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

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Thu Aug 23 20:14:12 UTC 2007

Chris Travers wrote:
> On 8/22/07, Tobia Conforto <tobia.conforto at> wrote:
>> It poses a GPL compatibility issue because the license forbids you to
>> redistribute the code (which is not yours) with a different set of
>> permissions than those you received it with: not with more permissions
>> (which even you don't have), not with less permissions (doing so would
>> take away from the code some rights that they want preserved.)
> GPL v2 is clear in stating that parts of the work may be included if they
> are under more permissive licenses, and that the license of the work as a
> whole is what matters.

Right, and the MS-PL forbids being included in a work with a different
"license [as a whole]."  This was made clear in the submission email,
which says, "The MS-PL license explicitly prohibits relicensing of the
original licensed code under a different license, regardless of whether
the original code is redistributed in whole, in part or as /part of a
different piece of software./" [emphasis added].  It can not be part of
a work that is GPL as a whole.

Matt Flaschen

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