Common Public License

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.

Common Public License
Latest version1.0
PublishedMay 2001; 19 years ago (2001-05)
SPDX identifierCPL-1.0
Debian FSG compatibleYes[1]
FSF approvedYes[2]
OSI approvedYes[3]
GPL compatibleNo[2]
Linking from code with a different licenceYes


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 differing 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Public License in the future.[4] Open Source Initiative therefore lists the Common Public License as deprecated and superseded by EPL.

Projects using the Common Public LicenseEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ List of DFSG (Debian Free Software Guidelines) approved Licenses
  2. ^ a b c d "Various Licenses and Comments about Them". Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  3. ^ "Open Source Licenses by Category". Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  4. ^ Mike Milinkovich - One Small Step Towards Reducing License Proliferation

External linksEdit