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

saulgoode at saulgoode at
Fri Apr 17 23:30:29 UTC 2009

Quoting Chuck Swiger <chuck at>:

> You are right that one could not take some code under the MS-PL,
> combine with code under the BSD license, and release the combination
> under the BSD license alone, because that would not comply with the
> obligations mentioned in the MS-PL; however, there is nothing in either
> of the BSD or MIT licenses which forbids you from combining software
> under such terms with software under the MS-PL, and releasing that
> combination as a whole under the terms of the MS-PL instead.

To release that combination as a whole under the terms of the MS-PL  
instead, one would be required to offer a patent grant to recipients.  
While there is nothing prohibiting anyone from doing so, only the  
patent holders themselves are empowered to offer such a grant.

I would conclude from this that, while either of the BSD and MIT  
licenses is not in and of itself incompatible with the MS-PL, such  
licensing is not sufficient to attain compatibility. (I am consciously  
employing the word "compatibility" here because the MS-PL terms demand  
"compliance", making non-compliance equate to incompatibility.)

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