MPL 2 section 11

Alexander Terekhov alexander.terekhov at
Wed Dec 1 10:19:01 UTC 2010

On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 1:46 AM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen at> wrote:
>   "If you (Licensee) prefer to distribute your derivative works of this MPL
> 2
>    software under the GPLv2 or GPLv3 rather than MPL 2, you have my
> (Licensor's)
>    permission to do so."
> Note that this doesn't require any "extra permissions" from the GPL folks,
> nor does it address the question of why someone would want to do so.


In fact back in 2006 when Dan Wallace alleged in court that the GPL is
meant to infect collective works as a whole (combined works consisting
of several independent works) resulting in quasi-automatic aggregation
of independent copyrights under the GPL in a pool of GPL-copylefted
works, professional lawyers hired by the FSF responded that such
allegation is baseless:

"In fact, the GPL itself rejects any automatic aggregation of software
copyrights under the GPL simply because one program licensed under the
GPL is distributed together with another program that is not licensed
under the GPL: "In addition, mere aggregation of another work not
based on the Program with the Program (or with a work based on the
Program) on a volume of a storage or distribution medium does not
bring the other work under the scope of this License."

Plaintiff's mischaracterization of the GPL in his Response has no
bearing on the resolution of the pending Motion to Dismiss because the
Court can examine the GPL itself. "[T]o the extent that the terms of
an attached contract conflict with the allegations of the complaint,
the contract controls." Centers v. Centennial Mortg., Inc., 398 F.3d
930, 933 (7th Cir. 2005)."

> I believe that the authors of the GPL correctly intended to refer in this
> context to "derivative works" rather than "combinations". It is MPL 2
> section 11 that has strayed too far from that.


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