[License-review] Submitting CC0 for OSI approval

Richard Fontana rfontana at redhat.com
Tue Feb 21 02:22:10 UTC 2012

On Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 10:31:33AM -0800, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Bruce Perens (bruce at perens.com):
> > I am still trying to understand why someone writing licenses for
> > Creative Commons felt that the trademark and patent rights of
> > someone dedicating material to the public domain were so important
> > that it was necessary to disclaim that they were being dedicated,
> > and /then /did not write anything about the right to exercise the
> > necessary patent claims into the waiver or the public license
> > fallback.
> This should rightly be addressed by a CC representative rather than me, 
> but in my experience CC have always been tightly focussed on removing
> copyright-based obstacles to reuse / remix of cultural works, thus
> maximising the commons for that reuse.  Towards that end, they have
> crafted a number of very diverse licences, some of them deliberately
> proprietary, with an eye to making at least one of them attractive to
> anyone who would even consider granting reuse rights provided that some
> other of his/her rights remain reserved.

That is true...

> That focus has been so consistent that it might just not have occurred
> to them that the intent of CC0 would be even better served if licensor
> also granted necessary patent rights without charge -- _or_ it might be 
> that reuse/remix over the long term would be maximised by not dipping
> into the Slough of Despond that is patents (which, unlike copyrights of
> late, at least expire and go away).

The problem I have with this, though, is that none of the [other] CC
licenses seem to mention patents at all. Why does CC0 have a
reservation-of-patent-rights clause when CC BY and CC BY-SA don't?
The answer can't be that CC0 is now recognized as appropriate for
software and the [other] CC licenses continue not to be, since it
appears that CC0 did not originally contemplate application to
software when it was introduced.

- RF

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