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Re: Mozilla Public License is non-free: stipulates court venue ?

Sean Kellogg <skellogg@u.washington.edu> wrote:
> I don't believe the MPL was ever meant to be a free license,just an open one, 
> hence the requests and eventual agreement to release it under the GPL.  So 
> long as Debian distributes under the GPL, there's no issue for debian-legal.

I'm afraid that is a revisionist interpretation.  First, Mozilla is
certainly intended to be "Open Source", which is essentially the same as
what Debian means by "free":

"This document contains the Mozilla Public License, which is an
Open-Source license suitable for general use."
-- http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/

Second, the stated reason for the GPL option is to deal with
incompatibilities, not to change the overall policy:

"Some time ago mozilla.org announced its intent to seek relicensing of
Mozilla code under a new licensing scheme that would address perceived
incompatibilities of the Mozilla Public License (MPL) with the GNU
General Public License (GPL) and GNU Lesser General Public License
-- http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/relicensing-faq.html

In fact, the site goes on to say they are not even sure that this step
is really necessary, but instead that they are simply trying to avoid
*possible* worries:

"It is unclear whether a developer could be successfully sued for
copyright infringement on grounds related to these perceived license
incompatibilities. However, to eliminate possible uncertainties
concerning this question..."
-- http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/relicensing-faq.html

This is an interesting case.  Many people have been operating under the
assumption that MPL is freer than GPL, and after this discussion that
still seems to be the case in *practice*.


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