[Update 2006-08-17: Lance Olson from Microsoft has let me know that the EULA will be updated and that blogging about the ADO.NET vNext CTP is encouraged by Microsoft. I have left my blog post from yesterday unchanged below.]
Is blogging about the ADO.NET vNext CTP illegal?
I am known among colleagues to read the fine print in license agreements and such. Maybe I have become even more suspicious of such agreements after reading through numerous fine printed terms and conditions for mortgages (I recently bought an apartment).
Today I installed the ADO.NET vNext CTP that was released yesterday by Microsoft. Before installing I had to agree to the license agreement. To my surprise this license agreement contained the following:
5. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION. The software, including its user interface, features and documentation, is confidential and proprietary to Microsoft and its suppliers.
a. Use. For five years after installation of the software or its commercial release, whichever is first, you may not disclose confidential information to third parties. You may disclose confidential information only to your employees and consultants who need to know the information. You must have written agreements with them that protect the confidential information at least as much as this agreement.
b. Survival. Your duty to protect confidential information survives this agreement.
I guess blogging on a web site that is publicly accessible amounts to disclosing information to third parties. So blogging about the ADO.NET vNext CTP would violate this license agreement.
Clearly this is absurd, given that Microsoft has released the CTP for anyone to download and has published a set of whitepapers about ADO.NET vNext. P.J. van de Sande has a list of links to ADO.NET vNext resources on his blog. The introductory text on his post is in Dutch, but the list is in English.