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Video Interview Suggestion: Sender ID

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  • User profile image
    Karim

    Could the Team please take a video camera and go find out what the real deal is on the current problems with Sender ID?

    Or if not the real deal, at least what Microsoft's position is?

    Microsoft supposedly is committed to fixing the spam problem, yet Apache has just said they can't deploy Sender ID, because Microsoft's licensing requirements are incompatible with Open Source and the GPL.  See:

    ASF Position Regarding Sender ID:
    http://apache.org/foundation/docs/sender-id-position.html

    "Sender ID Wars Heat Up"
    http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1642385,00.asp

    "I Come to Bury Sender ID, not to Praise It"
    http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1639880,00.asp

    Some folks you might interview:

    Craig Spiezle ("Director of industry and partner relations in Microsoft technology and strategy team") (EDIT: name may be "Craig Spietzle" - found both spellings on the 'net.)

    Harry Katz (PM for Microsoft Exchange)

    Michele Herman (lawyer at Microsoft)

    I'm not sure I understand all the legal wrangling that's going on, but I think these kinds of problems make Microsoft's claims of being seriously committed to doing something about spam seem somewhat disingenuous.  I know lawyers have to eat too, but what's so damn complicated about taking Sender ID and making it freely available for everyone to use?

  • User profile image
    sbc

    Apache don't use GPL. However, the Sender ID proposal effects all Open Source (OSI Approved) licenses AFAIK.

    I can't see this being implemented even if Microsoft does allow Open Source licensed software to use it - after they could wait until it became standard, and then start charging for it.

    Also what about old Exchange server software - 4, 5.5, 2000? Will there be patches for them, or will everyone who uses Exchange have to upgrade to support Sender ID?

  • User profile image
    Keskos

    Here is what I understood from the situation. Microsoft doesn't prevent anybody to implement sendID, but the problem is that you are not as free as you can be to implement it. You have to send a signed agreement to Microsoft to be able to implement it. For example, when you want to implement http protocol, you don't send anything to anybody. I think Microsoft should make it easier to implement, since this is a fundemental technology.

  • User profile image
    Keskos

    Manip wrote:
    hmm freaky, I'm actually in agreement with Keskos.. Smiley


    It is freaky. Smiley))

  • User profile image
    Manip

    hmm freaky, I'm actually in agreement with Keskos.. Smiley

    I think SMTP, HTTP are great ways to look at this, imagine if each one had to be 'registered'. Worse still is the fact that Microsoft in the future can change the price for all new applicants. Like licence it for free for the first five years and then start charging $10 a registration or something.

    This situation is not a problem for just Open-Source software but for all software.

  • User profile image
    Karim

    Apparently you also can't make any changes to Sender ID (i.e. improve it) without notifying Microsoft.  There's another good (short) article at:

    http://arstechnica.com/news/posts/20040902-4153.html

    I suppose "reciprocal royalty-free" is Legalese for "I'll show you mine if you show me yours."  In Latin, I think that's called a "quid pro quo," and it's not exactly synonymous with "FREE."

  • User profile image
    Karim

    Manip wrote:
    hmm freaky, I'm actually in agreement with Keskos.. Smiley


    LOL!

    "And in other news, Hell froze over today..."

  • User profile image
    nektar

    I fully agree that we should have an interview with the people behind Sender Id at Microsoft. There is already recistance to Sender Id out there from Apatche etc, and as always, although everybody else has an opinion (the press) and is vocal about it Microsoft keeps silent. I guess they are investigating the issue as always.
    Channel 9 is a place where the true unofficial voice of Microsoft employees can be heard. It is where we users can ask directly the questions that are really important for us and not get the traditional marketing answers. It should be a place too where burning issues like the Sender Id licensing problem should also be braught up and discussed. Let' us get a discussion on the truely burning  and current issues and not just see the exciting staff like future products and tours. Channel 9 can do this. It can take up this role, and put us in direct contact with the people responsible for the Sender Id issue.

  • User profile image
    Maurits

    Karim wrote:

    Microsoft supposedly is committed to fixing the spam problem, yet Apache has just said they can't deploy Sender ID


    Just thought I'd make it explicit - the Apache Software Foundation makes other things than the Apache web server engine.  Specifically, SpamAssassin - a sendmail plugin that I use and love - now falls under the ASF.

