Microsoft has long ripped off free software. The canonical case is that Microsoft’s first version of the fundamental TCP/IP network stack, which underlies the Internet and almost all business networking, was swiped from the BSD-licensed Unixes. Years later, it seems Microsoft still can’t resist stealing from open-source software.
Rafael Rivera, a Microsoft fan, reports in his “Within Windows” blog that Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, a program to help netbook XP Home users to upgrade to Windows 7, contains “source-code source code was obviously lifted from the CodePlex-hosted (yikes) GPLv2-licensed ImageMaster project.”
CodePlex is Microsoft’s open-source project hosting site. It’s also the name of Microsoft’s new ‘open-source,’ non-profit group, the CodePlex Foundation. The Foundation’s job is to bring open-source and proprietary software companies together to work on open-source projects. Well, now we know why: so that Microsoft can walk off with any goodies that they produce.