[License-discuss] New OSI FAQ items posted about Public Domain and CC0.

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Wed Apr 4 01:44:58 UTC 2012

Karl, those are excellent FAQ entries! They summarize quite well the
non-consensus reached on our lists. Good work!  /Larry

Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com) 
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
Cell: 707-478-8932

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Karl Fogel [mailto:kfogel at red-bean.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2012 5:54 PM
> To: license-discuss at opensource.org; license-review at opensource.org
> Subject: [License-discuss] New OSI FAQ items posted about Public Domain
> and CC0.
> (This seems appropriate for both license-discuss@ and license-review@,
> so
> I'm posting it in both places.)
> I've been seeing an increasing number of inquiries about the public
> domain and open source, and about CC0 and open source.  A few of those
> inquiries have come here, but I'm also getting them elsewhere.
> So I've tried to formulate good answers:
>    http://opensource.org/faq#public-domain
>    http://opensource.org/faq#cc-zero
> I hope I've reflected the general consensus of the License Review
> committee accurately, not made any legal mistakes, etc.  I'd appreciate
> feedback on these.
> The "public domain" entry is complex.  It felt wrong to simply say that
> PD is not open source, when it clearly exhibits most or all of the
> important properties of Open Source and is at least capable of meeting
> the OSD; on the other hand, it is not a license and therefore cannot be
> OSI-approved, and it has some portability problems.  So I've tried to
> express all of that in the answer, and recommend that people use
> OSI-approved licenses wherever possible.
> The CC0 entry is more straightforward, but also would benefit from peer
> review.
> Please hold the flamethrowers, anyone who might be tempted to flame,
> and
> remember that these are inherently contentious and complicated
> subjects!
> It would be easier for the OSI to just say nothing on the topics :-),
> but silence on these questions would not serve our mission very well.
> Thanks,
> -Karl
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