The Microsoft Public License (MS-PL) says:

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.

I'm trying to learn what kinds of things would violate license compliance in this context. Maybe if the newer license reduced the grants of the MS-PL? Or contradicted its conditions, expanded its limitations, or something else? I could use some help clearing it up. Thanks.

1 Answer 1


The clause you quote is 3d).

This clause has to do with relicensing and distribution. In particular, you cannot do anything that renders your distribution in violation of the license. As part of your distribution, you may include additional provisions or restrictions, but you must always note that the MS-PL will always apply to the original licensed code, and that you must always comply with that license.

As an aside, Open Source Stack Exchange is a good place for these questions. Disclaimer: I'm a moderator there :)

  • Thanks, Zizourz. Didn't know about OS SE (got down-voted in Programmers SE, so posted here). In your answer, does that imply the new license must be a superset of MS-PL? Or that MS-PL covers the portions of the product that are original to the MS-PL, and the new portions are free to be licensed as desired?
    – Vimes
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 23:59
  • @JVimes I'm sorry to hear that on Progs :( I'm not sure what you mean by "superset" of the license, but here's what I think you're getting at. The MS-PL covers only the original MS-PL product. It's fairly permissive, so you don't have to worry that much about it either. You can license your own code under whatever license you'd like. I think what I was trying to get at, was that however you license your program as a whole, you need to make sure that you consider the MS-PL too. It's not that big of a deal - you're not dealing with something with large implications like the GPL :)
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 0:04
  • Much thanks! If the MS-PL covers only the original MS-PL product (e.g. a software library I use in my product), then picking/writing a compliant license sounds pretty doable. Appreciate the help. :)
    – Vimes
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 1:02

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