For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License
matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Tue Aug 21 19:51:09 UTC 2007
Chris Travers wrote:
> AFAICS, the GPL does not mandate relicensing any code taken in from
> other contributors under other licenses as long as derivatives of the
> GPL itself either as the work as a whole or of derivative components.
The exact requirement (GPLv2 here since it is OSI-approved) is to cause
the work "to be licensed as a whole at no charge to all third parties
under the terms of this License." IANAL, but my interpretation is that
MS-PL code can not be part of a GPL "whole",
> In other words, if I include 3 files from BSDL libraries, I am not
> required to try to copyleft those files even if I make changes to them
> which are not derivative of GPLd code.
You don't have to copyleft the BSD code per se, but again, the work as a
whole must be copyleft under GPLv2.
The redistribution requirements
> on these licenses (in terms of the patent termination clause) conflict
> with the GPL v2, but not the GPL v3.
There's no patent termination clause in BSD. You're thinking of Apache 2.0.
> Therefore I would think one could not use code under these licenses in
> GPL v2 projects because one cannot guarantee downstream patent licenses
> to the extent required by that license.
I actually didn't think about this issue. This may be another
compatibility problem for GPLv2, but I still think the original
requirement I stated (absolutely no relicensing) is fatal for both GPLv2
> In short, I don't see how a GPL v3 application
> requiring a library under either of these licenses would be a problem
> unless those libraries were modified to depend on GPL v3 code.
If the GPLv3 code and the MS-PL code form a single work, then the MS-PL
code must be part of the GPLv3 whole, which is not permitted by MS-PL.
Of course, if you argue they're linking at arms length, and don't form a
single derivative work; then the copyleft clause of the GPL wouldn't
require the MS-PL code to be GPL. But this is essentially an exception.
As a rule I believe MS-PL is not compatible with GPL, which in my
opinion makes it fairly restrictive for a "permissive" license.
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