IronPython – response to comments


I’ve had a few inquiries on the relationship of IronPython to Mono. Technically, IronPython is designed to run on any platform that implements the CLI specification v2.0. We would consider it a bug in IronPython if it didn’t run on a correct implementation of the CLI v2.0. We haven’t tested this release on Mono, but we would expect it to run just fine so long as Mono is a correct and complete implementation of the standard. Since the CLI v2.0 is very new, it wouldn’t be surprising if it took a few months before Mono was completely ready to run IronPython 0.7.

The IronPython license doesn’t include any restrictions on what platforms you can run this code. It is important to note however that it doesn’t grant any rights to the underlying platform. I know, this leads to the question – is Mono legally licensed? It is not our software, you are going to have to ask Novell as they are the leaders of that project.

 

The IronPython license is permissive and is released under our Shared Source Initiative. As I just posted to Rob Menschings blog, Shared Source is an umbrella term that covers the full spectrum of our source releases. 

 

Here is the license in case you haven’t seen it. It should meet just about anyone’s interpretation as to what is “open.”

 

(This is a reprint of a Microsoft-authored license)

Shared Source License for IronPython

 

This license governs use of the accompanying software (“Software”), and your use of the Software constitutes acceptance of this license.

 

You may use the Software for any commercial or noncommercial purpose, including distributing derivative works.

 

In return, we simply require that you agree:

  1. Not to remove any copyright or other notices from the Software.
  2. That if you distribute the Software in source code form you do so only under this license (i.e. you must include a complete copy of this license with your distribution), and if you distribute the Software solely in object form you only do so under a license that complies with this license.
  3. That the Software comes “as is”, with no warranties. None whatsoever. This means no express, implied or statutory warranty, including without limitation, warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or any warranty of title or non-infringement. Also, you must pass this disclaimer on whenever you distribute the Software or derivative works.
  4. That neither Microsoft nor any contributor to the Software will be liable for any of those types of damages known as indirect, special, consequential, or incidental related to the Software or this license, to the maximum extent the law permits, no matter what legal theory it’s based on. Also, you must pass this limitation of liability on whenever you distribute the Software or derivative works.
  5. That if you sue anyone over patents that you think may apply to the Software for a person’s use of the Software, your license to the Software ends automatically.
  6. That the patent rights, if any, granted in this license only apply to the Software, not to any derivative works you make.
  7. That if you are an agency of the U.S. Government, (i) Software provided pursuant to a solicitation issued on or after December 1, 1995, is provided with the commercial license rights set forth in this license, and (ii) Software provided pursuant to a solicitation issued prior to December 1, 1995, is provided with “Restricted Rights” as set forth in FAR, 48 C.F.R. 52.227-14 (June 1987) or DFAR, 48 C.F.R. 252.227-7013 (Oct 1988), as applicable.
  8. That your rights under this License end automatically if you breach it in any way.
  9. That all rights not expressly granted to you in this license are reserved.

 

 

 

 

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Comments (12)

  1. $Name says:

    [QUOTE]

    That the patent rights, if any, granted in this license only apply to the Software, not to any derivative works you make.

    [/QUOTE]

    So, you can do what you like with this, and 5 years down the line we can sue you to high heaven?

    I don’t think so. Obviously relicensing third-party patents is hard. Why not make it clear that Microsoft will not sue anyone using a derivative of this for violating its OWN patents?

    And then you wonder why "the community" doesn’t take you seriously.

  2. In an earlier entry, you implied that the license for this would be similar to the BSD:

    <blockquote>The license we are using for this release is based on the BSD model of licensing. We worked hard to keep this license short and straight-forward. Like all BSD derivative licenses, this one gives the right to modify and redistribute the code commercially. There are no mandatory reciprocal terms – it is a permissive license.</blockquote>

    This license is not similar to the BSD in several very important ways:

    The most important: The license makes this software another piece in the increasingly one-sided game of MAD called patents. Take this scenereo: I create a derived work from this, which I wish to sell support contracts on. Whoops, that’s a derived work, Microsoft sues me for patent infringment, since the patent rights didn’t transfer to derived works per clause 6. Even better, if it turns out that Microsoft folds the source for the bit of it that /I/ have patented back into the mainstream, I can’t sue them; if I try I’m in violation of clause 5 and can no longer distribute my product. Doesn’t seem like a very symmetric relationship to me; it sounds like one that is distinctly in the favor of Microsoft.

