[License-discuss] Can OSI take stance that U.S. public domain is open source?

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Sat May 3 19:10:55 UTC 2014

Karl Fogel scripsit:

> The patent issue would apply just as much if it were MIT- or
> BSD-licensed, though, and we'd call it "open source" then, right?

Indeed.  We may not be in the business of approving licenses without
patent grants any more, but nobody can say that licenses that don't
grant patent rights explicitly are not open-source licenses.

> If the US government were to publish such notice on a given work -- say,
> if standardized language for doing so were approved by the OSI :-) 

That's essentially what the NASA Open Source Agreement does
<http://opensource.org/licenses/NASA-1.3>.  It's already fully templated
(except for the name, which is inessential), and U.S. government employees
should be urged to use it.

John Cowan          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        cowan at ccil.org
Most people are much more ignorant about language than they are about
[other subjects], but they reckon that because they can talk and read and
write, their opinions about talking and reading and writing are as well
informed as anybody's.  And since I have DNA, I'm entitled to carry on at
length about genetics without bothering to learn anything about it.  Not.
                        --Mark Liberman

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