[License-review] Request for legacy approval: The Unlicense
mccoy at lexpan.law
Sun Mar 29 18:16:02 UTC 2020
Except CC0 has an express reservation of patent rights (or more precisely, a disclaimer of the grant of any patent licenses), which was why it was rejected for OSI approval in 2012 (or more precisely, encountered opposition for approval and was withdrawn). https://lists.opensource.org/pipermail/license-review_lists.opensource.org/2012-February/001565.html
Unlicense could have a similar problem although it doesn’t expressly disclaim patent licenses, and there is a license-like grant in the second paragraph that includes patent-like grants (“use” and “sell” specifically), which could be sufficient to find an express or implied patent license in Unlicense.
Note that the second paragraph of Unlicense is a license grant similar in its formulation to MIT.
I’m not sure that the criticism of Unlicense as being legally superior to CC0 – at least for software – is accurate.
From: License-review <license-review-bounces at lists.opensource.org> On Behalf Of Brendan Hickey
Sent: Sunday, March 29, 2020 10:02 AM
To: License submissions for OSI review <license-review at lists.opensource.org>
Subject: Re: [License-review] Request for legacy approval: The Unlicense
Unlicense should not be approved under any circumstance, regardless of popularity. The public domain dedication simply doesn't work. Some countries outside of the US (Germany?) don't recognize these grants. CC0 anticipates jurisdictional issues and contains a fallback grant of rights. Without this, no one can actually rely on Unlicense.
I wish this wasn't the case, but Unlicense is a great example of why we should listen to specialist attorneys on licensing matters.
On Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 12:42 PM <osi-license-review at jaeckel.eu <mailto:osi-license-review at jaeckel.eu> > wrote:
This is free and unencumbered software released into the public domain.
Anyone is free to copy, modify, publish, use, compile, sell, or
distribute this software, either in source code form or as a compiled
binary, for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and by any
In jurisdictions that recognize copyright laws, the author or authors
of this software dedicate any and all copyright interest in the
software to the public domain. We make this dedication for the benefit
of the public at large and to the detriment of our heirs and
successors. We intend this dedication to be an overt act of
relinquishment in perpetuity of all present and future rights to this
software under copyright law.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT.
IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR
OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE,
ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR
OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
For more information, please refer to <http://unlicense.org/>
The Unlicense exists since 10 years  to give projects the possibility
to dedicate their code into the public domain in jurisdictions that
don't have an understanding of the public domain. The homepage at
https://unlicense.org/ lists a wide variety of software that already
uses said license. A search on GitHub for projects using The Unlicense
 returns by the time of writing 133,188 repositories using it (not
including forks of repositories).
Licenses that are popular and widely used or with strong communities
Reasoning for this category
e.g. the EPL1.0 and EPL2.0 licenses together don't have half of the
number of repositories (38,117  resp. 12,509 ) and they fall as
well under this category.
Thank you for your work and considering the approval of The Unlicense to
the wide and well-chosen variety of Open Source Licenses.
https://github.com/search?q=license%3Aunlicense <https://github.com/search?q=license%3Aunlicense&type=Repositories&ref=advsearch&l=&l=> &type=Repositories&ref=advsearch&l=&l=
https://github.com/search?q=license%3Aepl-1.0 <https://github.com/search?q=license%3Aepl-1.0&type=Repositories&ref=advsearch&l=&l=> &type=Repositories&ref=advsearch&l=&l=
https://github.com/search?q=license%3Aepl-2.0 <https://github.com/search?q=license%3Aepl-2.0&type=Repositories&ref=advsearch&l=&l=> &type=Repositories&ref=advsearch&l=&l=
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