Definitions

gnu public licence

European Union Public Licence

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

Its latest version is version 1.0, which was approved by the European Commission on 9 January 2007 for the English, French and German versions. The translations into the 20 other official languages of the European Union have been officially approved on 9 January 2008.

This licence is 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 current copyright law in the 27 member states of the European Union, while retaining compatibility with popular open-source software licenses such as the GNU General Public License. The first IDABC software packages mentioned are CIRCA groupware, IPM and the eLink G2G, G2C, G2B specification software.

Comparison to other open source/free software licenses

With license proliferation a growing problem, the European Union justifies its license as the first open source license to be released by an international governing body. The European Union also wishes to dispel legal uncertainties, real or perceived, of existing open-source licenses such as the GNU General Public License by creating its own software license tailored to EU law. A third goal of this license is to create an open-source license whose original, binding text is officially translated into each of the EU's 23 official languages, and is sure to conform to the existing copyright laws of each of the EU's member states. Lastly, to dispel fears of license proliferation, the license was developed with other open-source licenses in mind and specifically authorizes covered works to be re-released under the following licenses:

Possible upgrade

There is no agreement yet about covering the Application service provider loophole of software distribution. A second issue that could use further thought is how the license affects dynamic linking. This currently depends on national law.

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