MS-PL/GPL compatibility, was Re: For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License

Tobia Conforto tobia.conforto at
Wed Aug 22 20:56:36 UTC 2007

Chris Travers wrote:
> Jon Rosenberg wrote:
> > Can MS-PL code be redistributed under a different license?:
> >
> > No.  The license states that "If you distribute any portion of the
> > software in source code form, you may do so only under this
> > license…"
> the above condition does not by itself pose a GPL compatibility issue
> unless the license fails to grant some permissions granted by the GPL

...or unless the license forbids you to place the additional
restrictions you need to place, to comply with the GPL.

If I take a MS-PL file and a GPL file, combine them into a derived work
and release it as GPL, the license of the whole work will say, among
other things: "You may copy and distribute the [whole work] ... provided
that you ... accompany it with the complete ... source code."
Thus you are placing restrictions on the MS-PL part that were not there
in the original license.  You have modified its license.  Verboten!

That is, I believe, the point under debate.


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