[License-discuss] [Non-DoD Source] Re: US Army Research Laboratory Open Source License proposal

Karan, Cem F CIV USARMY RDECOM ARL (US) cem.f.karan.civ at mail.mil
Mon Jul 25 15:12:59 UTC 2016

> -----Original Message-----
> From: License-discuss [mailto:license-discuss-bounces at opensource.org] On 
> Behalf Of Gervase Markham
> Sent: Monday, July 25, 2016 10:36 AM
> To: license-discuss at opensource.org
> Subject: Re: [License-discuss] [Non-DoD Source] Re: US Army Research 
> Laboratory Open Source License proposal
> On 25/07/16 15:12, Karan, Cem F CIV USARMY RDECOM ARL (US) wrote:
> > Even though it will be headache to do so, we still need to.  USG works
> > that don't have copyright attached must still have a license/contract
> > that offers the same protections as one would expect from the Apache 2.0 
> > license.
> Protections from whom? It can't be from the USG, because it has no rights in 
> the code to assert in court. And it can't be from other
> contributors, because if you get them all to contribute under the Apache
> 2.0 license, then all users are as protected as in a normal Apache project.
> It seems to me like the people who wrote the law that the USG does not have 
> a copyright intended that the USG therefore not assert
> copyright-like control over work created by the USG. Trying to re-create 
> that control via contract seems to me to be working against the
> spirit of the law.

Protections from liability from anyone that uses our code, for one thing.  I 
am not a lawyer, but as I understand it putting stuff in the public domain 
does not release you from liability, so without some kind of notice the USG 
could be sued because bugs cause a crash at some point, causing harm, etc., 
etc., etc.  The 'no warranty' clause is something we have to have.  In fact, 
if you read the CC0 license text 
(https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/legalcode), even it has a 
warranty disclaimer, and it is trying to waive all copyright to the maximum 
extent possible.

Remember, the Apache license is using copyright to effect other protections. 
We want those same protections for all parties involved in the code, both the 
USG, and any person or entity that has copyright.  If we didn't care about any 
of that, we could just toss it out as public domain code, but that (in my 
personal opinion) is highly irresponsible.

Does this make things clearer?

Cem Karan
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: smime.p7s
Type: application/pkcs7-signature
Size: 5559 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-discuss_lists.opensource.org/attachments/20160725/aa471646/attachment.p7s>

More information about the License-discuss mailing list