[legal] Comments on copyright license in the proposed IPR policy

Simon Josefsson simon at josefsson.org
Thu Jun 7 08:28:08 UTC 2007

"Gabe Wachob" <gabe.wachob at amsoft.net> writes:

> I was thinking of folks like 3rd parties who are commenting on the protocol,
> or proposing improvements, without actually being implementers - the
> question is whether they need a license to do this. In addition, people like
> my former employer (Visa) who aren't actually writing code, but are
> interested in developing technical specifications for 3rd parties to
> implement. 
> I do think that "Implementers" seems like a rather narrow category of users
> of the spec - again, though its not clear what sort of specific license is
> needed for other parties.
> I rather like the idea of one of the Creative Commons copyright licenses
> because it expresses the intent directly and we don't have to dicker with
> details. 

I agree with Gabe here.  It is important that we don't use a too narrow
focus on who we give rights to.  It is easy to come up with
corner-cases, and narrowing it down to 'Implementers' definitely goes
against the original intention:

   Nobody should own this. Nobody's planning on making any money from
   this. The goal is to release every part of this under the most
   liberal licenses possible, so there's no money or licensing or
   registering required to play. It benefits the community as a whole if
   something like this exists, and we're all a part of the community.

The proposed license, that give rights to Implementers only, is
definitely not the most liberal license possible.

> The Attribution-NonCommercial, seems is best appropriate, probably also with
> ShareAlike. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ or
> http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ )

Restricting the use to non-commercial purposes is also definitely not
the most liberal license available.


> 	-Gabe
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Mark Wahl [mailto:Mark.Wahl at informed-control.com]
>> Sent: Friday, April 27, 2007 12:45 PM
>> To: Gabe Wachob; 'Simon Josefsson'
>> Cc: legal at openid.net
>> Subject: Re: [legal] Comments on copyright license in the proposed IPR
>> policy
>> Gabe Wachob wrote:
>> > 	If others share Simon's concerns, please say so here.
>> Mr. Josefsson wrote:
>>  >>The copyright license says:
>> >>
>> >>    "Copyright License. Some Contributions are not subject to
>> >>    copyright. However, to the extent a Contribution is or may be
>> subject
>> >>    to copyright, the Contributor hereby agrees to grant a perpetual,
>> >>    non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide copyright license to OpenID,
>> >>    to other Contributors, and to Implementers, to reproduce, prepare
>> >>    derivative works from, distribute, perform and display the
>> >>    Contribution and derivative works thereof solely for the development
>> >>    and implementation of OpenID Specifications."
>> >>
>> >> This do not grant a copyright license to third parties.  Is that the
>> >> intention?
>> A third party that is not an "Implementer"?  Would not a free software
>> developer that implements OpenID specifications be an Implementer?
>> Implementors are granted the rights in the copyright license above.
>> A party who it appears would not be granted a right by this license
>> would be, for example, someone who wishes to publish the
>> "Big Book of OpenID Specifications" but who is not a contributor or an
>> implementor.
>> Mark Wahl
>> Informed Control Inc.

More information about the legal mailing list