Feeds

Google makes Mozilla licence U-turn

'A bit more nuanced'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Google has done a swift about-face and decided to allow code released under the Mozilla Public Licence (MPL) into its Google Code silo, just a month after it was judged redundant and banned.

In late July we reported from OSCON how Google caused a stir by booting MPL code. The firm's chief open source fancier Chris DiBona said Mozilla's licence wasn't widely used enough to justify its place on the Google Code site.

Software watchers said the true motivation for the MPL embargo was more likely concern by Google that its intellectual property might be legally imperilled by association with the licence's potentially wobbly terms. "Most open source licences have not a thing to say explicitly about patents or trade marks," DiBona said. "We [Google] will be unpopular for a while."

It seems Google simply couldn't handle the wrath of the open source crowd.

On Wednesday he wrote on the Google blog that a similar two-year Google Code ban on the Eclipse Public License, yet another open source licence, was being lifted "to show [Google's] solidarity with our friends at the Eclipse project".

"In that light," DiBona continued, "our removal of the MPL from the site seemed a little absurd. So, our bad.

"We're putting that option back up for new projects. The groups that want to use the MPL to enable their additions, extensions and more for Firefox and other Mozilla projects are legion and considering their recent summit, represent a very healthy global collection of developers."

However, he maintained Google's stance that too many very similar open source licences is damaging for the development community - "but how we think about licences is getting a bit more nuanced".

Dibona said the EPL now merits a spot on Google Code because although not many projects are licensed under it, the software has a large user base. Kicking out the MPL was "just a mistake", he admitted in response to a comment on his posting. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV
Alert system tips oblivious phone junkies to oncoming traffic
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.