[License-discuss] [Non-DoD Source] patent rights and the OSD

Richard Fontana fontana at sharpeleven.org
Tue Mar 7 21:09:04 UTC 2017

On Tue, Mar 07, 2017 at 03:55:37PM +0000, Christopher Sean Morrison wrote:

> Of particular significance, it calls into question whether there are
> any OSI-approved licenses that specifically exclude patent rights in
> the current portfolio or whether CC0 would be the first of its
> kind.  If there ARE, then CC0 would not create a precedent situation
> any worse than currently exists and approval could move forward.

I'm not aware of any.

There is the 'Clear BSD' license, which the FSF considers not only a
free software license but also GPL-compatible:


But I am not aware of this license ever having been submitted for OSI

I've also seen one or two companies engage in the practice of
licensing code under GPLv2 accompanied by a statement that no patent
licenses are granted.

> If there AREN'T, that begs under non-proliferation for any new licenses that explicitly disclaim patent rights to be found OSD-inadequate, particularly w.r.t. clauses #1 and #7.  Moreover, any license approval for a new license containing a patent disclaimer (e.g., CC0) would necessarily require modification or accompaniment by a required patent grant mechanism (such as ARL's approach) in order to satisfy the OSD.

So in other words, "this license is Open Source to the extent that,
when used, it is accompanied by [a separate appropriate patent license
grant]", for example?


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