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

Brendan Scott lists at opensourcelaw.biz
Sun Feb 26 08:04:40 UTC 2012

On 02/26/2012 12:07 PM, Thorsten Glaser wrote:

I don't think it makes sense to have a licence which grants only some of the necessary rights.  If a person could exercise  rights A and B to prevent, eg, distribution of derived works per OSD3, then permitting the exercise of right A only would not, to my mind, satisfy OSD3 (since it wouldn't necessarily allow them to be distributed).  Whether rights A and B are copyright and patent rights respectively is not really to the point.  The OSD doesn't mention copyright.  It talks about "distribution terms" and "the license".  

Arguably, if a licence which was only over right A then "the licence" would not itself (eg) "restrict any party from selling or giving away the software...", but this would allow licences which did not actually permit any of the things listed in OSD 1 through 10.  I might craft a licence strictly restricted to the exercise of copyright done within 10 metres of some point on the map. It would also pass muster if this interpretation was adopted. I think for a licence to pass muster it ought to substantively, not just technically, meet all the OSD requirements. 

I think it is clear that software licensed under a licence which was restricted to right A only would not be free software, in that it would not meet the four freedoms. 

I think it's been mentioned before, but OSD#2 does not state a characteristic of a licence.  

In respect of CC0 in particular, the PD dedication part of it does not seem to me to be a licence.  I don't think a statement of the form "I agree not to enforce any of my copyrights over software x" would pass muster under the OSD, since it's not a permission to do something.  Rather it's statement of forbearance (for similar reasons I think convenants not to sue should not, in general, be seen as licences).  

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