MPL Upgrade for the Mozilla Project

Mozilla is on the verge of completing an 18-month process to revise the Mozilla Public License (MPL), the licence it has used for most new code since the original release of the source code in 1998. MPL 2 is about half the length of MPL 1.1, has many provisions removed which have become onerous to comply with, and has better compatibility with other licences.

Many in the Mozilla community, including the project leadership, have reviewed drafts of the upcoming version and are eager to adopt it, in place of the tri-licensing scheme we currently use. (The MPL 2 is compatible with the LGPL and GPL, like the tri-licence.) We’d like to make sure all of the Mozilla community is aware that a decision on upgrading our code to the MPL 2 will be made shortly, and if there are any issues with doing so, we’d like to know about them before the licence is finalized.

We invite project participants to review the licence and raise any issues or questions they may have.

There is also a document about the upgrade process, which explains how we would go about it. Feedback on the proposals therein – both in mechanism and scope – is also very welcome.

Feedback can be sent to the mozilla.governance discussion forum.

5 thoughts on “MPL Upgrade for the Mozilla Project

  1. I think that dropping (L)GPL entirely is a terrible idea – I would much prefer a dual license of MPLv2 and LGPL.

    Probably the most logical thing would be MPLv2 & LGPLv3 to allow for use of Apache code.

  2. Ian M: What do you mean by “dropping (L)GPL entirely”? The MPL 2 has the same compatibility with respect to the LGPL and GPL as the tri-licence does. An MPLv2 / LGPL dual licence would be more complicated for no gain – we’d just be repeating ourselves.

  3. > MPL 2 is about half the length of MPL 1.1, has many
    > provisions removed which have become onerous to comply
    > with, and has better compatibility with other licences.

    That sounds good to me.

    I’m pretty sure the FSF did the world a disservice by going in just about exactly the opposite direction, adding complexity and onerous provisions to GPLv3. I understand their reasons, but I consider it to be a mistake. To my way of thinking, the ability to combine the code with other code (that might not have the same license) and make something useful out of the combination is at least as important as some of the freedoms RMS talks about. What good is big pile of totally free code if you can’t re-use it or add things to it because of license incompatibilities?