For Approval: Educational Community License 1.0

Christopher D. Coppola chris.coppola at
Mon Apr 30 17:00:30 UTC 2007

John, et. al,

We had a chance to discuss the suggestion that we should mention in  
the ECL 2.0 that there is only one sentence that is different from  
the Apache 2.0 and that’s all folks need to consider if they are  
already familiar with the Apache 2.0 license.  We think it’s a very  
helpful suggestion, and we are submitting a revised draft of the  
license that makes the change.

The idea that there might be an implied patent license is an  
interesting one.  If a contributor knew that a particular patent to  
which they held the rights would be infringed by their contribution,  
and failed to disclose the existence of the patent at the time of the  
contribution, it could well be that a court would find some form of  
implied patent license.  But it’s hard to guess what a court would do  
in those circumstances. Our goal for the ECL v.2.0 -- and for the  
contribution agreements that support it, because Sakai, Kuali and the  
other projects that have adopted the ECL can only pass along whatever  
patent rights our contributors are willing to give -- is to include  
an express patent license that covers this scenario, so users don't  
have to speculate about what a court might do. While we might wish  
for a broader license that would cover all of the inventions coming  
out of an entire university or institution -- and indeed, we fought  
hard for as broad of a patent license as possible, both in our  
discussions with individual contributors and their institutions, and  
during the international summit on open source licensing in higher  
education that we organized -- many institutions just couldn’t agree  
with this because they felt that this would in effect force all of  
the inventors at that institution to be contributors to the project.

As for the reference to existing grant and research funding  
agreements, just like the Apache 2.0 patent license that "applies  
only to those patent claims licensable by such Contributor,"  
contributor institutions can only give us whatever rights are  
licensable by them.  We are able to get comfortable with this  
language because we know the sources of funding for the development  
of these projects, and because we think the limitation to grant and  
research funding agreements makes our license, if anything, a little  
more specific than Apache 2.0 on this point. Here as well, we fought  
hard to make the patent license as broad as possible and keep any  
qualifications or limitating language to a minimum.  Our hope is that  
OSI will agree the new license represents progress from ECL 1.0.

Revised ECL 2.0 based on list discussions (I've simply added two  
sentences prior to the T&C's like I've seen done in other licenses:

Educational Community License, Version 2.0
Educational Community License
Version 2.0, April 2007

The Educational Community License version 2.0 ("ECL") consists of the  
Apache 2.0 license, modified to change the scope of the patent grant  
in section 3 to be specific to the needs of the education communities  
using this license. The original Apache 2.0 license can be found at:

1. Definitions.

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APPENDIX: How to apply the Educational Community License to your work

To apply the Educational Community License to your work, attach the  
following boilerplate notice, with the fields enclosed by brackets  
"[]" replaced with your own identifying information. (Don't include  
the brackets!) The text should be enclosed in the appropriate comment  
syntax for the file format. We also recommend that a file or class  
name and description of purpose be included on the same "printed  
page" as the copyright notice for easier identification within third- 
party archives.

	Copyright [yyyy] [name of copyright owner] Licensed under the
	Educational Community License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may
	not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may
	obtain a copy of the License at

	Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing,
	software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS"
	or implied. See the License for the specific language governing
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On Apr 19, 2007, at 7:35 AM, John Cowan wrote:

> Christopher D. Coppola scripsit:
> > This makes some sense. I'll consider it with some of the others in
> > our community. My only hesitation is that we've had a 3 year  
> campaign
> > building common ground on the "Educational Community License" we  
> have
> > a lot of community education materials, and a bit of "brand
> > recognition" in our community.
> I don't see any problem with keeping the branding, and just  
> restructuring
> the internals of the license.   So just as the LGPL 3.0 will be the
> GPL 3.0 plus additional permissions, the ECL 2.0 would be Apache 2.0
> plus an additional limitation.  Short, sweet, and to the point.
> --
> The Unicode Standard does not encode            John Cowan
> idiosyncratic, personal, novel, or private 
> ~cowan
> use characters, nor does it encode logos
> or graphics.                                    cowan at

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