[License-review] For Approval: The Cryptographic Autonomy License
van.lindberg at gmail.com
Mon May 6 14:06:59 UTC 2019
I understand this point, but I think there are a couple counterpoints to be
1)* Explicit is better than implicit*. I agree that "propagate" does seem
to cover public performance, if it covers all activities that would make a
person liable for infringement under copyright. As I stated above, this is
consistent with my analysis as well. But it was not clear that it was so
before OvG. In fact, it is not clear right now whether the AGPL and GPL
have different scope because of OvG. And, given that OvG is still pending,
we don't know exactly how the lines are going to come down, especially
because there is bound to be ambiguity that will need to be fleshed out by
If we are going to cue in on public performance and its applicability to
network action, then it is preferable to be explicit about it. Like the
AGPL tried to do with "network interaction," let's just say "making aspects
of the Software, including any interfaces used for access to or
manipulation of User Data, directly or indirectly available to the public"
is what we are concerned about.
2) *The term is bolstered by an in-license definition*. The CAL doesn't
just throw out the term "public performance" - it also includes the
belt-and-suspenders trick of making it a defined term in 6(m), as partially
quoted above. If the jurisdiction doesn't recognize public performance,
then this just becomes a normal defined term, directly analogous to the
AGPL "network interaction" term.
3) *There is more than just copyright in play - there are patents too*. The
CAL is designed to use both copyright and patent law as hooks for copyleft
enforcement. The definition in 6(m) is also implicates the "use," "sale,"
or "offer for sale" of the software. Doing things as set up in the CAL
allows a court (and a license enforcer) to use either, whereas the
propagate definition is copyright only.
4) *I tried to avoid inventing new terms*. While the GPLv3's "propagate" is
a relatively benign example of the issue, comprehensibility is enhanced by
using known terms as much as possible. "Public performance" has associated
case law. "Propagate" does not. This makes the CAL more susceptible to
analysis by licensors/licensees and courts.
5) *The CAL is limited by its text to IP rights too*. Lest any of the above
actually overreach IP law, there is a carveout, in 7.1.2: "No extension
beyond intellectual property: The scope of the permissions granted in
section 1.1 shall be interpreted to be coextensive with the rights granted
to the Licensor under the intellectual property laws of the jurisdiction in
which this License is enforced." Thus, attempted extralegal enforcement
should be curtailed.
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