MPL Release Candidate 1- formal request for OSI approval

Luis Villa luis at
Mon Aug 15 13:10:19 UTC 2011

Hello, all-

Today, I'm happy to announce the release of MPL 2 Release Candidate 1
- the text that Mozilla hopes will become MPL 2.0 and serve the open
source community well for the next decade (or three). The plain text
of the license is here:

With this email, we formally submit the RC for OSI Approval as a
"popular or widely used" license. We also formally request that OSI
move MPL 1.1 into the "superseded" category.

Please let me know if you have any questions; feedback and commentary
can be on this list, through private email to me, or to our public
list (linked to below.)

Thanks in advance for your interest and feedback-
Luis, on behalf of the MPL team

Text of the License

An HTML version is attached, and plain text version follows at the end
of this email.


The goal of the new license was to revise, tighten, and update the
language of MPL 1.1, keeping in mind changes in jurisprudence and
software development since 1.1 was issued in 1998.


This is a straightforward revision of MPL 1.1, retaining MPL's
distinctive "file-level" copyleft. As a result, it is positioned
similarly to MPL 1.1 in the permissive/copyleft spectrum. Beyond that,
it is improved over 1.1: among many other changes, it reflects modern
development practices, should be improved in non-US jurisdictions, and
is generally shorter and clearer to read.

Legal Analysis

Discussions of the changes made in each revision, including redlines,
are available from These changes
were made in consultation with Mozilla's legal group and outside
counsel, but we do not expect to publish a formal legal analysis.

Proposed Category

We believe the new license should be placed in "Licenses that are
popular and widely used or with strong communities." Ohloh lists
6,000+ projects that use MPL 1.1, and we expect many of them will
upgrade once the license is released. We also expect that some
projects that used derivatives of the MPL will switch to MPL 2 in
future releases.

When MPL 2 is so approved, MPL 1.1 should be moved into the
"superseded" category.

Earlier Public Discussions

Earlier public discussions of various betas are here:

as well as on the MPL discussion list:

These appeared to be generally positive, with no objections as to the
draft's OSI compliance and several commenters stating that they
believed it was OSI-compliant.

Note on Potential Changes Before Formal Submission

We have submitted the Release Candidate in the anticipation that no
changes will be made to the license before the final version is
released. However, as a result of feedback from this group or others,
we may have to make such changes. In that case, I will endeavor to
notify this group promptly of any changes so that they can be taken
into account.

Mozilla Public License Version 2.0, Release Candidate 1

1. Definitions.

1.1. "Contributor"
    means each individual or entity that creates, contributes to the
    creation of, or owns Covered Software.

1.2. "Contributor Version"
    means the combination of the Contributions of others (if any) used
    by a Contributor and that particular Contributor's Contribution.

1.3. "Contribution"
    means Covered Software of a particular Contributor.

1.4. "Covered Software"
    means Source Code Form to which the initial Contributor has attached
    the notice in Exhibit A, the Executable Form of such Source Code
    Form, and Modifications of such Source Code Form, in each case
    including portions thereof.

1.5. "Incompatible Software"
    means Covered Software

    (a) to which the initial Contributor has attached the notice
        described in Exhibit B; or

    (b) which was made available under the terms of version 1.1 or
        earlier of the License, but not also under the terms of a
        Secondary License.

1.6. "Executable Form"
    means any form of the work other than Source Code Form.

1.7. "Larger Work"
    means a work that combines Covered Software with code in a separate
    file or files not governed by the terms of this License.

1.8. "License"
    means this document.

1.9. "Licensable"
    means having the right to grant, to the maximum extent possible,
    whether at the time of the initial grant or subsequently, any and
    all of the rights conveyed by this License.

1.10. "Modifications"
    means any of the following:

    (a) any file in Source Code Form that results from an addition to,
        deletion from, or modification of the contents of Covered
        Software; or

    (b) any new file in Source Code Form that contains any Covered

1.11. "Patent Claims" of a Contributor
    means any patent claim(s), including without limitation, method,
    process, and apparatus claims, in any patent Licensable by such
    Contributor that would be infringed, but for the grant of the
    License, by the making, using, selling, offering for sale, having
    made, import, or transfer of its Contributions or its Contributor

1.12. "Secondary License"
    means either the GNU General Public License, Version 2.0 or later,
    the GNU Lesser General Public License, Version 2.1 or later, or the
    GNU Affero General Public License, Version 3.0 or later.

1.13. "Source Code Form"
    means the form of the work preferred for making modifications.

