[License-review] Request for consultation with CC on patent issue

Mark Wielaard mark at klomp.org
Mon Feb 20 08:56:25 UTC 2012

On Mon, 2012-02-20 at 03:32 -0500, John Cowan wrote:
> Bruce Perens scripsit:
> > Fontana and I appear to be agreed that*CC should be asked to add  
> > language to CC0: an explicit permission to make use of patent claims  
> > necessary to use the software in the form that was dedicated or  
> > licensed. This should apply to both public domain, and the fallback 
> > license.
> > *
> > Others on the list are sufficiently concerned with the problem, as  
> > evidenced by the current discussion.
> However, quite a lot of other people believe that CC0 is just fine as
> written.

I happen to think CC0 as written is fine. But that is because I believe
clause 4 isn't meant as a way to clawback (implied patent) rights
granted through clause 2 or 3. Even if CC doesn't change the text itself
it would be good if they were to clarify the meaning of clause 4. If
they say that clause 4 is meant to nullify any rights granted through
other means then we might have a problem (since as others have pointed
out that seems to contradict OSD 7 because it implies additional
licenses are needed to get all rights earlier granted in the license).
So even though I believe the text as is is fine, I still like to hear
from CC. And I certainly wouldn't object to them making the text more

BTW. GPLv3 which does say something about patents explicitly has a nice
way of making things more clear IMHO:

        Nothing in this License shall be construed as excluding or
        any implied license or other defenses to infringement that may
        otherwise be available to you under applicable patent law.



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