    SpamAssassin already has support for SPF.  They're very cutting-edge - I'm sure they'd have support for Sender ID if not for this licensing issue.

    I have to say I side with Apache on this issue.  Who owns the internet?  The answer should always be "nobody."  SMTP - and any extensions to SMTP - should always be free for anyone to implement, tweak, and reinvent.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    Open Standards rock. And in theory if a company can control a base requirement for the internet then they can in theory control the internet its self. 'Control' means ANY ability to restrict someone, so by making people sign a form Microsoft in turn have some control because they can restrict those that don't sign it. They also control the conditions. 
     

    Note: Would people please stop talking about Slashdot as if it where some kind of style of posting.. 'slashdot style posts' etc, in reality slashdot has thousands of posters a day and does not represent a single way or form of post.

  • User profile image
    lars

    RFC3668: Intellectual Property Rights in IETF Technology

    My personal opinion is that there shouldn't be any licensing required at all. No matter who invented it.

  • User profile image
    Jazzynupe

    Man you have be dyin over here... You always come up with something...

  • User profile image
    Karim

    lars wrote:
    RFC3668: Intellectual Property Rights in IETF Technology

    My personal opinion is that there shouldn't be any licensing required at all. No matter who invented it.


    The RFC you quoted, however, seems to assume that a fair number of Internet standards will be encumbered by licensing and intellectual property issues.

    I think the open source people wouldn't mind a license for Sender ID, as long as it is compatible with open source licensing.

    Complicating this is that there's more than one flavor of "open source" license.  (See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/license-list.html)  And while it's the Apache folks who have refused to accept the current Sender ID licensing, the Apache Software License 2.0 isn't compatible with the GPL!

    I guess just don't understand why, that the technical issues are all solved now, and SPF has been successfully merged with "Caller ID" to create "Sender ID," does there need to be this kind of complication.  Microsoft wants to help fix the spam problem, Microsoft doesn't want to make money off Sender ID.  How hard can it be to give away an idea?  Why don't they just place Sender ID into the Public Domain?

  • User profile image
    Karim

    The more I research this, the more pissed off I get at Microsoft.

    For the interested:

    Here's the document Microsoft wants you to sign.

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/b/d/3/bd3b5463-c461-409c-b29f-512218d3f3e6/senderid_license.pdf

    If you implement Sender ID, you have to include the following in your source code:

    "This source code may incorporate intellectual property owned by Microsoft Corporation.  Our provision of this source code does not include any licenses or any other rights to you under any Microsoft intellectual property.  If you would like a license from Microsoft (e.g. rebrand, redistribute), you need to contact Microsoft directly."

    Full text of Greg Stein's (ASF) email:
    http://www.imc.org/ietf-mxcomp/mail-archive/msg04019.html

    His closing words:

    "Finally, as developers of open source e-mail technologies, we are concerned that no company should be permitted IP rights over core Internet infrastructure.  We believe the IETF needs to revamp its IPR policies to ensure that the core Internet infrastructure remain unencumbered."

    Motion to ABANDON Sender ID:

    http://www.imc.org/ietf-mxcomp/mail-archive/msg03995.html

    Second the motion, let's just all go back to using the original SPF, which worked just fine:

    http://www.imc.org/ietf-mxcomp/mail-archive/msg04041.html

    Wait, wait, shouldn't we just call Microsoft and ask them to stop being such dicks?  Can't we all just get along?

    http://www.imc.org/ietf-mxcomp/mail-archive/msg04009.html

    More email at:

    http://www.imc.org/ietf-mxcomp/mail-archive/threads.html


    Microsoft's oh-so-defensive FAQ on why you need to sign a stupid license:

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/4/3/9/439b024b-09fd-44ee-8ff0-10e834004c36/senderid_FAQ.PDF

    Q: Why has Microsoft patented Sender ID at all?

    A: All the other kids patent their ideas.

    Q: What happens if I combine my Sender ID implementation with GPL code?

    A: The combination could smoke, emit noxious fumes, or explode.  But we really don't know for sure.  Why don't you ask your long-haired, unshaven, Birkenstock-wearing friends over at the FSF?

