For Approval: Educational Community License 1.0

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Thu Apr 19 12:44:29 UTC 2007

Christopher D. Coppola wrote:

>>, etc.).  So it's difficult for me to
>> agree you can't make broad patent grants when it seems you already are.
> Is it generally agreed that a license like the MIT license implictly
> grants a patent license as you describe was pointed out? I'm not a
> lawyer, but in all my discussions with lawyers and others on this topic
> that's the first time I've heard that.

I'm not a lawyer either, but that is what they've been telling me. :)
For instance, Lawrence Rosen (who is on this list) has argued that.  See .

> One of the reasons we're wanting
> to improve our license is to make explicit patent grants.

That's a good idea.  However, you don't want to move backwards.  I just
noticed that ECL 1.0 has "use" too.  So arguably, you've licensed any
such patents already.

> MIT and Berkeley have been very involved in these discussions. They are key
> contributors to our projects and I'm assuming, based on many
> conversations with them, that they did not believe (or understand) that
> their use of the MIT license implicitly does what you're suggesting.

That's what I figured.  The MIT attorney did somewhat object to the idea
that the MIT license had a patent grant, but not too convincingly.

> One other thing about these projects. They are somewhat unique in that
> an institution's participation in the projects and the commitment of
> resources (people and dollars) to the projects comes from institutional
> leadership that may be looking more closely at these kind of issues than
> previous involvement in open source that may have emerged bottom-up.

I understand that.  But perhaps they could take a lesson from these
bottom-up projects, and the fact that exclusive patent deals haven't
seemed to suffer.

Matthew Flaschen

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