Open Publication License

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Open Publication License was created by the Open Content Project in 1999 as public copyright license for documents.[1] The license was superseded in 2003/2007 by the Creative commons licenses.[2]


The Open Publication License replaced in 1999 the previous Open Content License from 1998.[3] The two licenses differ substantially: The Open Publication License is not a share-alike license while the Open Content License is and the Open Publication License can optionally restrict the distribution of derivative works or to restrict the commercial distribution of paper copies of the work or derivatives of the work, whereas the Open Content License forbade copying for profit altogether.

According to the Free Software Foundation,[4] the Open Publication License "can be used as a free documentation license" and is "a copyleft free documentation license provided the copyright holder does not exercise any of the 'LICENSE OPTIONS' listed in Section VI of the license." It is not, however, compatible with the GNU FDL.[4]

Since May 2007 the Open Content Projects recommends[2] instead using one of the Creative Commons licenses.


The Open Public License was analyzed in detail legal-wise by the author of Understanding Open Source and Free Software Licensing, Andrew M. St. Laurent, in 2004.[5] The license was accepted as a free content license according to the Free Cultural Works definition.[6]


A major work which used the Open Publication License was Eric S. Raymond's book The Cathedral and the Bazaar in 1999.[7] Bruce Perens used the license for the Bruce Perens' Open Source Series of books.[8] Also the Fedora project used the license for their documentation until around 2009/2010 when they switched to a CC-BY-SA license.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Open Publication License v1.0 on (8 June 1999)
  2. ^ a b iterating toward openness » Blog Archive » About the Open Publication License (May 2007)
  3. ^ OPL (1998)
  4. ^ a b Free Software Foundation - Licenses - Open Publication License
  5. ^ Open Source and Free Documentation Licenses, Part 2: The Open Publication License on by Andrew M. St. Laurent (10/07/2004)
  6. ^ Licenses on
  7. ^ Cathedral and Bazaar on
  8. ^ Barr, Joe (January 13, 2003). "Meet the Perens". LinuxWorld Magazine. 
  9. ^ Archive:Relicensing OPL to CC BY SA on

External links

  • Open Publication License text dated June 8, 1999.
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Open Publication License"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA