Subject: Re: For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License
From: Matthew Flaschen <>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 01:44:35 -0400

Michael Tiemann wrote:

> Thus, you are interested in having the OSI lead the process by making rulings and
> you craft remedies rather than discussing until a common positive consensus
> is reached.

I think there already is a positive consensus that at least MS-PL (MS-CL
has simply been discussed much less) is OSD-compliant.  The remaining
issues are mostly about the need for and consequences of approving the
license.  I think the main issues mentioned are:

a. Is MS-PL a permissive license?  If not, should OSI ask/require that
it be renamed?

I don't think it's permissive in a meaningful sense, because other
permissive (as the term is generally understood in the FOSS community)
licenses allow incorporating into source code works under other
licenses, provided that the permissive license and copyright notice is
preserved, and MS-PL does not.

Thus, I think Microsoft should rename the license.

b. Will Microsoft carefully distinguish which of their software is Open

I'm glad to hear Microsoft is willing to do so.

c. Is MS-PL duplicative of existing licenses?
d. Is it a vanity license?

I don't think it is duplicative or vanity, primarily because of a.

> It is not the way we have done things in the past, but I am
> open to considering such a procedure.

I would prefer if Microsoft addressed the "permissive" issue now (i.e.
before official board consideration), either by renaming the license or
removing the relevant clause (though the latter may make it duplicative).

Matthew Flaschen