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

Lawrence Rosen lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Fri May 10 22:10:50 UTC 2019

Van wrote:

> I am not sure that further reiteration or rebuttal will bring any more light


FWIW, now that you have all spoken at length about CAL, I want to express my "vote" against approval of that license. 


1. I agree that there is a performance copyright. It is explicit in 17 USC 106, and I have personally included that performance grant in my own licenses (OSL §3(d) "to perform the Original Work publicly"). However, it has nothing to do with normal execution of a software program on a computer by a user. Rather, I view it as a grant relating to (e.g.) music that is produced when software is executed. Refer also to the display of a work on a website like YouTube to show how the software works (this latter is the "display" copyright in § 17 USC 106, or in OSL §3(e) "to display the Original Work publicly"). Beyond those limited applications, there is only slight value to a performance or display grant in a software license.


2. The application of CAL to data is troubling to me. Data is not copyrightable as such; it is the collection and organization of that data that is copyrighted, not the individual pieces of data which are free to be copied, like true (or false?) facts. I do, however, encourage the adoption of protections like GDPL for "personal data." I wish we had similar protection in the U.S. for the collection and protection of personal data by Facebook and similar applications. That would require a statutory scheme, not a software license. But other non-personal data should be free as the wind and it usually is.


I don't vote here, but I express opinions about license approval or disapproval.




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