Mozilla

Mozilla Public License Version 2.0 Released

January 3rd, 2012

We’re starting off 2012 by releasing MPL 2.0, the updated version of the Mozilla Public License.  Here are the details about MPL 2.0.  The MPL was created as part of the launch of the Mozilla project in 1998, and was updated once in 1999.  The MPL is used by the Mozilla project for much of its code, including Firefox and Thunderbird.  It is also used by other organizations and individuals.

Version 2.0 is similar in spirit to the previous versions, but shorter, better, and more compatible with other Free Software and Open Source Licenses.   We appreciate the help of the Free Software Foundation for GPL compatibility and the Open Source Initiative for assistance with compatibility and their ultimate certification of the MPL as meeting free software and open source standards.

The MPL 1.1 versions had one expert who had been involved in every word and every decision.  Even today, more than a decade later, I can still bring to mind particular phrases or section references along with the rationale behind them.  The MPL 2.0 is a vast improvement here as well.  It has 5 peers now,  instead of just one.

I also want to call out the stellar work of Luis Villa, supported by Heather Meeker.  Luis started the MPL 2.0 revision process as a new lawyer just out of law school, but with a long and deep background in free/open source software.  Harvey and I believed that his software experience and his motivation would make up for his status as a young lawyer.     We have been more than vindicated — Luis began with project management, and has come to own much of the content over time.

The MPL 2.0 will be adopted by the Mozilla project; this decision was proposed, reviewed and decided as part of the beta and Release Candidate process over the fall of 2011.  The actual update process with be managed by Gervase Markham,  who managed the update from the MPL only to the MPL tri-license many years ago.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the process.  It’s an honor to work with so many great people.

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41 comments for “Mozilla Public License Version 2.0 Released”

  1. 1

    Pingback from Mozilla rings in new year with 2.0 license overhaul | ZDNet

    [...] It has been approved by the Free Software Foundation for GPL compatibility and by the Open Source Initiative for meeting open source standards, the project announced. [...]

  2. 2

    Pingback from Увидела свет лицензия Mozilla Public License 2.0 | AllUNIX.ru — Всероссийский портал о UNIX-системах

    [...] Mozilla анонсировал финальный вариант открытой лицензии MPL 2.0 (Mozilla Public [...]

  3. 3

    Pingback from Mozilla Public License 2.0 - Creative Commons

    [...] the Mozilla Public License 2.0 after a two year versioning process. As Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker writes “Version 2.0 is similar in spirit to the previous versions, but shorter, better, and more [...]

  4. 4

    Stephen Shankland said on January 3rd, 2012 at 1:41 pm:

    What open-source licenses is MPL 2.0 compatible with? That is, what code from projects under other licenses can be imported into an MPL project and vice-versa?

  5. 5

    harvey said on January 3rd, 2012 at 2:45 pm:

    Way to go Luis, Gerv, and all the folks who provided comments, feedback, guidance, whether adopted or not. Drafting in public and openly is hard and not natural or intuitive for lawyers especially. The interesting thing is that the newly tuned mpl has dropped a bunch of stuff that wasn’t used or which created too much overhead, but the core of it remains the same – suggesting that it has stood the test of time. This is pretty impressive since I think this may have been the 1st open source license that you wrote Mitchell. Plus at the time, it’s not like there was a lot of precedent and models for how it should be done. well done to all.

  6. 6

    Pingback from Новости компьютерного мира - Увидела свет лицензия Mozilla Public License 2.0

    [...] 4th, 2012 at 2:56 дп Posted In: Без рубрики Проект Mozilla анонсировал финальный вариант открытой лицензии MPL 2.0 (Mozilla Public [...]

  7. 7

    Pingback from Mozilla公共许可证2.0发布_互联网资讯最新报道_野火集

    [...] Mozilla宣布发布Mozilla公共许可证2.0(Mozilla Public License [...]

  8. 8

    Pingback from Mozilla Releases Version 2.0 of Its License

    [...] of the Mozilla Foundation, which manages the releases of the Firefox browser and other software, in a blog post. Mozilla will be changing its code base to use the new license, though it hasn't specified a [...]

  9. 9

    Pingback from Mozilla Releases Version 2.0 of Its License | Got2.Me

    [...] of the Mozilla Foundation, which manages the releases of the Firefox browser and other software, in a blog post. Mozilla will be changing its code base to use the new license, though it hasn’t specified a [...]

  10. 10

    Pingback from LinuxMaster | Blog | Увидела свет лицензия Mozilla Public License 2.0 | ЛинуксМастер

    [...] Mozilla анонсировал финальный вариант открытой лицензии MPL 2.0 (Mozilla Public [...]

  11. 11

    Pingback from Mozilla Public License, die zweite | virtualfiles.net

    [...] hat die Mozilla Public License in Version 2.0 veröffentlicht. Wie Mozilla-Chefin Mitchell Baker schreibt, bringt die MPL 2.0 wenig inhaltliche Änderungen gegenüber den früheren Versionen; sie sei aber [...]

  12. 12

    Pingback from Linux Blog » Blog Archive » Zdrojový kód Firefoxu změní licenci

    [...] projektů) je aktuálně k dispozici pod trojlicencí MPL 1.1/GPL 2.0/LGPL 2.1. Do dvouleté práci bylo dnes oznámeno uvolnění licence Mozilla Public License (MPL) 2.0, která je po více než 10 letech nástupcem [...]

