New Interoperability Hope

Eric Lee Steadle esteadle at
Fri Nov 2 12:44:03 GMT 2001

Nope. IANALBICRALD (I am not a lawyer, but I can read a legal document)

I would interpret "make available" as simply documenting the protocol and that would be enough.

It appears to me that this text was written by Microsoft, not the DOJ. And Microsoft wrote it according to their existing software
practices -- document what they expect other people to use, don't document what they consider proprietary. What they document is
largely based on marketing decisions. Where it benefits MS to have a 3rd party do the work, they add protocols and APIs. Where they
want to drive and be in control, they keep it closed and undocumented. Nothing's changed.

Notice the exclusions:
Section 1 says MS doesn't have to document anything related to the things they do to protect their profits and their customers
security / integrity. Encryption and authentication systems -- that's a BIG exclusion.

The last paragraph (B) which says that they don't have to disclose remote administrative functionality / protocols for NT servers.
Another BIG exclusion -- you have to use MS tools to administer your MS box.

Microsoft is simply agreeing to do what they mostly do anyway. You have to admire the clever bastards.


>-----Original Message-----
>From: samba-technical-admin at
>[mailto:samba-technical-admin at]On Behalf Of Michael B.
>Sent: Friday, November 02, 2001 1:57 PM
>To: samba-technical at
>Subject: New Interoperability Hope
>Anyone speak legalese? Does this mean we could finally get the
>IDL proper
>for talking to the domain, exchange server, ADSI, etc? If so, I think
>we should find out who to contact and politely approch them about it.
>Some important snipplets:
>E. Starting nine months after the submission of this proposed Final
>Judgment to the Court, Microsoft shall make available for use by third
>parties, for the sole purpose of interoperating with a Windows
>System Product, on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms (consistent
>with Section III.I), any Communications Protocol that is, on or after
>the date this Final Judgment is submitted to the Court, (i) implemented
>in a Windows Operating System Product installed on a client computer,
>and (ii) used to interoperate natively (i.e., without the addition of
>software code to the client or server operating system products) with
>Windows 2000 Server or products marketed as its successors installed on
>a server computer.
>J. No provision of this Final Judgment shall:
>     1. Require Microsoft to document, disclose or license to third
>     parties: (a) portions of APIs or Documentation or
>portions or layers
>     of Communications Protocols the disclosure of which would
>     the security of anti-piracy, anti-virus, software
>licensing, digital
>     rights management, encryption or authentication systems, including
>     without limitation, keys, authorization tokens or enforcement
>     criteria; or (b) any API, interface or other information related
>     to any Microsoft product if lawfully directed not to do so by a
>     governmental agency of competent jurisdiction.
>     2. Prevent Microsoft from conditioning any license of any API,
>     Documentation or Communications Protocol related to anti-piracy
>     systems, anti-virus technologies, license enforcement mechanisms,
>     authentication/authorization security, or third party intellectual
>     property protection mechanisms of any Microsoft product to any
>     person or entity on the requirement that the licensee: (a) has no
>     history of software counterfeiting or piracy or willful violation
>     of intellectual property rights, (b) has a reasonable business
>     need for the API, Documentation or Communications Protocol for
>     a planned or shipping product, (c) meets reasonable, objective
>     standards established by Microsoft for certifying the authenticity
>     and viability of its business, (d) agrees to submit, at its own
>     expense, any computer program using such APIs, Documentation or
>     Communication Protocols to third-party verification, approved by
>     Microsoft, to test for and ensure verification and compliance with
>     Microsoft specifications for use of the API or interface, which
>     specifications shall be related to proper operation and integrity
>     of the systems and mechanisms identified in this paragraph.
>B. "Communications Protocol" means the set of rules for information
>exchange to accomplish predefined tasks between a Windows Operating
>System Product on a client computer and Windows 2000 Server or products
>marketed as its successors running on a server computer and connected
>via a local area network or a wide area network. These rules govern the
>format, semantics, timing, sequencing, and error control of messages
>exchanged over a network. Communications Protocol shall not include
>protocols used to remotely administer Windows 2000 Server and products
>marketed as its successors.
>May The Source be with you.

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