MPL for libraries


An article by someone like me: we’ve looked into licensing and probably a bit more so than most, but ar far from experts. He stumbled over the reason why you might be interested in the Mozilla Public License, or MPL. It’s like the LGPL, but allows for static linking. Relevant for Go, where that’s the only way to link. Also relevant for academic code, why I personally believe should be GPL as much as possible (we all want to see what anyone did to the code after all), but linking with proprietary code sometimes makes that hard or impossible [1]. Wikipedia clarifies that this makes the MPL a weak copyleft license, and that this such licenses popular amongst libraries. It definitely sounds better to me than ‘I give up’ licenses like BSD, MIT, Apache, one of which unfortunately covers Arbor as well. I’ve stuck to GPL for most of my personal projects, because I like the idea that I might get code back, and these are often Python project so don’t run into the whole linking issue. But, IANAL, so maybe they would? Use of my stuff seems to be quite limited, apart from maybe par2deep (33 stars now!).

[1] There’s much ado about this, since (most of) Qt is LGPL licensed, and this leads to much confusion. A Hackernews comment clarified that static and dynamic linking are actually both allowed by the LGPL, and that all you need to do, if you distribute compiled Qt libraries with your application, is compile your commercial bit into a .o and link it up with the rest. I’m guessing that, since this is not possible (is it?) in Go, this is not a solution.