[Project_owners] Google Browser Sync Settings extension (Aaron, you there?)

Philip Chee philip.chee at gmail.com
Wed Sep 27 18:01:47 EDT 2006

On Wed, 27 Sep 2006 15:59:28 +1000, Michael Buckley wrote:
> Gareth Hunt wrote:

>> Given that Mozilla products are released under a MPL/GPL/LGPL
>> tri-license (see http://www.mozilla.org/MPL/), are Google in
>> breach of the licence in not making the source for their extension(s)
>> available?  Or are extension developers free to release code
>> under any licence they please?

>> I'm not a lawyer and cannot pretend to understand this stuff.  Does
>> anyone have any insight? (Also, is this going off-topic for the
>> list?)

> I wish Philip Chee would post his opinion, I know he reads a lot of
> gecko law

I think you mean GrokLaw. Now IANAL (I am no a Lawyer, and I don't even
play one on TV) but people can release their own extension code under
any licence including closed source licences. To the extent that they
use/copy bits of code from mozilla.org then they have to follow the MoFo
license terms. Now not all of the code on mozilla.org is copywritable e.g.

1. Fair use (better not depend on this)
2. no original thought, mechanical listings (header files, errno.h, idl)
3. scenes a faire (things that all generic software use)
4. doctrine of merger (only one obvious way of doing this)
5. code that needs to conform/implement to public APIs or official
standards. (e.g. calling xpcom components that come with firefox).

So on the safe side Flashblock and xSidebar are released on the same
terms as MoFo code (Tri-Licenced MPL/GPL/LGPL).

Goggle on the other hand can afford an army of lawyers to vet the GBS
code, so who knows what actually goes in there. By the way. If you are
in the EU, the "No reverse engineering clause" is invalid.

Philip Chee <philip at aleytys.pc.my>, <philip.chee at gmail.com>
http://flashblock.mozdev.org/ http://xsidebar.mozdev.org
Guard us from the she-wolf and the wolf, and guard us from the thief,
oh Night, and so be good for us to pass.
[ ]DOS means never having to live hand-to-mouse.
* TagZilla 0.059

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