Subject: Re: For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License
From: "Michael Tiemann" <tiemann@opensource.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 16:06:54 -0400
Mon, 24 Sep 2007 16:06:54 -0400
On 9/22/07, Alexander Terekhov <alexander.terekhov@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> On 9/16/07, Chris Travers <chris.travers@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Since the board is still considering this license, I wanted to provide
> some
> > information from my research that might help with this decision.
> >
> > One of the main issues people have on this list is the idea that other
> > existing permissive licenses allow sublicensing.
> >
> > I am not a layer, but I believe that this is wrong as a matter of intent
> > licenses such as the BSD-licenses and the that it is also wrong as a
> matter
> > of law.  In fact, most permissive licenses do not allow for sublicensing
> and
> > force the licnese to follow the original copyrightable elements
> (including
> > but not limited to code).


If the sublicensing is not required, then the safe harbour makes them feel
permissive.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2185919,00.asp
> (OSI Calls for Major Revisions to Microsoft Permissive License)


I did not write this headline, and would not have characterized my comments
as justifying such a headline.  I didn't call for anything, I gave a summary
of what I read on license-discuss.

--------
> The MS-PL is also particularly restrictive, and is "uniquely
> incompatible" with the maximum number of other open-source licenses,
> Tiemann said, noting that in its examination of license proliferation,
> the OSI had encouraged experimentation with license terms to encourage
> new ones to be written that were better than what currently existed.
>
> "We certainly don't want to presume that we have already invented
> everything there is to be invented. However, the specific innovation
> of maximum incompatibility of the MS-PL is not what we were looking
> for, so I think what we have is a submission that has two fairly major
> strikes against it," Tiemann said.
> --------
>
> Question to OSI Board of Directors:
>
> What is he (Mr. Tiemann) smoking and where can I get some?


I was reading comments from a threat titled ",*License compatibility of
MS-PL and MS-CL (Was: (RE: Groklaw's OSI item (was: When will CPAL actually
be _used_?))"* which included this comment from *Jim Thatcher*, Of Counsel,
*Woodcock Washburn LLP*:

*Q7. Then this really isn't a "permissive" license, is it?*

A. It's clear from this discussion that the term "permissive" in this
context has a specific meaning to many. This is not really a legal issue,
but the business folks at Microsoft have heard this feedback, and will
continue to listen to the community to understand the issues that matter
most to developers. Microsoft will carefully consider the concerns that have
been raised regarding the title of the Ms-PL.
And many other comments from the thread.  Again, I didn't call on Microsoft
to do anything.  I just pointed out what I believed to be a widely held
consensus, which is that the name and nature of the Microsoft Permissive
License are not yet constructed in a way that makes them a compelling
extension of the cadre of OSI-approved licenses.  The fact that Microsoft
has acknowledged that consensus and is discussing it is a great sign that
the license-discuss process is working, not that I'm smoking anything.

M


On 9/22/07, Alexander Terekhov <alexander.terekhov@gmail.com> wrote:
On 9/16/07, Chris Travers <chris.travers@gmail.com> wrote:
> Since the board is still considering this license, I wanted to provide some
> information from my research that might help with this decision.
>
> One of the main issues people have on this list is the idea that other
> existing permissive licenses allow sublicensing.
>
> I am not a layer, but I believe that this is wrong as a matter of intent
> licenses such as the BSD-licenses and the that it is also wrong as a matter
> of law.  In fact, most permissive licenses do not allow for sublicensing and
> force the licnese to follow the original copyrightable elements (including
> but not limited to code).

If the sublicensing is not required, then the safe harbour makes them feel permissive.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2185919,00.asp
(OSI Calls for Major Revisions to Microsoft Permissive License)

I did not write this headline, and would not have characterized my comments as justifying such a headline.  I didn't call for anything, I gave a summary of what I read on license-discuss.

--------
The MS-PL is also particularly restrictive, and is "uniquely
incompatible" with the maximum number of other open-source licenses,
Tiemann said, noting that in its examination of license proliferation,
the OSI had encouraged experimentation with license terms to encourage
new ones to be written that were better than what currently existed.

"We certainly don't want to presume that we have already invented
everything there is to be invented. However, the specific innovation
of maximum incompatibility of the MS-PL is not what we were looking
for, so I think what we have is a submission that has two fairly major
strikes against it," Tiemann said.
--------

Question to OSI Board of Directors:

What is he (Mr. Tiemann) smoking and where can I get some?

I was reading comments from a threat titled ",License compatibility of MS-PL and MS-CL (Was: (RE: Groklaw's OSI item (was: When will CPAL actually be _used_?))" which included this comment from Jim Thatcher, Of Counsel,
Woodcock Washburn LLP
:

Q7. Then this really isn't a "permissive" license, is it?

A. It's clear from this discussion that the term "permissive" in this context has a specific meaning to many. This is not really a legal issue, but the business folks at Microsoft have heard this feedback, and will continue to listen to the community to understand the issues that matter most to developers. Microsoft will carefully consider the concerns that have been raised regarding the title of the Ms-PL.

And many other comments from the thread.  Again, I didn't call on Microsoft to do anything.  I just pointed out what I believed to be a widely held consensus, which is that the name and nature of the Microsoft Permissive License are not yet constructed in a way that makes them a compelling extension of the cadre of OSI-approved licenses.  The fact that Microsoft has acknowledged that consensus and is discussing it is a great sign that the license-discuss process is working, not that I'm smoking anything.

M