proposed activities module: Mozilla Public License

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Mitchell Baker

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Mar 8, 2010, 8:21:10 PM3/8/10
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I'd like to make an official Activities Module for the MPL, with me as
owner? It's a pretty important piece of project infrastructure. I
should have done this long ago, it was on the list when we made the
Governance module, but somehow slipped through.

I realized this omission because we're planning an update of the MPL to
simplify it, and it would be helpful to correct this ommission and have
a module for it.

(The plans for simpliying the MPL were announced in general terms at
the Monday meeting today, and will be followed by a website with real
process, info, FAQ, etc on Wed. If possible, I'd like to have the
module to point to as we kick this process off. (I'm also hoping this
updating process will make it clear who additional peers and such for
this module should be.)

Mitchell

Asa Dotzler

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Mar 8, 2010, 10:09:53 PM3/8/10
to

I think this is definitely a good idea. I'm confident that you're the
right person, at least initially, to lead this module and I doubt anyone
will suggest otherwise.

Have you got a set of peers in mind?

- A

Mitchell Baker

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Mar 9, 2010, 10:41:23 PM3/9/10
to Asa Dotzler

thanks! not yet a good idea of peers. Am hoping that the MPL revision
process sheds some light on this.

mitchell

Gervase Markham

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Mar 10, 2010, 7:54:46 AM3/10/10
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On 09/03/10 01:21, Mitchell Baker wrote:
> I'd like to make an official Activities Module for the MPL, with me as
> owner? It's a pretty important piece of project infrastructure. I
> should have done this long ago, it was on the list when we made the
> Governance module, but somehow slipped through.

I think it would be codifying existing structures, but it's a good idea
nevertheless :-)

Gerv

Mitchell Baker

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Mar 10, 2010, 7:11:23 PM3/10/10
to
Here;s the text I'm planning to use (comments welcome)

Mozilla Public License Module
• owner: Mitchell Baker
• peers: (TBD)
• newsgroup: mozilla.governance governance-mpl-update (at least during
the process of updating the MPL 11)
• scope: project-wide, and affects other projects using the MPL
• responsibilities: maintenance and development of the MPL

-- changes in the legal landscape which could /should be reflected
-- changes in FLOSS development practices which could / should be
reflected

mitchell

Luis Villa

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Mar 10, 2010, 7:21:29 PM3/10/10
to Mitchell Baker, gover...@lists.mozilla.org
On 3/10/10 4:11 PM, Mitchell Baker wrote:
> Here;s the text I'm planning to use (comments welcome)
>
>
>
> Mozilla Public License Module
> � owner: Mitchell Baker
> � peers: (TBD)
> � newsgroup: mozilla.governance governance-mpl-update (at least during

> the process of updating the MPL 11)
> � scope: project-wide, and affects other projects using the MPL
> � responsibilities: maintenance and development of the MPL

>
> -- changes in the legal landscape which could /should be reflected
> -- changes in FLOSS development practices which could / should be reflected

Would it make sense to add ownership of
http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/license-policy.html to this module as well? I
don't think they've been tied together historically in the past, so it
might not make sense, but they are fairly related documents and areas of
interest.

Luis

> mitchell
>
> On 3/10/10 4:54 AM, Gervase Markham wrote:
>> On 09/03/10 01:21, Mitchell Baker wrote:
>>> I'd like to make an official Activities Module for the MPL, with me as
>>> owner? It's a pretty important piece of project infrastructure. I
>>> should have done this long ago, it was on the list when we made the
>>> Governance module, but somehow slipped through.
>>
>> I think it would be codifying existing structures, but it's a good idea
>> nevertheless :-)
>>
>> Gerv
>>
>

> _______________________________________________
> governance mailing list
> gover...@lists.mozilla.org
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance


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

Mike Connor

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Mar 10, 2010, 7:26:30 PM3/10/10
to Luis Villa, Mitchell Baker, gover...@lists.mozilla.org

On 2010-03-10, at 4:21 PM, Luis Villa wrote:

> On 3/10/10 4:11 PM, Mitchell Baker wrote:

>> Here;s the text I'm planning to use (comments welcome)
>>
>>
>>
>> Mozilla Public License Module
>> • owner: Mitchell Baker
>> • peers: (TBD)
>> • newsgroup: mozilla.governance governance-mpl-update (at least during
>> the process of updating the MPL 11)
>> • scope: project-wide, and affects other projects using the MPL
>> • responsibilities: maintenance and development of the MPL
>>
>> -- changes in the legal landscape which could /should be reflected
>> -- changes in FLOSS development practices which could / should be reflected
>

> Would it make sense to add ownership of http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/license-policy.html to this module as well? I don't think they've been tied together historically in the past, so it might not make sense, but they are fairly related documents and areas of interest.

I would argue strongly that "what we allow projects in Mozilla to use" and "what the MPL does" should not be tied together. I think that they inform each other, but having the people who control a license have control over the pan-project policy around allowable licenses feels like a dangerous path.

