[License-review] Submitting CC0 for OSI approval

Karl Fogel kfogel at red-bean.com
Sun Feb 19 03:50:14 UTC 2012

John Cowan <cowan at mercury.ccil.org> writes:
>> So far I've found one license in category (2) that is directly relevant
>> to our discussion of CC0 -- the EU DataGrid Software license:
>Well, I missed that one, but you missed the Frameworx license.

Thank you!  Noted.

So, the language in the Frameworkx license is:

  5. Intellectual Property. Except as expressly provided herein, this
  License Agreement preserves and respects Your and The Frameworx
  Companys respective intellectual property rights, including, in the
  case of The Frameworx Company, its copyrights and patent rights
  relating to the Frameworx Code Base.

(One of the few licenses I've seen that has an actual typo! :-)  Cursory
Internet searching indicates the typo is not just in the OSI copy, too.)

Anyway, in context I read that as simply stating that this license does
not transfer any copyright or patent ownerships.  Previous parts of the
license grant the recipient the right to use, modify, distribute, etc,
and do not have any copyright-specific language.  In other words, one
could make a reasonable claim that in the Frameworx license, the
licensor conveys all relevant rights, and this clause merely clarifies
that it's a promise not to enforce rather than being about ownership.

The EU DataGrid license's language is somewhat different, in that it
actually talks about infringement.  But at least one person has (by
private email) interpreted EU DataGrid's language as being a disclaimer
of indemnification, not a refusal to grant patent rights: "In other
words, work itself could infringe upon their patent, but it doesn't say
they are witholding a patent license."

So we're sort of approaching CC0 territory but aren't squarely in it,
with existing OSI-approved licenses, as far as I can tell.


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