BSD and MIT license "compliance" with the MS-PL

saulgoode at saulgoode at
Wed Apr 15 20:53:18 UTC 2009

I have a question about the terms of the Microsoft Public License  
(MS-PL) and the license's compatibility with various other  
OSI-approved license. The section of the MS-PL which I find confusing  
is 3D) wherein the condition is stated, "If you distribute any portion  
of the software in compiled or object code form, you may only do so  
under a license that complies with this license."

It would seem to me that for one license to "comply with" another, it  
should meet the criteria of that other license; i.e., it should both  
permit the actions that the other license permits, and restrict the  
actions that the other license restricts  (indeed, I would consider  
such conditions to be one and the same, merely a matter of the how the  
requirements are worded).

Since one of the criteria of the MS-PL is that a patent grant be  
provided to recipients of the software, and since neither the BSD or  
MIT license provide such a grant, would not this suggest that neither  
of those licenses "comply with" the MS-PL?

I realize that cross-compatibility is not a requirement for license  
approval by the OSI, but I still would be interested in hearing  
opinions on this.

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