Confirmation of Use in CAL Attribution Notice

Continuing the discussion from Cryptographic Autonomy License draft v1.0-Beta:

I’d be interested in a bit of the rationale behind this. Was there any particular reference for this approach, either commercial or open?

This was motivated by:

  1. Regular practice: Users of open source regularly provide “acknowledgements” as part of complying with attribution requirements, such as those in Apache v2. Even when attribution is not expressly required, they still need to identify which licenses apply to which software - thus naming the software. This just packages that practice up.
  2. A minor concern over moral rights, esp. in France. There have been suggestions that you could not waive acknowledging authorship.
  3. Let’s give people their due! Someone contributed something that a licensee is building on. Let’s acknowledge that.


If the motivation here is credit—and that’s distinct notice or what we usually call “attribution”—I would call that out explicitly. And also give some thought to whether the crediting requirement should explicitly cross the service boundary.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a standardized open source license that explicitly required licensees to provide a mapping from required notices to specific code downstream. It’s possible via Apache-2.0 NOTICE, and built into Parity, via source code notice. But mostly attribution looks like a big laundry list of required terms and copyright notices.

Again, this may become essentially a nonissue insofar as CAL is really specific to complete applications, rather than building blocks, like libraries.