    (OK, an unimportant way.) This license puts Microsoft implicitly at a higher position then other contributors: "That neither Microsoft nor any contributor". Is Microsoft not a contributor? Would not "any contributor" have the same meaning? People liked it little enough when the Netscape Public License did that — so much so that the code was later relicensed in it’s entirety two sepperate times — and NS has a lot more community goodwill then MS does. (This is not difficlt; used bubble-gum has more community goodwill then MS does.)

    It does not give anyone the ability to offer support contracts, unless they have the ability to relicense (for which see below). Clause three of the license says it comes with none, and explicitly says that you can’t remove that section (which is redundant as clause two of the license already says that). (Whoops, there goes the busniess model from my first complaint!)

    It does not give you the permission to relicense the code under less permissive terms. It’s perfectly legal to take BSD’d code, modify it, and re-release it under the terms of the GPL, or some other similar license, so long as you do not remove "…the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer". This allows one to simplfy the legal mumbo-jumbo by distributing an entire bundle under one license.

  3. Swaroop C H says:

    Thank you for responding so quickly :)

    Clause 2 is interesting in particular since it is more GPL-like than BSD-like, as James already mentions.

  4. "That the patent rights, if any, granted in this license only apply to the Software, not to any derivative works you make."

    I interpreted this line as, "We may let you use some technology we have patented in *THIS* software product, but you are not allowed to use this patented technology *OUT* of this software product, by means of deriviation or otherwise."

    Is that correct?

  5. Sriram says:

    The question that most of us have is – clause 2 says "license that complies with this license". A bit of clarification is required on what are the licenses that are compliant. So, for example, can IronPython code be used in a GPL-project?

  6. Lon Ingram says:

    I like the license. It seems fair. What does bother me a little bit is the chatty nature of the prose. It reminds me of my old snipe at macs. To wit: If I wanted my computer to smile at me I would make it do so. If I wanted my license to chat with me I would make it do so. On the other hand, the informal nature does not seem to detract from/affect the actual legal nature of the text. Seems a little marketroid. Was this written by a developer with a law degree? I suspect it was a marketing drone with a lawyer in consultation. Small quible, yes. Just pointing it out.

    Unrelated: Do you actually respond to these comments in any forum other than a new post? You do realize that you can do that? That to respond in such a way would be a little more in line with the whole blog way of doing things?

    lawn

  7. ap says:

    My company using Python and we loved IronPython – inititially.

    Yesterday our lawers invited us to company-wide meeting and

    discuss if will use IronPython or not. Decision was made:

    until IronPython will not have the license approved by Open Source

    community, like BSD or whatever, we cannot use it. Implication of

    that is that we will use CPython & Linux in our production environment

    as oppose to other option: IronPython, Windows and .NET

    I know other 2 companies in MA and 3 in CA which wil do the same.

    ap, a01720@gmail.com

  8. I don’t buy your rationale about the IronPython license and the OSI being "anti-Microsoft." That’s a cop out.

    If the IronPython license complies with the OSI open source definition, then EITHER it will be added to the OSI-approved list of licenses, or there will be tons of public controversy about OSI betraying its own ideals.

    However, if you don’t get the IronPython licensed under the OSI, then people will assume that the IronPython license has a problem that makes it be incompatible with the OSI open source definition. The OSI people have a good track record; Microsoft does not. Who should we trust? It’s a no brainer.

    There’s no way I would use IronPython without it being OSI approved. EOF.

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  12. inflect Bath says:

    I’ve had a few inquiries on the relationship of IronPython to Mono.&nbsp;Technically, IronPython is designed to run on any platform that implements the CLI specification v2.0.&nbsp;We would consider it a bug in IronPython if it didn’t run on a correct implementation of the CLI v2.0.&nbsp;We haven’t tested this release on Mono, but we would expect it to run just fine so long as Mono is a correct and complete implementation of the standard.&nbsp;Since the CLI v2.0 is very new, it wouldn’t be surprising if it took a few months before Mono was completely ready to run IronPython 0.7.

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