European Union Public Licence

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European Union Public Licence
AuthorEuropean Commission
Latest version1.2
PublisherEuropean Union
PublishedJanuary 2007 (v 1.0), May 2017 (v 1.2)
DFSG compatibleYes[1]
FSF approvedYes[2][3]
OSI approvedYes[4]
GPL compatibleYes, by licensing derivatives that include GPL covered code[2][3]
CopyleftYes[2][3]
Linking from code with a different licenceYes, as it depends on the applicable copyright law in the European Union country where the Licensor resides or has his or her registered office for defining what qualifies as a derivative work.[5]
Websitejoinup.ec.europa.eu/page/eupl-guidelines-faq-infographics Edit this at Wikidata

The European Union Public Licence (EUPL) is a free software licence that has been created and approved by the European Commission. The licence is available in 23 official languages of the European Union. All linguistic versions have the same validity. Its latest version, EUPL v1.2, was published in May 2017.

Software, mainly produced by European administrations, has been licensed under the EUPL[6] since the launch of the European Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) in October 2008, now part of Joinup collaborative platform[7].

History[edit]

EUPL was originally intended to be used for the distribution of software developed in the framework of the IDABC programme[8], given its generic scope it was also suitable for use by any software developer. Its main goal is its focusing on being consistent with the copyright law in the Member States of the European Union, while retaining compatibility with popular free software licences such as the GNU General Public License. The first IDABC software packages mentioned are CIRCA groupware,[9] IPM[10][11] and the eLink[12] G2G, G2C, G2B specification software.

Comparison to other open source/free software licences[edit]

EUPL is the first open source licence to be released by an international governing body. A goal of this licence is to create an open-source licence available into 23 official languages of the European Union,[13] and that is sure to conform to the existing copyright laws of the Member States of the European Union.

The licence was developed with other open-source licences in mind and specifically authorizes covered works to be re-released under the following licences, when combined with their covered code in larger works:

Explicit License Compatibility Added in version
GNU General Public License (GPL) v. 2 & v. 3 GPL v3 added in EUPL v1.2
Open Software License (OSL) v. 2.1, v. 3.0 EUPL v1.0
Common Public License v. 1.0 EUPL v1.0
Eclipse Public License v. 1.0 EUPL v1.0
CeCILL v. 2.0 & V 2.1 EUPL v1.0
Mozilla Public License v. 2 EUPL v1.2
LGPL v2.1 & V3 EUPL v1.2
LiLIQ-R & LiLIQ-R+ EUPL v1.2
GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL) v. 3 EUPL v1.2

Many other OSI-approved licences are compatible with the EUPL: JOINUP publish a general compatibility matrix between all OSI-approved licences and the EUPL.[14]

An overview of the EUPL licence and on what makes it different has been published in OSS-Watch.[15]

In 2020, the European Commission publishes its Joinup Licensing Assistant [16], which makes possible the selection and comparison of more than 50 licences, with access to their SPDX identifier and full text.

Versions[edit]

EUPL v1.0 was approved on 9 January 2007.[17]

EUPL v1.1 was approved by the European Commission on 9 January 2009. EUPL v1.1 is OSI certified as from March 2009[18].

EUPL v1.2 was published in May 2017.[19] EUPL v1.2 is OSI certified in July 2017[20].

Version 1.2[edit]

The EUPL v1.2 was prepared as from June 2013[21] its decision process started in 2016 and [22] released on 19 May 2017. A principal objective of the EUPL v1.2 is to update the appendix of compatible licences to cover newer popular licences such as the GNU GPLv3 and AGPLv3.[22]

According to the EUPL v.1.1, the European Commission may publish other linguistic versions and/or new versions of the EUPL, so far this is required and reasonable, without reducing the scope of the rights granted by the Licence. Future upgrades will not be applicable automatically when software was expressly released "under the EUPL v.1.1 only".[23]

New provisions cover the Application service provider loophole of software distribution: Distribution and/or Communication (of software) includes providing on-line "access to its essential functionalities".[24]

A specificity of the EUPL v1.2 is that it is both copyleft and interoperable, without any viral effect in case of static and dynamic linking.[25] This currently depends on European and national law, according to the Computer Programs Directive (Directive 2009/24). Recital 15 of this Directive states that for making two programs interoperable code needs to be translated or transformed. For example take program A (new original code just written) and program B (a program licensed by a third party), the developer/licensor of A, who is also a legitimate holder or recipient of B may reproduce in A the needed code from B (e.g. the APIs or the needed data structures from program B) without copyright infringement and without authorization from the copyright holder of B. The licensor of A can do and distribute this without being bonded by conditions or limitations imposed by a licence of program B. This must stay compatible with the normal use of program B and cannot prejudice the legitimate interest of the copyright holder of B.

Unlike the "articles", the directive "recitals" are not transposed as such in national laws. However, recitals are part of European law: they are serving for understanding the scope and rationale of the law, and will be used by the court for interpreting the law, as the case may be. While recitals in EU Directives and Regulations are not considered to have independent legal value, they can expand an ambiguous provision's scope. They cannot restrict an unambiguous provision's scope, but they can be used to determine the nature of a provision, or to adapt it to new circumstances. For this reason, the German lawyer Niklas Plutte created for the EUPL the new category of "Interoperable copyleft licence".[26]

Member states policies[edit]

As from 2010, EU member states adopt or revise policies aimed to encourage – when appropriate – the open source distribution of public sector applications. The EUPL is formally mentioned in some of these policies:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ausweisapp2 in Debian Package Tracker". Debian Package Tracker. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Donald Robertson (26 June 2018). "European Union Public License v. 1.2 added to license list". Free Software Foundation. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Various Licenses and Comments about Them". The GNU Operating System and the Free Software Movement. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  4. ^ OSI approval published on Joinup
  5. ^ "EUPL 1.1" (PDF).
  6. ^ "Joinup forge". Archived from the original on 2016-04-04. Retrieved 2016-04-04.
  7. ^ Osor.eu migration
  8. ^ Overview of the IDABC project.
  9. ^ CIRCA groupware
  10. ^ IPM technical architecture
  11. ^ IPM EUPL
  12. ^ eLink
  13. ^ - European Union Public License
  14. ^ Matrix of EUPL compatible licences
  15. ^ The EUPL - An Overview
  16. ^ "Joinup Licensing Assistant". Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  17. ^ EUPL v1.0 was published on 9 January 2007
  18. ^ "Introduction to the EUPL licence | Joinup". joinup.ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  19. ^ "Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2017/863".
  20. ^ "Introduction to the EUPL licence | Joinup". joinup.ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2017-11-20.
  21. ^ "Public Consultation on the draft EUPL v 1.2 has been fruitful". Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  22. ^ a b "Public Consultation on the draft EUPL v1.2". Retrieved 3 December 2015.
  23. ^ "Understanding the EUPL v1.2 | Joinup".
  24. ^ See Article 1 of the EUPL 1.2 last subpoint, definition of ‘Distribution’ and ‘Communication’.
  25. ^ License compatibility in the case of static and dynamic linking.
  26. ^ "Open Source Software Recht: Große FAQ mit vielen Praxistipps". Retrieved 31 March 2020.

External links[edit]