OSI, licenses, MPL

Wes Bethel, R3vis Corporation wbethel at r3vis.com
Thu Feb 17 01:51:06 UTC 2000


thanks for your comments.

  +  Having just re-examined MPL 1.1 for all occurrences of the word
  +  "Netscape", it does not seem that there is any need to change the
  +  license at all for use on other projects. Yes, it's Netscape's license,
  +  but the only uses of the word Netscape (and other protected marks) are
  +  to identify who can release new versions of the license (in the same
  +  sense that the Gnu [L]GPL mentions Gnu/FSF) and to make clear that marks
  +  are not being licensed. You can certainly apply the license, as is, to
  +  an entirely new project and just fill in the blanks.

there was some previous discussion that you may have missed, and
i'd value your opinion based upon having all the background material.

there are amendments to the MPL 1.1. the amendments provide for
branded code, and in effect grant Netscape the rights. to wit:

"Netscape's Branded Code" means Covered Code that Netscape distributes 
and/or permits others to distribute under one or more trademark(s)
which are controlled by Netscape but which are not licensed for use under 
this License.

we find ourselves in a similar situation in that we intend to take
a closed product and release it as open source. portions of the closed
product will remain closed, and the combination of closed and open
sources will remain a traditional commercial product. we wish to
assert the same types of "code branding" priveleges as done by
netscape, but cannot change the language of the license under
the terms of the license (MPL 1.1).

section 6.3 states that filling in your name as contributor, and
substituting your project's name in place of Mozilla, etc. does not
constitute a fundamental change of the license (rather foresightful

one could liberally interpret 6.3 as meaning that one could
g/Netscape/s//YourCompany/ (also the project name) and still 
not change the license, esp the Amendments.

therefore, i believe that changes are required in our situation, but
they are largely cosmetic. we seek the same types of license
assertions with our commercial code as did Netscape with it's
branded code.

Wes Bethel, R3vis Corporation
wbethel at r3vis.com  - http://www.r3vis.com/
Phone: 415-898-0814  FAX: 415-898-2814

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