Microsoft Permissive/Public License

Topics: Developer Forum, User Forum
Nov 4, 2012 at 8:02 AM

Am I able to produce code for a game which uses the Farseer engine and release my code under a license other than the Ms-PL? My concern is the follow section from the license:

3 (D) 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.

Nov 4, 2012 at 6:26 PM
Edited Nov 4, 2012 at 6:26 PM

I believe that you should contact a lawyer that is familiar with the law of your country. Still I would say that the MS-PL is a very permissive license. "The software" in the license would be Farseer. So as long as you distribute Farseer w/o modifications under the MS-PL or if just the Farseer dlls under a license compatible with the MS-PL you are OK. Your own code can be under any license you want theoretically including and above all proprietary licenses. Also you don't have to distribute the source code of Farseer.

There is a caveat, though. Note that this is not valid the other way round. For example the GPL is not compatible with the MS-PL. So if you use GPL-ed code and hence your own code must be under the GPL you cannot use MS-PL code at the same time since the GPL requires all derivative and combined works to fall under the GPL as well (that would mean the Farseer code would have to be relicensed under the GPL).

In practice the GPL (and some related licenses) are made in such a way that you cannot "bypass" them. Although this is debatable (and the debate has been going for years) the safest way is to keep to one license model and not use cross-licenses when the GPL and similar are involved.

Nov 5, 2012 at 1:54 AM

Thanks jerry! That answers my question.