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New Mozilla License 80

An anonymous reader sent us a link to, the new license and the FAQ. FAQ. The new version protects against lawsuits, and now allows code to be released under multiple licenses. The JavaScript interpreter will be released under the NPL and the GPL.
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New Mozilla License

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  • I see you are still spreading this FUD of yours. GPL isn't depriving commercial developers of the use of the code. It is depriving proprieraty developers.

    Btw, which projects have split because of the GPL?

  • Whoever said that the free software community exists to provide software to lazy and greedy people?
    The free software comunity exists to provide free software. What the mass of computing humanity chooses to do with it is beside the point. Kind of like free speech. You either give everyone free speech, or you don't have free speech; you can't limit it.

    Why should people put hard work into GPL'd software if some company just comes along and steals it
    You can't steal free software. It belongs to everyone. If you're concerned about someone "stealing" your work, you could copyright it and hide the source code. :)

    If you work for freedom, rest assured that the majority of those who benefit from it will abuse it, take it for granted, and will not appreciate your contribution. That goes for free software just as much as it goes for political and economic freedom.
  • I just hope that they aren't too surprised when someone adds a chunk of GPL code to JavaScript and releases it under the pure GPL and Netscape has no rights to use that code.

    It's clear that they recognize that as a risk, but they decided to test it out to see if it happens. Really, why would someone do that?

  • ...when you need one? Brett go back to the Infoworld forums where they probably don't want you either.
  • The intention behind the GPL is not to deprive people of money, but to prevent proprietary modifications to GPLed code. The money Red Hat makes is not from selling proprietary versions of GPLed software, nor is the money that O'Reilly or the various other entrepreneurs you mentioned.

    The GPL also does not eliminate the ablility for companies to produce proprietary software; it simply denies them the ability to incorporate GPLed software into their own. Nobody is forced to GPL their software, so it isn't depriving anyone of an opportunity to make money.
  • Agreement with much of what you said.

    Acknowledgement of ignorance as to all of the code in Mozilla -- I just started looking at it three days ago.

    It seems like the only place we are different in what we are saying is the matter of completeness: we would both agree that a system library can exist with only one function in it. But how many users would find that library helpful? My point was that a complete system library isn't as easy as the questioner might have thought.

    Counterpoints/Questions: to say LiveWire/SSJS (SERVER SIDE JAVA SCRIPT) is not part of the language seems to be a little disingenuous. Most JS books at least deal with it, and a lot of heavy duty SSJS coding is taking place.

    You mentioned LiveConnect. I am speaking from a little bit of ignorance here, but until the ElectricFire (check it out on Mozilla, people!) code is operational,the JavaScript hooks are to non-OSS code, right?

    Thanks for the replies. I will be looking at the SRPMS and the sample app later. Could you give us an URL/URLs to where JS sits in the Mozilla distribution?
  • What is the easiest way to try out Mozilla on Linux? Has anyone made an RPM? I'd like to try it out but I'm sort of busy doing other things.

  • The combined version would only be covered by the GPL. It could not be included by Netscape in proprietary releases.

    I think the point of the thing is that anyone who develops for the Mozilla project should also release their code under MPL, NPL, or one of the two + GPL. without MPL or NPL it won't make it into the project.
  • I know it's a matter of opinion, but I would call the work that I've seen "substantial". It would be cool if a good beta came soon, but that doesn't mean that their work has no substance. I'm sure that the average user (i.e. you?) will be serviced when the code is ready -- and, fortunately, no sooner.
  • Could someone explain this to me? I tried to read it but I think my brain just melted.

    Are they talking about an author's modification being released under both NPL and GPL, or about the whole modified Mozilla package being released under both NPL and GPL?

    What does releasing under the two different licences simultaneously mean anyway? In real terms?
  • You know a contract is _short_ when it
    _doesn't_ need a FAQ... : )
  • Still nothing substantial from the Mozilla team...Yawn.
  • You know this really isn't funny. Someone was telling me the other day how annoying they find free software advocates. When I read paranoid rantings like this directed at people who have not only done you no harm, but done their best to do the right thing, I can see why.
  • With JavaScript under pure NPL various GPL'd project for which it might prove useful could not use it. (I happen to think that's the GPL's own fault but that's a different flame war.)

