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From Luis Villa <lvi...@mozilla.com>
Subject Re: updating the MPL and making it Apache compatible
Date Mon, 15 Mar 2010 18:05:23 GMT
On 3/15/10 10:55 AM, Jeffrey Thompson wrote:
> 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.

I don't see a good way around it; to the best of my knowledge no one does.

>> 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.

Jeff, do you have some example language for something like that? It'd be 
interesting to look at.

> 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.   :-)

As always, some things are tradeoffs. If we can figure out the right 
language here, this *might* be the kind of tradeoff we can make- 
certainly growing the code commons is important to us.


Luis Villa, Mozilla Legal
work email: lvilla@mozilla.com (preferred)
work phone: 650-903-0800 x327
personal: http://tieguy.org/about/

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