I’m hosting some projects over at Google Code. As part of the project setup you can select a license from a drop-down list. Apparently, the list is limited to eight licenses. The EPL is not it this list.
The Google Help Center says:
We’d like to see projects standardize on the most popular, time-tested ones. The selected licenses offer diversity to meet most developer needs.
The question to add EPL to that list came up a couple of times. In one of the discussions Greg Stein said:
[…] the Eclipse Public License has not really been adopted by the wider open source community. It is mostly being used just by one smallish corner: projects based on or around Eclipse.
That sucks, eh? But it gets worse.
I tried to make a reply using the web interface in that thread to make a comment about the license drop-down. For some reason it did not go to the list but directly to Greg. His response shocked me a little bit.
We only allow those eight licenses. If we find projects that are not licensed as described by the dropdown, then we will remove them.
Ok, back to SourceForge I guess. 😐
6 thoughts on “EPL != Popular License”
So they have to remove their own projects too because e.g. gwt ships EPL code: http://code.google.com/webtoolkit/terms.html
Google’s position has been to reduce what google calls ‘license proliferation’, and unfortunately there’s nothing we can do about opinions a particular company has, because that’s their opinion, and they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is.
There are other options to host EPL’d software including sourceforge, codehaus, etc.
I’ve used GWT, and I believe GWT is distributed under Apache License 2.0 and ships components licensed under EPL, I believe that’s allowed under the terms and conditions of both EPL and Apache License 2.0.
Personally, I like Googles position since I find it hard to believe that Open Source in general benefits from a plethora of licenses. I bet that some motivated lawyers could bring the number of licenses down to a very low number (3-4) that would suit just about everyone if they just gave it a try
The whole arena of Open Source licensing is in bad shape in my opinion. This might stir things up a bit. The current situation is just silly and inhibits integration, distribution, and collaboration in a bad way that no one intended when the licenses were written.
I think you’re better off at SourceForge. They offer a much richer infrastructure anyway. And there are actually quite a few EPL licensed projects there already.
I used SourceForge before. I don’t need the richer infrastructure. I found Google Code interesting because of its simplicity and performance.