FAQ – Licensing and Patents
What Software License Is Used?
The OpenDOF Project has chosen the ISC license for contributed source code. A good summary of the license can be found on Wikipedia or the Open Source Initiative page.
To quote Wikipedia, “The ISC license is a permissive free software license written by the Internet Software Consortium (ISC). It is functionally equivalent to the simplified BSD and MIT/Expat licenses, with language that was deemed unnecessary by the Berne convention removed. Initially used for ISC’s own software releases, it has since become the preferred license of OpenBSD (starting June 2003), among other projects.”
Do I Need To Sign An Agreement?
No. The combination of the patent pledge and the license means that no agreements need to be signed in order to use OpenDOF implementations or even to implement the OpenDOF specifications on your own.
Are There Any Payments Required?
No. There is no requirement to pay to use OpenDOF libraries. The OpenDOF Project is open source. We encourage people to participate in the project to the benefit everyone.
What Does The Patent Pledge Mean?
The OpenDOF Project patent pledge acknowledges that anyone using the OpenDOF Project libraries is free to do so without fear of lawsuit due to patents held by the contributor of the code. Please refer to the IPR Policy for more information.
Does The Patent Pledge Apply Globally?
Yes. Please refer to the definition of “Pledged Patent Claim” in the IPR Policy document.
Are There Conditions On The Patent Pledge?
Yes, but they are not difficult to meet. See the definition of “Pledge Recipient” in the IPR Policy document. To summarize, you must use a certified public release of the OpenDOF Project code, or you may implement the OpenDOF protocol specifications on your own. There are restrictions on legal action against contributors as well, detailed in the IPR Policy document.