EU: Rise in use of EUPL for publishing open source software
The European Union's open source licence, (European Union Public Licence, EUPL) is being used more and more. A quarter of the projects available on the European Commission's software development site, the OSOR Forge, 47 out of 183 projects, are published using the EUPL. On Sourceforge, a commercial venture for open source software development based in the US, the licence is now selected by 49 projects. One year ago there were none.
The EUPL was written to be used for distributing open source software applications built for or by the European Commission. No wonder that on the OSOR Forge, many of the projects using the EUPL are published by European Commission and the EU's member states.
The EUPL was reviewed favourably last month in a document on copyright an licences French Ministry for the Budget, Public Accounts and the Civil Service. "The EUPL can be used and produced, in the framework of some litigation, in courts and administrations of numerous EU member states, without the obligation or the risk to call upon a sworn translator. The EUPL is also compliant with the European Member States laws."
And on the networking site LinkedIn, the EUPL is discussed favourably by Dutch civil administrators discussing what licence to use for publishing government software projects. "If 100 percent of the code's copyright belongs to the government, the EUPL seems the obvious choice", a participant writes. A few days ago, another participant pointed to a Wiki hosted by the Dutch government's resource centre NOiV to help government organisations choose the best licence, also preferring the EUPL.
Governments aside, the EUPL is also chosen by academic developers and commercial enterprises. Here a major reason seems to be the EUPL's availability in all but one of the EU's languages.
For instance, on the OSOR Forge, earlier this month, the EUPL was selected by the Estonian IT security firm K5Security. According to lead developer Hillar Põldmaa, the multiple languages was the main reason for choosing this licence.
This is true also for the first project listed on Sourceforge as published using the EUPL, ExpSuite. It is an application for psychoacoustic tests, developed by the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. Explains Developer Piotr Majdak: "We wanted to distribute our software under a public license and actually, our first choice was the GNU GPL. A few days later we found the EUPL and it was perfect for us: It is available in several languages and is conform with the EU laws."
- EUPL projects on Sourceforge
- EUPL projects on OSOR Forge
- NOIV Licence wiki (in Dutch)
- Practical Guide to using Free Software in the Public Sector