From the Eclipse Public License (EPL) 1.0 FAQ and the EPL 2.0 FAQ:

Can a Contributor remain anonymous?

No. Except for those who simply redistribute the Program, each Contributor must identify itself as the originator of its Contribution in a way that later Recipients will be able to readily see.

Why can't the author be anonymous when the license is EPL-1.0 or EPL-2.0, although copyright law allows anonymous works to be copyrighted?

1 Answer 1


The reason for the requirement for Contributors (here: Contributors that actually change the code) to not be anonymous comes from the patent license (Section 2.b in the license language).

If a Contributor was a patent holder and at the same time anonymous, it would be impossible for a Recipient to benefit from the patent license they are entitled to. Even worse, a patent holder could anonymously introduce code into the Program that infringes his/her patent and then ask for royalties.

The intention of the license language (and the paragraphs in the FAQs you linked to) is to prevent this situation described in the paragraph above.

  • Does the same reasoning apply to other open source licenses that have a patent grant? Does this mean that contributors to Apache 2.0, GPLv3, or MPL 2.0 projects should not be anonymous?
    – Flux
    Aug 26 at 14:20
  • 1
    Basically yes, it is the same for other licenses, such as the Apache license (see FAQ), however to my knowledge the EPL license FAQs are the only ones that explicitly state it. Very often software contributions are not anonymous, but users have pseudonyms, which can eventually be tracked down to a real person or entity in case of patent litigation. That seems to be working well for a long time already. Aug 26 at 15:11

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