[uf-new] Legal implications of using Microformats

Manu Sporny msporny at digitalbazaar.com
Fri Apr 27 08:42:15 PDT 2007

Guy Fraser wrote:
> 1. Why not just release under New BSD or other certified OS license?

Those licenses are no different in execution than cc-by and cc-by-sa
when it comes to copyright. If they are, please let us know how they are.

The other option is to put all Microformat content in the public domain
(which I think is a bad idea).

> 2. Why the talk of patents?

Copyrights and patents are two very different things. You can give away
your copyright on something and still claim a patent on the invention.

The arguments are not "let's patent Microformats" - they are "nobody
should claim any patents over Microformats". That doesn't mean that
patents might not exist that affect Microformats.

Brian, to answer your question - our company was under the impression
that all of this copyright and patent policy had been worked out. After
speaking with our legal team, it is clear to us that is has not been. We
cannot be first adopters of Microformats unless there is a clear
statement on the Microformats pages stating something to the effect of:

All authors provide these microformat proposals, drafts and
specifications under a cc-by-1.0 or later license (or something to that
effect). All authors do not claim any patent rights to concepts
described in proposals, drafts and specifications.

This needs to be made explicit - not implied or intended, as Guy has
pointed out.

Brian - I agree with you, we should move this discussion to

-- manu

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