[License-review] For Approval: The Cryptographic Autonomy License

Pamela Chestek pamela at chesteklegal.com
Sun Apr 28 19:34:27 UTC 2019

On 4/28/2019 10:50 AM, VanL wrote:
> Hello Pam,
> Thanks for the questions and comments - I'll respond to all of them,
> but I will take some out of order as some take either more thought or
> more explanation.
> On Sat, Apr 27, 2019 at 9:38 AM Pamela Chestek
> <pamela at chesteklegal.com <mailto:pamela at chesteklegal.com>> wrote:
>     On 4/23/19 6:18 PM, VanL wrote:
>     > In this case, my client identified that it was in their business
>     > interest to have a strong network copyleft license that was
>     maximally
>     > respecting of user freedom.
>     Any software that replicates APIs (e.g., Dalvik), even if entirely
>     written from scratch, would have to be offered under the CAL. Is that
>     your intention?
> Yes, that is correct in general - although note that reimplementations
> of an API (like Dalvik) could be offered under a Compatible Open
> Source License. So in a hypothetical scenario where Java were
> available under the CAL, Google's Apache-licensed Dalvik would be
> compliant.
>     I do NOT read this license as not having any copyleft effect on
>     software
>     that simply uses APIs. Is that correct? If my reading is
>     incorrect, can
>     you walk me through it?
> That is correct. Barring constructed hypotheticals, consuming an API
> would not have any licensing implications.
> Thanks,
> Van
Hi Van,

Thanks, and I appreciate your indulgence while I struggle with how the
license is architected. So the design of the license (and perhaps the
goal) is that (1) any software written to offer the same APIs has to be
under a Compatible Open Source License and (2) the user's data is
portable. Is that correct?

If the Supreme Court were to hold that there is no copyright in API's,
what happens to Public Performance under the CAL? Does it still survive?
The copyright right at issue in Google v. Oracle is the right of
reproduction, not public performance. As the definition is written, I
believe it does survive. So writing software to offer the same APIs
would be subject to the terms of the CAL, even though the Supreme Court
said it was lawful. Do you agree?


Pamela S. Chestek
Chestek Legal
PO Box 2492
Raleigh, NC 27602
pamela at chesteklegal.com
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