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Common Public License

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Title: Common Public License  
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Common Public License

Common Public License
Author IBM
Latest version 1.0
Publisher IBM
Published May 2001
DFSG compatible Yes [1]
FSF approved Yes
OSI approved Yes
GPL compatible No
Copyleft Yes
Linking from code with a different license Yes

In computing, the Common Public License (CPL) is a free software / open-source software license published by IBM. The Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative have approved the license terms of the CPL.


  • Definition 1
  • Projects using the Common Public License 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The CPL has the stated aims of supporting and encouraging collaborative open-source development while still retaining the ability to use the CPL'd content with software licensed under other licenses, including many proprietary licenses. The Eclipse Public License (EPL) consists of a slightly modified version of the CPL.

The CPL has some terms that resemble those of the GNU General Public License (GPL), but some key differences exist. A similarity relates to distribution of a modified computer program: under either license (CPL or GPL), one must make the source code of a modified program available to others.

CPL, like the GNU Lesser General Public License, allows non-CPL-licensed software to link to a library under CPL without requiring the linked source code to be made available to the licensee.

CPL lacks compatibility with both versions of the GPL because it has a "choice of law" section in section 7, which restricts legal disputes to a certain court. Another source of incompatibility is the different copyleft requirements.[2]

To reduce the number of open source licenses, IBM and Eclipse Foundation agreed upon using solely the Eclipse Public License in the future.[3] Open Source Initiative therefore lists the Common Public License as deprecated and superseded by EPL.

Projects using the Common Public License

See also


  1. ^ List of DFSG (Debian Free Software Guidelines) approved Licenses
  2. ^ Various Licenses and Comments about Them - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF)
  3. ^ Mike Milinkovich - One Small Step Towards Reducing License Proliferation

External links

  • Open Source Initiative The CPL License
  • The CPL License from IBM
  • The COIN-OR web page
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