Opposition to Microsoft Corp.’s licensing for a technology intended to stop spam and phishing is spreading, with calls made for one of the industry’s leading standards bodies to update its Intellectual Property Rights policies.
Debian has called on the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), currently overseeing the Microsoft-backed Sender ID, to revamp its Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policies, out of concern Microsoft will hold IPR over core internet infrastructure.
We believe the ITTF needs to revamp its IPR policies to ensure that the core internet infrastructure remains unencumbered, Debian said in a statement.
Debian’s concern over licensing for Sender ID echoes earlier worries from the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). Both organizations have refused to license or implement Sender ID, saying Microsoft’s license is incompatible with open source, or in Debian’s case, Debian’s Free Software Guidelines (DFSG).
ASF’s, and Debian’s, concerns appear to center on the rights granted to developers and users downstream of the initial Sender ID product development process. One major aspect of open source is code can be modified and returned to the community once it has been packaged and passed on by the vendor to the end users.
Another issue is the fact developers would be forced to share details of planned product development with Microsoft. ASF is refusing to license or adopt Sender ID.
Opposition comes as Microsoft challenges the industry to adopt Sender ID. The company held a summit at its Redmond, Washington campus last week to encourage e-mail and services providers to move, whilst planning for its own MSN and Hotmail services to start checking for Sender ID records next month.
Early, external, support for Sender ID has come from service provider Go Daddy Software Inc. who plans to adopt Sender ID records next month.