Was the Open Source Initiative right to approve two Microsoft licenses today?
The two licenses, the Microsoft Public License and the Microsoft Recipricol License, both read like baby steps down the open source incline. The first says a patent suit invalidates the license. The second also requires that source code go out with anything containing the licensed code.
Both clauses are meant mainly to protect Microsoft's interests, as opposed to the licensee's interests. Microsoft doesn't want you trying to make a profit by adding your stuff to its stuff. This ain't your daddy's BSD, in other words.
Matt Asay notes that only Microsoft software licensed under one of these two licenses "deserves to be called open source," but I'm more interested in knowing whether the market, as opposed to the OSI, is going to respect these as true open source licenses. Not just in law, but in practice.
Here's my take.
The purpose of any open source license is to give the original creators of the code and those who are licensed to use it equal rights, once the latter becomes a contributor. These two licenses seem to fail that test. They may be open source in fact, but are they open source in spirit?
So you have your homework. Read the license terms carefully. Do they meet with your approval? Would you take code under them? Would you ever license code under them -- I assume you can since they're just contracts.
Let us know below.[poll id=57]