Subject: Re: For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License
From: Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen@gatech.edu>
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 00:52:50 -0400

Philippe Verdy wrote:
> 
> Chris Travers [mailto:chris.travers@gmail.com] wrote :
>> Speaking to Microsoft:  One opportunity Microsoft might have
>> out of this might be to develop a logo program for certifying
>> that applications are releasing code under these liceses in
>> return for allowing them to use a logo which would clearly
>> communicate this in commercial sales. 
> 
> This could require changing the licence itself, because it would add a
> obligation to commercial users,

No change to the license would be necessary, since the logo would be
optional.  However, this is a huge hypothetical since Microsoft has
expressed no interest in this plan.

This is speculation completely without evidence.  The trademark
situation with MS-PL is the same as with most other licenses (Apple
Public Source License, IBM Public License, Intel Open Source License, etc.).

> this law is explicitly cited in the Microsoft licence
> itself, when it states that the licence is not a trademark licence.

Almost no OSI-approved licenses include trademark licenses.  That's not
a problem.  Moreover, that clause was most likely inserted because of a
possible trademark for the program.  Thus, if I put ProgramFoo under
MS-PL and someone else forks it, they may have to come up with a new
name (e.g. ProgramBar) while keeping the same license.  That's true for
other licenses too.

> So Microsoft could go the other way: not stating anything about its own
> trademark

That's what they're doing.  They're not giving you any special rights so
existing law governs.

There is no trademark problem with the Microsoft licenses that OSI has
to solve and I see no obstacles to approval.

Matt Flaschen