Request for approval: EUPL (European Union Public Licence)
matthew.flaschen at gatech.edu
Fri Feb 6 01:27:35 UTC 2009
Schmitz, Patrice-Emmanuel wrote:
> "Compatible Licences" according to article 5 EUPL are:
> - General Public License (GPL) v. 2
I'm disappointed that GPLv3 has not been added as I suggested, even
though Patrice-E. previously said
"the EUPL expert group came to the conclusion that GPL v 3 is meeting
the requirements. Therefore it should be included in the EUPL list of
compatible licences in the near future.". Furthermore, given the
license is now Affero-like, it would be good to also have the GNU Affero
> "- Distribution and/or Communication: any act of selling, giving,
> lending, renting, distributing, communicating, transmitting, or
> otherwise making available, on-line or off-line, copies of the Work OR
> PROVIDING ACCESS TO ITS ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONALITIES at the disposal of any
> other natural or legal person."
> Rationale: this is to clarify that the EUPL covers also the
> activity of on-line "Application Service Provider". The idea was already
> present in # 2 (communicate to the public, including the right to
> ...perform publicly, as the case may be, the Work).
It is true that 1.0 granted the right to perform publicly in paragraph 2
(and I don't think anyone remarked on this). But adding "providing
access to its essential functionalities at the disposal of any
other natural or legal person." to the "Distribution and/or
Communication" definition has ramifications. It means (unless I'm
misinterpreting something) that using the code in a SaaS app requires
that source code be provided. The Provision of Source Code clause says,
"When distributing and/or communicating copies
of the Work, the Licensee will provide a machine-readable copy of the
Source Code" (I assume this should be "When Distributing and/or
Communicating"). In other words this is now a Affero-style license.
> The modified # 1 is
> more consistent with # 2 and in line with the request from the 25
> January workshop participants to be more explicit in the definition of #
In my opinion, this changes the meaning of the license substantially.
Of course, it is still OSD-compliant. It's just something important to
be aware of.
> # 5 - Copyleft clause:
> "If the Licensee distributes and/or communicates copies of the Original
> Works or Derivative Works based upon the Original Work, this
> Distribution and/or Communication will be done under the terms of this
> Licence OR OF A LATER VERSION OF THIS LICENCE UNLESS THE ORIGINAL WORK
> IS EXPRESSLY DISTRIBUTED "ONLY" UNDER THIS VERSION OF THE LICENCE.
This takes a slightly different approach from e.g. GPL. GPL says "If
the Program specifies a version number of this License which applies to
it and "any later version", you have the option of following the terms
and conditions either of that version or of any later version published
by the Free Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a
version number of this License, you may choose any version ever
published by the Free Software Foundation. "
So if you say "Foo is under GPL 2" in all relevant headers, etc. it is
under only GPL2. If you say "Foo is under EUPL 1.1" it is under EUPL
1.1 or later (but you can still say "Foo is under only EUPL 1.1". This
is acceptable, as long as licensors understand how it works.
> Rationale: "[THE IDENTIFICATION AND ADDRESS OF THE LICENSOR,]"
> is deleted. The EUPL refers to the applicable law, however the EUPL
> should not "predict or provide" the content of this applicable law
> (maybe requesting the identification and the address, but possibly also
> other information).
This is an important improvement, in that it ensures the EUPL is not
more demanding than the EU law itself.
> # 13 - paragraph 3
> "The European Commission may PUBLISH [PUT IN FORCE] translations and/or
> new [BINDING] versions of this Licence, so far this is required and
> reasonable, WITHOUT REDUCING THE SCOPE OF THE RIGHTS GRANTED BY THE
> LICENCE. New versions of the Licence will be published with a unique
> version number."
This is actually a stronger commitment than other stewards make about
new versions (e.g. the FSF only says new versions will be "similar in
spirit"). Anyway, since switching to new license versions is no longer
required, this is mostly a non-issue.
> " LINGUISTIC VERSIONS OF THIS LICENCE, APPROVED BY THE EUROPEAN
> COMMISSION, HAVE IDENTICAL VALUE. PARTIES CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE
> LINGUISTIC VERSION OF THEIR CHOICE."
> Rationale: This new paragraph reflects the original intention of
> the European Commission when providing (currently) 22 linguistic
> versions of the EUPL. However, this was not yet written in the EUPL. It
> addresses questions like: "If Licensees contract under the EUPL based on
> its English version, can a Licensor restrict their rights based, for
> example, on the Hungarian version (in the case this one would be more
I would still prefer if, as John Cowan suggested, ties broke in favor of
the licensee. However, the consensus appears to be that it is enough
for OSI to ensure the English version is acceptable. This assumes
courts will not grant the licensee less rights than the version the
licensee used (in case of a tie).
> " [ THE NEW VERSION OF THE LICENCE BECOMES BINDING FOR YOU AS SOON AS
> YOU BECOME AWARE OF ITS PUBLICATION. ]"
This was definitely unacceptable, so I'm glad it's gone.
> At the contrary, the new formulation of # 5 allows
> any stakeholder to insert the reference to the new version in the source
> code and documentation, and to re-distribute it under the new version as
> from a certain date (without impacting relationships with previous
This is the important part. Versions under a new license version can be
distributed at any time, but without affecting existing recipients.
I'm overall satisfied with the improvements, and I currently support
More information about the License-review