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From Henri Yandell <hyand...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: updating the MPL and making it Apache compatible
Date Mon, 15 Mar 2010 17:06:13 GMT
On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 8:41 AM, Jeffrey Thompson <jthom@us.ibm.com> wrote:
>
> "Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen@rosenlaw.com> wrote on 03/12/2010 08:57:43 PM:
>
>> RE: updating the MPL and making it Apache compatible
>>
>> Hi Luis,
>>
> ...
>> I'm also sort of surprised that you believe there's an incompatibility
>> between the Apache License 2.0 and the MPL. Apache is thrilled to have
> its
>> software incorporated into any larger works under any license anyone
> wants.
>> If we're compatible with proprietary licenses, why aren't we already
>> compatible with the MPL?
>>
> ...
>> I believe that the Apache License 2.0 is already one-way compatible with
> MPL
>> 1.1, and I can't imagine what you would put in your new license that
> would
>> change that situation for the worse. I'll be watching, though, just in
> case.
>> ;)
>
> Larry, Luis,
>
> Do you think that there is an opportunity to get the MPL 2-way compatible
> with the Apache license?

I'd love to see that. I was trying to think of how weak-copyleft and
permissive could find a middle ground, but couldn't think of a
permissively,with,some,copyleft license that could satisfy both
philosophies.

> As I understand it, Apache projects occasionally want to include MPL
> licensed software, and could include binaries under Category B of Apache's
> Third Party Licensing Policy.  Binaries are normally the only form of
> distribution because source code for MPL projects can only be distributed
> under the MPL, whereas binaries can be distributed under different terms.
> As the policy points out, limiting the distribution to binaries causes some
> practical issues, especially for scripting languages, etc.

The direct Apache reason on the binary-only policy is that it lowers
the risk of modifications being incorrectly managed. We have items in
category B that don't have the binaries under different license
option.

We could solve this with a read-only infrastructure that manages the
changes; but it also requires our users to setup the same type of
infrastructure. Maybe if we someday end up with a standard approach to
classifying licensing in projects that could be possible.

> Under the weak copyleft principle, the source code must always be available
> under the public license (in this case MPL).  It would be theoretically
> possible to include in the next version of the MPL permission to distribute
> either source or binary under different terms as long as the source code is
> also available under the MPL itself.  The relevant question is whether that
> would create too much of a problem for MPL projects.

I think the biggest issue here is that the user of the product under
the different license is now detached from MPL. Effectively this would
be a 1-tier copyleft system and you could get around MPL by setting up
a non-profit foundation who redistribute MPL under permissive
licensing.

It could be a clause that allows this as long as certain rights are
removed (redistribution/modification), but that wouldn't have value
for the community, just the proprietary end user.

Hen

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