[License-review] Submitting CC0 for OSI approval

Clark C. Evans cce at clarkevans.com
Mon Feb 20 01:02:57 UTC 2012

On Sun, Feb 19, 2012, at 05:37 PM, Richard Fontana wrote:
> In considering certain of the issues that have been raised regarding
> the submission of CC0 for OSI approval, I would call attention to
> something that may have been forgotten, which is Carlo Piana's
> unsuccessful effort to obtain OSI approval for the "MXM Public
> License" in April 2009.
> The thread may be viewed at:
> http://www.crynwr.com/cgi-bin/ezmlm-cgi?17:iis:770:201002 ("For
> Approval: MXM Public License", with some offshoot threads)

I think this thread provides the precedent that the OSI does not 
approve licenses that explicitly exclude patent license.  I truly
hope that the OSI continues with this rule, it is absolutely the
correct approach.  I include Larry Rosen's commentary by reference.  

Interestingly enough, I was just thinking that the CC0 would be 
an excellent "OSI approved" unlicense for someone having a bunch 
of patents and wanting to encourage adoption of infringing works.

Perhaps not so interesting is that the MIT/BSD debate here is a
simple regurgitation, some 3 years out.  That this license remains
popular and there is experimentation with public domain dedications
means that there is an unmet demand for a simple, "GIFT" license
that is "about as safe as you can be" for developers to use.  From
my own perspective, the Apache license is simply too long/complex.
If there was a short/safe alternative, and the OSI showcased such 
an option, I'm sure many would switch over to use it.

On Sat, Feb 18, 2012, at 11:01 PM, Russ Nelson wrote:
> Good luck with that ignorance. If you don't bother to register the
> copyright on your software, it may as well be public domain, because
> you don't have an enforcible copyright in a court of law.

You arn't even bothering to understand what I said.  Most developers
either work for companies and the company worries about this, or they
engage in producing "gift" works, or they do a bit of both. 

For my "gift" works, I don't register the copyright and I could care 
less if it is enforcable or not.  The goal of the license  isn't to 
please me, but to ensure that other people are confident that the 
software is, in fact, a gift and not a trojan horse.   The problem 
with the CC0 is that it could possibly be a trojan horse... otherwise
appearing to be a gift license but lacking a criticial component
needed to be viable glue for the constrution of permissive works.

If the MIT/BSD is a sucky gift license, would someone who is a 
compentent lawyer please draft one that is parsimonious and covers 
the holes.  Would then the OSI approve and recommend it?



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