Feeds

Google makes Mozilla licence U-turn

'A bit more nuanced'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Apple's OS X Yosemite slurps UNSAVED docs into iCloud
Docs, email contacts... shhhlooop, up it goes
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.