[License-discuss] Views on React licensing?
Christopher Sean Morrison
brlcad at mac.com
Fri Dec 2 05:30:48 UTC 2016
Interesting, I hadn’t heard about the React licensing yet. Thanks.
> The 'Additional Grant' has attracted a fair amount of criticism (as
> did an earlier version which apparently resulted in some revisions by
> Facebook). There was a recent blog post by Robert Pierce of El Camino
> Legal  (which among other things argues that the React patent
> license is not open source). Luis Villa wrote an interesting response
Mr. Pierce’s first criticism point about the grant itself being unnecessary is spot on to me. One cannot "use the software” without implying a patent license; and the BSD-styles have such an incredibly well-established industry understanding that (to me) it’s ludicrous to consider it could be interpreted any other way. I would very much like to know what [profanity] company would try to pull such a stunt as plaintiff.
The only utility of React’s PATENT file is the rather broad retaliation.
> What do members of the license-discuss community think about the
> licensing of React? I see a few issues here:
> - does the breadth of the React patent termination criteria raise
> OSD-conformance issues or otherwise indicate that React should not
> be considered open source?
At best, it could be argued as some form of implicit discrimination (#5) or revocation of right to redistribute (#1). Retaliating against an “any" plaintiff vs only a specific class of plaintiff (e.g., Apache 2.0), though, isn’t very compellingly different. Seems like a stretch to me.
> - is it good practice, and does it affect the open source status of
> software, to supplement OSI-approved licenses with separate patent
> license grants or nonasserts? (This has been done by some other
> companies without significant controversy.)
This is also a direction that has been discussed and is being pushed by some of the White House (code.gov <http://code.gov/>) and other Gov't lawyers.
In cases like “CC0 + patent grant”, it may make sense given CC0 explicitly says there’s no patent grant. (Yes, I know CC0 is not (yet) an OSI license. That should change.) In the case of the implicit permissives, though, I think it’s very bad practice. Creates unfounded FUD and license proliferation motivation, counterpart licenses explicitly with/without a patent grant.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the License-discuss