ECMA Introduces More Permissive JavaScript License
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 30 June 2022

There's a new alternative license for ECMAScript that is designed to be permissive regarding derivative works of a standard. It is largely based on the W3C’s Document and Software License, and one of its aims is to be better aligned with the work of the W3C.

ECMA International is the standards organization that is responsible for the JavaScript standard (ECMA-262). 


ECMAScript is the language standard on which JavaScript is based, though JavaScript predates it from its original development at NetScape. The standard was originally set out as a formal description of JavaScript to guide the future of the language.

Ecma International recently approved the 2022 standard of ECMAScript. It introduces top-level await, allowing the keyword to be used at the top level of modules; new class elements: public and private instance fields, public and private static fields, private instance methods and accessors, and private static methods and accessors, among other changes.

The new standard has two versions of the license. The move follows a proposal earlier in the year, led by Mozilla, for a new alternative license.

The default Ecma International license provides a definitive document and location for work on a given standard, with the intention of preventing forking. The license has provisions that allow inlining a given standard into source text, as well as reproduction in part or full.

The alternative license is more permissive regarding derivative works of a standard, and the first requests to adopt this license have now been granted to TC39 and applied to the following documents: ECMA-262 (ECMAScript, the official name for JavaScript) and ECMA-402 (the Internationalization API for ECMAScript).

The ECMAScript specification is developed at Ecma International, while other web technologies like HTML and CSS are being developed at W3C.

The new alternative license provides a legal framework and a guarantee that the development of internet infrastructure can continue independent of any organization.


More Information

ECMA Website

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Last Updated ( Friday, 01 July 2022 )