Subject: Re: Choosing a license
From: Matthew Flaschen <>
Date: Fri, 11 May 2007 14:36:28 -0400

Bruce Alspaugh wrote:
> So what this all means is that if an MPL project attempts to link to a
> GPL library, the GPL will apply to the entire combined work due to the
> "viral" nature of the GPL.

Yes, the whole would probably (possibly depending on the nature of the
library) have to be licensed under the GPL.

> However, the terms and conditions the GPL imposes on the MPL code 
> are incompatible with the terms and conditions of the MPL license.  
> Thus, the combined work can never be released without an alternative 
> GPL-compatible license being offered.

Yes, every part of the combined work must be under a GPL compatible license.

> On the other hand, if LGPL code links to GPL code or is copied into GPL
> code, the terms and conditions of the GPL would apply to the entire
> combined work, but the license terms and conditions are otherwise
> compatible.  However, we could not combine the enhancements back into
> the LGPL library.

I think that's correct.  LGPL code can be used in GPL code, but not

> So theoretically the Mozilla Foundation and the FSF could work together
> to make their respective licenses compatible.

Theoretically.  But I don't really understand the "complex restrictions
that make it incompatible"


Matthew Flaschen