[License-review] Submitting CC0 for OSI approval

Russ Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Sat Feb 18 03:16:06 UTC 2012

Bruce Perens writes:
 > I can't confirm this on behalf of OSI, as far as I'm aware I'm still 
 > persona non grata in that camp.

I can't confirm this on behalf of OSI, because like Bruce, I'm not a
member of the board. Whether I or he is persona non grata is
completely besides the point he's making.

 > At the time I wrote the OSD, I was ignorant of patent estoppel issues, 
 > and there were no attorneys that would help us.

You didn't write the OSD. You wrote (with the help of many others) the
Debian Free Software Guidelines. These guidelines were an internal
memo for the project. As such, they worked pretty well. You repurposed
them for the Open Source Definition as requirements for trademark
licensing. As such, we've managed without your help to make them work,
with some creative interpretation. For example, they don't say that
authors have to ship the source code EVER! It's implicit that authors
do, but requirements would state something that guidelines can assume.

Don't take credit for things you didn't do.

 > up to equitable estoppel regarding patents.

The DFSG has been interpreted (by way of fixing the flaws you put into
it) includes a "desert island" test. People on a desert island don't
have to worry about patents; for them this license is 100% open
source. Same thing for countries which don't suffer from software
patents, which includes, oh, pretty much the entire civilized world.

We decided long ago that patents -- or any other screwy laws one
country or another might invent -- are beyond the remit of OSI to
worry about.

--my blog is at    http://blog.russnelson.com
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