[License-review] Submitting CC0 for OSI approval

Carl Boettiger cboettig at gmail.com
Mon Feb 20 17:00:15 UTC 2012

As an observer, this has been a very interesting thread, but perhaps
someone could clarify: Is the decision-making process one of majority
vote, consensus of board members, or something else?

A second question: it was asked earlier,

 "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?"

I believe some have answered "yes, it creates a greater risk."  but
the mechanism implied is still unclear to me.

I believe some have also argued that it is in fact not out of scope of
MIT & BSD.  Is this true? If so, what is offered by these licenses
that would be lost under CC0?

Many thanks for the comments.


On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 8:27 AM, Tzeng, Nigel H. <Nigel.Tzeng at jhuapl.edu> wrote:
> On 2/19/12 3:08 PM, "Russ Nelson" <nelson at crynwr.com> wrote:
>>Patent licensing is a mess. It would be better to establish one policy
>>for all OSI-approved licenses, possibly modifying the OSD, than to try
>>to piecemeal it one license at a time.
> +1
> As a partial counterpoint to MXM PL, OSI has approved patent grants
> explicitly limited to only those patents held by the individual
> contributors of the code and not the whole organization they belong to in
> ECL 2.0.
> Someone attempting to game the system with a patent trap inside software
> under an OSI approved licensed could as easily do so with ECL 2.0.  Just
> make sure the software devs don't hold the patents in question.  If some
> of you try to get ECL revoked on such silly grounds I will be annoyed with
> you and call you names.
> FWIW I view CC0 as fine as written.  Given the explicit language CC put it
> there for a reason.  An explanation would be nice but not approving for
> that reason strikes me as counter-productive if CC is unwilling to
> change/clarify the clause.  I don't see the patent risks as any higher
> with or without the clause but I do see the community poorer without a CC0
> option.
> If you guys have that much heartache park it in that "special purpose
> licenses" category.  Which I notice is still pointing at ECL 1.0 and not
> 2.0 on the website.
> IANAL, speaking only for me, etc.
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Carl Boettiger
UC Davis

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