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Another vanity license. Ugh.

Another vanity license. Ugh.

Posted Dec 19, 2012 22:39 UTC (Wed) by david.a.wheeler (subscriber, #72896)
In reply to: European Union's free software licence to become compatible with GPLv3 by coriordan
Parent article: European Union's open source license to become compatible with GPLv3

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.


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Another vanity licence. But maybe the least-worst

Posted Dec 19, 2012 23:02 UTC (Wed) by coriordan (guest, #7544) [Link]

Well, it is already explicitly GPLv2 compatible (by allowing modified versions to be relicensed under GPLv2), and the main change in EUPLv1.3 is that they're adding v3 of the GPL to the list of licences which you can relicense to.

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".)


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