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Google Reverses "Absurd" Mozilla Code Ban

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the standing-athwart-history-yelling-"eof" dept.

Google 201

Barence writes "Google has reversed its decision to ban projects created under the Mozilla Public License from being hosted on its Google Code site. Google banned the license in August, claiming it wanted to 'make a statement against open-source license proliferation' which it blamed for hindering the cross-pollination of code from one project to another. Chris DiBona, of Google's open source team, described its decision to ban the MPL as 'absurd,' citing the community's huge popularity." Jamie mentions that the issue was raised from the floor at OSCON at the Google Open Source Update panel, with DiBona on stage.

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Well, Google does have a point.. (5, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24794663)

If there's a million "open source" licenses (which there are), it can become virtually impossible for code to move between projects with different licensing.

Re:Well, Google does have a point.. (5, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24794807)

To counter this problem, I have created a new type of open source license, that allows my code to be used in any other project, regardless of what license it uses*!

*Unless of course the resulting product is conceivably going to be used for commercial purposes, or by people with moustaches.

You ignorant fool (5, Funny)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 6 years ago | (#24794923)

You know you've just blocked Jamie Hyneman from using your code?

Re:You ignorant fool (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795455)

Good! Won't somebody also think about Adam? He may screw your code too!

Re:You ignorant fool (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24795871)

Jamie Hyneman isn't a person with a moustache, he's a moustache with a person.

Re:Well, Google does have a point.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24796011)

wait... I love open source and I have a moustache!!!

Already exists (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797351)

> I have created a new type of open source license, that allows my code to be
> used in any other project, regardless of what license it uses

Well gee, you just reinvented the MIT license [] .

Re:Well, Google does have a point.. (0, Flamebait)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795089)

Or for a big company to use all that juicy free code for its web based services without having to offer source rights to users.

Re:Well, Google does have a point.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24795655)

Waah. They're distribution licenses, and you aren't distributing code, only output.

Blow a goat.

Re:Well, Google does have a point.. (1)

bwcbwc (601780) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797111)

This is true. If you want to ensure license compatibility across your entire codebase, where do you draw the line at supporting (semi-)popular open source licenses?
GPLv2, GPLv3, LGPL, BSD, Apache, Creative Commons, MIT/X Consortium, Mozilla, Sun Community, and Eclipse are probably the top 10 (not necessarily in ranked order) in terms of number of licensed product copies in use, as opposed to the number of projects using the license. Even within this set, there are incompatibilities.

Proliferation of O/S software hosting services (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24794741)

Frankly, given Google's record, I refuse to host any of my projects on Google Code, or to participate in the development of any projects hosted there. I use Sourceforge [] (has svn and ssh access) and Berlios [] .

Re:Proliferation of O/S software hosting services (0)

qoncept (599709) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795073)

I used SF until I got tired of all of the members of the dev team complaining about how awful it was to use. SVN was slow as hell. In the end, the only real benefit was that we found one of our top developers through their classified ads (or whatever they call them -- its been a while). The best choice I think I ever made was finally moving the svn repo to my own webhost.

Re:Proliferation of O/S software hosting services (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24795229)

I've always found sf's svn to be *blazing* fast. Mind you, I do have a very good broadband connection. Berlios is also worth trying. They're relatively underused and blazing fast too.

People still use Subversion? (2, Insightful)

ttfkam (37064) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796673)

Once you go DVCS, you never go back.

Re:People still use Subversion? (0, Offtopic)

Varun Soundararajan (744929) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797149)

once u use git you will nevr come back to any of these.

once u use vcs you will never come back to source control ;-).

Re:People still use Subversion? (1)

jason.sweet (1272826) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797215)

Real men use PVCS!

Re:Proliferation of O/S software hosting services (3, Interesting)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797425)

For the love of god do not use tortureforge.

There are plenty of alternatives, use one that doesn't make your devs and users scream in agony every time they have to use it.
Sourceforge is so bad, it's not remotely funny. Not only are the "Forums" and "Bugtrackers" utterly unusable and useless. Even supposedly trivial (read: baseline!) stuff like downloading a release tarball is a sea of pain, requiring 2-3 clicks through useless spoiler-pages (more ad impressions, eh?). God forbid someone just wants to quickly wget a release to give it a shot, OSDN might not profit!

Generally avoid any provider that carries "forge" in its name. Most of them took the abysmal tortureforge interface and somehow managed to make it worse.
Also beware of tortureforge in disguise! Some, like berlios, copied everything except the name. Same poison, different bottle.

So, here are some sane choices (randomly picked, there are more):

And if you are serious and have a bare minimum of linux-skills then you can always set up your own instance of RedMine [] (not trac, mind you) along with a SVN, Git, bzr or whatever server. It's not rocket science. I'm sure there are even hosters that sell it prebundled for a few bucks a month.

It puzzles me that some people still pick TortureForge for their projects in this day and age. But normally that's at least a surefire sign that the project is not worth the diskspace it occupies... (for *new* projects that is, not counting legacy projects here that started on sourceforge years ago and are just too lazy to move).

Re:Proliferation of O/S software hosting services (5, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797231)

Frankly, given Google's record, I refuse to host any of my projects on Google Code, or to participate in the development of any projects hosted there.

...Why? What part of Google's record?

Most of the bad things I hear about Google are privacy-related... what part of your open source project needs to be private?

Re:Proliferation of O/S software hosting services (1)

cbrocious (764766) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797639)

I moved to Assembla ( [] ) after Google removed the MPL and I haven't looked back. It now hosts all of my projects, open and closed source and I really couldn't be happier with it. Well designed (better than Google code, which is rare) and faster than SF ever was, despite the huge strides they've made lately -- it's definitely better than 5 or 6 years ago where CVS would die twice a week :P

Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (-1, Offtopic)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24794809)

* PC-Pro uses Vibrant "in-text" advertising, which creates highly intrusive in-frame popups on mouseover.
* Vibrant no-longer allows you to opt out of their intrusive pop-ups.

Please do not link to sites like PC-Pro that use this intrusive advertising scheme.

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24794895)

What does this mean, "advertising"? *pats ad-blocker and noscript* :)

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (4, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795055)

I don't use adblocker because I don't object to ads. I object to stupid abusive techniques whether they're used for ads or knock-knock jokes.

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (3, Insightful)

Snover (469130) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795391)

Maybe you should try using AdBlock to only block those advertisers that engage in such practises then? It's not an all-or-nothing affair.

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (1)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796539)

Blocking ads doesn't do anything to convince the bastards to change their evil ways, you have to let sites know that they're hurting themselves by using Vibrant's advertising to have an effect.

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795453)

Same here, I jsut use flashblock. You can put banner ads all over the place but don't go needlessly hogging my resources.

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24795777)

I object to ads. If you want access to my eyes to sell your product, pay me.

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (2, Insightful)

SlashBugs (1339813) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796499)

They are "paying" us to look at the ads, by giving us otherwise free services or content.

If what a website has to offer is worthless to you, don't visit it and you won't add to their revenue by seeing the ads.

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (1)

bc8o8 (683988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796695)

They are paying you. Have you ever noticed that you don't need to pay anything access the websites (like the one you're on right now), public broadcast tv shows, public broadcast radio stations, etc that you enjoy every day?
These all exist because the companies who want access to your eyes are subsidizing most, if not all, of the costs to produce them.
If you disagree with the methods used to advertise you have two choices: send a message by not utilizing their services, or don't.
That being said, I do use some basic ad-blocking to prevent inappropriate popups and content on sites I am not as familiar with. However, in general, I choose to only do business with sites that don't use intrusive advertising.

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (2, Funny)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795067)

I am, as of now, going to get someone to pay me a nickel for everyone who makes an annoying, smug "Ad? What ad? I use adblock/noscript" comment on slashdot.

I have $.05 right now from this program, and predict I'll be filthy rich by the time the year's out.

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24795149)

I use adblock and noscript too. And I think that your scheme has one minor flaw, I'm not paying you any thing, and neither is anyone else.

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (3, Funny)

jamie (78724) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795711)

* Slashdot sues you for your nickel *

Hey, we have to make that money back somehow...

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795831)

Maybe with text ads or static images? Google's ads make it through NoScript and Adblock. I've even disabled Adblock on Slashdot, so all you need to get through is NoScript.

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795873)

Alternatively you could just use my handy "obnoxious elitist prick" plugin for a mere 40 USD a year subscription fee?

Instead of whining about ads, I tried adblock and it works a treat. I was just trying to point out that if you don't like the ads, get rid of them. If I had $0.05 for every time I saw someone complain about ads, I'd be able to buy a newspaper or something by now!

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24796747)

I wish there was a Firefox addon that would block self-satisfied Adblock/NoScript users posting to Slashdot.

Re:Boycott Vibrant in-frame popups (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797195)

You could just set your comment viewing settings to downmod all 'insightful' and 'interesting' posts - I'm sure that would get most of them.

Multi-license ! (5, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#24794849)

The best way to fight against these proliferations is to release code that is multi-licensed. If you are the author of a code and fear OSS fragmentation, claim that you release your code under GPLv2, GPLv3, Mozilla License, Apache License, etc...

Maybe we should come up with a good acronym for a package of the most popular licenses...

Re:Multi-license ! (5, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795001)

I believe this already exists: public domain.

Re:Multi-license ! (3, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795109)

No, the public domain does not mandate the openness of derivative products. That is what open source is about.

Re:Multi-license ! (1, Informative)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795191)

No, that's what Free Software is about. Public domain is most definately "open source" but depending on who you ask is not Free.

Re:Multi-license ! (2, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795405)

No, it's not. That's what the GPL (well, others too, but primarily that) are about. The FSF definition (I think we can agree that they're the definitive source here?) doesn't say that derivative works must remain free. It specifies:
  • Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.
  • Freedom 1: The freedom to study and modify the program.
  • Freedom 2: The freedom to copy the program so you can help your neighbor.
  • Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.

All of these conditions would be satisfied by public domain.

Re:Multi-license ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24795815)

Public domain code does not offer the freedoms you list. Anyone can take something from the public domain, rename it, ship as binary only, and tough shit on the freedoms we expect with GPL style licensing.

Re:Multi-license ! (4, Informative)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796113)

Code placed in the public domain does fulfill all of those qualities. Derivatives may or may not, but that's a different issue he wasn't talking about.

And really, the ability to make non-free derivatives is a freedom too.

Re:Multi-license ! (2, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796537)

Freedom 5: The ability to use parts of the program in your application with releasing the source code to your application.

Re:Multi-license ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24796351)

Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program for any purpose.

Hmm interesting. Because it is Freedom 0, does it mean that freedom doesn't exist in the first place?

Re:Multi-license ! (1)

lubricated (49106) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796777)

Freedom 1 isn't guaranteed.

Don't talk to people like machines. Numbering starts at 1.

Re:Multi-license ! (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796891)

It most certainly is. As long as my code is in the public domain, you can take it, modify it, and adapt it to your heart's content. It doesn't say anywhere that the same must extend to derivative works.

And the numbering is the FSF's, not mine. Don't blame me.

Re:Multi-license ! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24795287)

Since when? Whether or not the source is encumbered by copyleft restrictions, it's still opensource.

I'm sick of GPL zealots, honestly. I choose to release my code completely free. That's permission to do ANYTHING (including making it GPL). But please don't try tell me it's not in the spirit of being open..

Re:Multi-license ! (5, Insightful)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795685)

That's exactly why the GPL makes my eye twitch. Some of us don't care if our code is used commercially, and if you do, that's fine. Trying to say that you're "more free" and "more open" because you ban that is prima facie stupidity.

Re:Multi-license ! (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796071)

That's exactly why the GPL makes my eye twitch. Some of us don't care if our code is used commercially, that'fine. Trying to say that you're "more free" and "more open" because you ban that is prima facie stupidity.

That you think the GPL is about preventing commercial use of code is also prima facie stupidity. Just look at all of the commercial endeavors that are GNU licensed.

As for how in the world GNU software could be "more free" and "more open" - well both of those terms have multiple meanings, you pick the meaning that applies and it makes sense, you apply an anti-GPL mindset and pick a meaning that doesn't make sense and doh! it doesn't make sense.

Re:Multi-license ! (4, Informative)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796087)

However the GPL does not forbid commercial usage of code, and thiking it does and posting about how it does so in web boards is just prima facie lameness .

Re:Multi-license ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24796615)

The GPL DOES NOT ban commercial use. See the FAQ: Commercial Use [] .

I think you are confusing the terms Commercial and Proprietery.

Re:Multi-license ! (2, Interesting)

BrainInAJar (584756) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796937)

I agree.

Personally, I want the code I write to remain free, but the code other people write around it, they can do whatever they want with. I tend to release code under a mozilla/cddl style license with a GPL exception ( though I make sure to leave a strongly worded comment that any code contained MAY NOT be relicensed under the GPL, since GPL people tend to forget that importing doesn't imply relicensing )

Re:Multi-license ! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795397)

So what.
Open Source is not about mandating the openness of the product. Some Open Sources Licenses do but not all. Other licenses are so people do whatever they want with the code except to try to sue someone else who used the same code in their product, or prevent people from doing the same with the master code. The GPL tends to take this and spreads it across generations. But Open Source is a lot larger then GPL.

Re:Multi-license ! (2, Funny)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795339)

I'm pretty sure you don't get an explicit waiver of liability with public domain.

Re:Multi-license ! (4, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795735)

In the U.S., public domain doesn't quite exist for code written by anyone who isn't the Federal government. What people call releasing code under public domain is essentially disclaiming liability and repudiating copyright.

Re:Multi-license ! (3, Interesting)

Timosch (1212482) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796017)

...which is not legally possible in a lot of countries. In Germany, for instance, you can not license your work under public domain.

Re:Multi-license ! (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795309)

I am not sure about a good acronym but Public Domain comes to mind.

If there is going to be a unified Open Source License that is completely compatible it would have to be public domain where the developer looses all the right to there code and users of the code have no exclusive rights.

Issues such as credit, openness, goodness, who will use it, who cant, stopping Microsoft from ripping it off, freedom of speach, spreading the code, patents, making money from it, not making money from it..... All these political ideals need to be stripped out.

Part of the problem with each new version of the GPL more and more political ideals have been added to the license making it more incompatible as time increases. So if you want to make open source code that can be used wherever it needs to be public domain.

Re:Multi-license ! (2, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795933)

From day one, the GPL was a political document, and at no time has it ever been expressed not to be. The v3 isn't about making it more about politics and making it more restrictive. It is about plugging the loopholes that various entities have found in the wording of the origin document. Like it or hate it, claiming that the GPLs very purpose for being isn't political is just fooling yourself.

Re:Multi-license ! (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796049)

Hence why I stated MORE political. Loopholes arn't always a bad thing. Those loopholes are partially what allowed it to spread and get some corporate support. It is better to get 1,000,000 people to be mostly good then having 1,000 who are truly good and the rest evil.

New Type of Software (5, Funny)

Nymz (905908) | more than 6 years ago | (#24794953)

If open source code, is bound by a proprietary license, then it should be called proprietary open source, or POS for short.

Re:New Type of Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24795049)

I'm not seeing how that has any relevance to the story posted.

Re:New Type of Software (-1, Troll)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795703)

It's a freetard, what did you expect?

proliferation? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24794983)

Google Code allows GPL v2, GPL v3, or LGPL (as well as Artistic/GPL). If you want to make a statement and reduce license bloat, I suggest starting there.

Re:proliferation? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24795363)

None of those licenses are duplicates.

GPL v2 is still the most common of the free software licenses. Aside, perhaps, from BSD-style open source licenses, there's no more common open source license.

The LGPL is similar to the GPL v2, but has the all important linking exception. Can't really get rid of this one either. Besides, it's compatible with GPL v2 by design, so doesn't contribute to the license proliferation problem.

GPL v3 is, again, already extremely common. It's slightly different than GPL v2, and incorporates things like the LGPL linking exception as options. It has different goals than the GPL v2, and most GPL v2 projects are compatible with GPL v3 code (except the GPL2-only ones like Linux). Again, not a problem.

The specific licenses they were talking about, like the MPL or EPL, are extremely similar to other licenses, with the exact same goals, but are typically only used by a group of closely connected projects, and differ just enough to make them incompatible with other licenses. That's the problem Google were referring to.

Same goes for most other corporate-sponsored (YPL, CDDL), or project-specific licenses.

Aside from the GPL family, the only other options they had until now were all BSD-based licenses, which are all cross-compatible.

Meh (1, Troll)

daveime (1253762) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795009)

Is it only me who thinks that while the ethos of OSS is "open and free for everyone", these licences are just a way of developers saying "I want my slice of the pie also" ?

Truly free code comes with no restrictions whatsoever, be it over publishing licence text, making source available, having to pay the author for commercial use or whatever.

Free means free. Anything else is so much BS on the part of the developer.

Re:Meh (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795079)

If you don't licence your work as free, people can take your code and use it commercially.

There was a recent case that revolved around model train controlling that points this out.

Re:Meh (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795227)

That's my point ...

This mentality of "It's okay to use my code for whatever purpose you wish, but if you make money off it, I want my share".

Call it "shareware", call it "trialware", call it what the hell you like, but don't call it "free".

Re:Meh (1)

shagymoe (261297) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795407)

Apparently you don't get it. The company doesn't have to give a "share" to the original developer, they just have to "share" their code with anyone to whom they distribute the code. (Assuming we're talking about the GPL here.)

Re:Meh (1)

N!k0N (883435) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795389)

You're thinking of JMRI [] , and it looks like they're starting to move forward in their case (on the winning side no less).

So there is use for copyright/licensing, though it only looks like the F/OSS groups have it right.

Re:Meh (3, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795291)

Is it only me who thinks that while the ethos of OSS is "open and free for everyone", these licences are just a way of developers saying "I want my slice of the pie also" ?

Truly free code comes with no restrictions whatsoever, be it over publishing licence text, making source available, having to pay the author for commercial use or whatever.

Free means free. Anything else is so much BS on the part of the developer.

It's like this: You're all free to eat at my farm. You're all free to plant things at my farm. You're not free to put a fence around my farm. The fact that you may have planted things at my farm still doesn't give you the right to put a fence around my farm.

If you consider the "no fences" stipulation too onerous for your liking, you can fuck off and don't come back. Keep your complaints to yourself, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Re:Meh (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795351)

So, your farm is "free, subject to restrictions" right ?

You wouldn't call it "free, period" now would you, as there is obviously a restriction.

Now ask yourself whether GPL or BSD code is "free" ?

Re:Meh (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795465)

I would call it free, period. It's not free, subject to restrictions. It's free, and protected against future restrictive subversions, as opposed to free and abandoned to the machinations of selfish and evil men. It's the best kind of free, the kind you can rely on continuing to be free and relevant.

Re:Meh (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795521)

Where did you get the "fences" idea from? It should be more like "you're not free to take food from my farm and sell it at your farm". Except that this food is just a bunch of bits so you don't lose anything, right?

Re:Meh (2, Interesting)

Kaeles (971982) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796007)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHH! I have no IDEA why people don't understand that just because code is GPL'd that you cannot sell it. People do it to distro's all the time, the only thing you have to do is provide a copy of the code to anyone who asks. Now, this is how tivo and all the other companies who use or used linux to run their devices made money, by tying the software to the hardware. Sure you can have the code, but how much help will it be to "hack" the devices. GPL allows you freedoms, but removes the "freedom" to use the code and distribute it without releasing the source as well. Whether this makes it more free or less free, I dunno, thats why I use different licenses for different projects.

Re:Meh (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796693)

Hmm, let's see "either you can pay me $50 to buy something or you can download it for free off the internet". Doesn't sound like a very good business model to me.


Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24795329)

Until we figure out how to work around the second law of thermodynamics, nothing can truly be free as you describe it. Open source software is just bought and paid for by people who are more concerned with being able to modify and fix it than with getting it for zero dollars. Just look at the shareware and freeware industry; very few of the stuff available in the 90's is around now. Those projects didn't ship source, and so they died untimely deaths. Any software that doesn't preserve its own source is essentially committing suicide.

Re:Meh (2, Informative)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795411)

Yep, It's probably only you who thinks like that, most likely because you are utterly wrong. Did you bother reading the licenses at all? The conclussion you took makes no sense.

these licences are just a way of developers saying "I want my slice of the pie also"

having to pay the author for commercial use or whatever

No free software license has that clause, it breaks the def of free software.

Remember kids, try getting informed before posting stuff in the interweb.

Re:Meh (3, Informative)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795429)

Do you even know what the GPL or BSD licenses require the user to do? Here's a hint for you. There's no money involved. In fact, you are explicitly allowed to sell the product. The main thing that the GPL prohibits you from doing is to distribute the product without also distributing the source code. And this isn't to get a "piece of the pie". This is to ensure that the code that you freed... remains free.

Regardless, it sounds like you might prefer the BSD license. I'll leave figuring out what that means to you.

Re:Meh (1)

r7 (409657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796301)

This is to ensure that the code that you freed... remains free.

This is not technically correct, the original code remains free regardless. What the GPL does is force you to release the code that you wrote on top of the original code. It's patently not about "remaining free". It is about "making free" i.e., imposing restrictions on what you can do with your modified code. This is a point that GPL proponents try to obfuscate, until a lawsuit is filed.

Bottom line is that the GPL has been the most successful license. I particularly appreciate the fact that Microsoft cannot simply take it for use in it's Windows illegal, anti-trust, locked-in code-base. What I cannot appreciate are the GPL proponents who freely take from BSD sources and give nothing back. Remember, 50% of Linux came from BSD. 0% of BSD came from Linux. How does that really differ from Microsoft's tactics?

Re:Meh (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795809)

Slightly off. Most developers are saying 'so long as you don't release my work as non-free' or 'so long as anything based on my work follows my rules.' It's not truly 'free' for everyone, no matter what they say.

There are a few developers asking for their piece, though... MySQL comes to mind. 'Free for non-commercial use only' is not really all that free.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24796443)

Yeah you're also free to NOT use the code. Your argument is very weak at best. Trialware? Where is the 30 trial on the my copy of Ubuntu? Shareware? I'm sorry but that term is taken by programs that half function until you buy the real thing. My copy of Inkscape lets me USE the software in anyway I see fit. If I use it to design something commercially I won't have men in black suits and badges demand money.

Oh wait you mean development? Please show me a shareware or trialware program that lets you have access to the source code and also lets you modify it in anyway you see fit. Also take up your qualms against the Free Software foundation, OSS never meant free software which is a term used by Stallman. Open Source is a development model, some licenses such as the BSD let you do anything and everything with it and I am sure giving credit to the original developer is not an economic burden.

Re:Meh (1)

Kookus (653170) | more than 6 years ago | (#24797247)

A lot of the restrictions are meant to make it so you can't take "my" code and use that as a starting point, make improvements and not allow everyone to benefit.
The whole point is to make a community that works together, or a perfect form of communism. If you're able to take "my" code and do whatever you feel like, you're just going to proliferate the number of forks that exist. Basically making a compatibility nightmare.

Could someone tell me... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795085)

What exactly the difference between the MPL and the GPL is? Or the EPL(which is mentioned in TFA)? Because to my non legalese mind they look pretty much the same. They seem to require source upon request, list the places the license needs to be placed in the binaries,etc. I'm afraid I have to go with Google on this one. There are a whole bunch of open source licenses out there and the last thing anybody wants is for open source to become a giant legal minefield,as that just gives more ammo to the FUD that MSFT likes to spew about "the perils of open source". Personally I think the GPL and BSD licenses should be enough,one says you have to share while the other says do whatever you want,so what more would you need for an open source license? But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

Re:Could someone tell me... (2, Insightful)

mcnazar (1231382) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795375)

The MPL is a soft copyleft whilst the GPL is a hard copyleft. infact s hard as them come

In simplest terms:

MPL: suitable for OSS libraries or components that can be compiled into and used in applications, without inheriting the MPL license.

GPL is like herpes. An example: if you use a GPL library with one line of code (LOC) in it and compile it into your one billion LOC application then your bigger application gets the GPL herpes virus and will then have to be released as GPL (if and when you choose to release it).

Once you get herpes you can never get rid of it.

So GPL is mainly used for full blown applications whilst MPL is generally employed by libraries.

Re:Could someone tell me... (1)

ejtttje (673126) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795623)

so then how does MPL differ from LGPL?

Re:Could someone tell me... (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796817)

IIRC, MPL allows static linking and doesn't require the dynamic library exception (under the LGPL, you have to be able to recompile the library and replace the dynamic library file).

The MPL is similar to the GPL in that changes must stay open source, but code in other linked files is not required to be licensed under GPL. I personally like it a lot.

Re:Could someone tell me... (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795403)

MPL (and Sun's CDDL) is like GPL on a file-by-file basis. Changes to MPL code must stay MPL (And therefore Open Source), but code in other files is not virally infected and can be under any other license.

Re:Could someone tell me... (1)

ejtttje (673126) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795675)

So then they're like the LGPL... which came first? I agree with Google's point about limiting license replication...

Re:Could someone tell me... (2, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796263)

it's like LGPL with a file-based granularity rather than library-based granularity. Also, MPL code can be linked into your binary. LGPL effectively requires dynamic linking/shared library. [Specifically, the user must be able to replace the LGPL part with their own version]

So it's sort of in the middle between BSD and LGPL.

Re:Could someone tell me... (1)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795517)

EPL is a region of the Eastern Kingdoms, and is well known for the small town of Light's Hope Chapel.

Re:Could someone tell me... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795883)

IIRC Mozilla uses a dual license. For the original author, it allows use of all user supplied modifications in a closed source program (i.e. Netscape). For everyone, it can also be used as copyleft.

MySQL also uses similar dual-licensing. Something like the MPL makes sense for certain business models.

Open source licenses come in 3 flavors. (5, Insightful)

jaaron (551839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796373)

The MPL and the GPL are very different. The MPL is closer to the LGPL and the EPL than it is to the GPL

One of the easiest ways to think of it was give by Dave Johnson [] back in 2006. You can place most open source licenses into one of three categories:

  • Gimme Credit: this includes the Apache, BSD and MIT licenses. Basically, you can do anything you want with the code, but you must give the original authors credit in some way.
  • Gimme Fixes: is used by the EPL, MPL, and LGPL. Basically, the original code will always be open source and any direct changes of the original code (patches, bug fixes, enhancements) must also be released as open source. However, you can combine this software with closed code to create a proprietary work. This license tends to be used by frameworks and libraries. Sometimes the original author gets special rights (like the NPL).
  • Gimme everything!: the GPL stands alone in it's requirement that the code itself and all derivative works be free software.

Hope that helps.

License proliferation IS bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24795311)

You should use the GNU GPL.

Google was right about this. And Google is right about this. They've certainly done a lot of bad things (e.g. China) but they got this case 105% right.

Mission Accomplished (1)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795371)

By banning MPL and then reversing the ban once the discussion heated up, Google has "made a statement".

What would help is for some OSS lawyer to come up with a simplified menu of licenses something like Creative Commons. You do need at least BSD and GPL, but I agree there are way too many licenses. We non-legal geeks just want simple choices like "share alike" (GPL), "attribution" (BSD), "non commercial" (like M$ "open" licenses - not in the open source spirit but ok when used sparingly).

Proposed solution (2, Interesting)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795421)

Here's a possible solution to the license proliferation / cross pollination problem of F/OSS software projects: Each open source compliant license could include within its terms specific permission to use portions of its project's code in software licensed under another open source compliant license. It could be called an Open Source Cross-Pollination Clause or something like that, and the wording would be identical across licenses. It would be a sort of "UCC of software licenses." As an example of what might happen if this clause were included in, say, the Apache license, the Mozilla license, and the Eclipse license: Suppose there are a group of functions in Apache that produce some result that might be useful in a web browser. The Mozilla project could copy that code verbatim, insert it into Mozilla, and perhaps make modifications to it later on. The copy of that portion of code would essentially become licensed under the Mozilla license. The Eclipse project could then find that code useful and copy it into Eclipse, perhaps modifying it further. Now there are three copies of that code, each licensed under the same license as the broader code that contains it. If, say, all OSI approved licenses decided to insert this Cross-Pollination Clause, it would completely solve the problems of license compatibility.

Re:Proposed solution (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24796465)

Except this fails to take into account the licenses that are created explicitly because developers don't want to see their code under a different license. Some view the BSD license as too lax, while at the same time viewing the GPL and LGPL as too restrictive. Therefore, they feel the need to create their own license, so that the code can be dealt with on their terms.

An immediate example that comes to mind is Sun Microsystems's CDDL. According to Wikipedia [] , the CDDL was based on the MPL explicitly because Solaris developers did not want their code to appear in GPL-licensed projects.

And before the GPL-advocates come in here and rally against this kind of behavior, remember that the GPL itself was created because the FSF developers did not feel secure in releasing their code into the public domain or under a permissive license, for fear that it would be incorporated into proprietary products. Likewise, the LGPL was created because certain libraries needed to be able to link to non-GPL code for strategic reasons.

Let The Mad Scientists Loose! (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 6 years ago | (#24795443)

As the proud owner of my own Google Code project, I can attest to the need for freedom and avoidance of any restrictions of any kind in Google Code. Are they looking to be an incubator of great new ideas? They let the mad scientists play! With the sad killing off of the GooglePages phenomenon, we're all sad to see the great benefactor turn Corporate on us. Please Google, stop crapping on your brand. Come back from the Dark Side.

creators re-release planet/population rescue kode (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24795467)

newclear powered, & way user friendly, as always. fear is unprecedented evile's primary weapon. that, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' greed/fear/ego based hired goons' agenda. Most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'war', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid scheme. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE

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corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

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whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

& pretending that it isn't happening here;
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

I don't get it... Mozilla is physically at Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24796337)

I mean, Mozilla Foundation is located *AT* one of Google's complex buildings on Landings Drive in Mountain View; I can't imagine what issue they could possibly have with the MSL. This was either a clueless person at Google with too much power or something more political.

License compatibility (1)

IAmAI (961807) | more than 6 years ago | (#24796339)

I suppose it would possible to dissect license agreements into numerous 'attributes' (e.g. freedom to copy, freedom to modify, freedom to use for any purpose, etc.) which can be compared and where two licenses do not have any conflicting attributes, they could be considered compatible.

The FSF already discuss computability with GPL [] and licenses that are compatible [] and incompatible [] with the GNU GPL so they must have done this already.

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