For the first time an Open Source Public Licence will have the power of law. The European Union Public Licence (EUPL) has been published the 9 January 2007.
The licence is currently translated into the 21 European Union languages, the first ever Open Source licence translated legally and not only “for information” purpose!
European Union Public Administrations can now release their software under a licence that “takes care of their national specific copyright terminology and their provisions related to information, warranty or liability exclusion respecting consumer’s rights”. This is also related to “applicable law and competent court, as the EUPL guiding principle is based on trust towards Member States’ parliaments and judges without restrictions or exceptions”.
Does mean a threat to the GPL? Off course not, the writers of the Open Source Licence demonstrated an openness of mind by authorising the re-distribution of derivate works under the compatible licence:
- GNU General Public Licence v2.0
- Cecill v2.0
- Open Software Licence (OSL) v2.1
- Open Software Licence (OSL) v3.0
- Common Public Licence v1.0
- Eclipse Public Licence v1.0
Should the licensee’s obligations under the compatible licence conflict with EUPL’s obligations, the obligations of the Compatible Licence shall prevail. If other similar licences could be inspired by this open mind, the « free licence wars» and resulting incompatibilities would rapidly end!