French GPL-compatible License

MJ Ray mjr at
Mon Jul 12 09:15:34 UTC 2004

On 2004-07-12 04:32:08 +0100 Wouter Vanden hove 
<wouter.vanden.hove at> wrote:

> "France lends support to new open-source license
> CeCILL license, compatible with GNU GPL, aims to be better suited for 
> French 
> laws"
> What does FSFE-supporters think about this?

There are recent discussions on fsfe-france and debian-legal which may 
interest you, starting at URLs 
and (from )

In general, this seems like a good thing. I have heard from 
researchers that some are nervous in using a licence written for 
foreign laws. I assume this is a bigger problem for using a US licence 
in France, where differences in legal style seem greater than between 
the US and UK.

That said, some key questions have been raised:
* Doesn't specify what GPL it means: Grombat Public Licence compatible 
* Apparently commits the Holder to keep the software available forever?
* Forces anyone the Holder sues to be represented in France:

Also contains mild anti-free-software "techies-only" propoganda in the 
preamble, which I missed on first reading.

> Creative Commons has a strong-copyleft license (Share-Alike) which 
> they are 
> translating and adapting to local laws.

No CC licences are free software licences, or even 
free-software-compatible, so I think we're off-topic there, much as I 
wish it otherwise.

> Why doesn't FSFEurope adopt a same strategy?

Maybe you should cc team or office on just that narrow question, for 
an official reply. I'm not sure who reads this list and how fully (fx: 
prepares to be snowed on).

> Why would European government or public institutions release their 
> own 
> software under a GPL that is only partially valid in many european 
> countries?

Mindshare, basically, or they might think the valid bits are 
sufficient. Also, they may have a US entity that they can use to 
publish it there first, which I think means the GPL would be as fine 
as for FSF.

MJR/slef    My Opinion Only and not of any group I know for creative copyleft computing
"Matthew Garrett is quite the good sort of fellow, despite what
my liver is sure to say about him in [...] 40 years" -- branden

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