For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License

John.Cowan jcowan at
Sun Dec 11 07:05:09 UTC 2005

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. scripsit:

> but the Ms-PL is troubling for a couple of reasons. The Ms-PL does not 
> explicitly grant a right of access to source code.  On this point, I would 
> expect Microsoft to be at least as clear and explicit as IBM is in the IBM 
> Public License. 

I consider that to be an unimportant corner case.  One can release an opaque
block of binary bits under the BSD or MIT or Apache licenses, but the resulting
work is not open source because the source is not available.  The licenses
themselves do nothing to prevent this result, however.

OSD #2 is very different from the other clauses of the OSD.  All the others
specify what the license shall or shall not contain; OSD #2 is a constraint
on the licensor to make source code available.  If there's no source code,
the result isn't open source, and it doesn't matter what license you use.

> example, the phrase "only do so under a license that complies with this 
> license" does not seem all that permissive to me. 

I interpret that in the same way as the similar comment in the AFL 3.0
(which I persuaded Larry to insert): the license must not *contradict*
the provisions of the Ms-PL.

Principles.  You can't say A is         John Cowan <jcowan at>
made of B or vice versa.  All mass
is interaction.  --Richard Feynman

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