Microsoft threatens legal action against MVP awardee

6 Jun 2007

UK software developer Jamie Cansdale, who received a Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award from Microsoft for his add-on for Microsoft Visual Studio, has now been asked to remove the add-on or face legal action.

Cansdale has been given a deadline of 4pm today to take down his TestDriven.NET add-on following emails from a Microsoft executive, Jason Weber, dating back to December 2005, at first asking to talk to him about his software.

Reasons cited by Microsoft demanding the removal of what it called Cansdale’s “hack” were that the software developer was using reverse engineering or code decompilation.

However, Cansdale claimed that neither of these techniques had been used and that according to a solicitor’s consultation he had not in fact violated any licensing issues.

Following more correspondence urging him to remove the VisualStudio extension, Cansdale noticed that his position as MVP had not been renewed at the request of Weber.

In February of this year, a representative from the Microsoft MVP team for the UK and Ireland, apparently unaware of the ongoing contact with Weber, contacted Cansdale offering him the chance to be considered for an MVP award.

Several days later Cansdale was contacted by the MVP rep again, this time recalling the offer.

Solicitors’ letters followed and Cansdale is currently waiting for Microsoft’s next move on the matter.

By Marie Boran