The government of the Canadian province of Quebec is finalising three open source licences to make it easier for provincial public administrations to share software solutions. The licences should be available in the coming weeks.
The Quebec government has decided to create one licence with minimal restrictions on the redistribution - similar to the Apache licence, a second that preserves copyright and adds a disclaimer - similar to the MPL/LGPL licence, and a third, that lets end-users use, study, share (copy), and modify the software while retaining those rights - similar to the GPL. The licences will be very straightforward, and will be compatible with most of the other free and open source licences, including that of the European Union, the EUPL, according to well informed sources.
The Quebec government considered adapting the European Union’s open source licence, EUPL, but in the end decided to write its own. The EUPL specifies that, in case of litigation, is subject to the court in the EU Member State of the licensor. If the licensor is not from the EU, litigation should be brought before a court in Belgium.
Quebec is adopting this idea in its three free software licences. Instead of reusing the BSD, Apache or GPL licence, the government is establishing the government of Quebec as licence authority. Quebec is considering to ask the Free Software Foundation to approve the licences.