Question on licensing when including in install program file

Topics: Developer Forum
Oct 11, 2007 at 10:56 AM
We are planning to use PageMethods.dll (as a standalone, unchanged file) in a commercial product and there seems a little ambiguity in the license, which I hope someone might comment on or clear up.

The license says: "For any file you distribute that contains code from the software (in source code or binary format), you must provide recipients the source code to that file along with a copy of this license, which license will govern that file. You may license other files that are entirely your own work and do not contain code from the software under any terms you choose."

We are distributing the PageMethods.dll file and lots of our own files that call it and do other things. So on one level this seems clear.

However in order to distribute the program, we are wrapping all the files into an install program (PageMethods.dll and a series of other files) in a conventional way. My concern is that we are then making a larger file which itself includes PageMethods and so to use this program, we'd have to provide the source to everything else, just because we are making a file that installs it all together. So potentially we'd have to distribute PageMethods.dll as one file and the rest of our product as another file (which would be a pain for users).

I'm sure that this is not intended, and that lots of other people who use PageMethods.dll and other Microsoft community license programs provide them in a zip or install program, can anyone comment or help clear this up.
Coordinator
Oct 24, 2007 at 12:34 PM
Hello,

I'm not an expert in licenses. I chose the Ms-CL license because it seemed simple. Well, it looks that either it's too simple or too restrictive.
In any case, I don't intend to refrain anyone from packaging the PageMethods DLL in zip of msi archives.

By the way, Microsoft's licenses have just been approved by the OSI. At this occasion, the license names have changed. The Microsoft Community License (Ms-CL) is now the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL). I've reflected that for PageMethods on CodePlex.

As far as I can tell, the content of the license has not changed. Only the name.
The following page has more information about the license, but it is even more confusing: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/licensingbasics/sharedsourcelicenses.mspx#ERC
I hope Microsoft will be able to clear this up. Otherwise, I'll have to add a special note to address this kind of common requirement.

Regards,
Fabrice