For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License
hawkins at cephira.com
Sun Aug 19 20:07:00 UTC 2007
On Sun, 19 Aug 2007, Chris Travers wrote:
> Hmmm.... First GPL v3 section 7b may provide compatibility with BSD-like
> licenses with advertising clauses depending on how obtrusive they are (the
> FSF's comments to this effect seems to indicate that they are concerned about
> proliferation of such advertising notices, not the original notices
> themselves). Thus compatibility with these licenses may be case-by-case.
> IANAL and YMMV....
7b allows "requiring preservation of specified reasonable legal notices or
author attributions in that material or in the Appropriate Legal Notices
displayed by works containing it."
The phrase "that material" refers to an earlier mention of the "material
you add to a covered work". So 7b allows attributions and notices in the
material you add to a covered work and in the notices displayed by the
Advertising that someone else creates for their derived work is not the
material you added to the covered work, and it is not a notice displayed
by the covered work. IANAL, but that doesn't seem to cover the old BSDL
> I have concluded that there are major license
> compatibility problems if a GPL v3 application *requires* components under
> these licenses.
GPL v3 doesn't appear to prevent anyone from releasing their code under
GPL v3 combined with code under an incompatible license. You just can't do
that with someone else's GPL v3 code, because that is not a right that GPL
v3 grants you.
Of course, it would rather pointless for you to do it with your own code
unless you never intend to have anyone create derivative works. They would
be forced to remove either your code or the code under the other license
in order to proceed.
I'd say you are correct in pointing out that GPL v3 creates "major license
compatibility problems", since it is intentionally incompatible with any
license that has weaker copyleft than GPL v3 (which includes many if not
most open source licenses).
> Like many other aspects of the GPL v3, it is hard to say
> whether optional dependencies would be a problem, and it is harder to
> evaluate the MS-PL which may be compatible.
I believe some have claimed that linking to GPL code is not as forbidden
as the FSF would like it to be, so optional dependencies can perhaps be
implemented in that way. I don't see why having something optional via,
say, conditional compilation in the code would be allowed by the GPL
I also don't see how GPL v3 could be compatible with MS-PL, in the sense
of combining code from GPL v3 with code from MS-PL in a single program.
> It seems clear to me that any component falling under the Corresponding
> Source definition must be able to be distributed under terms of which the GPL
> v3 must be either identical or a proper subset. Because the MS-CL provides
> per-file restrictions, I don't see how this could be met.
> The MS-PL is harder for me to evaluate. A lot of it depends on what 7b
> additional terms allow under the GPL v3. The MS-PL could be read as requiring
> the distribution of the license as a legal notice (seems reasonable to me)
> and possibly noting which sections of code are MS-PL-licensed. Again, this
> seems to be in line with the GPL v3 7b options by my reading.
I imagine that maintaining a copy of the MS-PL as a legal notice could be
done under section 7b of GPL v3. Now the question comes down to your
reading of the MS-PL where it says:
"If you distribute any portion of the software in source code form, you
may do so only under this license by including a complete copy of this
license with your distribution."
Your interpretation of the word "by" seems to be equivalent to "which is
accomplished by". I'll let others address that, but I don't think I agree
with your reading. If you take the "by" as indicating that said licensing
is incomplete without including a copy, then there is no way to meet the
requirements of section 5c of GPL v3.
> Again, I don't think this is a problem, and as a developer probably wouldn't
> worry about it. But I could see it being a question when people look at
> trying to split hairs to their own substantial benefit.
Well, I wouldn't worry about it either...I would just assume I can't mix
GPL v3 code with MS-PL code in any useful way.
Donovan Hawkins, PhD "The study of physics will always be
Software Engineer safer than biology, for while the
hawkins at cephira.com hazards of physics drop off as 1/r^2,
http://www.cephira.com biological ones grow exponentially."
More information about the License-discuss