Microsoft Bans Open Source on Windows Phone 7 Marketplace
The sale of free software on Windows Phone Marketplace has been stopped by Microsoft, which has barred applications licensed under the GNU General Public License v3 (GPLv3), Affero GPLv3, and LGPLv3 from its marketplace.
Microsoft also reserved the right to exclude other apps that hold similar licenses according to Windows Phone Marketplace Application Provider Agreement, which developers have to agree with if they want their applications to be listed and sold on the Windows Phone Marketplace. The agreement's article 5 clause 6 states that the Application "must not include software, documentation, or other materials that, in whole or in part, are governed by or subject to an Excluded License", An excluded license is defined by Microsoft as "any license requiring, as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of the software subject to the license, that the software or other software combined and/or distributed with it be (i) disclosed or distributed in source code form; (ii) licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; or (iii) redistributable at no charge". Excluded Licenses include, but are not limited to the GPLv3 Licenses." Adding that "For the purpose of this definition, 'GPLv3 Licenses' means the GNU General Public License version 3, the GNU Affero General Public License version 3, the GNU Lesser General Public License version 3, and any equivalents to the foregoing."
According to the agreement, developers will not be able to publish the source of their applications or to license them under a GPLv3 license, claiming that these restrictions may increase security. Media reports doubted that such measures might, in fact, increase security and they warned that developers may prefer to publish their apps under other operating systems rather than following the Microsoft's agreement.
The GPLv3 licenses were released in 2007 by the Free Software Foundation, but their use is minimal compared to the version 2 of the licenses (GPL2), considered the most used used license for free software and originally written by Richard Stallman for the GNU project.