European Union Public Licence

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European Union Public Licence
Author European Union
Latest version 1.2
Publisher European Union
Published January 2007
DFSG compatible Yes
FSF approved Yes
OSI approved Yes[1]
GPL compatible Yes, by licensing derivatives that include GPL covered code [2][3]
Copyleft Yes
Linking from code with a different license Depends on the applicable copyright law in the European Union country where the Licensor resides or has his registered office for defining what qualify as a derivative work.[4]

The European Union Public Licence (EUPL) is a software licence that has been created and approved by the European Commission. It is a free software licence.

Its first version 1.0 was approved on 9 January 2007. Its latest version is 1.2, approved 18 May 2017.[5] The previous version, 1.1, was approved by the European Commission on 9 January 2009. The licence is available in 22 official languages of the European Union. All linguistic versions have the same validity. The EUPL v 1.1 is OSI certified as from March 2009[citation needed]. On May 2017, the European Commission published the EUPL v1.2 (OJ 19/05/2017 L128 p. 59–64).

This licence was originally intended to be used for the distribution of software developed in the framework of the IDABC programme, although (given its generic scope) it is also suitable for use by any software developer. Its main goal is its focusing on being consistent with the copyright law in the 28 Member States of the European Union, while retaining compatibility with popular open-source software licences such as the GNU General Public License. The first IDABC software packages mentioned are CIRCA groupware,[6] IPM[7][8] and the eLink[9] G2G, G2C, G2B specification software. Since the launch (in October 2008) of the European Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR), which has been migrated to the Joinup collaborative platform (December 2011)[10] other software mainly produced by European administrations, has been licensed under the EUPL.[11]

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

With licence proliferation a growing problem, the European Union justifies its licence as the first open source licence to be released by an international governing body.
The European Union also wishes to dispel legal uncertainties, real or perceived, in respect of other open-source licences, such as the GNU General Public License, by creating a software licence which takes due account of European Union Law.
A third goal of this licence is to create an open-source licence available into 23 official languages of the European Union,[12] and is sure to conform to the existing copyright laws of each of the 28 (or 27 after the Brexit) Member States of the European Union.
Lastly, to dispel fears of licence proliferation, 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:

On the other hand, many OSI-approved licences are compatible with the EUPL: JOINUP publish a general compatibility matrix between all OSI-approved licences and the EUPL.[13]

An overview of the EUPL licence and on what makes it different has been published in OSS-Watch.[14]

Version 1.2[edit]

The EUPL v1.2 was prepared as from June 2013[15] and the decision process started in 2016. The conclusion was the publication of the EUPL v1.2 in Official Journal and in 23 languages on 19 May 2017.[16] 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.[16] Version 1.2 was released 18 May 2017.[5]

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". 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". A possible issue that could use further thought is how the licence affects dynamic linking. This currently depends on national law. According to studies done prior to the approval of the EUPL, this is intentional: each case is left to appreciation.[citation needed]

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]


External links[edit]