For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License

Mahesh T. Pai paivakil at
Sun Dec 11 07:31:30 UTC 2005

I think this license is not OSI compliant because ...

John Cowan said on Fri, Dec 09, 2005 at 04:07:05PM -0500,:

 > Microsoft Permissive License (Ms-PL)
 > Published: October 18, 2005
 > This license governs use of the accompanying software. If you use the
 > software, you accept this license. If you do not accept the license,
 > do not use the software.

 > 1. Definitions
 > The terms "reproduce", "reproduction", and "distribution" have the same
 > meaning here as under U.S. copyright law.

Violates  #5 by  applying  US  law to  persons  and/or situations  not
concerned with the US legal system.  Suppose somebody based in England
applies this license to his software and distributes it to a person in
Germany  using  a server  based  somewhere  in  Russia, it  is  highly
unlikely  that the  English courts  will accept  the US  definition of
these  terms.   (Not  that  there  is likely  to  be  any  significant
difference in the definitions, but still...)

 > "You" means the licensee of the software.
 > "Licensed patents" means any Microsoft patent claims which read directly
 > on the software as distributed by Microsoft under this license.
 > 2. Grant of Rights
 > (A) Copyright Grant- Subject to the terms of this license, including the
 > license conditions and limitations in section 3, Microsoft grants you a
 > non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free copyright license to reproduce

Violates #7.

If X  takes software from  Microsoft and distributes  modified copies,
this `grant'  does not cover X's  modifications. X will have  to use a
different licence.

Therefore, there is a need for ``execution of an additional license by
those parties.'' I do not think  that #7 was intended for this type of
situation. But  this license  is so Microsoft  centric that  any other
person / entity simply cannot  make a distribution under this license,
unless  another  license is  attached  to  modifications  made by  the
intermediate party. 

IMO, there is  no violation of #3, but going by  text of this license,
grants  under this license  do not  apply to  modifications made  by a
non-Microsoft entity.

 > the software, prepare derivative works of the software and distribute
 > the software or any derivative works that you create.
 > (B) Patent Grant- Subject to the terms of this license, including the
 > license conditions and limitations in section 3, Microsoft grants you
 > a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent license under licensed
 > patents to make, have made, use, practice, sell, and offer for sale,
 > and/or otherwise dispose of the software or derivative works of the
 > software.

Same as in 2(A). 

 > 3. Conditions and Limitations
 > (A) No Trademark License- This license does not grant you any rights to
 > use Microsoft's name, logo, or trademarks.
 > (B) If you begin patent litigation against Microsoft over patents that you
 > think may apply to the software (including a cross-claim or counterclaim
 > in a lawsuit), your license to the software ends automatically.
 > (C) If you distribute copies of the software or derivative works, you
 > must retain all copyright, patent, trademark, and attribution notices
 > that are present in the software.
 > (D) If you distribute the software or derivative works in source code form
 > you may do so only under this license (i.e., you must include a complete
 > copy of this license with your distribution), and if you distribute the
 > software or derivative works in compiled or object code form you may
 > only do so under a license that complies with this license.

 > (E) The software is licensed "as-is". You bear the risk of using
 > it. Microsoft gives no express warranties, guarantees or conditions. You
 > may have additional consumer rights under your local laws which this
 > license cannot change. To the extent permitted under your local laws,
 > Microsoft excludes the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness
 > for a particular purpose and non-infringement.

Once  again  #7, non-Microsoft  Distributor  will  have  to include  a
different license to exclude his liability.

Mahesh T. Pai

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