[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 16:33:24 UTC 2016

> -----Original Message-----
> From: License-discuss [mailto:license-discuss-bounces at opensource.org] On 
> Behalf Of Gervase Markham
> Sent: Monday, July 25, 2016 11:20 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 16:12, Karan, Cem F CIV USARMY RDECOM ARL (US) wrote:
> > 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
> > (Caution-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.
> But a "no warranty" clause is a disclaimer, not a license condition.
> AFAICS (and IANAL) nothing prevents a USG institution sticking some source 
> code on a web page, along with a big fat warranty disclaimer,
> which would have legal force. You don't have to own the copyright in code to 
> disclaim warranty over it when you give it someone. If I give
> you some open source code I didn't write, I can still disclaim all warranty 
> in it as I give it to you, and that disclaimation (a word?) should
> be valid. So even if USG has no copyright on this code in the USA, you can 
> still put a warranty disclaimer up.
> Everyone else has copyright, and so will be contributing under the Apache 
> license, and so the warranty disclaimer in that will apply to
> their contributions. So everyone's covered.

OK, I see where you're coming from, I'm just not comfortable with it.  I'm 
much more comfortable with a single license that covers everything.  I also 
know that our lawyers would be more comfortable with a single document that 
covered everything.  But I do see your point!

Cem Karan

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