Released as Open Source
On Tuesday December 1, the OTP steering group, led by the former chairman Jorma
Mobrin and the new chairman Jaak Urmi, decided to release Erlang/OTP as Open Source.
The source code will be available as of December 8th.
Open Source means that the source code is free to the public. In the Erlang
Public License, any modifications to that code must be returned to the open source code
base. New products based on Erlang/OTP, but with new functionality, can be sold
commercially without restrictions. Erlang/OTP as Open Source will be available on http://www.erlang.org, as of tuesday December 8th.
Why Release as Open Source
Erlang/OTP was invented within Ericsson and most Erlang/OTP users are still within
Ericsson. In order to speed development of Erlang/OTP, ensure a good supply of Erlang/OTP
fluent programmers, minimise maintenance and development costs for the language, and keep
the OTP applications up to world class, we need to spread the technology outside of
Open Source Trend
Ericsson is in good company in releasing Open Source software, although we are
still among the first of larger companies to release core technology this way. Examples of
Open Source software are: Netscapes Mozilla browser, the Linux Operating
System, and the Apache WWW server.
With Erlang/OTP and the Erlang/OTP-based Robust Web Site Product Suite Eddie
(http://www.eddieware.org), we provide high availability technology, including
load-balancing, failover clusters for NT and UNIX years before Microsoft has similar
Consequences for the Erlang/OTP product
The OTP Development Group will continue to build stable, supported versions of
Erlang/OTP. New functionality from the OTP Development Group need not necessarily be
included in the Open Source version.
The Open Source development tree is separate from the product tree, and includes
some untested functionality. The OTP Development Group can take code from the open source
code tree freely, and donate code to it.
Erlang Systems will continue to sell the supported version of Erlang/OTP. Organisations
building products with Erlang/OTP often want a support contract and a stable version. We
also believe that sales of professional services around Erlang/OTP, like education,
consulting, and support, will increase.
We have thoroughly checked the Erlang/OTP code for patent infringements. Publishing the
software is a good way to prevent future patent infringement suits.
The Erlang Public License is based on Netscapes Mozilla license, but is shorter and
stipulates that any litigation will be settled under Swedish law, using the English
Any software based on Open Source Erlang/OTP, but implementing new functionality,
will be commercial if the copyright owner wishes. For example, Ericsson will not release
software for products based on Erlang/OTP as Open Source.
Any modifications to Open Source functionality must be released as Open
Ericsson can release Ericsson copyrighted code under different licenses.