French Free Software Licenses


Distributing Free Software is not giving up all of its rights on the software. Authors as well as users have rights, duties and responsabilities which are defined by the licence attached to the software and applicable law. Today, the majority of French Open Source Software is distributed under licences originating from the United States such as the GNU General Public License. This poses a number of delicate legal questions.

The step taken by CEA, CNRS and INRIA is to work out a family of licences conformant to French law and compatible with the main Anglo-Saxon Open Source licences of which they retain the principles. Two criteria govern their development:

For CEA, CNRS INRIA, major players of French and European research, developing Free Software is essential. These licenses conformant to French law are essential tools for publication and diffusion in a highly competitive world context, tools for transfert to final users as well as commercial companies, that are more and more interested in the economic models around Open Source software.