I found this article on the msdn magazine and would like to use the code included in there in a commercial program. Is this allowed?
The code is not complete here, but is given complete in the following site
I thought this question was a simple duplicate, but it's now ramified enough that I thought I'd write an answer.
You've found an old article in MSDN Magazine, with some code available either by cutting-and-pasteing from the main page, or via a separate link; we'll call this code A. You also found the same code discussed in another article, which offers a download link for the code; we'll call this code B. You've then found it in a third place; we'll call this code C. You want to know what rights, if any, you have to reuse the code.
Code B is in fact a link directly back to the repository of code A, so there are no new rights there.
Code C contains an explicit licence statement at the top, which is more generous than the MS-LPL (the MS-LPL is non-free, because it has a platform restriction). Specifically, it says
// You can use this code however you wish subject to the usual disclaimers
// (use at your own risk, etc.)
The question becomes: can you rely on that declaration? My initial inclination was no, because it's so clearly the same body of code as A and B; it has all the look-and-feel of a grant bolted on after the event, without authority, as a fig-leaf. But it's also clear about the provenance of the code (2014 Microsoft Build Conference, April 2-4, 2014, San Francisco, CA). So my gut feeling - and it's only a feeling - is that the licence declaration can be relied on.
However, you intend to re-use this code as part of a commercial program, which raises the stakes. If I were you, I'd try to establish that such code was indeed given to attendees at that conference; if you can, then it's re-usable as you would wish. Otherwise, steer clear of it. And as ever, IANAL/IANYL.
Correct answer by MadHatter on November 30, 2020
Get help from others!