ECL-2.0 (Educational Community License, Version 2.0) is a unique open-source license designed to promote collaboration and innovation within educational communities. It provides developers with a balanced framework that encourages the sharing of knowledge while ensuring compliance with licensing requirements. In this article, we will dive into the details of ECL-2.0, exploring its key features, implications, and benefits for both developers and users.

Overview of ECL-2.0:

ECL-2.0 is an evolution of its predecessor, the original Educational Community License (ECL), and is approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Like its predecessor, ECL-2.0 is specifically crafted to foster the open exchange of ideas and software within academic and educational environments.

Key Features and Permissions:

ECL-2.0 grants developers several key permissions, including the right to use, modify, and distribute the licensed software. Users are free to create derivative works based on the original code, encouraging experimentation and improvement. Moreover, ECL-2.0 ensures that these permissions are granted to everyone in the educational community, promoting knowledge sharing and collaboration among researchers, educators, and students.

Source Code Availability:

One of the defining aspects of ECL-2.0 is its emphasis on transparency and access to source code. The license requires that developers provide the source code when distributing the software. This provision ensures that other members of the educational community have the opportunity to examine and understand the inner workings of the software. Additionally, access to the source code facilitates improvements, bug fixes, and the development of related educational projects.

Compliance with License:

ECL-2.0 places certain obligations on developers to maintain compliance with the license terms. When distributing the software or any derivative works, developers must ensure that they include the original copyright notice and a clear indication of any modifications made. This attribution requirement ensures that contributors receive due credit for their work, maintaining a sense of recognition within the educational community.

Compatibility with Other Licenses:

ECL-2.0 allows for the combination of software under different licenses, providing flexibility for developers. However, developers must ensure that the other licenses used are compatible with ECL-2.0 to prevent conflicts in distribution and licensing terms.

Community-Centric Approach:

ECL-2.0’s community-centric approach fosters collaboration and cooperation within educational environments. By providing a clear set of permissions and obligations, the license encourages the open exchange of ideas and the advancement of knowledge through software development.

Advantages of ECL-2.0:

a. Academic Collaboration: ECL-2.0 creates an environment that encourages collaboration among researchers, educators, and students. This fosters the development of educational tools and resources tailored to specific learning needs.

b. Transparent Learning: Access to the source code enhances transparency and trust, allowing educators and students to understand how the software functions. This promotes a deeper understanding of the technology and facilitates learning.

c. Encourages Improvement: ECL-2.0’s permissions to modify and distribute derivative works empower developers to continuously improve educational software, benefiting the entire community.


ECL-2.0 – Educational Community License, Version 2.0, stands as a valuable open-source license, tailor-made for educational communities. By providing developers with a framework that encourages collaboration, transparency, and knowledge-sharing, ECL-2.0 facilitates the creation of innovative educational software. It empowers educators, researchers, and students to collectively shape the future of education by fostering an environment of open exchange and continuous improvement.

If you’re interested in exploring a comprehensive list of various open-source licenses and their details, feel free to check out our guide to “Open Source Licenses : A Guide To Software Licensing“. Happy licensing!


  1. Educational Community License, Version 2.0. Open Source Initiative.
  2. Educational Community License. Wikipedia.

Note: The references provided are for informational purposes only. Please consult the official sources and legal advice when making licensing decisions for your projects.

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