[License-review] CC withdrawl of CC0 from OSI process

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Sat Feb 25 20:05:42 UTC 2012

Lawrence Rosen scripsit:

> Several years ago MIT tried to gain approval of a license that
> explicitly withheld patent rights for that exact reason. Their (valid)
> argument was that the academics who contribute software usually don't
> own the patents that their universities acquire for their inventions.

My recollection is a bit different.  MIT wanted to exclude patent rights
because (a) they did not know what patents they had, and (b) they did
not know what exclusive patent licenses they had already granted and
to whom.  Consequently, they were afraid of issuing code with a public
non-exclusive grant that would conflict with existing exclusive grants
(if any) of their patents (if any).

> I vaguely recall that MIT withdrew it from consideration after several
> of us pointed out that it seemed to be a bald-faced attempt to
> introduce software into the stream of commerce without even disclosing
> that patents applied.

Or in the alternative a spectacular exhibition of public baboonery.

John Cowan                                cowan at ccil.org
At times of peril or dubitation,          http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
Perform swift circular ambulation,
With loud and high-pitched ululation.

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