1.14. "You" (or "Your")
    means an individual or a legal entity exercising rights under this
    License. For legal entities, "You" includes any entity that
    controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with You. For
    purposes of this definition, "control" means (a) the power, direct
    or indirect, to cause the direction or management of such entity,
    whether by contract or otherwise, or (b) ownership of more than
    fifty percent (50%) of the outstanding shares or beneficial
    ownership of such entity.

2. License Grants and Conditions.

2.1. Grants.

Each Contributor hereby grants You a world-wide, royalty-free,
non-exclusive license:

(a) under intellectual property rights (other than patent or trademark)
    Licensable by such Contributor to use, reproduce, make available,
    modify, display, perform, distribute, and otherwise exploit its
    Contributions, either on an unmodified basis, with Modifications, or
    as part of a Larger Work; and

(b) under Patent Claims of such Contributor to make, use, sell, offer
    for sale, have made, import, and otherwise transfer its
    Contributions or its Contributor Version.

2.2. Effective Date.

The licenses granted in Section 2.1 with respect to any Contribution
become effective for each Contribution on the date the Contributor first
distributes such Contribution.

2.3. Limitations on Grant Scope.

The licenses granted in this Section are the only rights granted under
this License. No additional rights or licenses will be implied from the
distribution or licensing of Covered Software under this License.
Notwithstanding Section 2.1(b) above, no patent license is granted by a
Contributor: (1) for any code that a Contributor has removed from
Covered Software; (2) for infringements caused by: (i) Your and any
other third party's modifications of Covered Software, or (ii) the
combination of its Contributions with other software (except as part of
its Contributor Version); or (3) under Patent Claims infringed by
Covered Software in the absence of its Contributions. This License does
not grant any rights in the trademarks, service marks, or logos of any
Contributor (except as may be necessary to comply with the notice
requirements in Section 3.4).

2.4. Subsequent Licenses.

No Contributor makes additional grants as a result of Your choice to
distribute the Covered Software under a subsequent version of this
License (see Section 10.2) or under the terms of a Secondary License (if
permitted under the terms of Section 3.3).

2.5. Representation.

Each Contributor represents that the Contributor believes its
Contributions are its original creation(s) or it has sufficient rights
to grant the rights to its Contributions conveyed by this License.

2.6. Fair Use.

This License is not intended to limit any rights You have under
applicable copyright doctrines of fair use, fair dealing, or other

2.7. Conditions.

Sections 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, and 3.4 are conditions of the licenses granted
in Section 2.1.

3. Responsibilities.

3.1. Distribution of Source Form.

All distribution of Covered Software in Source Code Form, including any
Modifications that You create or to which You contribute, must be under
the terms of this License. You must inform recipients that the Source
Code Form of the Covered Software is governed by the terms of this
License, and how they can obtain a copy of this License. You may not
attempt to alter or restrict the recipients' rights in the Source Code

3.2. Distribution of Executable Form.

If You distribute Covered Software in Executable Form then:

(a) such Covered Software must also be made available in Source Code
    Form, as described in Section 3.1, and You must inform recipients of
    the Executable Form how they can obtain a copy of such Source Code
    Form by reasonable means in a timely manner, at no more than a
    nominal charge; and

(b) You may distribute such Executable Form under the terms of this
    License, or sublicense it under different terms, provided that the
    license for the Executable Form does not attempt to limit or alter
    the recipients' rights in the Source Code Form under this License.

3.3. Distribution of a Larger Work.

You may create and distribute a Larger Work under terms of Your choice,
provided that You also comply with the requirements of this License for
the Covered Software. If the Larger Work is a combination of Covered
Software with a work governed by a Secondary License, and the Covered
Software is not Incompatible Software, You may additionally distribute
such Covered Software under the terms of that Secondary License, so that
the recipient of the Larger Work may, at their option, further
distribute the Covered Software under the terms of either this License
or that Secondary License.

3.4. Notices.

You may not remove or alter any license notices (including copyright
notices, patent notices, disclaimers of warranty, or limitations of
liability) contained within the Source Code Form of the Covered
Software, except to the extent required to remedy known factual

3.5. Application of Additional Terms.

You may choose to offer, and to charge a fee for, warranty, support,
indemnity or liability obligations to one or more recipients of Covered
Software. However, You may do so only on Your own behalf, and not on
behalf of any Contributor. You must make it absolutely clear that any
such warranty, support, indemnity, or liability obligation is offered by
You alone, and You hereby agree to indemnify every Contributor for any
liability incurred by such Contributor as a result of warranty, support,
indemnity or liability terms You offer. You may include additional
disclaimers of warranty and limitations of liability specific to any

4. 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 Software 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. Such description must
be placed in a text file included with all distributions of the Covered
Software under this License. Except to the extent prohibited by statute
or regulation, such description must be sufficiently detailed for a
recipient of ordinary skill to be able to understand it.