    Now GPL projects *can* use the engine. With JavaScript in wider use it will also get wider scrutiny and thus more bugfixes and enhancements.

    It is possible that those fixes and enhancements could be released GPL only in which case could not use them. That would be pretty selfish considering GPL is supposed to be about sharing code. It also might discourage the Netscape lawyers from allowing other parts of Mozilla to be dual licensed.
  • Everyone, please check out Brett Glass's past actions and reputation in the InfoWorld forum run by Nick Petreley. Basically, he will do whatever it takes (even lies) to bash the GPL. For a sample, check out this forum [] and look for Glass's postings.

    Brett Glass, please go back to the InfoWorld forum. The people there still worry about you.

  • Ergh uh uhm.

    Perl is not GPL'd.
  • Probably more interesting would be to make a text front end for Mozilla. You could use the code from the old Mozilla that converted HTML to text to get started. I'm sure you could get a lot of help from the mozilla folks (try the netscape.public.mozilla.* newsgroups)

  • This is amazing. Is this code dual-licensed, or will it be? (hmm... looking at the page it looks more like the current license is "WYSIWYG, YMMV, HAND." :) )

    What I really, REALLY want to see is JavaScript hooks so that you can write scripts to access and modify CORBA objects, and Java RMI objects. Then, if GNOME has corba as pervasively as it says it does, the whole of GNOME would instantly become scriptable... and ditto for KDE 2.0 (from what I hear).

    This is something that could really hit MS hard, because it's something they're just adding now (scriptability of everything through an object model exposed to VBs"crap"t).

  • by mattc ( 12417 )
    Why? So lynx can have popup geocities spam too? :)
  • Posted by

    > The combined version would only be covered by the
    > GPL. It could not be included by Netscape in
    > proprietary releases.

    While it is _possible_ for people to produce GPL-only derivatives of dually-licensed code, we ( and Netscape) will encourage them not to do so.

    In fact, will not accept changes back into the mozilla CVS that are GPL-only; it would complicate our licensing story too much, and it's not the kind of development we want to encourage. Changes that are dually-licensed will be accepted with open arms, of course.

    Don't think that we didn't consider the prospect of a GPL-only fork: we certainly spent a lot of time worrying about it, since I and a few others first hatched the plan to release the JS engine under (L)GPL in November of 1997. (Yes, before the Mozilla source release. What a long, strange trip it's been.)

    You will note that the FAQ contains a quote from Richard Stallman, exhorting developers to contribute under the dual license as a way of returning Netscape's co-operative gesture. Other GPL luminaries, such as Miguel de Icaza of GNOME, have pledged that they would dual license any contributions to the JavaScript engine, and might even dually license other, non-derived code as a way of encouraging this sort of co-operative licensing.

    We hold out Perl as our shining example of how to correctly handle dually-licensed code without the painful and wasteful splitting: you make sure that you have firm, reasonable leadership of development, and manage the source base such that there's no reason to ever split.

    People could split the MPL/NPL'd code too, so this may not be as much of a new risk as people think.
  • The GPL doesn't give you the freedom to make a proprietary program. It, however, gives you the freedom to do pretty much whatever else you wish with the code - as long as you release what you do under the GPL too.
  • >Why should I (hypothetically) provide you with an opportunity to support your family?

    Let me put it this way. Suppose you do something, and you have a choice of GPLing it or some other license. Assume for the sake of argument that as far as you can tell, your choice will have no effect on you, including effects on future software available to you. However, choosing a non-GPL license will allow someone else the opportunity to make a living. Which would you choose?

    Now, you can certainly make a case that releasing under the GPL makes it more likely that extensions, bug-fixes, etc. will appear also under the GPL, so your motivation for GPL'ing stuff is that. That's perfectly reasonable. What I object to is the "I'm not making money off this, so I'll be damned if anyone else can either" stance. Choose your license based on how it affects you, not on the fear that it might help someone else make money.
  • i know how you feel, i get to think this mozilla stuff is a joke myself.
    heck there is even a window maker theme called mozilla, yet barely anyone uses it, or can even get it to compile, cause the cvs is always so broken, and who wants to download the source from ftp that hasnt been updated in 3 months. "pFFT."
  • I welcome someone to correct me. In fact I hope they do.
    Just it seems to me, that Mozilla project, isn't about a product, in and of itself. I got the impression, from my ( VERY ) quick look at the MPL, that once Mozilla had nailed the technology down enough, Netscape could "package" Mozilla into a "Netscape 5.0".
    Also the MPL would allow other people, to "package" it another way, and distrubute that. Say as KDE or GNOME with a Mozilla core, for HTML rendering.
    I just felt that Mozilla itself, as a browser, is more of a demonstrator of the technology, which others could use, and not ment to be a seperate browser product itself.
    Did I misunderstand????
  • man you are smart.

    can you feel the sarcasm in the room?
  • Nah, he thinks mozilla is a joke because he's
    too stupid to look into further into the site before taking the easy, critical, way out...
  • The following is not authoritative, but it's probably more accurate than juuri's claim that Perl is not GPL'd.

    The perl distribution contains two files ("Artistic" and "Copying"), each of which is a license for the software. The second file is GPL (v1). You, as a perl user, are allowed to choose the terms under which you redistribute the (possibly modified) perl source. One of these choices that you can make, is to distribute it under the GPL. Perl's dual licensing scheme was probably the inspiration for the recent changes in the NPL.

  • I don't usually respond to such obvious trolls, but I think this is why they are allowing multiple licences. If you want to use the GPL version use the GPL version. If you want to use any other version, go ahead. Multiple licenses actually means there will be more people getting along!
  • Java, not Jave. Etc. Missed the preview button again. Flame not, okay? :^)
  • Remember what you said, and repeat that to YOURSELF.

    The problem in the InfoWorld forums seems to be that too many of the regular participants "have religion" and attempt to shout down alternative viewpoints. People should be willing to listen even if they eventually decide that they still disagree.

    You know, one Brett Glass is guilty of this. Whenever someone brings up the GPL, he would go banana and attack it without any willingness to accept alternative viewpoints.

    Oh, you are Brett Glass, so do it yourself first, in InfoWorld forums and elsewhere.

  • GPL only shares with those who share back

    Actually that's not true at all, since a majority of GPL'd software users probably don't ever contribute code to a GPL'd program.

    But if you want to base your commercial product on GPL'd software, you have to pay the original authors the licensing fee for doing so -- and that licensing fee is GPL'ing the result. If you don't like that licensing fee, either roll your own or try to make some other licensing arrangements with the original authors. Possible in some cases, not in others.

  • >Whoever said that the free software community exists to provide software to lazy and greedy people?

    Are you upset that Robert Young of Red Hat is making good money selling GPL'ed software?

    Are you upset that Tim O'Reilly is making good money on books about GPL'ed software?

    Are you upset that numerous internet entrepeneurs are making good money selling services using GPL'ed software?

    Then why are you so upset that someone might make money selling proprietary extensions to your open source code? That person is at least as likely as the others to make open contributions to the tools that help him or her build their extensions.

    I note that based on Rob's poll, you can make a reasonable assumption that very few Slashdot'ers have ever had to support a family. Eliminating opportunities for others to make money to support their family is not in and of itself a good thing.
  • The purpose is obviously just to hack the mozilla
    source forever! I mean, seriously, it couldn't possibly be
    that rewriting 90% of a piece of software meant to
    surf a few protocols and parse a dozen document
    types takes longer than a year, right? Surely these
    engineers working on this project must be a bunch
    of glue-sniffing morons, with nothing better to do
    than infinitely hack away on code and listen to
    complainers like you.
  • The author of a piece of code has always been able to release it under multiple licenses.
    The new MPL doesn't change that just because it explicitly points out the possibility - the possibility of dual licensing (e.g. with LGPL) was discussed when the first version of the MPL came out.
  • ...even when asked serious and (at least AFAICT) well-meaning questions by regular participants on the IWE fora.

