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

Tzeng, Nigel H. Nigel.Tzeng at
Sun Apr 19 02:10:09 UTC 2009

>From: Matthew Flaschen [matthew.flaschen at]
>Do you think permissive licensors like Theo de Raadt are uninformed or
>can't afford legal advice?  

Theo has been described many different ways but stupid isn't one of them.  An existing project can't change their license in this way without excessive drama and I don't think Theo would be inclined to go this route anyway.  So I wasn't thinking of him but rather new projects.  Odd that you should bring him up though.  Well, maybe not so odd.

I'm going to guess that most folks pick licenses based on the licenses of projects they've worked on or used more than anything else.  This is why pretty much all non-Microsoft MS-PL projects will be .NET or XNA ones.  Fewer of those would have been GPL anyway so this clustering and the license itself has little impact on the rest of the open source world.

Choose a different nexus and the impact could be different.  I think that statement should be easy to agree on. 
>If they wanted a license like this, they would have asked for it long ago.  
>But they didn't, because it goes against their core principles.   Perhaps 
>instead of vague implications, you could suggest a licensor that wanted 
>this but was too dull to ask, and is also irrationally scared of the MS name.

It's a permissive open source license approved by the OSI.  In what way does it go against our core principles?  Because my belief is that the core principle for permissive license users is to write (hopefully good) code that other folks use and skip the politics, manifestos and drama as much as (humanly) possible.  Switching to a permissive copyleft license would cause unnecessary drama.  Starting with a permissive copyleft license probably wouldn't.  It does create another stovepipe and copyleft is inherently annoying in that way so most folks wouldn't bother.  Even fewer because it's a MS license and most projects using that license are .NET centric.

Whether you think hatred of MS doesn't exist or is irrational I leave for you to debate with someone else.

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