Re: Checking the ARL's scheme for releasing software
* Cem F. Karan:
> The background: most works produced by the US Government (USG) do not have
> copyright attached. As a result, ARL's lawyers believe that licenses that
> rely on copyright (e.g., Apache 2.0, GPL, etc.) could be challenged in court,
> and declared invalid in toto, which means that the provisions of the licenses
> that deal with warranty, liability, patent issues, etc. would all of a sudden
> become unenforceable. To get around that, we'd like to use a scheme that was
> suggested on code.mil:
> 1) All code that does not have copyright attached is released under the
> Creative Commons Zero (CC0,
> 2) ARL-controlled projects choose an OSI-approved license to accept
> contributions under (e.g. Apache 2.0). If a contribution has copyright
> attached, then the contributors must license the contribution under the
> OSI-approved license to the ARL. Contributions that have no copyright
> attached must be licensed to the ARL under CC0.
(presumably, the intent is that the license extends beyond the ARL)
> 3) The works are combined and distributed with a note similar to the
> following: "The portions of this work that do not have copyright attached are
> distributed under the CC0 license. The portions of this work that have
> copyright attached are distributed under the Apache 2.0 license."
> Will this scheme meet Debian's idea of Open Source software?
I don't see any immediate problems with that from Debian's point of
In the past, I think the main problem with U.S. government works was
that some agencies merely repeated the legal situation regarding
copyright in government works, and it was not very clear if those
agencies intended to pursue copyright claims abroad (perhaps even
requiring compliance with proprietary licenses). Your proposal would
completely address that issue, I think.