Updating the MPL

Yesterday Mozilla announced that we will be updating the MPL, with the aim of making the license simpler, easier to use, and more robust. Mitchell’s post captures what we want to do in more depth; if you’re interested in the process, you should go read it and our full website at mpl.mozilla.org.

I have the privilege of being heavily involved in this project. I use the word ‘privilege’ because, since right around the time I went to law school, my home page has said something to the effect of ‘Luis’s goal is to help innovators do their thing with minimal interference from and maximum assistance from lawyers.’ ‘Helping innovators do their thing’ is exactly what this project is all about, so I’m excited to be part of the process.

Firefox Cupcake

Firefox Cupcake, by M i x y, used under CC-BY

We’re looking to involve the Mozilla community, of course, and we’re also looking to involve people who aren’t normally part of the Mozilla community, like licensing lawyers. So the process will involve a lot of very smart, experienced, and often opinionated people, some of whom will have been working with the license for a decade. I will get the luxury of being the project manager/cat-herder: working on this much of the day, encouraging involvement, organizing feedback, sifting it for gems, and collating all of it into the starting points we’ll use for further discussion and improvement. I’m just the organizer, though- Mitchell (as original author and tentative module owner) has the final say on the text, and the voice of the community will be the community themselves- we’re looking for broad involvement from anyone who has something valuable to say about the license or their experiences with it. If you’re interested in helping out in any way, check out our participate page for more information.

The day-to-day work that this huge community of volunteers does to produce software actively chosen by 100 million people is much more important than the legalese that binds them. But the legalese does matter- it communicates our values and helps structure how we work with each other. So improving this legalese is important for the community, and a great opportunity for me to help out, and I’m excited to get started on it.