Friday, February 7, 2014

The European Union Public Licence (EUPL)

Abstract: The EUPL is an OSI-approved free or open source software licence, copyrighted by the European Union. It was drafted by the Commission as from 2005 and launched in January 2007 as a share alike (or copyleft) style licence. At the end of 2012, about 500 projects have been licensed under the EUPL by European institutions, Member States and the private sector. A new version 1.2 of the EUPL has been drafted in 2013 and the European Commission reported that it will be published before the end of the year 2013. What makes the EUPL unique is its multilingual working value, specific warranties, references to the Court of Justice of the European Union and its provisions related to licence compatibility, making its copyleft “variable” for facilitating interoperability.

A paper by Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz published in IFOSS Law Review.

Table of content
1. Origin of the EUPL
2. EUPL and Licence Proliferation
3. The EUPL Used as a “Reference”
4. Rights Granted by the EUPL v1.1
5. What Made the EUPL v1.1 Specific?
6. Changes Planned in the EUPL v1.2
7 How is the EUPL's Variable Copyleft Implemented?
   a) The Normal Copyleft Reuse Under the EUPL
   b) Exception to the “Normal Copyleft” (Reuse in Other Copyleft Works)
   c) Exception to the Exception


Licence and Attribution
This paper was published in the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review, Volume 5, Issue 2 (December 2013). It originally appeared online at
This article should be cited as follows:
Schmitz, Patrice-Emmanuel (2013) 'The European Union Public Licence (EUPL)', International Free and Open Source Software Law Review, 5(2), pp 121 – 136
DOI: 10.5033/ifosslr.v5i2.91 

Copyright © 2013 Patrice-Emmanuel Schmitz.
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons UK (England and Wales) 2.0 licence, no derivative works, attribution, CC-BY-ND available at 

As a special exception, the author expressly permits faithful translations of the entire document into any language, provided that the resulting translation (which may include an attribution to the translator) is shared alike. This paragraph is part of the paper, and must be included when copying or translating the paper.

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