February 17, 2011, 5:50 PM — Microsoft has prohibited developers from using GPLv3-licensed open source software in any application distributed on the Windows Phone Marketplace. But Redmond is pushing mobile application developers to use packages based on an open source license created by Microsoft.
The Windows Phone Marketplace Application Provider Agreement says applications "must not include software that ... in whole or in part, are governed by or subject to an Excluded License," and says excluded licenses "include, but are not limited to the GPLv3 Licenses."
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But developers can use code approved by the Microsoft Public License, an open source license created by Redmond. Microsoft has pushed developers to use so-called "Windows Phone recipes," which are open source projects that became available last month under the Microsoft Public License
The GPLv3 restriction in the Microsoft application provider agreement has been public since at least September, but resurfaced this week when Red Hat technology evangelist Jan Wildeboer blogged about the issue, saying he "was quite astonished."
"Note the full scope: in whole or in part," Wildeboer writes. "This means that you cannot use Libraries that are under this ominous 'Excluded License.' Or use documentation that is licensed under the ominous 'Excluded License.' You get the point. If you use whatever stuff that is under this ominous 'Excluded License' your app will not be added to the marketplace."