-- Mike

Luis Villa

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Mar 10, 2010, 7:47:31 PM3/10/10
to Mike Connor, Mitchell Baker, gover...@lists.mozilla.org
On 3/10/10 4:26 PM, Mike Connor wrote:
>
> On 2010-03-10, at 4:21 PM, Luis Villa wrote:
>
>> On 3/10/10 4:11 PM, Mitchell Baker wrote:
>>> Here;s the text I'm planning to use (comments welcome)
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Mozilla Public License Module
>>> � owner: Mitchell Baker
>>> � peers: (TBD)
>>> � newsgroup: mozilla.governance governance-mpl-update (at least during

>>> the process of updating the MPL 11)
>>> � scope: project-wide, and affects other projects using the MPL
>>> � responsibilities: maintenance and development of the MPL

>>>
>>> -- changes in the legal landscape which could /should be reflected
>>> -- changes in FLOSS development practices which could / should be reflected
>>
>> Would it make sense to add ownership of http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/license-policy.html to this module as well? I don't think they've been tied together historically in the past, so it might not make sense, but they are fairly related documents and areas of interest.
>
> I would argue strongly that "what we allow projects in Mozilla to use" and "what the MPL does" should not be tied together. I think that they inform each other, but having the people who control a license have control over the pan-project policy around allowable licenses feels like a dangerous path.

I hadn't looked at it in that light before; makes sense. I withdraw the
suggestion :)

Luis

Mitchell Baker

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Mar 10, 2010, 7:52:57 PM3/10/10
to
On 3/10/10 4:26 PM, Mike Connor wrote:
>
> On 2010-03-10, at 4:21 PM, Luis Villa wrote:
>
>> On 3/10/10 4:11 PM, Mitchell Baker wrote:
>>> Here;s the text I'm planning to use (comments welcome)
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Mozilla Public License Module
>>> � owner: Mitchell Baker
>>> � peers: (TBD)
>>> � newsgroup: mozilla.governance governance-mpl-update (at least during

>>> the process of updating the MPL 11)
>>> � scope: project-wide, and affects other projects using the MPL
>>> � responsibilities: maintenance and development of the MPL

>>>
>>> -- changes in the legal landscape which could /should be reflected
>>> -- changes in FLOSS development practices which could / should be reflected
>>
>> Would it make sense to add ownership of http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/license-policy.html to this module as well? I don't think they've been tied together historically in the past, so it might not make sense, but they are fairly related documents and areas of interest.
>
> I would argue strongly that "what we allow projects in Mozilla to use" and "what the MPL does" should not be tied together. I think that they inform each other, but having the people who control a license have control over the pan-project policy around allowable licenses feels like a dangerous path.
>
> -- Mike

Interesting. My rationale was going to be different -- I have not been
actively involved with the license-policy.html page for a number of
years, so someone other than I has been acting as owner of that policy.

Maybe this should be included as a policy document, so a sub-module of
Governance, as we treat the security or commit access or CA policy?
that sounds right to me.

mconnor, this is different that the idea that the same owner is
dangerous. Why do you think that? I think the licensing policy page is
our view of what licenses are compatible with MPL, what other licenses
are OK for non product code, etc. (I'm not saying this because I want
to own the license-policy; I am exceedingly happy to hae it maintained
without my direct involvement.)

mitchell

Luis Villa

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Mar 10, 2010, 8:04:12 PM3/10/10
to gover...@lists.mozilla.org

Not to put words in mconnor's mouth, but I agreed with him readily
because it seems to make sense to have some deliberation and arms length
separation between 'what the license is' and 'how the license is used.'
If nothing else, that other module owner is a nice sanity check on the
owner of the MPL.

Mike Connor

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Mar 10, 2010, 8:15:13 PM3/10/10
to Luis Villa, gover...@lists.mozilla.org

On 2010-03-10, at 5:04 PM, Luis Villa wrote:

> On 3/10/10 4:52 PM, Mitchell Baker wrote:

>> On 3/10/10 4:26 PM, Mike Connor wrote:
>>>
>>> On 2010-03-10, at 4:21 PM, Luis Villa wrote:
>>>
>>>> On 3/10/10 4:11 PM, Mitchell Baker wrote:
>>>>> Here;s the text I'm planning to use (comments welcome)
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Mozilla Public License Module

>>>>> • owner: Mitchell Baker
>>>>> • peers: (TBD)

>>>>> • newsgroup: mozilla.governance governance-mpl-update (at least during


>>>>> the process of updating the MPL 11)

>>>>> • scope: project-wide, and affects other projects using the MPL
>>>>> • responsibilities: maintenance and development of the MPL

> Not to put words in mconnor's mouth, but I agreed with him readily because it seems to make sense to have some deliberation and arms length separation between 'what the license is' and 'how the license is used.' If nothing else, that other module owner is a nice sanity check on the owner of the MPL.

Right. I think that people actively involved in drafting a specific license, with specific goals, will not necessarily line up with all of the goals of the projects under mozilla.org's umbrella. If (in theory) moving away from the MPL in the future is the right thing for some parts of the project, that is an entirely separate discussion from how the MPL itself evolves.

