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European Union's open source licence to become compatible with GPLv3


© European Commission

The European Union's open source licence, EUPL, is to be revised, aiming to make it compatible with the GPLv3, AGPLv3 and other licences. A public consultation has just started, with the publication of a first draft and a background document on some of the proposed changes. Both the original development of the EUPL and the current revision are supported through the  European Commission’s programmes to foster interoperability ISA, IDABC and IDA.

We are updating the licences to remove barriers that could hinder others in the open source communities from using software licensed under the EUPL. "Making it explicitly compatible with the GPLv3 should increase interoperability", explains Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz, a Brussels-based legal specialist working involved in the drafting of the EUPL. This should for instance make it easier to combine EUPL and GPLv3 software components or to use both licences to publish a project, says Schmitz.

Making these licences compatible makes a lot of sense, commented the Italian attorney and free software legal specialist Carlo Piana. "The GPLv3 is more robust and more internationalised than v2, and the AGPL is the only license addressing copyleft in the Cloud."

Identical in 22 languages

The first version of the EUPL was published in 2007. It allows others to re-use the software and lets them improve and share the code. The licence also takes into account the EU law and that of the EU's member states. Starting with version 1.1, published in 2009, the EUPL is available in 22 official linguistic versions, that have identical legal value.

The EUPL forum is open for comments until mid-March 2013. The new update of the EUPL, version 1.2, is planned for publication in June 2013.

More information:
Public Consultation on the draft EUPL v1.2
EUPL v1.2 (draft, pdf)
EUPL draft 1.2 working paper (pdf)