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To read comments to this article, go here
Someone suggests 2 MS licenses get OSI approval - Updated
Sunday, December 11 2005 @ 06:46 AM EST

This is a very strange story. I don't know what to make of it, so I am putting it out there for the rest of you to figure out. CCIL's John Cowan has posted two Microsoft licenses to license-discuss@opensource.org, suggesting that they be given OSI approval. But he claims to have no connection with Microsoft, which raises some natural questions.

UPDATE: Mr. Cowan has emailed me and says he has no official connection with CCIL either, so I have changed the title of the article.

"Microsoft is adding new licenses to its Shared Source Initiative which I believe qualify as open-source licenses," he writes. The first is the Microsoft Permissive License (MS-PL) and the second is the Microsoft Community License (MS-CL).

Cowan says he believes the licenses should be approved by OSI even though they are "basically similar to more widely used weak-reciprocal licenses, because it is better to encourage Microsoft in particular to release under an OSI-approved license than not -- I think it very unlikely that they will go back and adopt some existing license." Others are not agreeing and are bringing up license proliferation issues as well as questions about his authority to act. The complete threads are here and here. I have written to Mr. Cowan and will let you know what I learn further.


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