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

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Thu Aug 23 20:10:23 UTC 2007

Chris Travers wrote:

> The essence of 5c is really this: "You must license the entire work, as a
> whole, under this License.... This License gives no permission to license
> the work in any other way, but it does not invalidate such permission if you
> have separately received it."

The essence of the clause is what it says: that the "entire work, as a
whole" is "under [the GPL]".  This does mean that permissive (e.g. BSD,
MIT) code, when it is part of a GPL whole, is restricted by the GPL's
copyleft; this is the purpose.  MS-PL says, "If you distribute any
portion of the software in source code form, you may do so only under
[the MS-PL]".

The whole point: MS-PL code can not be  "under [the GPL]" and "only
under [the MS-PL]".  This is a fundamental conflict that makes it
impossible to include MS-PL code in a GPL work.

Matt Flaschen

More information about the License-discuss mailing list