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

Karl Fogel kfogel at red-bean.com
Wed Apr 4 06:02:45 UTC 2012

"Lawrence Rosen" <lrosen at rosenlaw.com> writes:
>Karl, those are excellent FAQ entries! They summarize quite well the
>non-consensus reached on our lists. Good work!  /Larry

Larry, thanks so much for saying so.  So far we've got +1s from you and
from Josh Berkus... I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop! :-)


>> -----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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