Feeds

Google makes Mozilla licence U-turn

'A bit more nuanced'

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.