[License-discuss] I've been asked to license my open source project CC0

Tzeng, Nigel H. Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu
Tue Nov 7 19:04:31 UTC 2017

Oops, hit send by accident.  CC0 is also accepted as GPL compatible and is a free software license (as judged by the FSF).

It appears to me that the maintainers want all the code and art assets under one license and they are using CC0.  That’s not too uncommon in general and in this case, it makes even more sense given that shields appears to programmatically makes badges in svg.  I guess they want to be sure that all of the vectorized images that are in the repo are CC0 to try to avoid issues.  The line between code and art asset are blurrier for this project than most.

If it bothers you a lot then don’t contribute to the project but there doesn’t seem to be anything sinister about the request.

The patent provision is meaningless if you don’t own any patents used by your code.  Modifying the stock CC0 probably means they won’t use your code anyway so either comply with the request or not.  You aren’t obligated to contribute anything but neither are they obligated to change policy.



From: Nigel Tzeng <Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu>
Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 1:38 PM
To: License Discuss <license-discuss at opensource.org>
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] I've been asked to license my open source project CC0

CC0 is accepted as open source by the federal government in the Federal Source Code Policy.


From: License-discuss <license-discuss-bounces at opensource.org> on behalf of Christopher Sean Morrison <brlcad at mac.com>
Reply-To: License Discuss <license-discuss at opensource.org>
Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 1:33 PM
To: License Discuss <license-discuss at opensource.org>
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] I've been asked to license my open source project CC0

On Nov 7, 2017, at 12:09 PM, Shahar Or <mightyiampresence at gmail.com<mailto:mightyiampresence at gmail.com>> wrote:
I have been asked to change the license of an open source project of mine to CC0. I'm reluctant to do so, as it is not OSI approved.

That’s a reasonable concern, imho.


Is there good reason for this request, at all?

There’s no technical reason.  Not permitting incorporation of permissively licensed code (eg MIT) predominantly means throwing away attribution.

I mean, can they not otherwise depend on my software, if their software is CC0 licensed?

If your code used a license that applied to combined works (eg GPL), there’d be an issue.

When I conveyed my reluctance it was suggested that I dual-license.

With CC0, I would suggest striking the patent provision or incorporating a patent grant from contributors in some manner.  Dual licensing with a permissive is an option too.

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