[License-review] OSI recognition for Creative Commons Zero License?

Carl Boettiger cboettig at gmail.com
Thu Feb 2 21:08:19 UTC 2012

Excellent question.  I believe that the need to include the license itself
in BSD and MIT licenses make them substantially different from the CC0

Quoting from the MIT License,

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all
copies or substantial portions of the Software.

I find that this provision places restrictions or encumberances on the
re-use of my software that I would rather not incur (or have future
users/developers incur).  There are two difficulties with such requirements.

First, I often distribute software packages with data.  This is common
practice for R packages, for example.  It is unclear that the MIT license
and its kin can apply to the data, which are statements of fact and
not copyright-able material.

Second, such clauses place an additional burden on the reuse of the
software.  If someone wants to grab snippets of code I distribute (i.e.
through github) and paste them into a pastebin or gist and send them around
to all their friends/vistors/etc, they shouldn't have to worry about
whether they've copied a "substantial portion" of the code and if they have
to copy that license somewhere into their gist or blog or what not.  In a
similar vein, if someone has a machine script that copies and mixes or
redistributes parts of my code for some reason, they likewise shouldn't
have to worry about handling the licenses.



On Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 12:51 PM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> Quoting Carl Boettiger (cboettig at gmail.com):
> > I would like to submit the Creative Commons zero license for
> > consideration.  I am new to this list, forgive me if it has already been
> > considered.
> A number of times, actually, most recently last month.
> What practical problem do you consider this licence (in truth, a professed
> public domain declaration with a failsafe fallback to a simple
> permissive licence) to solve that is not already solved by MIT License
> or Fair License?
> > The scientific community is increasingly embracing this option as the
> most
> > open and compatible license.  It is required by scientific data
> > repositories (that also archive scientific software, with cite-able DOIs)
> > such as Dryad <http://datadryad.org/depositing#whycc0>.
> Dryad's requirement of CCO is declared on that page to apply to
> submitted data files, not to associated 'software scripts and other
> files important to the article' submitted with them.
> --
> Rick Moen               "The four seasons are Spring, Summer, Winter and
> Fall.
> rick at linuxmafia.com     For California publications, change to Mudslide,
> McQ!  (4x80)            Hillfire, Flood, and Earthquake."    --
> FakeAPStylebook
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Carl Boettiger
UC Davis
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