Request for approval: EUPL (European Union Public Licence)

David Woolley forums at
Thu Mar 27 09:50:33 UTC 2008

Romain Berrendonner wrote:

> As far as discrimination is concerned, don't forget that this licence is 
> issued by the European Commission, and that the European treaties have 
> very strong provisions against discrimination (see for instance art. 12, 

I think this is a good example of why language is important.  The OSD 
uses "discrimination" in a wide sense.  In that sense, the EEC exists to 
discriminate, e.g. against products that don't have CE approval or come 
from countries outside the EEC (and therefore have import duty).

Typical cases of discrimination that would not be allowed by the OSD are 
forbidding use by tobacco or arms companies, or by the military, or for 
for-profit companies.  (I'm not aware that the EEC has made commercial 
licence clauses forbidding use in nuclear power stations or safety of 
life systems to be unlawful, but these would be cases of discrimination 
in the OSD.)

A non-English speaker may well make the incorrect inference that it is 
only referring to age, race and sex.

> The point is that all the translations are binding. Basically, the 

If all the translations are simultaneously binding, it will be necessary 
to consider all the translations before approval can safely be given. 
To just use the English one, one would require that the licencee could 
choose the English terms and enforce them on the licensor (or that both 
licensor and licensee could agree to restrict the licence to the English 

(Open source is about rights for the licencee.  Copyleft licence 
compatibility is about the rights of both licensor and licensee, so 
would require that both parties used and understood the same terms.)

David Woolley
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