Open Source Licenses: EUPL got OSI Approval, but Still Doesn’t Show Up

The Open Source Initiative board, after visiting the European Commission, has finally approved the European Union Public license on the 4th of March.

The EUPL 1.1 – the revisited version of the EUPL 1.0 including recommended modifications resulting from the OSI discussion – is supported by  the EUPL community. Stakeholders can share opinions and pose questions through the EUPL forums and blog.

Martin Michlmayr, OSI’s board member and FOSSBazaar Community Manager, said:

one new license is bound to be of true value in the near future: the EUPL [European Union Public License]. For the first time we’d have a license available in all European languages and valid everywhere, that is, all translations have been legally scrutinized. Also of practical value is that EUPL code can be converted to GPL code.

Bruce Perens, original author of the open source definition, discussing around the growing number of open source licenses said that four should be enough, and EUPL was not in his list.

Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz – director for European institution studies at Unisys and one of the writers of the EUPL license – thinks that Bruce is missing an important point here, since the EUPL exists in 22 linguistic versions and all versions have equal value. I believe he is right, but he is also missing an important point.

The EUPL is missing to attract attention, how results also from the small number of articles. Writing biased comparison between EUPL and GPLv3 can’t help, in this respect. GPLv3 is the fifth most chosen license in the open-source community, even if it is controversial its take over, and AGPLv3 adoption is also growing.