NPL VERSION 1.0M
1. Why did we make changes to the license agreement?
- To encourage greater adoption, correct bugs in the license, add a multiple
license feature, and incorporate other comments from the development community.
Broadly speaking, we've made changes to the license in three areas with
the overall goal of making alterations that encourage more people and groups
to join us in the open source development effort. These three areas
- More narrowly and precisely define the IP grants made by contributors to the Mozilla code base
- Provide a defensive mechanism in case a contributor is sued for patent infringement by someone who is benefiting from NPL code that contributor wrote.
a. Changes to the sections dealing with the granting of intellectual property rights. Here we've tried to:
c. Incorporation of other comments we've received from the development community over the past 11 months.
- Yes, the proposed changes are applicable to both the NPL and the MPL.
- Some developers, most notably some large institutions and public companies,
were concerned that participation could cause them to grant patent rights
beyond the Mozilla code base and beyond the scope of their contribution.
This limited their ability to participate.
- When someone contributes code under the license, they are granting
rights to their modifications alone and to the combination of their modifications
with the version of code they created.
- a. Rights to the combination of modifications with software
or hardware other than the version of code the contributor created.
b. The right to license a patent right alone, removed from the NPL code.
c. Rights to subsequent modifications.
- The rationale is that someone should not be able to benefit from your
contribution to the Mozilla code base and also sue you for patent infringement.
So this section allows you to revoke that person's rights to use the code
you contributed to Mozilla or to receive payment for your contribution.
In addition, if someone sues you for patent infringement for code that's
not in the Mozilla code base, you can revoke the patent grant you
made to that person under the NPL. This allows you to use such patent
rights defensively to respond to a claim made against you.
- This is a mechanism to allow a developer to experiment with NPL code
and make modifications in private without having to grant patent
rights. Patent rights would be granted if and when the developer
decides to release the code to others or use the code for purposes other
than research and development.
- This clause gives an initial developer the ability to release code
under more than one license. For example, an initial developer of
a new module has the option to license it under the MPL as well as the
- This is to ensure that someone downstream from the initial developer
is not able to take the initial developer's code, make minor modifications,
and then release the new version under multiple licenses without the initial
- No. However, we strongly encourage this, because in this way
the maximum number of people can receive the benefits of the modification.
language under the NPL as well as the GPL.
- Yes we have, and we've received the following from Richard Stallman:
- There is this danger, but in conversations with the GPL development
community, we have agreed that we all have interests in seeing this experiment
succeed. Therefore, we are jointly encouraging anyone doing
under the NPL as well as the GPL.
- Although this is not a change to the prior version, there were questions
about this language. The intent is to prevent someone from avoiding
the license requirements by technicalities. For example, two developers
are sitting at a machine jointly creating modifications to NPL code, although
only one person is actually typing the code. In this case, both developers
should be considered contributors. On the other hand, if a person
posts some ideas on a website relating to a modification of NPL Code, and
another developer, not working in concert with the first developer, actually
develops the proposed modifications, the first person did not "contribute
to the creation of the modification" within the meaning of the NPL.