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      • The Mozilla Public License v 1.1 - An Overview by Rowan Wilsonon 10 November 2005 , last updated 14 May 2012 Introduction The Mozilla Public License (MPL for short) is often portrayed as being the middle-ground between the strictness of the GNU General Public License (GPL) and the tolerance of the Berkeley Software Distribution License (BSD).
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    What is version 1.1 of Mozilla Public License?

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    How does the Mozilla Public License ( MPL ) work?

    When did Mozilla MPL 2.0 come out?

    • Definitions. 1.0.1. "Commercial Use" means distribution or otherwise making the Covered Code available to a third party. 1.1. "Contributor" means each entity that creates or contributes to the creation of Modifications.
    • Source Code License. 2.1. The Initial Developer Grant. The Initial Developer hereby grants You a world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license, subject to third party intellectual property claims
    • Distribution Obligations. 3.1. Application of License. The Modifications which You create or to which You contribute are governed by the terms of this License, including without limitation Section 2.2.
    • Inability to Comply Due to Statute or Regulation. If it is impossible for You to comply with any of the terms of this License with respect to some or all of the Covered Code due to statute, judicial order, or regulation then You must: (a) comply with the terms of this License to the maximum extent possible; and (b) describe the limitations and the code they affect.
    • Definitions. 1.0.1. "Commercial Use" means distribution or otherwise making the Covered Code available to a third party. 1.1. "Contributor" means each entity that creates or contributes to the creation of Modifications.
    • Source Code License. This is the part of the License in which it is spelled out precisely what permissions the contributors to the Source Code are granting.
    • Distribution Obligations. 3.1. Application of License. The Modifications which You create or to which You contribute are governed by the terms of this License, including without limitation Section 2.2.
    • Inability to Comply Due to Statute or Regulation. This section was included so that the license could allow for the inclusion in the Source Code of regulated software such as cryptographic code which may have legal restrictions placed on its broad and public distribution.
  2. 1.10. "Original Code" means Source Code of computer software code which is described in the Source Code notice required by Exhibit A as Original Code, and which, at the time of its release under this License is not already Covered Code governed by this License.

    • Introduction
    • History of The MPL
    • Main Features of The MPL
    • What Does The MPL do?
    • Further Reading

    The Mozilla Public License (MPL for short) is often portrayed as being the middle-ground between the strictness of the GNU General Public License (GPL) and the tolerance of the Berkeley Software Distribution License (BSD). It is not used anywere near as widely as either the GPL or the BSD licences, but its flexibility and thoughtful drafting mean that it is becoming more popular. This document attempts to draw together the main features of the Mozilla Public License into a friendly and comprehensible digest, and in addition to note some details about its history and usage. The licence itself can be read at http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mozilla1.1.php.

    In early 1998 Netscape Communications decided to stop charging for their web browser product Netscape Communicator. Having once been the market leader, Netscape Communications’ profitability had been eroded significantly by Microsoft’s bundling of their own web browser (Internet Explorer) as part of the Windows operating system. Following the decision to give their browser product away in binary form, Netscape Communications also soon decided to release the source code for the browser under an open source licence. Making Communicator open source was not an easy task. It contained components licensed from third parties who had not given Netscape permission to release the source of their work. It also contained cryptography code that, at the time, could not be freely exported from the United States. The code had to be worked on extensively to produce a version whose source could be released. There were other complications too. Netscape wanted to be able to take modifications to the co...

    The MPL, like any licence, grants rights under certain provisos. Unlike other open source licences, however, the MPL divides the granting of rights into two sections - one concerning the grant of rights by the code’s initial author, and another concerning the grant of rights by other people who have added code to the initial author’s work. The initial author grants these rights: 1. to use, reproduce, modify, display, perform, sublicense and distribute the source, and modified versions of the source; 2. patent rights to use and make available the original code (where relevant); 3. to distribute works which contain the code in combination with new code, and to license the new code in any way the distributor wishes. The contributor grants these subtly different rights: 4. to use, reproduce, modify, display, perform, sublicense and distribute the source of their modifications; 5. patent rights to use and make available both the modifications and the entire work (original code plus modif...

    These bullets are intended to summarise the salient parts of the MPL. They are not intended as a full description of its features. The Mozilla Public License 1. explicitly grants patent rights where necessary to operate the software; 2. keeps the covered code itself open source; 3. allows extensions of the code to be licensed in non-open ways. In 2010 the Mozilla Foundation initiated a consultation to update the MPL. In January 2012, version 2 of the Mozilla Public Licensewas approved by the Open Source Initiative. OSS Watch has produced a document that highlights the main legal issues to consider when Making your code available under an open source licence.

    Links: 1. The Mozilla Project [http://www.mozilla.org/] 2. GNU Project [http://www.gnu.org/] 3. Free Software Foundation [http://www.fsf.org/] 4. Open Source Initiative [http://www.opensource.org/] Related information from OSS Watch: 1. Index page for open source licences 2. The Mozilla Public Licence version 2 - An Overview 3. What kind of licence should I choose? 4. Open Source Development - An Introduction to Ownership and Licensing Issues 5. Making your code available under an open source licence 6. Dual Licensing as a business model

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  3. Mozilla Public License About the License. Mozilla is the custodian of the Mozilla Public License ("MPL"), an open source/free software license. The current version of the license is MPL 2.0 (html | plain text). If you want to use or distribute code licensed under the MPL 2.0 and have questions about it, you may want to read the FAQ.

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