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[epl-discuss] [Topic] Copyleft provisions are not obvious

Over the years, I have had more than a few people dispute the idea that the EPL is a copyleft license at all. This is because the “copyleftiness” (to invent a word) of the EPL is actually embedded in the definition of “Contribution” (emphasis mine).


"Contribution" means:

a) in the case of the initial Contributor, the initial code and documentation distributed under this Agreement, and
b) in the case of each subsequent Contributor:

i) changes to the Program, and
ii) additions to the Program;
where such changes and/or additions to the Program originate from and are distributed by that particular Contributor. A Contribution 'originates' from a Contributor if it was added to the Program by such Contributor itself or anyone acting on such Contributor’s behalf. Contributions do not include additions to the Program which: (i) are separate modules of software distributed in conjunction with the Program under their own license agreement, and (ii) are not derivative works of the Program.

This clearly works, but for the sake of clarity we may want to consider an alternate construction.


Mike Milinkovich

Executive Director

Eclipse Foundation


+1.613.220.3223 mobile

+1.613.224.9461 x228 office



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