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Mozilla Apache Technology

Mozilla Public License 2.0 Released 40

revealingheart writes "Mozilla has announced the release of the Mozilla Public License 2.0. The new version provides for compatibility with the Apache and GPL licenses, improved patent protections and recent changes in copyright law. The full license text is available online. Mozilla has updated their wiki with plans to upgrade their codebase; Bugzilla has also said that they will update (with an exemption to keep the project MPL only). The MPL was previously incompatible with other copyleft licenses like the GPL. The new version is compatible (unless exempted) and doesn't require multiple licenses (as currently stands with Firefox and Thunderbird). This will allow Mozilla to incorporate Apache-licensed code; but will mean that their software becomes incompatible with GPL2 code."
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Mozilla Public License 2.0 Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 06, 2012 @02:35PM (#38612332)

    Mozilla Public License 3.0 will be released in April.

  • by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @02:37PM (#38612364) Homepage Journal

    TFS says that the license is now GPL compatible, but that the codebase will no longer be GPL compatible.

    Or is it GPLv3 compatible only?

    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @02:46PM (#38612462) Journal

      MPL was never GPL compatible. MPL2 is now GPLv3 compatible. GPLv3 is GPLv2-incompatible too. Previously, most Mozilla code was triple-licensed LGPL, GPL and MPL. Presumably now they are going to switch to MPL2-only.

      The CDDL is also MPL-with-some-fixes, so it will be interesting to see how MPL2 and CDDL compare.

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I always forget which is the good one: CDDL, LDL or HDL?

      • by luge ( 4808 )

        The CDDL is also MPL-with-some-fixes, so it will be interesting to see how MPL2 and CDDL compare.

        CDDL was definitely referenced frequently during the initial drafting of MPL 2; it resolved some problems that we knew MPL 1.1 had so it made sense to see how they had solved the problems. I'm not sure how much actual CDDL language actually survived into MPL 2 (that part of the drafting was almost two years ago now), but probably at least some.

  • I do hear that they are speeding up their license versioning to become incompatible much faster in future iterations. Next week is MPL 3, and by next month they hope to be up to MPL 13, guaranteed to be future proof compatible with all copyleft licenses forever... yet incompatible with all GPL once incorporated with any of them.

  • by ronocdh ( 906309 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @03:00PM (#38612658)
    Even as an ardent supporter of FLOSS, I'm pleased to see influential companies exploring options other than the GPL, especially in a way that tries to maintain community relationships by keeping an eye on compatibility. Mozilla is one of the only organizations whose genuine dedication to creating and sustaining an open web I don't question.
    • by olau ( 314197 )

      Could you expand on why you think this is better than just going with the GPL? Just asking out of curiosity. The obvious downside is of course license proliferation.

      MPLv2 does seem pretty short, but on the other hand, IIRC last time I read the GPL, much of it was actually preoccupied with spelling out what you can and can't do (to avoid loopholes) as opposed to the standard legal nonsense some lawyers seem to love.

      • by ronocdh ( 906309 )

        Could you expand on why you think this is better than just going with the GPL? Just asking out of curiosity. The obvious downside is of course license proliferation.

        Personally, I don't view "license proliferation" as nearly as much a threat to the open web as inadequate variety to ensure a viable software ecosystem. You'd never say there are too many programming languages out there, would you? Just different approaches, different tools for different needs. In the same way, there's no single license that ple

        • In my eyes, this makes the GPL less free than similar licenses that allow for proprietary development (like MPL and MIT).

          The GPL is designed to enforce the user's access to the "four essential freedoms": the ability to use the software, to examine and modify it, and to give it to other people.

          If you're going to take the selfish view of only considering what you yourself can do with the code, then yeah: the GPL prevents you from preventing other people from getting those freedoms.

          Some of us think that's a good thing.

        • It is trivial to use a library developed in a different language. Knowing whether two licenses are truly compatible can only be done in a court of law.

  • by spitzak ( 4019 ) on Friday January 06, 2012 @03:57PM (#38613472) Homepage

    I want to release software (libraries, mostly) that anybody can use in any project they want, either open or closed source. However unlike the BSD or public domain, I want *my* source code to be "GPL'd": if you use it and modify it, you must make available, under the same license, the modified version of my source code. You can of course still link this with your own source code which remains closed (there may also be some rules to prevent cheats like modifying the source to call something in a closed-source portion but I am not too concerned about that). I would also want to make sure my code can be used by GPL or LGPL software by requiring the license to be compatible.

    This is not the GPL (which requires your source code to be GPL'd as well). It is not the LGPL because it removes the weird "you must distribute the software in a way that lets it be relinked with a new version" provision (this provision actually *hurts* development of OSS libraries, as it technically means that end users expect me to not alter the abi, which is pretty much impossible and a waste of time for a little-used library. It also prevents static linking of my library which greatly reduces it's appeal).

    I have been desparate for a well-known three-letter name for the license I want. What we have been doing is distributing under the GPL plus a "linking exception" that describes the above (actually we use the LGPL to make it more clear, but the linking exception hides any differences between that and the GPL).

    Can anybody confirm if the MPL 2.0 is what I want?

    • You can static link with LGPL code if you provide your .o object files.

      If not the MPL, look at the CDDL. It's like GPL but on a per-file basis -- only the original files need be made available; any other files are not infected.

      • by Teckla ( 630646 )

        You can static link with LGPL code if you provide your .o object files.

        I've never heard such a thing. Can you provide a reference?

        • See LGPL 2.1 section 6.a or LGPL 3.0 section 4.d.0.
          • by Teckla ( 630646 )

            See LGPL 2.1 section 6.a or LGPL 3.0 section 4.d.0.

            Ah, that's interesting, thanks. I don't personally use any GPL or LGPL source code because I don't like the requirements, but it's nice to know there's a way to work-around supplying your source code when you want to statically link LGPL code.

        • by lindi ( 634828 )
          LGPLv3 4.d.0: ..."the user to recombine or relink the Application with a modified version" ..
      • by spitzak ( 4019 )

        The CDDL has some on-purpose incompatability with the GPL so that CDDL code cannot be used by a GPL project. I don't want that.

        Though I may be wrong about that, can anybody confirm? This may have been FUD to prevent usage of the CDDL.

        • No, that's correct. It was a deliberate design choice [] by Sun developers to make the CDDL incompatible with the GPL, using the MPL 1.1 license as a base. I wouldn't recommend CDDL due to being outdated and less popular than both MPL and GPL.

          The MPL is an option for developers on Google Code [], and (along with Firefox and Thunderbird) is used in Google Chrome and other software projects. There are also several licences [] which are forks of MPL 1.1 with minor changes by larger projects.

          MPL2 sounds like what you're

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