New covenant published (was: Re: moonlight and the new covenant)

Kevin Kofler kevin.kofler at
Wed Dec 23 18:38:58 UTC 2009

Alex Hudson wrote:
> Correction: it's now published here -
> To my untrained eye, it seems to cover Moonlight fully, the termination
> clause doesn't work retroactively, it includes coverage for the Mono
> portions and it seems to apply for everyone - hopefully this is a good
> thing. It seems to remove previous objections about Novell-only-ness.

This is still non-Free:
> Microsoft, on behalf of itself and its Subsidiaries, hereby covenants not
> to sue End Users for infringement under Necessary Claims of Microsoft and
> its Subsidiaries on account of such End Users’ use of Moonlight
> Implementations to the extent originally provided by Novell during the
> Term and, if applicable, the Extension or Post-Extension Period, but only
> to the extent such Moonlight Implementations are used as Conforming
> Runtimes.
> “Conforming Runtime” means plug-in or other runtime functionality hosted
> by a Conforming Host for receiving and rendering, wholly within such
> Conforming Host, media and interactive applications compatible with
> Silverlight 3 or Silverlight 4.
> “Moonlight Implementation” means only those specific portions of Moonlight
> 3 or Moonlight 4 that run only as Conforming Runtimes within a Conforming
> Host on a Personal Computer and are not licensed under GPLv3 or a Similar
> License.

This appears to be a classical "The license only applies if you comply to 
our standard" restriction, which is non-Free because it doesn't allow using 
the code for a different purpose (nor to extend the standard, which is kinda 
ironic coming from a company which keeps extending everyone ELSE's standards 
with proprietary extensions).

As the patent license is non-Free, Moonlight still has to be considered non-
Free wherever software patents apply. So as far as I can tell, this is not 
acceptable for Fedora, sorry. (But of course spot and/or RH Legal will have 
the final word.)

        Kevin Kofler

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