[License-review] OSI, legal conditions outside the "four corners" of the license, and PD/CC 0 [was Re: Can OSI specify that public domain is open source?]

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Tue Jan 3 18:33:55 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jan 02, 2012 at 05:42:17PM -0800, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Chad Perrin (perrin at apotheon.com):
> > Apart from calling public domain dedications "licenses", my view is that
> > this is probably a good step to take.  I think the Unlicense might also
> > be a worthwhile public domain dedication to consider for certification.
> I hadn't seen Unlicense before now, but my immediate impression is that
> it's not well formed and should be avoided.
> Its first sentence professes to put the covered work into the public
> domain.  However, then the second sentence professes to grant reserved
> rights under copyright law.  However, who is granting those rights, the
> erstwhile copyright holder who, one sentence earlier, professed to
> destroy his or her own title?
> By contrast, CC0 states explicitly that the current copyright holder 
> is attempting (I paraphrase) to the extent permitted by local law to
> disavow in perpetuity and on behalf of all successors all reserved
> rights, and _if that is locally unsuccessful_ grants a permissive
> licence under his/her powers as copyright owner.
> I realise there are a whole lot of software engineers out there who'd
> like to handwave copyright law out of their lives (including you), but
> it'd be really nice if they'd occasionally bother to consult suitable
> legal help before shooting themselves and others in the foot.

I find it dismaying that your response to me seems so hostile, given all
I did was suggest that the Unlicense be *considered*.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]

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