Relicensing of Majority of Mozilla Codebase to Begin Soon
Thursday January 8th, 2004
Over the coming months, the majority of the Mozilla codebase will be relicensed under an MPL/GPL/LGPL tri-license. The change will mean that developers building products based on Mozilla will be able to choose whether to use the code under the terms of the Mozilla Public License, the General Public License or the Lesser General Public License. The relicensing will be carried out automatically by a script that will update the license headers on affected files.
The road to relicensing began over two years ago when mozilla.org started requiring all new files checked in to the codebase to use the MPL/GPL/LGPL tri-license. At the same time, they began insisting that contributors of new checkins to non-MPL/GPL/LGPL files allow their additions to be relicensed. The organisation then started the time-consuming process of tracking down all the developers of the existing code and asking them for permission to relicense their contributions — almost all were traced and the vast majority agreed.
Gervase Markham's newsgroup posting about the relicensing contains more information and a few requests, including an appeal for people to watch out for any mistakes that may be made by the relicensing script or its operators. The Mozilla Relicensing FAQ contains detailed information about the reasons behind the effort and what it means for developers of Mozilla-based products.
"we finally have all the permissions (nearly 450) necessary to relicense the Mozilla codebase under the MPL/LGPL/GPL tri-license." ... "Well, there's a small handful of files left where we can't find the person, or negotiations are ongoing. But nothing important."
I'm surprised that most people who coded for Mozilla 2-4 years ago were found. Good luck on the conversion.