XPCOM Open Source and building applications

Discuss building things with or for the Mozilla Platform.
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Joined: December 27th, 2014, 10:51 am

Post Posted January 7th, 2015, 1:25 pm

I have an idea for an application, because the application will involve connecting to the internet I am thinking that XPCOM might be the right fit. Currently I am learning C++ and I understand this the basis for how you program with XPCOM. What I would like to know is, if you do develop an application with Mozilla technologies like XPCOM can they be commercial (paid) solutions. Can you sell them for a profit, or do they have to be Open Source? Thanks


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Post Posted January 8th, 2015, 10:44 pm

First and foremost, realize that no one is going to give you legal advice here. Everything you read here is going to be opinion and nothing else. If you get to the point where you think you have a product you are likely to be able to sale you need to talk to a lawyer.

First, with the Mozilla Public License, you could remove all of the Mozilla trademarks and sell your rebranded browser for $19,99. You would have to make the source code available to anyone who wants it. Any changes you make to the files have to be offered to the community and be licensed MPL (with some exceptions).

But let's look at this a different way. You have your own code that you have written. These are your files. Your files interact with the XPCOM library. Your files can be licensed any way you want to license them. XPCOM files remain MPL.

So you can sale your program with the following limitation. You must acknowledge your use of the MPL stuff offer a way to download the source code of XPCOM (easy to do now-a-days, offer a link in your help file.) You don't need to offer your code as open source.

However, if you make a change to the XPCOM libraries you must give these back to the community.

See this for a very good explanation of the license
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Posts: 4
Joined: December 27th, 2014, 10:51 am

Post Posted January 18th, 2015, 4:53 pm

Thanks, that is a helpful start.

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