[License-review] Submitting CC0 for OSI approval

Clark C. Evans cce at clarkevans.com
Sun Feb 19 03:35:52 UTC 2012

On Sat, Feb 18, 2012, at 01:51 PM, John Cowan wrote:
> Christopher Allan Webber scripsit:
> > 
> >   "Does explicitly stating that software patents are out of scope of a
> >   software license (or public domain tool), as in CC0 1.0, create a
> >   greater software patent threat than if it was never mentioned at all,
> >   but still remained out of scope, as in MIT and BSD?  And if so, by
> >   what mechanism does that happen?"
> Indeed.  It seems to me that anyone claiming that the CC0 is problematic
> because of 4a has to be able to answer that question.

I'm in the camp that assumes a MIT/BSD license would also grant any
patent license to use the work that the author may control.  This is 
my assumption because those licenses don't specifically reference 
copyright in the language.  Although, perhaps the MIT/BSD licenses, 
popular as they may be, should be deprecated by the OSI if they are 
seen as a substantial risk.

While the CC0 may be a fantastic public domain dedication and backup 
license that keeps its nose clean and focused only on copyright law, 
it seems that the explicit denial of patent license is a show stopper
for it to be considered a solid open source approach.


Perhaps the outcome here could be not approval of CC0 -- but instead,
a CC00 or CIP0 public domain dedication that additionally includes 
patent right abandonment as well?  That, I think would be OSD compliant
and very happily deployed by software developers.



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