For Approval: Microsoft Community License

Chris Travers chris.travers at
Wed Aug 22 00:49:24 UTC 2007

On 8/21/07, Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen at> wrote:
> Nils Labugt wrote:
> > 3(a) appears to affect other code that is statically (but not
> > dynamically) linked in, so I don't think that the term "weak copyleft"
> > should apply to this license.
> Well, if you distribute in source code form, you can keep your code in
> separate files under separate licenses and still statically link.  You
> can even make it trivial for the user to compile, but can't actually
> distribute linked binaries.  Personally, I do think this situation is a
> bit absurd.

Section 3a says: "(A) Reciprocal Grants- For any file you distribute that
contains code from the software (in source code or binary format), you must
provide recipients the source code to that file along with a copy of this
license, which license will govern that file. You may license other files
that are entirely your own work and do not contain code from the software
under any terms you choose."

Hmmm...  This seems to me to be an attempt by Microsoft to rebuild the GPL
but with clearer boundaries.  The quest for clarity, while admirable seems
to raise a lot of difficult to resolve.  While I don't see it iolating the
OSD, it seems that this is one case where simplicty may lead to

Furthermore, I am not sure that dynamic linking would be safe for things
like C++ applications because header files under this license would be
clearly viral.

I suppose however it isn't that different from the way people usually look
at the GPL....

Matt Flaschen
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