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From Jeffrey Thompson <jt...@us.ibm.com>
Subject Re: updating the MPL and making it Apache compatible
Date Mon, 15 Mar 2010 17:55:27 GMT
Henri Yandell <hyandell@gmail.com> wrote on 03/15/2010 01:06:13 PM:
> On Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 8:41 AM, Jeffrey Thompson <jthom@us.ibm.com>
wrote:
>
> > 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.
>
That's the problem I'm worried about.  We certainly don't want people doing
that, or using Apache to do that.  I was hoping that someone had a
brilliant idea on how to mitigate that problem.

> 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.
>
Right.  Asking Apache to pass on restrictions for the MPL code is virtually
the same as passing on the MPL, so that doesn't really help Apache.  Is
there any set of restrictions on the Apache Project itself that would
mitigate the MPL Project's concerns?

For example, a version of a value add clause that is often found in
Software OEM agreements --  shipping the source under a different license
is OK only if (a) the MPL code is being integrated into a larger work, (b)
the function of the larger work is not the same or substantially the same
as the MPL code, and (c) the Interfaces to the MPL code aren't externalized
to the user of the larger work in ordinary use.

I'm not suggesting that this is actually sufficient protection, but it
would stop the wholesale rinsing of MPL code.  Also, it might not actually
help accomplish Mozilla's goal of simplifying the license.   :-)

> Hen
>

Jeff

Counsel, IBM Corporation  (914)766-1757  (tie)8-826  (fax) -7164


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