WebM license resolution.

Chris DiBona cdibona at gmail.com
Sat Jun 5 16:32:14 UTC 2010

Maybe? We're just happy to have cleared up webm's issue.

On Sat, Jun 5, 2010 at 4:26 AM, <mdtiemann at gmail.com> wrote:

> Chris - thanks for your continued dialog on this. I especially appreciate
> your efforts to contain the license proliferation problem, and wish others
> were as sensitive to the problem as you.
> Russ has been trying to address the proliferation problem by defining
> license templates. Perhaps the bsd license is an ideal place to prototype
> that idea, and webm is the ideal test to validate such an approach. I'm all
> for a better set of licensing policies that recognize the changing nature of
> copyright and patent laws and interpretation without forcing the osi to
> maintain a tower of legal babel.
> M
> Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T
> ------------------------------
> *From: * Chris DiBona <cdibona at gmail.com>
> *Date: *Fri, 4 Jun 2010 15:07:26 -0400
> *To: *License Discuss<license-discuss at opensource.org>
> *Subject: *WebM license resolution.
> From the blog:
> http://webmproject.blogspot.com/2010/06/changes-to-webm-open-source-license.html
> You'll see on the WebM license page <http://webmproject.org/license/> and
> in our source code repositories <http://webmproject.org/code> that we've
> made a small change to our open source license. There were a couple of
> issues that popped up after we released WebM at Google I/O a couple weeks
> ago, specifically around how the patent clause was written.
> As it was originally written, if a patent action was brought against
> Google, the patent license terminated. This provision itself is not unusual
> in an OSS license, and similar provisions exist in the 2nd Apache License
> and in version 3 of the GPL. The twist was that ours terminated "any" rights
> and not just rights to the patents, which made our license GPLv3 and GPLv2
> incompatible. Also, in doing this, we effectively created a potentially new
> open source copyright license, something we are loath to do.
> Using patent language borrowed from both the Apache and GPLv3 patent
> clauses, in this new iteration of the the patent clause we've decoupled
> patents from copyright, thus preserving the pure BSD nature of the copyright
> license. This means we are no longer creating a new open source copyright
> license, and the patent grant can exist on its own. Additionally, we have
> updated the patent grant language to make it clearer that the grant includes
> the right to modify the code and give it to others. (We've updated the licensing
> FAQ <http://www.webmproject.org/about/faq/#licensing> to reflect these
> changes as well.)
> We've also added a definition for the "this implementation" language, to
> make that more clear.
> Thanks for your patience as we worked through this, and we hope you like,
> enjoy (and most importantly) use WebM and join with us in creating more
> freedom online. We had a lot of help on these changes, so thanks to our
> friends in open source and free software who traded many emails, often at
> odd hours, with us.
> Not from the blog:
> I didn't want to list the people who helped on the blog, as I didn't want
> to imply endorsement. but if they pipe up, I'll say thanks by name :-)
> Chris

Open Source Programs Manager, Google Inc.
Google's Open Source program can be found at http://code.google.com
Personal Weblog: http://dibona.com
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