

Andy Updegrove's evaluation of the OSP is positive, but some of his positive 
comments relate to exactly those points which are different between the OSP 
and the UI Automation promise. He does not address the question of LGPL 
compatibility:
http://www.consortiuminfo.org/standardsblog/article.php?story=20060912140103877

The SFLC warn that such an incompatibility indeed exists:
http://www.softwarefreedom.org/news/2008/mar/12/osp-gpl/

Microsoft also warn in their FAQ that the incompatibility might exist. This 
statement from Microsoft itself is actually what concerns me most, since they 
could easily have written "We will not sue you for writing LGPL code for UI 
Automation", but they chose not to do so. They instead warn us to talk to our 
lawyers when coding to the UI Automation API.

I asked the SFLC if they did an analysis of the UI Automation promise. I was 
advised to contact Jim Zemlin about it, so that it can be answered by the 
LinuxFoundations' own lawyers (Andy Updegrove and Karen Copenhaver).

Janina, can you forward this question?

Olaf


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