Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

JRuby Moves to the EPL

I am very happy to report that after a little bit of conversation, the JRuby project has moved from the Common Public License (CPL) to the Eclipse Public License (EPL). So as of this moment, JRuby is tri-licensed under the EPL/LGPL/GPL. This is an excellent reminder to all remaining CPL-licensed projects (hello JUnit! – discussion thread here) to consider re-licensing under the EPL. I documented all of the history and background back in 2009 when the EPL officially became the CPL’s successor, and the CPL was deprecated by the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

This whole JRuby transition came about because Charles Nutter and I accidentally met one another over good Belgian beer at FOSDEM. Since that approach doesn’t scale, I am going to use this event to remind folks that if your project is still using the CPL, you should switch and it is really easy to do so.

Some key points:

  • Back in 2009, the CPL was superseded by the EPL. This means that the EPL is the successor version of the CPL. It also means that using the CPL is the licensing equivalent of using deprecated code.
  • Because the EPL is the successor version to the CPL, the “new version re-licensing” clause in Section 7 of the CPL applies. In other words, you can re-license your project without seeking the approval of all of your contributors.
  • The CPL and EPL basically differ by about one sentence, which you can see here. The difference relates to the scope of patent licenses terminated should someone sue another party for patent infringement. This is the kind of stuff that lawyers love, but most developers don’t really care about.

Thanks to the JRuby team for fixing this so quickly!

Written by Mike Milinkovich

February 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Foundation, Open Source

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