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Re: [epl-discuss] GPL compatibility

On 10/12/2016 10:21 AM, Ian Skerrett wrote:

I would also point out that in my mind an existing Eclipse project licensed under the EPL 1.0 would have a difficult task ahead of them if they want to become GPL-compatible under the EPL 2.0. They would need to seek the approval of all of their past contributors in order to make it possible. We would have to ensure that the drafting reflects that.

OK, I didn’t realize this was going to be the case. Can you clarify how existing projects will move to EPL 2.0 or do you see most existing projects staying with EPL 1.0.

Projects can move from 1.0 to 2.0 by simply deciding to do so, and updating their fileheaders and license.html files. This is allowed under Section 7 of the EPL 1.0 which 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.

Note that to the best of my knowledge, almost all fileheaders for Eclipse projects explicitly state that the file is licensed under the Eclipse Public License v1.0. Changing these headers will result in a lot of churn in the project's history. For that and other reasons, I am assuming that it may take quite some time for projects to switch over to the new version.

In my mind, the GPL compatibility would not automatically fall under this provision, as the original contributors had not explicitly granted that additional right. My motivation for GPL compatibility is to avoid the future use of the permissive licensing specifically because of a valid need to have GPL compatibility. E.g. using the EPL+EDL(BSD) dual-license which is becoming quite commonplace in some parts of the Eclipse community such as IoT.

Some clever drafting may be required to ensure that this is clear.

Comments and feedback welcomed!

Mike Milinkovich
+1.613.220.3223 (mobile)

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