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Microsoft accused of poaching GPL code used in Windows 7 USB download tool

When I wrote up Microsoft's free tool to copy downloaded Windows 7 images to USB flash drives or burn then to DVD, I thought the app seemed like a great idea. After all, it provided student downloaders an easy way to get their cheapo upgrades copied onto install media.

Rafael Rivera was doing his usual Columbo routine on the MS tool's source when he found something in the code which struck him. A section relating to UDF handling appears to have been "borrowed" from ImageMaster - an open source project hosted on Microsoft's own CodePlex service. An by "appears" I mean Rivera's checks with the Reflector .Net code inspector set off the alarms.

As Rivera points out, it's not just the use of the code that is the issue here. It's also the fact that Microsoft has added their own licensing terms.

I'm sure there's some kind of saying about not doing something where you eat, and it certainly sounds like that's what Microsoft has done in this case. Innocent until proven guilty, of course - so we'll wait to see what Microsoft has to say in response in the coming days. For now, they've removed all links to the download tool.

If you're not too concerned with the hullabaloo over the code, you might still be able to find the download on some other sites. A little birdy told me MajorGeeks still has a copy...

Tags: code, gpl, microsoft, opensource, poach, violation