[Fedora-legal-list] Fedora and MS-PL (Dynamic Language Runtime)

Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
Sun Aug 16 18:22:06 UTC 2009

On Sun, 16 Aug 2009 13:32:38 +0530
Rahul Sundaram <sundaram at fedoraproject.org> wrote:

> On 08/16/2009 08:15 AM, Tom "spot" Callaway wrote:
> > On
> > The MS Public License is acceptable for Fedora, Free but GPL
> > incompatible. I'm adding it to the table now.
> Can you let me know why it is GPL incompatible?
It says:

  If you distribute any portion of the software in source code form, you
  may do so only under this license by including a complete copy of this
  license with your distribution. If you distribute any portion of the
  software in compiled or object code form, you may only do so under a
  license that complies with this license.

We believe that the "only under this license" condition should be
interpreted as a weak copyleft requirement; such requirements are 
customarily considered GPL-incompatible.  We've discussed this with the
Free Software Foundation, which agrees with our interpretation. 

My recollection is that when the MS-PL was submitted for OSI approval,
in the ensuing discussion on license-discuss, the Microsoft legal
representatives made clear that they had designed the license to be
GPL-incompatible. Possibly I'm misremembering. However, Microsoft could
settle the matter by clarifying whether the provision I quoted is a
weak copyleft requirement, or not.

- RF

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