    Sendmail's response to Microsoft's license requirements (they recommended approval to the IETF):

    http://www.imc.org/ietf-mxcomp/mail-archive/msg03500.html

    Summary: "Basically, this license sucks, and we're not sure how we're going to deal with the sub-licensing problem.  But spam is like, a really, really, really, really, really BIG problem so go ahead and approve it."

    Some behind-the-scenes details of Microsoft as 800-pound gorilla:

    http://www.imc.org/ietf-mxcomp/mail-archive/msg04045.html

    Microsoft's "oops, by the way, we have a patent pending on that" statement to the IETF:

    http://www.imc.org/ietf-mxcomp/mail-archive/msg03495.html

    Someone making a connection between Microsoft's "oops, we have a patent" to Rambus:

    http://www.imc.org/ietf-mxcomp/mail-archive/msg04043.html

    Other Microsoft license agreements:
    http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/ip/standards/

    Microsoft's main Sender ID site: http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/twc/privacy/spam_senderid.mspx






  • User profile image
    Keskos

    Don't worry I think Microsoft will back off and let anybody to mplement it. I don't think Microsoft did something terribly wrong yet, but it is not a good move if the goal is to fight with spam. Open source solutions is part of the internet, we need to be able to use these technologies without worrying too much about licensing and patents. It takes some sacrifice from Microsoft of course, but this is not too much to ask. But I wonder if there is another side to this story.


  • User profile image
    manickernel

    I think this is much ado about nothing as in:

    C:\WINDOWS\system32>strings ftp.exe
    @(#) Copyright (c) 1983 The Regents of the University of California.
     All rights reserved.

    My guess is that MS is over sensitive to legal ramifications, the "license" should specify that the unlimited no-cost use will be without restrictions. I do think they will work this out.

    EDIT: AS for why MS would patent something, they have deep pockets and any dickhead with a lawyer can sue them for having previous development in a technology, as has already happened. I am not a MS evangelist, far from it, but I do understand that software patents is a business all in itself.

  • User profile image
    Manip

    "This source code may incorporate intellectual property owned by Microsoft Corporation.  Our provision of this source code does not include any licenses or any other rights to you under any Microsoft intellectual property.  If you would like a license from Microsoft (e.g. rebrand, redistribute), you need to contact Microsoft directly."

    What does anyone else surpose that license for redistribution means? I don't like the sound of that one little bit..

  • User profile image
    Karim

    manickernel wrote:
    I think this is much ado about nothing as in:

    C:\WINDOWS\system32>strings ftp.exe
    @(#) Copyright (c) 1983 The Regents of the University of California.
     All rights reserved.


    I hope you're right!

    There are a few differences between FTP and Sender ID...

    1) FTP source is under either a BSD or modified BSD license.  Basically all you have to do is include the copyright notice.  I'm pretty sure Apache wouldn't have a problem with that...

    2) Under BSD-style licensing, you don't have to download a form, possibly have it vetted by a lawyer, then fax it back to "The Regents of the University of California."

    3) There isn't any conflict with mixing BSD-licensed code and GPL licensed code.

    4) "The Regents of the University of California" did not go to the trouble of patenting FTP, FINGER, NSLOOKUP etc. etc.

    Making money off your IP portfolio seems to be the latest craze (patent a process, find someone else doing what your patent covers, sue them, watch as licensing revenue pours in).  Software patents are particularly out of control.

    http://www.eff.org/patent/

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/02/1086058889577.html?oneclick=true

    Quote from the above article:

    "Microsoft said last year that it would be seeking to improve earnings from technology which it claims it invented and would be using its patent portfolio to do so."

    Sometimes, when it's in the public good, a company will place its patent in the Public Domain so that everyone can freely benefit.  For example:

    http://www.netsys.com/ipsec/1994/msg00637.html

    Now, if solving the problem of spam, on a core protocol like SMTP, isn't a good excuse for placing a patent in the public domain, then what is?

    Microsoft could have ended the argument weeks ago by stating that they were going to publish under a BSD-style license, and (once they bothered to tell everyone that, oh, by the way, they had patents pending) they could have also said they intended to put the patents in the public domain.

    But so far their actions have looked exactly like a company that intended to "improve earnings from technology which it claims it invented" and "using its patent portfolio to do so."

    Still, I hope you're right.

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