Towards an OSI-approved "waive all rights" software license

Wilson, Andrew andrew.wilson at
Mon Apr 18 16:09:26 UTC 2011

Derrick Coetzee wrote:

> I can make a comparison here with public domain
> works like say the Mona Lisa. It's well-established in US case law
> that any faithful reproduction of the Mona Lisa from any source can be
> used without restriction (Bridgeman v. Corel). Now say I set up
> and just stick a big image of the painting there with no
> explanation. A clueless reader might imagine it's a new work still
> under copyright, and be hesitant to reuse it; but anyone who either
> recognizes the work, or visits another website that includes more
> information about it, can readily determine that the image is in fact
> public domain.

[slightly off-topic]

Well.... life is complex.  A few years ago an imaging scientist
(Pascal Cotte) made a super high resolution, multi-spectrum scan of the
Mona Lisa.  The scan revealed interesting facts about the
painting.  He had to invent new techniques to perform the scan
without damaging the painting.

My guess (and it is only a guess; IANAL) is that M. Cotte may own,
if not the copyright on the Mona Lisa itself which is inarguably PD, then the copyright
on the digital bits of his super high resolution, multi-spectrum scan
which presents the painting (quite literally) in a new light.
Perhaps under European law he owns the moral rights to the digital bits
of his super hi-res scan as well?  I think a cautious person would not
reproduce the Cotte version absent a written permission or disclaimer.

[back on the original topic]

We at Intel release a lot of sample code.  For really short code snippets, translations,
or other non-copyrightable material we use CC0.  For more substantial pieces of code
where carrying a (c) notice and disclaimer is not too intrusive, we use BSD.
For code that falls somewhere in between, we use the Intel Sample Source Code License
which grants rights equivalent to a permissive license (including patents)
without requiring a notice or disclaimer.

Andy Wilson
Intel open source technology center

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