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I'm working with a new plugin (flexbox), and I ran into the MS-PL license, which I had not run into before.

In the past, I've used mainly MIT and Apache licensed projects, so I have no idea what the main differences are with this one.

Here's a link to it: http://opensource.org/licenses/MS-PL

Can anyone help explain the differences to me? I'm usually wary of Microsoft, so the fact that this product comes with this makes me nervous.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jan 28 '13 at 16:16

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The FSF classifies MS-PL as free (i.e., according their four freedoms), and weakly copyleft (which generally means some derived works are copyleft and other are not; here it means that source redistributions are copyleft and object/compiled redistributions are not.) I'm not 100% sure what restrictions do exist on object redistributions, though, so I won't answer. –  apsillers Jan 28 '13 at 16:30
    
Oh okay, that clarifies some things. I'm trying to avoid copyleft in this project, so I was hoping it didn't include it. –  streetlight Jan 28 '13 at 16:46
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Licensing is a mess. Please, keep things simple by sticking to MIT if you don't want copyleft and GPL/LGPL if you do. Thanks. –  Jan Hudec Jan 29 '13 at 7:52
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I've encountered the same kind of issue. I just steered clear and used a different library. IANAL, but the gist of it sounds to me like LGPL in the whole "copies of the source, must come with this license, but if you link to it, it doesn't matter". Idk, if you're working on a commercial project, I'd pony up and ask a lawyer if it's safe (and be extra awesome and post what they say here!) –  Earlz Jan 30 '13 at 7:34
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This is a useful site for software licenses: tldrlegal.com/license/microsoft-public-license-(ms-pl) –  Overv Jan 30 '13 at 10:10
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There's a pretty good answer on Stack Overflow: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1424307/how-does-ms-pl-license-work

There's also a decent article on CMS Wire: http://www.cmswire.com/cms/web-development/taking-a-closer-look-at-microsofts-mspl-open-source-license-004248.php

The short version of those is essentially that code under this license can be used or modified freely by anybody. If you choose to use or modify code released under this license, it must be provided under the same license. So if you use a library in a project, the rest of the project doesn't need to be distributed under that license, but the library does. And if you make modifications to the code under MS-PL, those modifications must also follow that license.

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Could you please incorporate the information in the links into your answer? Link only answers become much less useful if the original material moves or is removed. –  MichaelT Feb 13 '13 at 18:36
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Done! I've summarized the content of those links. –  Rocket04 Feb 13 '13 at 19:18
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