Hi, mpl-update and governance lists-
On behalf of the other maintainers, I'm excited to announce the publication
of version 2.0 of the Mozilla Public License
txt <http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/2.0/index.txt>). We hope that this license
will serve its users (including Mozilla) well for the next decade, just as
MPL 1.1 did.
For those of you who have been following along throughout the process,
there are no surprises in the text below, but I want to particularly
highlight two things:
- the acknowledgements section, because this group (including both named
parties below, names I have forgotten, and people who contributed
semi-anonymously through co-ment) has been genuinely helpful and important
to the process, even when we have disagreed.
- the note on approval by the OSI and FSF. This is something I've
mentioned in passing, but have not discussed much, so it may count as news
even here. I believe that having this approval at publication time is a
first for a new license. (The OSI link is not live yet, but should be
About the MPL
**Just like version 1.1, version 2.0 of the Mozilla Public License is a
"file-level copyleft" license. The license is designed to encourage
contributors to share modifications they make to MPL-licensed code, while
still allowing users to create projects that combine MPL-licensed code with
code under other licenses (either open or proprietary).
MPL 2.0, like MPL 1.1 before it, has been approved as a free software
license by the Free Software
and as an Open Source license by the Open Source
The result of a two year revision process that included feedback and
suggestions from the Mozilla community, users of the MPL (both community
and corporate), and the broader open source legal community, MPL 2.0
contains several important changes from MPL 1.1. In particular, MPL 2.0:
- is simpler and shorter, using the past 10 years of in-practice
application of the license to help better understand what is and isn't
necessary in an open source license.
- is modernized for recent changes in copyright law, and incorporates
feedback from lawyers outside the United States on issues of applicability
in non-US jurisdictions.
- provides patent protections for contributors more in line with those
of other open source licenses, and allows an entire community of
contributors to protect any contributor if they are sued.
- provides compatibility with the Apache and GPL licenses, making code
reuse and redistribution easier.
For a more complete list of changes, see the FAQ's entry on "what has
Using MPL 2.0
The MPL FAQ explains how to use MPL 2.0 for new
and the MPL Revision FAQ explains how to use MPL 2.0 for code originally
licensed under MPL
The Mozilla Project has announced that it will move to the new
Further plans and procedures for moving to MPL will be announced on
appropriate newsgroups, including
Along with the release of MPL 2.0, we have released a variety of materials
designed to help answer questions about the new license.
- *FAQ* <http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/2.0/FAQ.html>: The MPL FAQ answers
critical questions about the license. We will continue to revise and update
this as new questions are asked.
- *Revision Process FAQ<http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/2.0/Revision-FAQ.html>
:* The Revision Process FAQ answers questions about the process we
followed to upgrade the license from 1.1 to 2.0, including details on the
changes made to the license.
- *Historical Information
<http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/historical.html>:*We've collected a
variety of historical information about previous versions
of the license, including old license texts and license FAQs, in one place,
Any two-year long process will necessarily involve feedback and involvement
from too many people to thank completely in one place. With apologies to
those we have overlooked, the maintainer and peers would like to thank the
following people, who have been particularly helpful in various areas:
- Members of the mozilla-governance-mpl newsgroup, particularly
including Benoit Jacob, Ben Bucksch, Alexis Richardson, and Michael Kay.
Many of this group's suggestions made it into the license, but even when
the suggestions couldn't be incorporated, they pushed to make the license
- Heather Meeker and Karen Copenhaver, who both contributed a
substantial amount of time and expertise, particularly during the critical
beta period when much wordsmithing was necessary.
- Till Jaeger, who was instrumental in helping us think through
international copyright issues.
- Daniel German and other members of his research group, whose useful
advice and research helped us understand how licenses are deployed in the
- Brett Smith, Eben Moglen, Aaron Williamson, James Vasile, and Richard
Fontana, who all gave helpful feedback in many areas, but particularly in
the area of GPL compatibility.
- Simon Phipps and Karl Fogel, who both were very helpful in shepherding
the license through the OSI process.
- The fine folks in Apache's legal team, who were helpful in discussing
Apache compatibility issues early in the process.
- Members of the FSF-E's Freedom Task Force, as well as many other
in-house lawyers from several large software firms who preferred not to be
named publicly but quietly gave their time and specific advice to help
improve the license.
- The creators of the open source software tools used to write the
license, particularly the co-ment team <http://co-ment.com/>, G.P.
Halkes of dwdiff <http://os.ghalkes.nl/dwdiff.html>, and John MacFarlane
of pandoc <http://johnmacfarlane.net/pandoc/>.
If you have any questions about the new MPL, please contact
Luis, on behalf of the maintainer and peers (Mitchell Baker, Harvey
Anderson, Gervase Markham, and Heather Meeker)