[License-discuss] International licenses redux

Richard Fontana richard.fontana at opensource.org
Fri Dec 7 05:22:41 UTC 2018

Back in 2015 the OSI adopted an additional "International" license
category, as explained in this license-discuss posting by Mike
The assumption at the time (at least to my recollection) seemed to be
that licenses in this category would not have an official English
language version, though this is actually not clear from Mike's
formulation of the category apart from, arguably, the certified
English translation requirement. The LiLiQ license trio was
subsequently approved by the OSI and placed in this category.

A couple of people have suggested that EUPL, currently placed in
"Uncategorized", should be classified as "International". This seems
right, even though EUPL has an official English language version.

I suggest we continue to think of the International category as
encompassing licenses "targeting specific languages and
jurisdictions", to use Mike's phrasing from 2015, rather than the
typical approach we see in open source licensing of having a single
English-language text that is largely perceived by the community,
correctly or not, as being jurisdiction-neutral in design or
orientation. We should think of "specific languages and jurisdictions"
as meaning "specific languages not limited solely to English"; an
International license might have an English language version as well
as a version in one or more other languages, or it might not have an
official English version at all. Given this understanding, EUPL 1.2 as
well as CeCILL 2.1 should both be reclassified as "International".


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