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Re: Mozilla Public License 2.0 released

On 05/01/12 23:16, Francesco Poli wrote:
> Clause 1.5(b) fails to solve existing compatibility headaches.
> It disables the default (L)GPL compatibility (caused by clause 3.3) for
> those works that were previously incompatible because they were only
> licensed under the MPL v1.1 (or earlier). This means that any existing
> compatibility headache stays unfixed, unfortunately.

As you can imagine; this was an intentional choice. Some people chose
the MPL because it was GPL-incompatible; pulling the rug from under them
would have been an unreasonable move.

> I think that it would have been far better if the license authors had
> enabled (L)GPL compatibility for previously incompatible MPL-licensed
> works. Doing so would have instantly solved many compatibility issues
> that currently affect MPL-licensed works. 

But possibly ridden roughshod over the intentions of the author of the

> Clause 2.3 limits the patent license grant when Covered Software is
> modified. This may create troubles (legal uncertainty) for people
> willing to modify the work (see DFSG#3).

No-one is going to offer to license any and every applicable patent they
own relating to a work which can be arbitrarily modified. Otherwise,
it's effectively giving a licence to everyone for every patent you own,
because any software can be incrementally transformed into any other

> If I understand correctly, accompanying the Executable with the Source
> Code is considered an acceptable way to satisfy clause 3.2(a). Also, if
> someone offers access to the Executable Form from a place, then
> offering equivalent access to Source Code from the same place (at a
> further charge no more than the cost of distribution) is considered
> another acceptable way to satisfy this clause. 

Both of those are corect, although in the second case, it would be wise
to include a notice in the executable form about where the download
location is.

> Clause 3.2(b) allows to sublicense the Executable Form under different
> terms, while the corresponding Source Code must remain available under
> the terms of the MPL. This is very confusing, IMHO: having Source Code
> and Executable forms under different licenses makes things unclear for
> the recipients.

This is inherent in the idea of a copyleft licence which does not
necessarily cover all the code in an Executable Form. LGPLv3 section 4
does the same for the LGPL ("You may convey a Combined Work under terms
of your choice...").

> This clause states that any law or regulation doing something shall not
> apply to this License: how can this be enforceable? can I write a
> license that "disables" laws, by simply stating that they do not
> apply?!?

You can do that for laws which allow it to be done. The method of
resolving license ambiguities is a default rule, but can be changed by
the contract itself.
Random Googled reference:

It is effectively a protection for the Contributor, who might otherwise
be stuck with a problem caused by Mozilla's inability to write clear

> Warning for people thinking to license their own works under the terms
> of the MPL: you have to really trust the Mozilla Foundation to always
> get things right, if you decide to license anything under the MPL!

As with the FSF and the GPL (if you use "or later").

I hope that the relationship of the spirit of MPL 2.0 to MPL 1.1 should
be good evidence of our benificence in this area.

> It's good that this is permitted, but it should have been strongly
> discouraged!

It has been:


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