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Open-source license


CeCILL licence recognised by the Open Source Initiative

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) has just recognised the CeCILL 2.1 licence, the first free software licence that complies with French law. Proposed by the CEA, the CNRS and Inria, it is one of a family of three licences which cover a broad range of needs of developers and users.

Historically, the first licences incorporating free software were all Anglo-American. Since 2004, however, a number of licences have been produced to fill the gap in French law. Developed by a working group of technology transfer companies, scientists and legal experts from Inria, the CEA and CNRS, they cover three major needs of software publishers:

  • CeCILL is based on the GNU GPL licence, but offering greater legal security;
  • CeCILL B authorises unlimited reuse with no obligation other than source citation;
  • CeCILL C is suitable for the distribution of libraries and more generally of software components.

They also offer an advantage for users: any disputes that arise can be settled under French law.

CeCILL has been recognised as a free licence by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) since its second version. CeCILL 2.1 has in turn just been recognised by the Open Source Initiative, thereby reaffirming Inria's support for the free software movement.

Keywords: CeCILL Free software foundation Open source Logiciel libre