[License-discuss] Better MIT License ?

Engel Nyst engel.nyst at gmail.com
Sat Jul 12 02:00:50 UTC 2014

On 06/29/2014 07:39 AM, Joe Kua wrote:
> Is this better than the original MIT license ? It has patent grants
> which MIT lacks.

At a cursory reading, it looks like I'd expect a first draft of MIT with 
patents to be like. Please note: IANAL, TINLA, not affiliated with OSI.

An issue with simply adding patents in a license like this is that they 
have a different mechanism than copyright. I don't claim I understand 
software patents (they make little sense), only, I will submit to your 
attention a detail: their different coverage. (which doesn't follow 

If I take a look at Mozilla Public License 2.0 [1] and Apache License 
2.0 [2], the patents being licensed have a scope delimited to: those 
necessarily infringed by the licensor's own code, or by the combination 
of the licensor's code with the rest of the work as it was when they add 
their code. Not less (not only the code you fully write yourself), not 
more (not the patents you may hold, which will be implemented by some 
fork or future development you don't - you can't - know about today).

If I take a look at a license in development, a rewrite of CC0 with 
patents [3], I find a similar treatment with your new MIT license: it 
includes a patent grant for the Work/Software.

Lets say I register patents P1, P2, P3. I contribute to a work under 
your New-MIT, a piece of code where I implement P1, and another patch 
that finishes an existing set of algorithms implementing P2. Which 
patents have I licensed by my actions?
I think it's clear I have licensed P1, and I haven't licensed P3.
I'm not so sure about P2. I think one can argue I didn't necessarily 
license P2.

If I do the same for a project under MPL 2.0 or Apache 2.0, then by my 
actions I license P1 and P2. Non-ambiguously P2 too.

Is the result above for New-MIT your desired result? Do you agree this 
is the result of the license(s)?

[1] https://www.mozilla.org/MPL/2.0/
[2] https://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0.html
[3] https://github.com/asaunders/public-domain-customized

"Excuse me, Professor Lessig, may I ask you to sign this CLA, so we can 
*legally* have your permission to distribute your CC-licensed works?"

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