discuss: Open Methodology License

Pete Herzog pete at ideahamster.org
Mon Dec 2 08:51:38 UTC 2002


I didn't consider that the methodology would be patentable but you're
right, it is.  To me it seemed obvious and not something worthy of a
patent (like one-click shopping I suppose).  However, I don't think we
would survive prior art if we did patent and even if we did what we want
is the exact opposite of a patent-- free use for everyone.

What I need then is a license to prevent others from publishing the
methodologies in whole or part and how they are distributed.  We want
people to use the "trade secret".  We don't want it to be a secret,
rather we want to encourage standardization.  Perhaps a form of EULA is
needed?  Although that's how I saw the GPL is some regards-- the
copyright takes away your rights and the GPL as EULA gives you most of
them back with provisions.  Which is why I'm seeking an open license
format.  In this regard I do hope that OSI sees this as an opportunity
to blatantly promote prior art for methodologies which call attention to
themselves as standards while protecting the copyright in the printed

You say it's not for OSI but I hope you reconsider that the copyright
portion of the license is what applies to methodologies and not that I
am trying to use the license in place of a patent or trade secret.


On Mon, 2002-12-02 at 05:27, David Johnson wrote:
> On Sunday 01 December 2002 02:45 pm, Pete Herzog wrote:
> > 2.  The OML is similar to the GNU GPL with the following exceptions
> > which pertain specifically to Methodologies, which are tools in their
> > own right, intellectual property that is neither software nor
> > documentation:
> I'm not sure that a "methodology" is a copyrightable work. They should be more 
> appropriately protected by trade secrets or patents.
> USC 17, Sect. 102, lists literary, musical, dramatic, pictoral, graphic, and 
> other works. But it does not list methodologies. It explicitely does not 
> cover "any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, 
> principle, or discovery".
> Although there may be merit in an open license for methodologies, especially 
> since there are several companies willing to play free and loose with 
> copyright laws, such a license is not in the scope of the OSI.
> In my lay opinion...

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