Microsoft and the Creative Commons on Wednesday plan to release a free tool that will let people attach a Creative Commons copyright license to Microsoft Office documents.
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that has written licenses that allow content creators to share information while retaining some rights.
Currently, some Web-based tools let people associate a Creative Commons license with information. But Microsoft is the first vendor to embed a license-selection option inside its applications, said Lawrence Lessig, the founder of the Creative Commons and a Stanford Law School professor.
That is certainly very interesting. I presume that in allowing users to license MS Word documents they are formally reliquishing their own claims to the .doc format?
I think they are doing this to try to "get in with" the open-source collaborative movement in a divide-and-rule strategy. Divide free-licensed but restricted systems (e.g. creative commons) from free-licensed from virtually-unrestricted systems (e.g. GPL). Become the darling of the first crowd and cut off the second crowd from their potential future members.