  13. 13

    Pingback from Mozilla Public License 2.0 released - Open News

    [...] Project announced the official end of MPL 2.0 : "2.0 version and the previous version is similar, but shorter, [...]

  14. 14

    Pingback from Mozilla objavila MPL za verziju 2.0 : IT Rešenja

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  15. 15

    Pingback from Mozilla releases version 2.0 of its license | kevs-productreviews.com

    [...] of the Mozilla Foundation, which manages the releases of the Firefox browser and other software, in a blog post. Mozilla will be changing its code base to use the new license, though it hasn’t specified a [...]

  16. 16

    MJ Ray said on January 4th, 2012 at 8:51 am:

    I don’t really understand why the Mozilla Foundation is doing this. If this signals an end of the tri-licensing approach, where people could just use Mozilla software under the well-known GNU *GPLs without a hoop-jumping conversion step, then that is very sad.

    It seems like a slide back towards licence proliferation. It looks like FSF and OSI have dropped the ball by approving MPL 2.0 instead of criticising that.

    Also, does MPL 2.0 export software patents to jurisdictions where they don’t exist, by making it terminate over unrelated non-software patent disputes?

  17. 17

    mitchell said on January 4th, 2012 at 10:19 am:

    Stephen: Apache, GPL and LGPL code can all be combined in the same executable. (BSD has been possible all along.) Apache code can be combined in the same executable as MPL code, and distributed under the MPL. GPL and LGPL code can also be combined in the same executable with MPL code. There are nuances about how the subsequent licensing is done, there are details in our FAQ, quetions 13 and 14. http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/2.0/FAQ.html#mpl-bsd-and-apachere here.

    We worked closely with the FSF to enable this. Their description is here: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#MPL-2.0

  18. 18

    Pingback from Home of KaiRo: The Winds Of Change

    [...] as community members) a few high-profile ones who were looking for new challenges, worked on the MPL 2.0, founded exciting new initiatives like WebFWD and went stronger on marketing that we are a [...]

  19. 19

    Paul Lockett said on January 4th, 2012 at 2:05 pm:

    MJ Ray, I’d say it’s exactly the opposite.

    With v1.1, tri-licencing was opt-in. With v2.0, it is the default and becomes opt out, increasing the likelihood that code can be re-used.

    I’ve never used MPL 1.1 for my code, but I will be using MPL 2.0

  20. 20

    mitchell said on January 4th, 2012 at 4:36 pm:

    MJ Ray, there shouldn’t be any new “hoop-jumping conversion step.” Also, we see this as reducing proliferation since we worked hard to remove some of the aspects (like choice of law) that resulted in new licenses.

  21. 21

    Pingback from Mozilla opens up public license, now compatible with Apache and GPL | kevs-productreviews.com

    [...] of the Mozilla Foundation, which manages the releases of the Firefox browser and other software, in a blog post. Mozilla will be changing its code base to use the new license, though it hasn’t specified a [...]

  22. 22

    Pingback from Mozilla Public License 2.0 released » Why Linux?

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  23. 23

    MJ Ray said on January 5th, 2012 at 3:14 am:

    Mitchell, Paul – thanks for the replies.

    I think there is a new hoop-jumping step because under tri-licensing, people could just use Mozilla software under the well-known GNU *GPLs, whereas under MPL 2.0 they have to combine the Covered Software with something under a Secondary License to activate 3.3 and get it under the GPL. Can you explain to me why that step isn’t needed? Maybe I overlook some legal fact.

  24. 24

    Pingback from MPL2.0が公開 | オープンソース・ライセンスの談話室

    [...] Mozilla Public License Version 2.0 Released | Mitchell’s Blog [...]

  25. 25

    Lennie said on January 7th, 2012 at 2:48 am:

    Congratulations Mitchell and everyone else involved, I know you worked on it for a long time.

  26. 26

    Pingback from Увидела свет лицензия Mozilla Public License 2.0

    [...] Mozilla анонсировал финальный вариант открытой лицензии MPL 2.0 (Mozilla Public [...]

  27. 27

    Pingback from Mozilla rings in new year with 2.0 license overhaul | ReviewLinux

    [...] It has been approved by the Free Software Foundation for GPL compatibility and by the Open Source Initiative for meeting open source standards, the project announced. [...]

  28. 28

    Gervase Markham said on January 9th, 2012 at 5:09 am:

    MJ: the idea is that people can use the code under the LGPL or GPL when they have some reason to need to (i.e. because they want to combine it with an existing body of GPLed code). It is no longer possible just to say “well, I like the GPL” and simply convert code to being under the GPL – but that’s a feature, not a bug. The former system resulted in a greater likelihood of code forking under incompatible licensing terms; the new MPL reduces that possibility.

  29. 29

    Pingback from P2P Foundation » Blog Archive » Mozilla rings in new year with 2.0 license overhaul

    [...] It has been approved by the Free Software Foundation for GPL compatibility and by the Open Source Initiative for meeting open source standards, the project announced. [...]

  30. 30

    Pingback from Mozilla releases version 2.0 of its license « system-ON-key

    [...] of the Mozilla Foundation, which manages the releases of the Firefox browser and other software, in a blog post. Mozilla will be changing its code base to use the new license, though it hasn’t specified a [...]

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    [...] the Mozilla Foundation, which manages the releases of the Firefox browser and other software, in a blog post. Mozilla will be changing its code base to use the new license, though it hasn’t specified a [...]

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