The overseer of the popular Firefox open source browser rang in the new year with an overhaul of its longstanding license -- the Mozilla Public License 2.0.
"Version 2.0 is similar in spirit to the previous versions, but shorter, better, and more compatible with other Free Software and Open Source Licenses," the Mozilla project announced Tuesday
It has been approved by the Free Software Foundation for GPL compatibility and by the Open Source Initiative for meeting open source standards, the project announced.
Version 1.0 of the MPL coincided with the project's initial release in 1998, and the last update, version 1.1, debuted in 1999.
Version 2.0 is similar in many respects to versions 1.1 and 1.0 but calls for a five peer review system (rather than one expert) and aims to be more compatible with updated copyright law, international interpretation, and other significant open source projects, Mozilla announced.
Like its predecessors, version 2.0 is" a “file-level copyleft” license. The license is designed to encourage contributors to share modifications they make to MPL-licensed code, while still allowing users to create projects that combine MPL-licensed code with code under other licenses (either open or proprietary)," the Mozilla project announced.
Also, version 2.0 is "modernized for recent changes in copyright law, and incorporates feedback from lawyers outside the United States on issues of applicability in non-US jurisdictions."
Version 2.0 also:
- provides patent protections for contributors more in line with those of other open source licenses, and allows an entire community of contributors to protect any contributor if they are sued.
- provides compatibility with the Apache and GPL licenses, making code reuse and redistribution easier.
[caption id="attachment_10085" align="alignnone" width="768" caption="Mozilla ends 2011, begins 2012 with a bang"]