[tz] What license IANA is intending to distribute the timezone database under, BSD or public domain

Marshall Eubanks marshall.eubanks at gmail.com
Sat Dec 3 14:20:28 UTC 2011

On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 7:36 PM, Kevin H <kjhdb2011 at gmail.com> wrote:
> The reason I was asking about BSD license was because of a reference in the
> following document:
> http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-lear-iana-timezone-database-04
> where it mentions it in conjunction with the code components of the timezone
> database.

No, it doesn't. The only reference to BSD in
 is the current standard IETF Trust boilerplate for all IETF
documents. The relevant text says

   Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

There are, as far as I can tell, no code components of any sort
included _in the text of draft-lear-iana-timezone-database-04_, and so
no code components to which this applies. (That is what that section
is intended to handle, and all it is intended to handle.)  Later on,
in Section 6, there is

   Currently the maintainer of the TZ database also maintains reference
   code, most of which is public domain.  Several files from this
   software are currently distributed under license.  Where they exist,
   licenses SHALL NOT be changed.  IANA SHALL allow for the downloading
   of this reference code.

And in Section 7

7.  Database Ownership

   The TZ database itself is not an IETF Contribution or an IETF
   Document.  Rather it is a pre-existing and regularly updated work
   that is in the public domain, and is intended to remain in the public
   domain.  Therefore, BCP 78 and BCP 79 do not apply to the TZ Database
   or contributions that individuals make to it.  Should any claims be
   made and substantiated against the database, the IANA will act in
   accordance with all competent court orders.  No ownership claims will
   be made by IANA or the IETF Trust on the database or the code.  Any
   person making a contribution to the database or code waives all
   rights to future claims.

Future database and code contributions should be in the public domain.
 Existing code components
will be under whatever license they are currently in.


> (I apologize for using fake name in the previous posting)
> Thanks
> On Fri, Dec 2, 2011 at 3:47 PM, David Magda <dmagda at ee.ryerson.ca> wrote:
>> On Dec 2, 2011, at 17:36, Fake name wrote:
>> > This question is intended for the people at IANA. I work for NetApp, and
>> > would like to know what license IANA is intending to distribute the
>> > timezone database under, BSD or public domain? BSD is referenced in some
>> > of
>> > the documentation, but in the past people were assuming this was in the
>> > public domain until the lawsuit occurred.
>> SQLite was released into the public domain, and it seems this caused all
>> sorts legal confusion in certain companies and jurisdictions:
>>        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giAMt8Tj-84&t=28m30s
>> The current license is the public domain, so I'm not sure if it's possible
>> to change it (IANAL). It was necessary to do this because tzdata et al was
>> an official (?) function of a US Federal employee, and everything paid for
>> by US taxpayers has to be given back to them.

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