The gCube software is released under the European Union Public Licence (EUPL v.1.1) license.
The EUPL is the first European Free/Open Source Software licence. It has been created on the initiative of the European Commission. It is also the first Free/Open Source Licence with the same official value in many European languages.
The first EUPL draft (v.0.1) went public in June 2005. A public debate was then organised by the European Commission (IDABC). The consultation of the developers and users community was very productive and has lead to many improvements of the draft licence; 10 out of 15 articles were modified. Based on the results of these modifications (a detailed report and the draft EUPL v.0.2), the European Commission elaborated a final version (v.1.0) that was officially approved on 9 January 2007, in three linguistic versions.
By a second Decision of 9 January 2008, the European Commission validated the EUPL in all the official languages of the European Union.
The initial objective of the European Commission was to distribute widely and promote the use of software owned by itself and other European Institutions under an Free/Open Source Licence conform to European law requirements.
The EUPL was however written in neutral terms so that a broader use was envisaged since the beginning.
In addition, distribution of software should avoid the exclusive appropriation of the software even after improvement by a third party (therefore, the EUPL is a "copyleft" licence).
The EUPL is unique for several reasons:
- For the first time, a public body of the size of the European Commission has officially developed and approved an Open Source licence for the release of its software.
- Although the EUPL v. 1.0 was approved originally by the European Commission only in English, German and French, it has now been validated in all (except the Irish) official languages of the European Union and may produce legal effects in any of these languages.
- The EUPL has considered the specificity and diversity of Member States Law and the Community Law (copyright terminology, information, warranty, liability, applicable law and jurisdiction).
- The EUPL ensures downstream compatibility issues with the most relevant other licences (including the most intensively used, the General Public licence or GPL).