IBM and the Eclipse Foundation have teamed up to address the issue of open-source license proliferation and have moved to supersede the Common Public License (CPL) with the Eclipse Public License (EPL).
IBM and the Eclipse Foundation have teamed up to address the issue
of open-source license proliferation and have moved to supersede the
Common Public License with the Eclipse Public License.
According to a blog post by Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation,
this move went into effect on April 16. Milinkovich noted, "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."
"There was a two-step process that was followed to make this happen.
First, following the terms of the CPL, IBM assigned the responsibility
to serve as the Agreement Steward of the CPL to the Eclipse Foundation.
Second, the Eclipse Foundation officially recognized the EPL 1.0 as the
new version of the CPL 1.0. In OSI license terminology, the EPL now
supersedes the CPL.
"A quick read of the two licenses will quickly show that they are
very, very close. Other than their names and (previously) their
Agreement Stewards, the only substantive difference is the breadth of
the patent license termination in the event of a patent law suit. (See
the second paragraph of Section 7.) For more information on the
relationship between the CPL and the EPL ..."
Milinkovich said developers can continue to use the CPL if they want
to, "although the whole reason we're making this happen is because we
wanted to provide projects with an easy option to migrate to the EPL to
help reduce license proliferation."
Moreover, Milinkovich said:
"We could have created a CPL 1.1 that simply pointed to the EPL 1.0.
But frankly that seemed a lot more confusing than helpful. Especially
since the licenses effectively differ by about one-and-a-half
sentences. However, more importantly, the EPL is indeed the successor
version to the CPL. The Eclipse Foundation and its members developed
the EPL from the CPL by modifying those one-and-a-half sentences. The
name of the license doesn't change that history."