[Coin-announce] IBM passes open-source license baton to Eclipse

Robin Lougee-Heimer robinlh at us.ibm.com
Fri Apr 17 10:01:45 EDT 2009


April 16th, 2009 
IBM passes open source license baton to Eclipse
Posted by Ed Burnette @ 12:47 pm
IBM and the Eclipse Foundation have taken a stand against license 
proliferation by announcing today that the Common Public License (CPL) has 
been officially superseded by the Eclipse Public License (EPL). The CPL 
will no longer be considered an active open source license, but there?s an 
easy migration path for CPL code to transition to EPL.
Mike Milinkovich, executive director for life of the Eclipse Foundation 
(just kidding Mike) broke the news today in his blog. He writes:
License proliferation in open source is a real issue. It costs businesses 
to review multiple licenses, and the plethora of licenses can be confusing 
to someone starting a new open source project.
Over the past five years we have seen the Eclipse Foundation go from a 
good idea that might work to one of the most successful open source 
communities out there. We have seen the Symbian Foundation adopt the EPL 
as its license, thereby bringing a huge community and code base in its own 
right to the EPL, plus demonstrating the utility of the license well 
outside of the Java domain that it is best known in. More recently, Google 
also added the EPL as one of the licenses it supports on Google Code. It 
is clear that if we wanted to consolidate on one license, that the EPL 
made the most sense.
So what does this mean for projects such as Mondrian which are distributed 
under the CPL? Well, nothing has to happen ? you can continue to use a 
dead license if you want. But because EPL has been denoted as the formal 
?successor version of the CPL? you can use a provision already in the CPL 
to switch. Section 7 says:
In addition, after a new version of the Agreement is published, 
Contributor may elect to distribute the Program (including its 
Contributions) under the new version.
EPL 1.0 is considered the ?new version? of CPL 1.0 under OSI rules.
The two licenses were very close anyway. Other than their names and 
(previously) their Agreement Stewards, the only real difference was the 
way the patent license termination clause was written. That clause, which 
has never been invoked as far as I know, covers what happens in the event 
of a patent lawsuit. For more information on the relationship between the 
CPL and the EPL see the EPL FAQ.

Robin Lougee-Heimer, PhD
Program Manager, COIN-OR
IBM TJ Watson Research Center
1101 Kitchawan Road, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
ph: 914-945-3032   fax: 914-945-3434 
robinlh at us.ibm.com

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