Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
LWN.net Weekly Edition for December 5, 2013
Deadline scheduling: coming soon?
LWN.net Weekly Edition for November 27, 2013
ACPI for ARM?
LWN.net Weekly Edition for November 21, 2013
European Union's open source licence to become compatible with GPLv3
Posted Dec 19, 2012 13:27 UTC (Wed) by simosx (subscriber, #24338)
Posted Dec 19, 2012 18:33 UTC (Wed) by pe-schmitz (guest, #88393)
European Union's free software licence to become compatible with GPLv3
Posted Dec 19, 2012 21:11 UTC (Wed) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
And by extension, having GPLv3 in the Appendix is probably also good for the image of GPLv3 in the eyes of the public sector.
Another vanity license. Ugh.
Posted Dec 19, 2012 22:39 UTC (Wed) by david.a.wheeler (subscriber, #72896)
Sigh, yet another vanity license.
I'm glad that the EU is working to make their license GPL-compatible.
As I explain in
Make Your Open Source Software GPL-Compatible. Or Else., while you don't need to release software under the GPL, releasing open source software under a GPL-incompatible license is almost always a foolish decisions. The reason a government would release software as OSS is usually because they're trying to encourage collaboration. Using a license incompatible with the most popular OSS license, instead of using an industry-standard license, is simply a bad decision. My industry-standard list would be MIT, BSD 3-clause (and 2-clause), Apache 2.0, LGPL, GPL. Maybe the MPL 2.0.
License proliferation is a serious problem. I hope the EU avoids it, instead of making it worse. The EU should update their license to make it GPL-compatible... and then tell people to stop using it, and use an industry-standard license instead.
Another vanity licence. But maybe the least-worst
Posted Dec 19, 2012 23:02 UTC (Wed) by coriordan (guest, #7544)
It's also indirectly compatible with all current and future versions of the GPL because you can also relicense to the CeCILL licence, and that licence allows relicensing to any version of the GPL.
It's a pity it took so long for direct GPLv3 compatibility to be added, and it would be better if the EU would simply (and clearly) endorse the GPL, but this licence's relicensing clause makes it one of the least harmful in terms of licence incompatibility and generally making licensing more complex.
Plus, it does address at least one real problem: governments being required to use licences in their national language(s). In this sense, it might even reduce licence proliferation because this one licence in all EU languages means that national governments have no necessity to write their own licences. (Or it might have the opposite effect if national governments think "Oh, an own free software licence, what a good idea, let's write one too".)
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds