For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Tue Aug 21 20:20:10 UTC 2007

Chris Fagan wrote:
> A design goal of the MS-PL is to allow developers to choose to ensure
> that the specific rights in Section (2) continue to be available to
> downstream developers and users through generations of adoption and
> adaptation.

The phrase "the specific rights [...] continue to be available to [...]
users through  generations of adoption and adaptation" reminds me of
"anyone who redistributes the software, with or without changes, must
pass along the freedom to further copy and change it."

The latter quote is from the FSF's definition of copyleft.  Your
reasoning for this requirement is essentially that you want the license
to have a form of copyleft (with the significant exception that binary
forks are possible).  I find this increasingly strange for a license you
call permissive.

The traditional justification for permissive licenses is that they are
compatible with as many licensing choices as possible, and certainly
*not* that "specific rights continue to be available".

Matt Flaschen

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