Different Business Models, Common Concerns

UPDATE: May 19, 2009 – 9:00 p.m. Pacific

Posted by Horacio Gutierrez 
Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel

The ALI adopted the Principles in a vote on May 19th.  We are disappointed that the ALI did not allow for additional input, and will continue to work with the Linux Foundation and others across the software industry to ensure that any application of the principles does not adversely impact software developers, the software industry or consumers.


On May 14, Microsoft and the Linux Foundation sent a joint letter to the American Law Institute to express our shared concerns with the group’s draft Principles of the Law of Software Contracts.  

The ALI Principles are meant to provide guidance to judges and others as they interpret software licensing agreements.  While the Principles reflect a lot of hard work and thought by the ALI, Microsoft and the Linux Foundation believe that certain provisions do not reflect existing law and could disrupt the well-functioning software market for businesses and consumers, as well as create uncertainty for software developers. 

We have asked the ALI to allow more time for comment from interested parties reflecting the wide range of software developers and users. 

The mere fact that the Linux Foundation and Microsoft are joining forces may be viewed by some as remarkable, given that our differences receive far more public attention than when our interests converge.  But there is a wide range of issues that affect all software developers alike. 

Our industry is diverse and sometimes contentious, but if nothing else unites us it is that we all believe in the power of software.  I hope that this represents just one of many opportunities to collaborate with the Linux Foundation and others going forward.  We have a lot more we can do together. 

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