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Licensing for Driver Development. RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello everyone,

    It may be that the same issue has been experienced by someone, however, I haven't been able to find similar postings. I can imagine that it may be relevant and interesting to other future developers as well.

    My team is currently writing a new driver using the WDK (Windows Driver Kit) based on the sample code provided atgithub.com/Microsoft/Windows-driver-samples/blob/master/print/

    In the samples provided there are some references included to the DLLs that are usually present on any typical Windows 10 computer. (For example, there are references to the XDWMark.dll,  XDScale.dll filters in the github.com/Microsoft/Windows-driver-samples/blob/master/print/XPSDrvSmpl/install/xdsmpl-PipelineConfig.xml

     So far, so good.In the process of creating the new driver, we also need to include references to some other DLLs that are usually present on a typical Windows 10 (e.g. PDFRenderFilter.dll). However, it is not clear what the licensing situation looks like from a legal standpoint. That is, we are not planning on distributing that DLL, it is simply necessary to reference that DLL from within our PipelineConfig.xml file. Unfortunately, neither the Windows 10 EULA, nor the WDK EULA provide information as to how Microsoft treats referencing the DLLs that are already available as part of a typical Windows installation.

    Would it be possible for anyone to confirm that such use of the DLL would be legally acceptable?

    Many thanks!

    Friday, August 4, 2017 6:13 PM

Answers

  • For a legal opinion, you'll have to ask your lawyer. I am not a lawyer, but I note that tens of thousands of companies have been writing software for Windows and other Microsoft operating systems for the better part of 40 years, and I've never heard of anyone being sued by Microsoft for using software (DLLs, drivers, etc.) supplied as part of the operating system. Think about it another way: what possible benefit could Microsoft derive from such a predatory practice? If they did, no one would use their operating systems. No one uses Windows because it is cool; people use it to solve a wide variety of problems, and Microsoft recognizes that third-party software and hardware are part of the solution.

     -Brian


    Azius Developer Training www.azius.com Windows device driver, internals, security, & forensics training and consulting. Blog at www.azius.com/blog

    Sunday, August 6, 2017 11:56 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • For a legal opinion, you'll have to ask your lawyer. I am not a lawyer, but I note that tens of thousands of companies have been writing software for Windows and other Microsoft operating systems for the better part of 40 years, and I've never heard of anyone being sued by Microsoft for using software (DLLs, drivers, etc.) supplied as part of the operating system. Think about it another way: what possible benefit could Microsoft derive from such a predatory practice? If they did, no one would use their operating systems. No one uses Windows because it is cool; people use it to solve a wide variety of problems, and Microsoft recognizes that third-party software and hardware are part of the solution.

     -Brian


    Azius Developer Training www.azius.com Windows device driver, internals, security, & forensics training and consulting. Blog at www.azius.com/blog

    Sunday, August 6, 2017 11:56 PM
    Moderator
  • Adding PDFRENDERFILTER.DLL to '*-manifest.ini', there is an error during build of an V4 printer driver:
    error 8651: (DE22.23.8651) PDFRENDERFILTER.DLL is not supported for the 3rd party driver in Windows 10
    Probably a hint, that it does not behave quite conforming also from a technical point of view - though in principle/practice it seems possible to use it as a pipeline filter.
      
     
    With kind regards
    Monday, August 20, 2018 9:08 AM