What does "new" mean in Section 1.9 (b) of the MPL v 1.1.?

Maria Magliano maria at aet-law.com
Mon Apr 5 16:07:24 UTC 2010



Yes, this helps tremendously!  Thank you so much for sharing these comments.

Kind regards,



From: Mitchell Baker [mailto:mitchell at mozilla.com] 
Sent: Friday, April 02, 2010 5:27 PM
To: license-discuss at opensource.org; maria at aet-law.com
Subject: Re: What does "new" mean in Section 1.9 (b) of the MPL v 1.1.?



I think it's possible that the person describing the use case  to you uses
words differently than the MPL does.  If so, there might be an easy answer.
>From the use case described to you, I can imagine a setting where the JAR
file is included as a separate source file and is sent to and assembled by a
browser along with a bunch of other proprietary files that together make up
a web application.  If this is the case then the MPL shouldn't affect the
other proprietary files. 

To know if this is the case we could all probably use a deeper understanding
of what "proprietary web application files" are and where things are
assembled and run.  

More specifically, 

*	it's possible that the people describing this to you mean "assembled
and run in the browser."  If so, this  is true of all content the browser
displays and something that doesn't matter so much to the analysis.
*	Does "proprietary web applications files" mean something like a web
application framework or a set of directories composed of many distinct
*	If so, is the use case dropping the JAR file into this framework or
directory structure?
*	If so, are the lines of code in the JAR file combined within the
same source code file as other code?

If the JAR file is included as a separate source file and is sent to a
browser along with a bunch of other proprietary files, then the MPL wasn't
intended affect the other proprietary files.  If the MPL code is included in
the same *source code* file then the setting is different.  

To get closer to  your specific question, the thinking behind 1.9 (b)  is
that 1.9(a) says any change to an existing MPL file is a Modification.   An
easy way to avoid that is to copy a bunch of stuff from a file (which
doesn't result to a change in that file) and past it into a new file then
make additions.  I don't think we ever made a distinction as to whether what
was combined with the MPL code was pre-existing or not.  So if the use case
in question turns out to be that MPL code is being combined in the same
source file with other code I don't think the timing of which code (MPL or
other) was created first would seem to matter.

Does this help?

And of course, this is not intended as legal advice, or creating an legal
representation, etc.


On 4/2/10 1:54 PM, Maria Magliano wrote: 

The use case described to me is that the MPL-covered code (a JAR file) will
be embedded (unmodified) into pre-existing proprietary web application files
that are then assembled and run.  Doesn't this mean that both of the
scenarios you describe apply?  I'd be interested in your take under either
scenario if you think it makes a difference in terms of how the license
applies to the resulting combination.
-----Original Message-----
From: Luis Villa [mailto:lvilla at mozilla.com] 
Sent: Friday, April 02, 2010 1:08 PM
To: Smith, McCoy
Cc: maria at aet-law.com; license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: Re: What does "new" mean in Section 1.9 (b) of the MPL v 1.1.?
On 4/2/10 12:50 PM, Smith, McCoy wrote:

Since MPL is undergoing revision right now, you might want to post your
question on the revision site: http://mpl.mozilla.org/ If that section
is unclear, they'd probably want to clarify it.

We're also lurking here in case of questions like this, for what it is 

*From:* Maria Magliano [mailto:maria at aet-law.com]
*Sent:* Friday, April 02, 2010 12:48 PM
*To:* license-discuss at opensource.org
*Subject:* What does "new" mean in Section 1.9 (b) of the MPL v 1.1.?
Hi Everyone!
I'm trying to understand what the term "new" means in the MPL definition
of a "Modification" in Section 1.9. (b) (I reproduce the entire
definition below for reference). Does "new" mean a file that, apart from
the MPL-covered code, did not exist previously (i.e. anywhere in the
universe?) or, does it also mean a file that may already exist but was
not previously combined with MPL-covered code (so that "new" refers to
the novel combination of the two)? I'm trying to make sure that
pre-existing proprietary code is not considered as being "new" under
that subsection by being combined with MPL-covered code for the first

I have added a comment to our commenting tool to reflect the ambiguity 
in the use of 'new' here:
It might help the discussion if you elaborated a bit on what you say 
when you meant 'combined... for the first time'- do you mean that the 
pre-existing proprietary code will be compiled together with the 
MPL-covered code? Or do you mean that copyrightable material from the 
MPL-covered code will be copied and pasted into the pre-existing 
proprietary code?


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