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

VanL van.lindberg at gmail.com
Mon Apr 29 14:19:05 UTC 2019

On Sun, Apr 28, 2019 at 2:35 PM Pamela Chestek <pamela at chesteklegal.com>

> 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?

Yes, that is correct. It also addresses the customary derivative work
situation as well, but you have identified the two primary distinctions.

> 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?

This analysis seems right to me. I'll note, though, that I think the chance
of the Supreme Court saying that there was no copyright whatsoever in APIs
is slim to none - the best I am expecting is a wide practical exception.

The CAL also hooks into patent rights - the rights to use and sell, in
particular - as a secondary means of enforcing the copyleft provisions.
That means that for a patent-holding open source licensor, the patent grant
aligns with the copyright grant.

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