A note to the OpenMRS Community,
As you may know, OpenMRS has always used the OpenMRS Public License 1.0 (OPL 1.0). In 2005, when we were choosing a license for OpenMRS, the Mozilla Public License 1.1 best fit our requirements; however, a lawyer with open-source expertise advised us to make specific changes primary for medical liability (outlined in section 6.3 of OPL 1.0). Those changes left us with a decent license, but the derivation was no longer an OSI-approved license. As the years passed, we have long-wanted to convert OpenMRS to an OSI-approved license.
We're happy to announce that, with assistance from OSI folk along with consultation with several lawyers with open-source expertise, we have found a new license that can both meet our needs and is an OSI-approved license. Even better, it's a natural evolution from our current MPL 1.1-based license. The Mozilla Public License 2.0 not only allows for our additional disclaimer to cover medical liabilities, but also brings compatibility with both Apache and GPL, which we have not enjoyed with the OPL.
Our proposal for a new license & disclaimer can be viewed below. Our plan would be to migrate OpenMRS core and all community-supported modules from OPL 1.0 to MPL 2.0 + disclaimer and encourage & assist all module owners that wish to migrate as well. The OPL 1.0 will be left on the wiki for people to reference and use as they wish. From our perspective migrating to MPL 2.0 provides wins all around:
- We maintain all the benefits of the Mozilla Public License that led us to it in the first place – e.g., flexibility for letting people pursue commercial interests with OpenMRS while ensuring the source for the platform and reference application remains open to all.
- We will finally have an OSI-approved license for OpenMRS! Yay!
- We gain compatibility with other licenses, like Apache & GPL, opening up opportunities for collaboration & integration that we have previously been missing.
- The MPL 2.0 provides a mechanism for us to maintain our medical liability disclaimer while remaining true to the license.
While OpenMRS leadership has put a lot of effort in getting to an OSI-approved solution for OpenMRS, changing our license obviously needs to be a community-approved decision. We welcome your feedback, thoughts, questions, or concerns about OpenMRS migrating from OPL 1.0 to MPL 2.0 before we proceed any further. We will be accepting community comments through 22 March 2013, after which we will proceed based on what we have and the comments/discussion we have received.