[License-discuss] Unlicense CC0 and patents

Clark C. Evans cce at clarkevans.com
Thu Aug 22 17:48:01 UTC 2013

Prashant Shah wrote:
> CC0 explicitly states that it doesn't grant patent rights if there
are any. Is
> this not going against the purpose of putting the work in public
domain itself?

The rationale, as I understand, is that a group in a University or
other large
organization would like to make their work publicly available, but
don't wish
to have the expense of clearing it with the intellectual property
In other words, they explicitly wish to reserve patent rights and don't
want the
public domain dedication to interfere with their ability to collect

The FSF considers works released under CC0 to be "Free Software" [1],
but, the rationale for this determination was never disclosed.  Perhaps
because anyone could sue for patent infringement regardless of

The OSI couldn't come to an agreement on the fallback license, since it
explicitly withheld patent rights [2].

[1] [1]http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#CC0
[2] [2]http://opensource.org/faq#cc-zero


1. http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#CC0
2. http://opensource.org/faq#cc-zero
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