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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.




OpenMRS is currently licensed under OpenMRS Public License 1.0; however, we are in the process of changing our license to MPL 2.0 + Disclaimer.


OpenMRS is distributed under the terms of the Mozilla Public License, v. 2.0. If a copy of the MPL was not distributed with your software, You can obtain one at

OpenMRS is also distributed under the terms of the following Additional Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability.

Additional Disclaimer of Warranty and Limitation of Liability

In the United States, or any other jurisdictions where they may apply, the following additional disclaimer of warranty and limitation of liability are hereby incorporated into the terms and conditions of MPL 2.0:

No warranties of any kind whatsoever are made as to the results that You will obtain from relying upon the covered code (or any information or content obtained by way of the covered code), including but not limited to compliance with privacy laws or regulations or clinical care industry standards and protocols. Use of the covered code is not a substitute for a health care provider’s standard practice or professional judgment. Any decision with regard to the appropriateness of treatment, or the validity or reliability of information or content made available by the covered code, is the sole responsibility of the health care provider. Consequently, it is incumbent upon each health care provider to verify all medical history and treatment plans with each patient.
Under no circumstances and under no legal theory, whether tort (including negligence), contract, or otherwise, shall any Contributor, or anyone who distributes Covered Software as permitted by the license, be liable to You for any indirect, special, incidental, consequential damages of any character including, without limitation, damages for loss of goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or malfunction, or any and all other damages or losses, of any nature whatsoever (direct or otherwise) on account of or associated with the use or inability to use the covered content (including, without limitation, the use of information or content made available by the covered code, all documentation associated therewith, and the failure of the covered code to comply with privacy laws and regulations or clinical care industry standards and protocols), even if such party shall have been informed of the possibility of such damages.



We welcomed your feedback, thoughts, questions, or concerns about OpenMRS migrating from OPL 1.0 to MPL 2.0. Community comments we accepted through 22 March 2013, after which given the overwhelming support for the change, we are changing our license to MPL 2.0 + Disclaimer.

We still welcome any comments.  Please leave any comments below using the "Add Comment" link provided by the wiki to add a new comment or by replying to any existing comments.

1 Comment

  1. I think this move is a natural evolution towards the outcome we wanted from day 1:  full, easy to understand compliance with a liberal open source license that allows for commercial opportunities, but encourages beneficiaries to contribute back to the core underbelly of OpenMRS.

    Strong vote for yes.