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

Zac Bowling zac at
Sun Aug 26 20:49:05 UTC 2007

On 8/26/07, Donovan Hawkins <hawkins at> wrote:

> You'll notice that there is only one GPL v3, yet there can be many
> different additional permissions or restrictions (though it would have
> been nice if LGPL and Affero could have both been done via the same
> mechanism).

That would of been awesome if it worked like that.

> There should be only one permissive license with a set of
> pre-defined restrictions for adding disclaimers, attributions, etc. That
> one license could replace all the permissive licenses and still ensure
> downstream compatibility with licenses like GPL as long as only the
> pre-approved restrictions are used.

That is an awesome idea. Someone should spearhead a movement to do
something like that.

I just had a really silly thought. It's almost like we need to design
licenses like we do classes in object orriented programming. Basically
license inheirtance. Some fields and functions could be marked as
final/sealed and some fields and functions could be marked as
abstract/virtual. The license could be dynamically typed or staticlly
typed, but always have to be cloneable. At runtime, exceptions could
be thrown or error codes returned if you voilated it by using it
incorrectly and and your license object could be deleted and freed.

Zac Bowling

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