[License-review] Submitting CC0 for OSI approval

Karl Fogel kfogel at red-bean.com
Sun Feb 19 18:14:45 UTC 2012

Richard Fontana <rfontana at redhat.com> writes:
>On Sat, Feb 18, 2012 at 10:09:34PM -0600, Karl Fogel wrote:
>> In general, the OSI should not deprecate widely-used licenses with long
>> pedigrees... But especially not for these reasons.
>> The law around software patents would be complex even if it were stable;
>> its increasing instability makes the whole field even more complex.  so
>> unless we're pretty sure that a license actually weakens a recipient's
>> patent position, we shouldn't deprecate or reject on the grounds that
>> the license merely makes explicit that it does not apply to patents.
>Just to be clear, the widely-used versions of the MIT and BSD families
>of licenses don't say anything about patents.

Yah -- in that last sentence I was now referring to CC0.

By the awy, both MIT and BSD contain language strongly implying that
they are copyright notices and apply only to rights within that domain.

I mention this because there have been some other posts on this list --
forgive me, in a thread this big I'm not going to try for citation on
this :-) -- mentioning that some popular OSI-approved licenses don't
explicitly restrict themselves to copyright, and so could in theory be
interpreted as conveying patent rights as well.  I can't remember which
licenses that poster mentioned, but in any case MIT and BSD appear to be
pretty clearly copyright-specific.


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