Subject: Re: For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License
From: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
Date: Sun, 19 Aug 2007 10:14:40 -0400

Donovan Hawkins scripsit:

> That is the mechanism, but since the GPL came first I think it is safe to 
> say that the MS-PL is intentionally incompatible. 

"The devil himself knoweth not the mind of man."  --Justice Brian, 1477

That is, people are responsible for their words and deeds, but not for
their thoughts.

> You both made your choice not to associate with each other and that's
> fine, I never said MS-PL couldn't do that. I said it's not permissive
> and should not be called permissive.

Well, consider this counterevidence, from the FSF licenses page at
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html :

Apache License, Version 1.1

    This is a permissive non-copyleft free software license with a few
    requirements that render it incompatible with the GNU GPL.

Apache License, Version 1.0

    This is a simple, permissive non-copyleft free software license
    with practical problems like those of the original BSD license,
    including incompatibility with the GNU GPL.

Original BSD license

    This is a simple, permissive non-copyleft free software license with a
    serious flaw: the "obnoxious BSD advertising clause". The flaw is not
    fatal; that is, it does not render the software non-free. But it does
    cause practical problems, including incompatibility with the GNU GPL.

Old OpenLDAP License, Version 2.3

    This is a permissive non-copyleft free software license with a few
    requirements (in sections 4 and 5) that render it incompatible with
    the GNU GPL.

XFree86 1.1 License

    This is a simple, permissive non-copyleft free software license,
    incompatible with the GNU GPL because of its requirements that
    apply to all documentation in the distribution that contain
    acknowledgements.

Zope Public License version 1

    This is a simple, fairly permissive non-copyleft free software
    license with practical problems like those of the original BSD
    license, including incompatibility with the GNU GPL.


Note the presence of the Yang Worship Word you are talking about in each
and every one of these entries.  I'd say your complaint is rather too
little, too late.

> I would be willing to wager that few people have ever found themselves 
> unable to use a piece of (3-clause) BSDL software because of a restriction 
> in the license that they were unable to comply with. The same is not true 
> for the GPL nor will it be true for the MS-PL. That is the line I am 
> saying represents the difference between permissive and non-permissive.

    When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,
    "it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less."

> Incidentally, why is public domain not an option? I joined this list 
> recently and haven't heard your discussions in the past on that subject.

Rick's reasons are mine.

> If restrictions like those in MS-PL still count as a permissive license, 
> could we at least reserve a term for the licenses that BSDL that don't 
> tell me, the developer, how I'm supposed to license my derivative code? 

MS-PL doesn't do that either.  It simply requires that you not impose
a license that tries to waive the patent peace clause.  If the GPLed
code in question is your own, you can always add an additional clause
to the GPL either waiving the conflict or imposing the patent peace as
a further restriction.  Or you can use the GPLv3.

> What word means more free than "free" [...]?

Just another word for nothin' left to lose (or give away).

    A cocky novice once said to Stallman: "I can guess why the editor
    is called Emacs, but why is the justifier called Bolio?"  Stallman
    replied forcefully, "Names are but names.  'Emack & Bolio's' is the
    name of a popular ice cream shop in Boston-town.  Neither of these
    men had anything to do with the software."

    His question answered, yet unanswered, the novice turned to go,
    but Stallman called to him, "Neither Emack nor Bolio had anything
    to do with the ice cream shop, either."

-- 
John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>             http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Today an interactive brochure website, tomorrow a global content
management system that leverages collective synergy to drive "outside of
the box" thinking and formulate key objectives into a win-win game plan
with a quality-driven approach that focuses on empowering key players
to drive-up their core competencies and increase expectations with an
all-around initiative to drive up the bottom-line. --Alex Papadimoulis