[License-review] Submitting CC0 for OSI approval

Clark C. Evans cce at clarkevans.com
Sat Feb 18 15:07:19 UTC 2012

On Sat, Feb 18, 2012, at 01:39 AM, Wilson, Andrew wrote:
> In my understanding, CC0 is compatible with all the major FLOSS 
> licenses, including all flavors of GPL.  Rather strong evidence 
> it is itself open source.

I don't think this is true.  Specifically, I think the clause that
Richard Fontana pointed out, 4a, that explicit witholding of any
patent license, is in direct conflict with section 11 of GPLv3.

As a test, you could think of adding the exact wording of section
4a as an "additional non-permissive term" under section 7.  I think
the witholding of trademark falls under 7e, however, I don't see any
equivalent provision for the explicit witholding of a patent license.

To the point, I think the FSF only recommended the CC0 for 
"code snippets" and not for large chunks of software.  If the FSF
has previously indicated that the CC0 is compatible with the GPL, 
then I think they might have overlooked 4a and may want to revise 
their position.  

Because of the explicit witholding of patent rights, the CC0 is 
brand new territory for Open Source... and in a direction 
completely opposite of the general wishes and prevailing 
concensus of software developers.  I personally don't consider 
4a of the CC0 as either free software or permissive term.

I'm not a lawyer, nor OSI member, however, I'd prefer to not
have this as an OSI approved license.



P.S.  I'm cc'ing people since my posts are being held for

More information about the License-review mailing list