    Do you wonder, then, why so many of us are having a hard time taking you seriously in the context of open source software licensing discussions?
    -Rich (OS/2, Linux, Mac, NT, Solaris, FreeBSD, and OS2200 user in Bloomington MN)
  • Yeah, sorry. It occurred to me a few minutes after I posted, but by then it was 3:30am and I was mostly asleep.

    I don't really like the idea of putting libraries under the GPL. It's coercive in a way that I normally associate with Microsoft.
  • The fact that the GPL doesn't accomodate other licenses is disturbing.

    You're forgetting that many free software developers are open to relicensing their code under another comparable free software license to help out folks working on other free projects. This happens all the time with XFree86, where authors of GPL'd code relicense portions of their code under the BSD license so they can be used in the X server and X libraries.

  • He's confusing the BSD's with Linux....
  • Actually, the Linux TCP/IP stack is not BSD-based, although other parts of the kernel are (several drivers, for instance).

    However, do FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD not all ship with gcc? And though it's not the default shell on BSD, bash is quite commonly used on most Unices. There are even ports of bash and other GNU utilities to windoze.

    So, in terms of number of users, neither the BSD license nor the GPL have any distinct advantage over the other.
  • Your claim that "he attempts to claim credit by calling it GNU/Linux after the fact" instantly discredits your whole point.

    The only "vital" part of what is commonly known as Linux that is not written as part of the GNU project is the kernel. The kernel is the heart of the system - but how useful is a heart without the rest of the body?

    The name "GNU/Linux" is not an attempt to claim credit, but an attempt to have credit given where it is due.

    Stuart (not affiliated with the FSF, and I disagree with Stallman on many other issues... but that one is simple fact).
  • Brett Glass wrote:

    Incidentally, if Richard Stallman has his way, GCC will not be able to be used to write commercial (or even non-GPLed!) products in the future, because its runtime libraries will be released under the GPL rather than the LGPL. See Stallman's remarks at ot-lgpl.html

    Brett Glass, you know that RMS said in the article that libraries like libc would not be GPLed. So what you said above is total lies.

    Now you are caught lying, what will you do about it? Will you admit your mistakes and apologize, or you will ignore it or just hide?

  • other from the fact that the got the source code from the browser freed up...
  • by trey ( 115202 )
    why in the world do you think they 'cruise porn sites'?
  • The author of a work can give permission to use as many licenses as he wants. He can also do whatever he wants with his own code. I mean, if I wrote something and released it to the world with the GPL, I could perfectly legally sell it as a compiled binary, without source.

    Now, this dual licensing will only work if people who write patches to the javascript stuff license their patches under both the GPL and the N/MPL. Of course, the js maintainers will probably only accept patches which give permission to use both licenses.
  • by pohl ( 872 )
    I'd like to add that dvdeug's observation about Perl's dual-licensing scheme serves to refute Brett Glass's claim that multiple licenses encourage fragmentation.
  • One of the criticizms of the original MPL and NPL is that you couldn't combine code covered by those licences with GPL-covered code (including just linking to a library). If my reading is correct:

    • You still can't combine GPL'ed and [NM]PL'ed code, but
    • You can combine GPL'ed code with dually-licensed code, but
    • The combined version would only be covered by the GPL. It could not be included by Netscape in proprietary releases.

    This seems like a very good thing to me. In particular, it means that GPL'ed code can include code from and link to dually-licensed libraries (like the forthcoming JavaScript library).

  • Because the language is still evolving, not as easy as we might hope. Additionally, Javascript has hooks to Jave, which is also still evolving. On the server (LiveWire), platforms continue to gain functionality that LiveWire is supposed to be able to take advantage of.

    So, we are talking about a many headed development effort here. However, I do believe that any coders working on an OSS JavaScript Interpreter would do well to keep the development of a standard system library near the top of their design priority list

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein