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Mozilla Public License 2.0 Released

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the expect-3.0-beta-tomorrow dept.

Mozilla 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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40 comments

And with the new rapid release schedule (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38612332)

Mozilla Public License 3.0 will be released in April.

So is it compatible or not? (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38612364)

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?

Re:So is it compatible or not? (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38612462)

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:So is it compatible or not? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38612964)

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

Re:So is it compatible or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38613176)

Not sure, but I got my HME on my CDL.

(...because I do propane ...and propane accessories).

Re:So is it compatible or not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38613686)

So I take it a LEO never gave you a DUI on LSD?

Re:So is it compatible or not? (1)

luge (4808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624824)

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.

Big Open Source (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38612400)

Locking up successful code bases in stringent licenses that discourage re-use. Compensation of Open Source elites must be secured.

Re:Big Open Source (1)

RebelWebmaster (628941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38612474)

So a license update to make the MPL simpler and *more* compatible with other open source licenses is somehow discouraging re-use? Do explain.

Re:Big Open Source (4, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38612588)

So a license update to make the MPL simpler and *more* compatible with other open source licenses is somehow discouraging re-use? Do explain.

Its really simple. The MPL will be more compatible with other open source licenses (particularly, GPLv3 and ASL), but the software (particularly Firefox and Thunderbird) will only be licensed under the MPL, rather than triple licensed under the MPL, GPLv2, and LGPLv2.

Consequently, while the new license is compatible with more other licenses than the old MPL was, the software will no longer be licensed in a manner that is compatible with some of the licenses under which it was previously available. This has at least the potential for discouraging re-use of the software.

Re:Big Open Source (1)

luge (4808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624696)

No, that's wrong. Because the new license is compatible, when the relicensing (from MPL11/GPL/LGPL->MPL2) is complete, the software will still be licensed in a way that is compatible with GPL and LGPL code.

The only usage that will now be discouraged that was previously possible is the simple case where someone took the old code, and republished under only one license without combining it with GPL/LGPL code- in other words, they did it because they wanted it to be incompatible. (This was something that Stallman publicly stated was poor form, but some people did it anyway.) This is prohibited by the new language- you have to have a real reason now to switch the licensing, and you still have to do your first publication under both licenses instead of just one.

Faster License Versions (0, Redundant)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#38612550)

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.

Re:Faster License Versions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38612736)

Will there also be an LTS version ?

Wait a second... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38612644)

Hmm, I don't see any restriction under section 8 regarding litigation to stop me from suing for horrible memory management. Class-action suit FTW?

Innovation in licensing (4, Insightful)

ronocdh (906309) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Innovation in licensing (1)

olau (314197) | more than 2 years ago | (#38613320)

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.

Re:Innovation in licensing (1)

ronocdh (906309) | more than 2 years ago | (#38613628)

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 pleases everybody, and the MPL is not that panacea. Even though FLOSS is a huge part of the future of software in my estimation, the GPL in particular tends to scare some folks off of open source licenses, because they feel bullied and restricted by the mandate to share their code immediately with the world. In my eyes, this makes the GPL less free than similar licenses that allow for proprietary development (like MPL and MIT).

Re:Innovation in licensing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38615084)

the GPL in particular tends to scare some folks off of open source licenses, because they feel bullied and restricted by the mandate to share their code immediately with the world.

I'll admit I don't know much about licenses or even programming. I spent a couple of hours trying to learn Python a few years ago and that's it. But from what I do understand this isn't true at all. If the code is yours, you decide what to do with it so this feeling of being bullied and restricted arises from not understanding the GPL. Wouldn't it seem more reasonable to understand the GPL instead of creating another license?

Not saying no other licenses should exist, but the reason you give for having them doesn't make sense. Even if the code wasn't yours you wouldn't have to share it immideately. If however you use someone elses code, and that person let you do it on certain conditions, for example that you share the code *if you distribute it* (as the GPL does), then yeah, you do have to share it.

Re:Innovation in licensing (1)

Dagger2 (1177377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620520)

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.

Re:Innovation in licensing (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38621344)

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.

Re:Innovation in licensing (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38614846)

Why do you think being such a supporter implies primarily supporting the GPL? The term "FLOSS" was invented to include both free and open source license types.

By the way, Eric Raymond had this to say about the FLOSS acronym: "Somebody, please, shoot this pitiful acronym through the head and put it out of our misery."

Re:Innovation in licensing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38616174)

The sad thing is, that by using licenses (even when out of being forced to do it), we still acknowledge the lie about the validity of "intellectual property". Even though we know it's physically impossible nonsense that hurts us all.
And it is that acknowledgement that actually gives criminal organizations like the media Mafia (one "a") its power. If we would not acknowledge the concept of "copyright"/"ip", they could scream, hold their breath and roll around on the floor all day long. Nobody would care. We're the judges here.

There licenses are only a crutch, until the bullshit is purged. But the crutch is also an enabler, prolonging the problem. Same as e.g. Prozac doesn't free you from the fear. It removes the fear only temporarily, but with it also removes the motivation to fix the actual problem, prolonging the bad situation. Add to that the fact that the problem only grows stronger over time, and you will realize that it's a seriously bad idea to use the crutch in the first place.

Because you can either fix it with a bang right now,
or you can fix it with a huge kaboom later.

I'd rather fight the small war now.
But hey... denial is a bitch.

nobody cares (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38612884)

as long as crashplayer still manages to kill firefox i'll keep using IE in virtualbox

i can send you screenshots if you dont believe me... i use IE in virtualbox in linux to watch videos on youtube...

Re:nobody cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38613620)

No need for screenshots, just send the links in your about:crashes

Re:nobody cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38613776)

Under Windows, there is no problem with Flash in Firefox. I would have thought that Mozilla with all their dedication to FOSS would not follow the likes of ATI by delivering crappy Linux versions...

Re:Flash (2)

nullchar (446050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38613812)

i use IE in virtualbox in linux to watch videos on youtube...

Sorry but, that is retarded.

FlashPlayer "Square" hasn't crashed on me in 3 years! Even when it was a Labs project in alpha, it was stable on x64. Granted, I use NoScript to block 3rd party scripts (I temp whitelist the current domain) so that blocks most Flash ads and other junk from loading.

Download the tarball: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/otherversions/ [adobe.com]

Remove whatever flash came with your distro, throw libflashplayer.so in: /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/ and restart FF. `ps aux | grep plugin-container` might use a lot of ram after a long browsing session, but it's super-stable and has been for a long time.

Re:Flash (1)

canistel (1103079) | more than 2 years ago | (#38616584)

Yeah I gotta agree... at a certain point you'd think he'd stop and consider what he is doing and if everybody else on linux has to do the same thing (use IE in Virtual Box). I hate flash as much as the next nerd, but it has been "working" on linux for years now in pretty much the same state as it does on windows.

Re:Flash (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 2 years ago | (#38620518)

Even more so because YouTube has almost replaced Flash with HTML5/WebM anyway.

You can enable it here:
http://youtube.com/html5 [youtube.com]

Even works if YouTube is embedded on other websites.

Is there a LGPL AGPL mutant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38612998)

I prefer LGPL for all my software as a middle step between GPL and almost-public-domain licenses because it gives freedom to use in closed software, but the LGPL part of the software is copyleft, but what I am missing is feature of Affero GPL which adds obligation to give back changes which aren't even distributed (made for web services). Is there any license fulfilling this?

Oh it's a Mozilla thread again. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38613214)

Mozilla please listen to the massive amounts of negative feedback regarding your products (just read any Slashdot story related to Firefox the last several months). You got your billion dollars from Google now spend it properly so your reputation won't be the butt of version number jokes..

Posted from Chrome.

Is this the "GPL plus linking exception"? (2)

spitzak (4019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38613472)

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?

Re:Is this the "GPL plus linking exception"? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38613816)

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.

Re:Is this the "GPL plus linking exception"? (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 2 years ago | (#38613986)

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?

Re:Is this the "GPL plus linking exception"? (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38614458)

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

Re:Is this the "GPL plus linking exception"? (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 2 years ago | (#38614670)

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.

Re:Is this the "GPL plus linking exception"? (1)

lindi (634828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38614562)

LGPLv3 4.d.0: ..."the user to recombine or relink the Application with a modified version" ..

Re:Is this the "GPL plus linking exception"? (1)

spitzak (4019) | more than 2 years ago | (#38624868)

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.

Re:Is this the "GPL plus linking exception"? (1)

revealingheart (1213834) | more than 2 years ago | (#38627106)

No, that's correct. It was a deliberate design choice [wikipedia.org] 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 [google.com] , and (along with Firefox and Thunderbird) is used in Google Chrome and other software projects. There are also several licences [wikipedia.org] which are forks of MPL 1.1 with minor changes by larger projects.

MPL2 sounds like what you're looking for, as it's designed to be as compatible with other licenses (including GPL and LGPL) by default (unless you add an exception), and doesn't impose conditions on how to link software. As with 1.1, in section 10.3 [mozilla.org] you have the option of forking the MPL2 if you need to for any reason as others have done - but if you're looking for a license which anyone can use with the minimum of hassle, MPL2 is in my opinion a sound choice.

Time to boycott Mozilla? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38613766)

A simple, compatible license that doesn't cater to every whim of every version of the GPL? The freetards must be pissed.

I know a license (0, Flamebait)

andrew3 (2250992) | more than 2 years ago | (#38614536)

I know a license that is compatible with the GNU General Public License, Version 2.0, the GNU Lesser General Public License, Version 2.1, the GNU Affero General Public License, Version 3.0. It's called the BSD license.

And even better, it ensures future compatibility with all future licenses as well.

In all seriousness, copyleft these days is a pain in the ass, mainly because every second major entity that uses it is compelled to create their own license. Copyleft hurts free software.
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