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

walter harms wharms at bfs.de
Sun Dec 4 20:20:15 UTC 2011

Hi list,
This problem was already discussed earlier (e.g.2009)
loom for "License for the tzdata information" to get the 2009 discussion on this topic.


Am 03.12.2011 15:20, schrieb Marshall Eubanks:
> 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
> draft-lear-iana-timezone-database-04
>  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.
> Regards
> Marshall
>> (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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