Does the Eclipse Public License 2.0 (EPL 2.0) allow recipients of code licensed under the EPL 2.0 to use the code under the terms of a newer version of the EPL? For example, when the Eclipse Software Foundation publishes EPL 3.0, will recipients of EPL 2.0 licensed code automatically get the choice to use the code under terms of EPL 3.0 instead of EPL 2.0? If the recipients make modifications to EPL 2.0 code, will they be able to redistribute the entire code under EPL 3.0?

2 Answers 2


Does the EPL 2.0 allow recipients to use code under the terms of any later version of the license?

No, unless the EPL 3.0 is explicitly mentioned as an allowed Secondary License and the conditions for using such a license are fulfilled.

Without an explicit "upgrade path" from one license to another license, you cannot change the license of the code (at least not without express consent from all contributors) and different versions of a license are considered to be completely different licenses.

The EPL 2.0 requires that the source code must be distributed under the EPL 2.0 license, unless the code in incorporated in a larger program. For compatibility with other copyleft licenses (in particular, the GPL), the initial author can grant the right to distribute the code under one of a named set of Secondary Licenses. If the EPL 3.0 would be named there, then the EPL 2.0 code could be incorporated into an EPL 3.0 project.


Recipients already have the choice to distribute the Program under a license different from EPL 2.0. There would not be an automatic update to EPL 3.0 (if it ever existed), it would always be at the discretion of the Contributor.

Section 3.1 b of EPL 2.0 states:


3.1 If a Contributor Distributes the Program in any form, then:

a) ... [truncated] ...; and

b) the Contributor may Distribute the Program under a license different than this Agreement, provided that such license: i) effectively disclaims on behalf of all other Contributors all warranties and conditions, express and implied, including warranties or conditions of title and non-infringement, and implied warranties or conditions of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose; ii) effectively excludes on behalf of all other Contributors all liability for damages, including direct, indirect, special, incidental and consequential damages, such as lost profits; iii) does not attempt to limit or alter the recipients' rights in the Source Code under section 3.2; and iv) requires any subsequent distribution of the Program by any party to be under a license that satisfies the requirements of this section 3.

So therefore any license that is in line with these requirements is fine.

  • 1
    Check out section 3.2. Source code can not be so easily distributed under a different license. Aug 28, 2022 at 13:28
  • "Recipients already have the choice to distribute the Program under a license different from EPL 2.0" — Are you sure about this? Section 3.2 says "When the Program is Distributed as Source Code ... it must be made available under this Agreement ...".
    – Flux
    Aug 28, 2022 at 14:20
  • @BartvanIngenSchenau Section 3.1 "in any form" obviously includes Source Code distribution. While 3.1a points to 3.2, and 3.2 says it must be under EPL 2.0, Section 3.1b allows distribution under a different (compatible) license, which then effectively leads to a dual-license situation. Aug 28, 2022 at 14:35

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