Common Public License

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Common Public License
Author IBM
Latest version 1.0
Publisher IBM
Published May 2001
DFSG compatible Yes [1]
FSF approved Yes
OSI approved Yes
GPL compatible No
Copyleft Yes
Linking from code with a different license Yes

In computing, the Common Public License (CPL) is a free software / open-source software license published by IBM. The Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative have approved the license terms of the CPL.


The CPL has the stated aims of supporting and encouraging collaborative open-source development while still retaining the ability to use the CPL'd content with software licensed under other licenses, including many proprietary licenses. The Eclipse Public License (EPL) consists of a slightly modified version of the CPL.

The CPL has some terms that resemble those of the GNU General Public License (GPL), but some key differences exist. A similarity relates to distribution of a modified computer program: under either license (CPL or GPL), one must make the source code of a modified program available to others.

CPL, like the GNU Lesser General Public License, allows non-CPL-licensed software to link to a library under CPL without requiring the linked source code to be made available to the licensee.

CPL lacks compatibility with both versions of the GPL because it has a "choice of law" section in section 7, which restricts legal disputes to a certain court. Another source of incompatibility is the different copyleft requirements.[2]

To reduce the number of open source licenses, IBM and Eclipse Foundation agreed upon using solely the Eclipse Public License in the future.[3] Open Source Initiative therefore lists the Common Public License as deprecated and superseded by EPL.

Projects using the Common Public License[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ List of DFSG (Debian Free Software Guidelines) approved Licenses
  2. ^ Various Licenses and Comments about Them - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)
  3. ^ Mike Milinkovich - One Small Step Towards Reducing License Proliferation

External links[edit]