Licensing forum

Published on: 15/12/2017

According to the European Commission - December 2017 leaflet, downloadable in .pdf format from the ISA2 site (…),  the EUPL is the only Free Open Source Software with equal legal value across the EU and in 23 EU languages. It reconciles the strength of the copyleft licence with interoperability needs of the modern software.

The leaflet summarises the main four reasons for using the EUPL:

- Accessible: software distributed under the EUPL remains free and available to everyone.

- EU Law Compliant: it is valid in all Member States, with precisely formulated limitations of liability or warranty, and conforms to EU law requirements.

- Multilingual: it is available in 23 EU languages.

- Compatible: it is downstream compatible with many other copyleft licences, including business-friendly OSS licenses.

What is your opinion about this? Are copyleft and compatibility a "all-purpose" option? Would you prefer a permissive licence like the BSD-3, MIT or possibly Apache? Or a so-called "strong copyleft" like the GPL or AGPL?


Sun, 17/12/2017 - 07:24

Is the EU planning on making its own permissive license? If so, then I think a license similar to Apache, with the characteristics of being EU Law Compliant and being multilingual, would be great. However, there is also the issue of license proliferation...

Wed, 14/03/2018 - 18:11

The process of approving a new EUPL licence is quite long and so far there are few requests for making a version of the EUPL that would be totally permissive. Since the licensor may always grant more rights to recipients, it is possible that a copyright notice states for example:

“Licensed under the EUPL, extending the list of compatible licenses to all OSI-approved licenses”. 

This would create a kind of "EUPL+"