Software licences are designed to govern users’ use of the software products to which they are applied. Many software licences are designed to limit the activities which users may perform. Copying, redistribution and modification are common activities which a licence will restrict. Intellectual Property rights are carefully guarded by such documents.
Open Source Software is becoming increasingly common. It is now entirely possible to have a fully functional personal computer, suitable for home or business use (and meeting all the needs thereof) using nothing other than open source software. In many cases, the software licences used with such software will be quite different to those used in proprietary software.
This document has been reproduced by Simply-docs with the permission and approval of the Open Source Initiative and is designed to be applied to a wide variety of software.
Created by the Mozilla Foundation, creators of the popular Firefox internet browser, the Mozilla Public License is a free open source software licence with limited “copyleft” characteristics. Whilst “copyleft” is not as strong in this licence as it is in the GNU General Public License (available through the related document links below) it nevertheless requires that any source code which is copied or changed remains under the same licence, thus preventing the imposition of stricter terms.
The MPL is considered to be compatible with the GNU GPL, however only if the developer exercises section 13 (“Multiple Licensed Code”). Due to restrictions inherent in the MPL, it cannot be used with the GNU GPL if section 13 is not exercised. A good example of such use can be found in Mozilla Firefox itself which is licensed under the MPL, GNU GPL and GNU LGPL (all of which licenses can be found through the related document links below).
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