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

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Tue Feb 21 19:51:49 UTC 2012

On 02/20/2012 08:53 PM, Russ Nelson wrote:
> Thorsten is suggesting that your concern is de minimus because the author of the code probably doesn't have any patents. Have you nothing to say to his concern?
I've already explained that the party dedicating code is actually the 
one most likely to hold other property related to the field, including 
patents, because they were obviously working in that field.

I also explained that the fact that we can't do anything about an 
overwhelming majority does not excuse us from dealing with the party we 
/can /influence.

I didn't want to burden the list with unnecessary repetition of these 
arguments, but you demand it.

There are many parties that OSI /can /satisfy in certifying licenses, 
but there is /one /party that needs the service the most. This is the 
private developer who, with other such developers, have very little 
assistance in dealing with the complication of licensing and do not, in 
general, understand complications such as implied estoppel.

OSI would do those developers a disservice by certifying something that 
has hidden traps for them without at least taking the opportunity to 
clear up questionable text. The patent issue in CC0 is one such trap. 
Richard Fontana has made clear the /oddness/ of the present patent 
language in the context of other CC licenses.

Regarding tone, there's just no reason to depart from civility in this 
discussion. I'm a volunteer here, and I demand /that./



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