EUPL for French Administrations

The EUPL is a "Legal Licence" in France

Published on: 03/12/2021

It may look strange and even quite extraordinary, but until today (December 3, 2021) the European Union Public Licence (EUPL) was not yet considered as a “Legal Licence” for use by administrations in France.

This omission is now repaired by a Décret n° 2021-1559 of 1st December 2021 adding the EUPL as a "Legal licence" in the Code of Relationship between the Public and the Administrations (CRPA).

Before this Décret, French public administrations wanting to make use of the EUPL had to justify it case by case in a long administrative process. Since the EUPL is a reciprocal licence stating that derivatives of the covered software must be distributed under the EUPL too, this was a barrier for sharing and reusing software between European institutions, France and the rest of EU.

French administrations are a major producer of “Logiciel Libre” in Europe: it is said that about 1000 different administrations have published about 9000 projects or solutions under free/open source terms.

Like in Spain, Italy and other countries, each of them could now add the EUPL in their licensing notice. The EUPL, published in 23 languages as a decision in the Official Journal of the European Union, has a working value in French and grants jurisdiction to the country of the licensor (France in case the EUPL is provided by French administrations).

The new Décret 2021-1559 also adds the Eclipse Public Licence to the French “legal” list. Like the EUPL, the EPL is a reciprocal licence (has working value in English). EPL-1.0 is granting jurisdiction to the US law (“of the State of New York and the intellectual property laws of the United States of America." – Article 7 states) but EPL-2.0 has dropped this clause.

More information (in French):