Updated EULA for the Microsoft Layer for Unicode (MSLU)

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/01/02 02:04 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2005/01/02/345389.aspx

At last, the longstanding problems with end user license agreement (EULA) for MSLU have been fixed. You can look at the text of the EULA here or you can get it by downloading MSLU here.

This new EULA meets the intent that our team has had for MSLU since it was first released back in July of 2001. I am not a lawyer, but in my unofficial, non-legally-binding opinion it certainly is consistent with the behavior of Microsoft during this whole period (since not even "case and desist" letter was sent out to anyone for "violating" the old EULA's points which were contentious).

The main problems boiled down to having the wrong boilerplate...

The old EULA had the standard language that Microsoft uses to cover products that can be downloaded by anyone who agrees with the EULA but whose components then cannot be separately redistributed without making the eventual end user agree to the EULA.

The new EULA has the standard language that Microsoft uses to cover products that can be downloaded by anyone who agrees with the EULA and then the specific components within the download can be redistributed more than once to an eventual end user as part of a product.

A good example of why the difference can be important would be if you are one of those lucky third parties whose code ships with Visual Studio. Say you wanted your component to run on Win9x so you wanted developers building setups to have MSLU redistributed with your runtime. In that case, MSLU would be with your component shipping with VS, it would be added to the setup packages of people using your component, and then their end users who install their application would get MSLU with your cool component.

The same rules apply to components that do not ship with Visual Studio, of course (and many large companies were worried about the old language because it seemed to contraindicate their intended usage of MSLU!).

The ability to do this sort of thing was always intended (and there was even a component that shipped with the first version of VS.NET which had this requirement!). It just took the EULA a while to catch up to the intent of the component. :-)


No Unicode code point was willing to sponsor this posting (Unicode characters, it would seem, are afraid of both lawyers and paralegals!)

# Brodie on 4 Jan 2005 8:01 PM:

Unfortunately, it seems that the new EULA for MSLU is still not compatible with open source software. I know that MS sees open source as a bit of a threat and so is trying to close it off as much as possible, it is just disappointing that something as useful as MSLU is closed off this way. The clauses in question are 3.1 (ii) windows only, (iii) no less resrictive agreed EULA and the end clause of 3.1, no further redistribution. I would love to be wrong in my interpretation of this however...

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2005/01/13 MSLU is not "open source" but I think that is really okay

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