Updating the MPL

On Monday we announced a public process to update the Mozilla Public License. The goal of the update is to incorporate learnings gathered over the years so we can simplify, modernize, and make the license easier to use.  Mitchell Baker’s post this morning provides some good historical context and you can find more information about the process, rationale, and how to get involved on the MPL update web site. I’m pretty excited about the prospects although it’s going to be a big chunk of work and with any open process some respectful disagreement from time to time, but that’s ok.

More than a decade ago, I had the chance to work with Mitchell on the MPL. At the time, I had never worked on an open source license – nor had most attorneys back then. It seemed like another cool project to work on, but I certainly didn’t fully comprehend the possibility at the time. It was also my first exposure to creating legal artifacts in an open and transparent way. It was a bit of shock and I’m still in awe at how open source products are created.

In my experience practicing law, transactions come and go, and not often do you work on the same “deal” again. Especially in the Internet sector, it’s rare that that you get two shots at anything.  So this means either that the license is enduring, relevant, and worth working on again or perhaps more simply that I’m getting old. I opt for the former.

2 Responses to Updating the MPL

  1. Markus says:

    Just work with Oracle to merge MPL and the fork CDDL. There’s no sense to have two licenses that are practically the same.

  2. Ian says:

    What Markus said – I’d dearly love to see the CDDL reunited with the MPL, and also to make them all both Apache and LGPL/GPL compatible.

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