-- Mike

Gervase Markham

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Mar 11, 2010, 5:14:51 AM3/11/10
to
On 11/03/10 00:52, Mitchell Baker wrote:
> Interesting. My rationale was going to be different -- I have not been
> actively involved with the license-policy.html page for a number of
> years, so someone other than I has been acting as owner of that policy.

Yes; I think if anyone owns it, I do. I rewrote it a year or two ago.

Gerv

Gervase Markham

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Mar 11, 2010, 5:15:42 AM3/11/10
to
On 11/03/10 00:11, Mitchell Baker wrote:
> Mozilla Public License Module
> • owner: Mitchell Baker
> • peers: (TBD)
> • newsgroup: mozilla.governance governance-mpl-update (at least
> during the process of updating the MPL 11)

Nit: mozilla.governance.mpl-update

Otherwise, looks good.

Gerv

Mitchell Baker

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Mar 11, 2010, 1:42:27 PM3/11/10
to
On 3/10/10 5:15 PM, Mike Connor wrote:

>>>
>>> mconnor, this is different that the idea that the same owner is
>>> dangerous. Why do you think that? I think the licensing policy page is
>>> our view of what licenses are compatible with MPL, what other licenses
>>> are OK for non product code, etc. (I'm not saying this because I want to
>>> own the license-policy; I am exceedingly happy to hae it maintained
>>> without my direct involvement.)
>>
>> Not to put words in mconnor's mouth, but I agreed with him readily because it seems to make sense to have some deliberation and arms length separation between 'what the license is' and 'how the license is used.' If nothing else, that other module owner is a nice sanity check on the owner of the MPL.
>
> Right. I think that people actively involved in drafting a specific license, with specific goals, will not necessarily line up with all of the goals of the projects under mozilla.org's umbrella. If (in theory) moving away from the MPL in the future is the right thing for some parts of the project, that is an entirely separate discussion from how the MPL itself evolves.
>
> -- Mike
>

Ah, this is the idea that the owner of the MPL might not have a clear
view as to whether the MPL is the correct license for some or all of the
Mozilla project? that if apache, or CC-0 or some other license is
correct for some parts, the MPL owner might feel threatened and not make
good decisions, even if that person was otherwise the best person for
the mozilla licensing policy role?

Seems possible. It doesn't concern me personally, but that's probably
because I don't feel any conflict between the two. In general I'm a fan
of having organizational incentives align with desired activities, so
I'm fine to keep them separate. (Actually, I'm intensely grateful Gerv
has been doing this.)

Not sure I agree with the assertion it's fundamentally dangerous, but
that's not something we need to come to agreement on now.

Currently planning to add and MPL module and to add a "mozilla licensing
policy" sub-module in the Governance section.

Mitchell

Mike Connor

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Mar 11, 2010, 2:21:03 PM3/11/10
to Mitchell Baker, gover...@lists.mozilla.org

On 2010-03-11, at 10:42 AM, Mitchell Baker wrote:

> On 3/10/10 5:15 PM, Mike Connor wrote:
>
>>>>
>>>> mconnor, this is different that the idea that the same owner is
>>>> dangerous. Why do you think that? I think the licensing policy page is
>>>> our view of what licenses are compatible with MPL, what other licenses
>>>> are OK for non product code, etc. (I'm not saying this because I want to
>>>> own the license-policy; I am exceedingly happy to hae it maintained
>>>> without my direct involvement.)
>>>
>>> Not to put words in mconnor's mouth, but I agreed with him readily because it seems to make sense to have some deliberation and arms length separation between 'what the license is' and 'how the license is used.' If nothing else, that other module owner is a nice sanity check on the owner of the MPL.
>>
>> Right. I think that people actively involved in drafting a specific license, with specific goals, will not necessarily line up with all of the goals of the projects under mozilla.org's umbrella. If (in theory) moving away from the MPL in the future is the right thing for some parts of the project, that is an entirely separate discussion from how the MPL itself evolves.
>>
>> -- Mike
>>
>
> Ah, this is the idea that the owner of the MPL might not have a clear view as to whether the MPL is the correct license for some or all of the Mozilla project? that if apache, or CC-0 or some other license is correct for some parts, the MPL owner might feel threatened and not make good decisions, even if that person was otherwise the best person for the mozilla licensing policy role?

I wouldn't even say threatened, but to me this is similar to how the toolkit and Firefox modules interact. There is likely to be strong alignment, and a strong dependency, but having separate modules feels cleaner, because the goals are not fully aligned, and we should not construct an organizational structure which implies that they must continue to be.

In general, I am not philosophically opposed to a 'personal union' in these situations, but it feels like any potential MPL owner would need a strong legal background, whereas licensing policy is far more of an organizational goals issue (i.e. what outcomes do we want from our license choices?). I suspect that a peers list for the two groups would have a significant divergence, even if it was the same owner for both.

> Not sure I agree with the assertion it's fundamentally dangerous, but that's not something we need to come to agreement on now.

It's a bit of "no man can serve two masters" IMO. Where it is both healthy and useful to have divergent goals, setting up a structure to encourage that type of (hopefully mild) tension seems the optimal path to me. But, well, I like a bit more organization tension than others... :)

-- Mike

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