5. Termination.

5.1. The rights granted under this License will terminate automatically
if You fail to comply with any of its terms. However, if You come back
into compliance, then the rights granted under this License from a
particular Contributor are reinstated (a) provisionally, unless and
until such Contributor explicitly and finally terminates Your grants,
and (b) on an ongoing basis, if such Contributor fails to notify You of
the non-compliance by some reasonable means prior to 60 days after You
have come back into compliance. Moreover, Your grants from a particular
Contributor are reinstated on an ongoing basis if such Contributor
notifies You of the non-compliance by some reasonable means, this is the
first time You have received notice of non-compliance with this License
from such Contributor, and You become compliant prior to 30 days after
Your receipt of the notice.

5.2. If You initiate litigation against any entity by asserting a patent
infringement claim (excluding declaratory judgment actions,
counter-claims, and cross-claims) alleging that a Contributor Version
directly or indirectly infringes any patent, then the rights granted to
You by any and all Contributors for the Covered Software under Section
2.1 of this License shall terminate.

5.3. In the event of termination under Sections 5.1 or 5.2 above, all
end user license agreements (excluding distributors and resellers) which
have been validly granted by You or Your distributors under this License
prior to termination shall survive termination.

6. Disclaimer of Warranty.

Covered Software is provided under this License on an "as is" basis,
without warranty of any kind, either expressed, implied, or statutory,
including, without limitation, warranties that the Covered Software is
free of defects, merchantable, fit for a particular purpose or
non-infringing. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the
Covered Software is with You. Should any Covered Software prove
defective in any respect, You (not any Contributor) assume the cost of
any necessary servicing, repair, or correction. This disclaimer of
warranty constitutes an essential part of this License. No use of any
Covered Software is authorized under this License except under this

7. Limitation of Liability.

Under no circumstances and under no legal theory, whether tort
(including negligence), contract, or otherwise, shall You, any
Contributor, or any distributor of Covered Software, or any supplier of
any of such parties, be liable to any person for any direct, indirect,
special, incidental, or consequential damages of any character
including, without limitation, damages for lost profits, loss of
goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or malfunction, or any and all
other commercial damages or losses, even if such party shall have been
informed of the possibility of such damages. This limitation of
liability shall not apply to liability for death or personal injury
resulting from such party's negligence to the extent applicable law
prohibits such limitation. Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion
or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so this exclusion
and limitation may not apply to You.

8. Litigation.

Any litigation relating to this License may be brought only in the
courts of a jurisdiction where the defendant maintains its principal
place of business and such litigation shall be governed by laws of that
jurisdiction, without reference to its conflict-of-law provisions.
Nothing in this Section shall prevent a party's ability to bring
cross-claims or counter-claims.

9. Miscellaneous.

This License represents the complete agreement concerning the subject
matter hereof. If any provision of this License is held to be
unenforceable, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent
necessary to make it enforceable. Any law or regulation which provides
that the language of a contract shall be construed against the drafter
shall not be used to construe this License against a Contributor.

10. Versions of the License.

10.1. New Versions.

Mozilla Foundation is the license steward. Except as provided in Section
10.3, no one other than the license steward has the right to modify or
publish new versions of this License. Each version will be given a
distinguishing version number.

10.2. Effect of New Versions.

You may distribute the Covered Software under the terms of the version
of the License under which You originally received the Covered Software,
or under the terms of any subsequent version published by the license

10.3. Modified Versions.

If you create software not governed by this License, and you want to
create a new license for such software, you may create and use a
modified version of this License if you rename the license and remove
any references to the name of the license steward (except to note that
such modified license differs from this License).

10.4. Distributing Incompatible Software.

If You choose to distribute Incompatible Software under the terms of
this version of the License, the notice described in Exhibit B of this
License must be attached.

Exhibit A- Source Code Form License Notice.

  This Source Code Form is subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public
  License version 2.0 (the "License"). You can obtain a copy of the
  License at

If it is not possible or desirable to put the notice in a particular
file, then You may include the notice in a location (such as a LICENSE
file in a relevant directory) where a recipient would be likely to look
for such a notice.

You may add additional accurate notices of copyright ownership.

Exhibit B- Incompatible Software Notice.

  This Source Code Form is Incompatible Software as defined by the

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