Template:Infobox software license The IBM Public License (IPL) is a free software / open-source software license written and sometimes used by IBM. It is approved by the Open Source Initiative and is described as a "free software license" by the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

In difference from the GNU General Public License (GPL), it places the liability on the publisher or distributor of the licensed program. According to IBM, this is to facilitate commercial use of programs, without placing the contributor in risk of liability.Template:Fact Its proponents say it has a clearer definition of who's responsible for the program than the GPL has.

It is incompatible with the GPL because it contains restrictions which are not in the GPL. According to FSF "it requires certain patent licenses be given that the GPL does not require. (We don't think those patent license requirements are inherently a bad idea, but nonetheless they are incompatible with the GNU GPL.)"[1]

It differs from the GPL in the handling of patents, as IPL terminates the license upon patent disputes.

This license has also been criticised because of provisions in section 4 which require commercial distributors of code covered by this license to indemnify all "upstream" originators for legal costs relating to lawsuits brought about of users of the software. It has been argued that this exposes small distributors (e.g. Linux distributions that happen to sell CDs) to unbounded legal costs, possibly arising from vexatious claims.

Examples of software projects that use the IPL include Postfix, and the now-unmaintained Jikes compiler for Java.

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