For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License

Wilson, Andrew andrew.wilson at
Wed Aug 22 16:09:40 UTC 2007

Chris Travers wrote:

> Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen at> wrote: 
>>	Chris Travers wrote:
>>> Note that I am *not* allowed to change the license of BSDL code I
>>> as part of my GPL'd application.  How is the MS-PL different?
>>	You can't remove the BSD license text.  But you can add a
>>	(sublicense).  The latter is not true of MS-PL.
> What exactly do you think a license is?  Under what right do you have
to add one to someone else's code?
> I always thought a license was essentially a grant of permission to do
something that might otherwise be restricted.  To > add a license in
this case would mean?  Are you adding permissions not granted by the
BSDL?  Is that allowed? 
> I don't think that one is allowed to add or remove permissions from
someone else's 
> code unless appropraite copyright have been assigned.

Chris ... many of us have tried to educate you on this issue, and you're
not listening.  BSD is a permissive license.  Everything that is not
under BSD (such as removing the copyright notices, or suing the original
is permitted.  Yes, adding another license in a derivative of BSD code
is permitted
as long as said license doesn't violate the short list of
thou-shalt-nots in BSD.
That's what makes it permissive, for crying out loud.

Your misreading of BSD, I suppose, would not be an issue, except
it is blinding you to a salient point about a license under
review, e.g. MS-PL.  MS-PL is not permissive in the same sense
as BSD, MIT, or Apache, because it does not allow overlaying
a compatible license in a derivative work.  It appears to be
a somewhat new class of license, e.g. a restrictive but non-copyleft

Andy Wilson
Intel open source technology center

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