Mozilla Public License Version 2.0 Released

We’re starting off 2012 by releasing MPL 2.0, the updated version of the Mozilla Public License.  Here are the details about MPL 2.0.  The MPL was created as part of the launch of the Mozilla project in 1998, and was updated once in 1999.  The MPL is used by the Mozilla project for much of its code, including Firefox and Thunderbird.  It is also used by other organizations and individuals.

Version 2.0 is similar in spirit to the previous versions, but shorter, better, and more compatible with other Free Software and Open Source Licenses.   We appreciate the help of the Free Software Foundation for GPL compatibility and the Open Source Initiative for assistance with compatibility and their ultimate certification of the MPL as meeting free software and open source standards.

The MPL 1.1 versions had one expert who had been involved in every word and every decision.  Even today, more than a decade later, I can still bring to mind particular phrases or section references along with the rationale behind them.  The MPL 2.0 is a vast improvement here as well.  It has 5 peers now,  instead of just one.

I also want to call out the stellar work of Luis Villa, supported by Heather Meeker.  Luis started the MPL 2.0 revision process as a new lawyer just out of law school, but with a long and deep background in free/open source software.  Harvey and I believed that his software experience and his motivation would make up for his status as a young lawyer.     We have been more than vindicated — Luis began with project management, and has come to own much of the content over time.

The MPL 2.0 will be adopted by the Mozilla project; this decision was proposed, reviewed and decided as part of the beta and Release Candidate process over the fall of 2011.  The actual update process with be managed by Gervase Markham,  who managed the update from the MPL only to the MPL tri-license many years ago.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the process.  It’s an honor to work with so many great people.

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