Question About CPL and EPL

John Cowan cowan at
Mon Sep 6 21:21:13 UTC 2010

David Dodini scripsit:

> Our company has a dependency on wsdl4j which is covered by the Common
> Public License. We have a customer who is concerned about using our
> software because of its requirement to distribute our source per its
> requirements even though we only rely on it as an external library
> w/o modification to the original source.

I'm rather confused why your customer has a problem with receiving source
(note that it's enough to tell them how they can get source from you,
you don't actually have to ship the source).  In any case, under the
terms of the CPL you only need to provide the source of the library,
not your own source.

> In our research we found on your site this page,
>, which states that the CPL is
> deprecated and superseded by the Eclipse Public License. The EPL is
> not a concern of ours and our customer as we do not have to distribute
> our source for using it as an external library.

In fact, the CPL and the EPL are the same on this point, and differ only
in their "patent peace" clause (and the name, and who is the license
steward, etc.)

> Does the deprecation of the CPL and it being superseded by the EPL
> indemnify us from adherence to terms of the CPL in favor of those
> of the EPL even in the the case of a library like wsdl4j which is
> distributed under the CPL?

No.  If the CPL applied, it still applies unless the licensor says

All Gaul is divided into three parts: the part          John Cowan
that cooks with lard and goose fat, the part  
that cooks with olive oil, and the part that            cowan at
cooks with butter. --David Chessler

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