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I am currently developing a small desktop application.

I am looking for a license that guarantee :

  • That the code cannot be sold, and must be freely distributed.
  • That modifications of the code cannot be sold, and must be freely distributed.
  • That the software can be used for commercial purposes
  • That other code that interreact with the software through automation interfaces can be kept closed source.

For this purpose, i was evaluating the LGPL license.

However, i would like to use in my application libraries under the MS-PL license, such as : https://github.com/xceedsoftware/wpftoolkit/wiki/AvalonDock. I do not intend to edit the source of these libraries, only to have them as compiled dependencies.

I read that MS-PL and GPL are 'incompatible', but am not sure of the exact meaning of this.

I get that i cannot re-license modified MS-PL code under LGPL, but can i use libraries compiled from MS-PL code in an LGPL application ?

  • Incompatible means that you cannot distribute them together without violating one of the licenses. For example if library A says "you must distribute all source code of all parts of the software" and library B says "you may not distribute source code library B", then those terms are incompatible. See GPL FAQ - What is Compatible. – Brandin Aug 5 at 13:56
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Firstly, neither the LGPL nor its (more-restrictive) brethren, the GPL and the AGPL, prohibit someone from selling the code; they merely require that the recipient receives source (of the library itself in the LPGL case, and of the entire binary in the GPL/AGPL case) under the same licence. In practice it's not a viable business model, but it's still allowed.

Secondly, no free licence within the meaning of this site will prevent someone from selling your code.

I get that i cannot re-license modified MS-PL code under LGPL, but can i use libraries compiled from MS-PL code in an LGPL application ?

The whole point of the LPGL (as opposed to GPL/AGPL) is to allow the distribution of binaries including the LGPL'ed library linked into more restrictively-licensed code, so assuming the MS-PL doesn't prohibit this, then yes, you can.

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