Cobra & Rhino Licensing Notice

It has been brought to our attention that, according to the Free Software Foundation (FSF), the Mozilla Public License (MPL) is not compatible with either the GPL or LGPL licenses. This is relevant to Cobra since it relies on Rhino, a Javascript engine from the Mozilla Foundation, which has traditionally been released under the MPL license.

The next release of Cobra, 0.96.5, which is due to be out within days, will use Rhino 1.6R5, which is released under a dual MPL/GPL license. Some clues about why the Mozilla Foundation has done this can be found here:

This is good news since we can continue to link CssParser (LGPL) and Rhino both.

Unfortunately, since the Rhino license that applies for compatibility in this case is the GPL, we believe Cobra cannot be linked by proprietary programs at this time. That is, users of Cobra should observe the GPL license of Rhino, despite the fact that the LGPL and GPL are compatible licenses.

We will continue to license Cobra under the LGPL. We would like to keep both the protections of the LGPL and the freedom it potentially provides to propietary applications. However, unless Rhino is decoupled from Cobra or it is released under the LGPL as well, Cobra should be treated as a GPL library. Apologies for the confusion.

Posted by xamjadmin 2007-06-02

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