Monday, May 12, 2008

Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL)

This Microsoft license allows for distribution of derived code so long as the modified source files are included and retain the Ms-RL. The Ms-RL allows those files in the distribution that do not contain code originally licensed under Ms-RL to be licensed according to the copyright holder's choosing. This is equivalent to the CDDL or LGPL (GPL with a typical "linking exception"). Initially known as the Microsoft Community License, it was renamed during the OSI approval process.

On December 9, 2005, the Ms-RL license was submitted to the Open Source Initiative for approval by John Cowan. OSI then contacted Microsoft and asked if they wanted OSI to proceed. Microsoft replied that they did not wish to be reactive and that they needed time to review such a decision.

At the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in July 2007, Bill Hilf, director of Microsoft's work with open source projects, announced that Microsoft had formally submitted Ms-PL and Ms-RL to OSI for approval. It was approved on October 12, 2007 along with the Ms-PL. According to the Free Software Foundation, it is a free software license. However, unlike the Microsoft Public License, it is not compatible with the GNU GPL.

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