License compatibility of MS-PL and MS-CL (Was: (RE: Groklaw's OSI item (was: When will CPAL actually be _used_?))

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Aug 23 13:05:08 UTC 2007

Michael Tiemann scripsit:

> Today in San Francisco, several OSI folks are meeting to talk about a
> License Wizard--a program designed to identify licenses compatible with
> specific criteria, although the scope may also expand to identifying
> compatible/incompatible licensing combinations.

Allow me to point you and those people to my personal licensing wizard at .  It's been around for years, and the
policies in it are not necessarily anyone's but my own.  Still, it may
be useful to someone.

> That said, a license submitted to the OSI that is not compatible with
> the one license that attempts to be maximally compatible, and which
> many in the community believe to be The One Compatible License (well,
> MIT could claim that, too), such approval would be disruptive to that
> copy-center position.

I do not believe that the MS-PL is BSD-incompatible in any relevant sense;
see my last posting for an explication.

> I think that this is a case where the proper next step is
> to take Microsoft up on their offer to discuss these points and see if we
> cannot address this particular case of license incompatibility.  

I don't think there's anything to address.  You can make derivative
works from the MS-PL and license them as you see fit, open-source or
proprietary.  You can incorporate MS-PL works into collective works, if
you subscribe to the theory that a source tarball is a collective work
(and I don't see what else it could reasonably be).

Long-short-short, long-short-short / Dactyls in dimeter,     John Cowan
Verse form with choriambs / (Masculine rhyme):           cowan at
One sentence (two stanzas) / Hexasyllabically
Challenges poets who / Don't have the time.     --robison who's at texas dot net

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