[License-review] Submission of the European Space Agency Public Licenses (ESA-PL) for approval

Carsten Gerlach cgerlach at tcilaw.de
Tue Jan 10 15:44:05 UTC 2017

On 21.12.2016 19:46, Richard Fontana wrote:
> Paragraph 7 seems to be adapted from MPL 1.1 section 3.4, which I 
> believe was the subject of criticism from a number of lawyers back 
> when that license was newer, and which I suspect has basically been 
> ignored by everyone else. Given that it was something of a failure
> or no-op for MPL 1.1, and abandoned in MPL 2.0 (and the earlier
> CDDL), if I'm remembering correctly, it is odd to see it being
> revived in a modern license.

Sec. 7(a) is due to ESA's aim as a public agency to avoid infringements
of third party IPR infringements and to avoid being associated with
infringements. For the European space community it is crucial that any
licensee is obliged to inform the community of any third party claims he
knows of.

> Paragraph 4.5 is arguably unreasonably burdensome for patent-holding 
> entities. I don't think I've seen a reporting requirement like this
> in a putative open source license before.

Since the disclosure obligation only applies to patents related to the
software itself, it is not clear why the obligation is exceptionally
unreasonable. The aim is to ensure maximum transparency regarding
potential patent conflicts: if the original authors or contributors own
patents that could prevent use of the software, such patents need to be


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