[License-review] MXM compared to CC0

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Mon Mar 5 20:18:44 UTC 2012

Chuck Swiger scripsit:

> Open source software must allow a user to run the software, as well
> as modify it and make modified versions available to others, both in
> software source code and compiled formats.

That's not possible.  The most that can be achieved is that the author
of the software must not prevent users from running it.  Because patent
rights are negative (the right to forbid use, rather than the right
to use), no one can reliably deliver the right to use in a wide-open
software patent regime.

> However, the MIT license invokes a number of key phrases from US
> patent law: "to deal in the Software without restriction, including
> without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish,
> distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software".  That is
> an explicit grant of rights governed by patent law, even if the MIT
> license doesn't use the word "patent" anywhere in the license text.

Either that, or the presence of "use" and "sell" mean nothing whatever,
since lawful owners of copies already have those rights.

John Cowan              cowan at ccil.org          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
C'est la` pourtant que se livre le sens du dire, de ce que, s'y conjuguant
le nyania qui bruit des sexes en compagnie, il supplee a ce qu'entre eux,
de rapport nyait pas.               --Jacques Lacan, "L'Etourdit"

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