EPL != Popular License

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. šŸ˜

6 thoughts on “EPL != Popular License

  1. 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.

    @Tom
    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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