About the Licenses

Thank you for making the Open COVID Pledge. Before we can upload or link to your announcement and your license, and before we can add you and your license to our database, we want to make you aware that we accept three categories of licenses. These categories help users understand their rights, and are organized accordingly on our website for ease of reference. We welcome all licenses within these categories. For a full list of Pledgors and the licenses they have adopted, see here.

We Accept Three Categories of Licenses

A. Open COVID Standard Licenses:

First, we have developed a set of standard Open COVID Licenses (OCL-Licenses) that may be adopted by any organization or individual taking the Pledge.

B. Open COVID Compatible Licenses:

Second, are licenses that provide a set of minimum use permissions and other terms that have either been determined to be compatible, or we determine are compatible with the OCL on a case-by-case basis based on criteria below (OCL-Compatible Licenses).

C. Open COVID Alternative Licenses:

Third, are those licenses that are not in the first or second groupings above, but that are still consistent with the Open COVID Pledge (OCL-Alternative Licenses).

A. Open Covid Licenses (OCL-Standard)

a. OCL-PC v1.0 (patent and copyright)

b. OCL-PC v1.1 (patent and copyright)

c. OCL-P v1.1 (patent only)

d. Any later versions of the licenses listed above

B. OCL Compatible Licenses (OCL-Compatible)

This category of licenses consist of two types: public licenses that are deemed OCL-Compatible, and custom licenses that have been determined to be OCL-Compatible.

1. Public Licenses that are OCL-Compatible

a. CC BY 4.0 (all versions) (copyright only)

b. CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication (copyright only)

c. MIT license (copyright and patent)

d. Apache 2.0 license (copyright and patent)

e. CERN OHL Version 2 – Permissive (P) (copyright and patent)

2. Custom licenses that may be OCL-Compatible. These are any other licenses that meet the following criteria and contain at a minimum the following terms and conditions, and do not contain contradictory terms or conditions, subject to our prior approval.

A. A public offer. Your license must be available to the public so that any company, organization, or individual can accept and rely upon it, so long as they comply with its terms.

B. Scope of rights granted. Your license must grant all rights necessary as a matter of (1) copyright and patent rights, (2) patents only, or (3) copyrights only; in each case, inclusion of additional intellectual property rights is permissible. The license may specify whether all or only some of the IP you own or control are licensed.

C. Fees. The license must be royalty free and fully paid up for uses within the scope of the license.

D. Regulatory Exclusions. To the extent applicable to the licensed intellectual property, a promise (express or implied) not to assert regulatory exclusivity in any jurisdiction, or seek judicial or regulatory relief, for use of that intellectual property.

E. Duration. The duration of the license grant must begin no later than December 1, 2019, and end no earlier than the end of the COVID-19 Pandemic as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) plus one year, but you may also specify a firm end date if the WHO has not by then declared the end of the pandemic, so long as it is no earlier than January 1, 2023.

F. Field of use. Your license must allow use of the licensed IP for at least the purpose of diagnosing, preventing, containing, and treating COVID-19, which is intended to include research related to each of these areas.

G. Choice of lawAn OCL-Compatible license may specify any particular governing law and/or dispute resolution venue that is not unreasonable.

H. IndemnificationAn OCL-Compatible license may require the licensee to indemnify the licensor for liability directly attributable to the licensee’s actions.

I. AS IS. The license may be granted on an as-is basis with no warranties.

J. Attribution. The license may require that the Pledgor receives attribution.

K. Covenant not to Sue. A pledgor may structure its commitment as a covenant not to sue rather than a license, so long as equivalent benefits are granted.

Your license may grant broader permissions than these minimums. Those might include, for example, a longer term than the minimum prescribed. However, if a license further conditions the permissions granted to the public, such as prohibiting commercial uses or conditions use on sharing by others of their intellectual property (such as grantbacks, Share-Alike or copyleft), we will not consider it OCL-Compatible, though it could be listed as OCL-Alternative (see below).

C. OCL Alternative Licenses (OCL-Alternative)

This group consists of licenses that are consistent with the Open COVID Pledge but that may contain terms that do not satisfy the terms and conditions of (A) or (B), above.

Terms that we consider acceptable for inclusion in a OCL-Alternative License:

1. Share-Alike, copyleft and grant back clauses that require the licensee to make modifications and derivatives of licensed IPR available on similarly open terms;

2. Limiting licensees to organizations based in a particular country, or excluding particular countries, but only when required by legal regulations applicable to the licensor and/or when the licensor has country-limited rights;

3. Limiting the field of use to a subset of the field described in B.2.F above, e.g., to medical and research use only (e.g., not licensed for home entertainment applications), or in the case of copyrighted works, to text and data mining only;

4. Requiring that the licensee inform the licensor it is accepting the license or register as a user;

5. License may terminate instead of being suspended if the licensee threatens or sues the Pledgor for infringement.

Terms that we do not consider acceptable for inclusion in OCL-Alternative Licenses because they are inconsistent with the spirit of the Open COVID Pledge:

1. Non-commercial use only, i.e., excluding the commercialization of products and services, or limiting commercialization to “fair and reasonable” charges; 

2. Requiring that the licensee make licensed products available at no charge, at cost or at “fair and reasonable” charges;

3. Prohibiting the licensee from “unfairly” exploiting the licensed IP and/or “profiteering” from the licensed IP;

4. Prohibiting the licensee from making derivatives or modifications of the licensed IP;

5. Requiring the licensee to assign to the licensor rights in derivatives or modifications of the licensed IP;

6. Licenses that bear fees of any kind, including reimbursement of patent expenses;

7. Reporting requirements by the licensee; or

8. A duration that is shorter than the term described in B.2.E above.

Public licenses acceptable as OCL-Alternative Licenses.

1. CC BY-SA (all versions) (copyright only)

2. GPL (all versions) (copyright and patents)

3. CERN OHL Version 2 – Strongly Reciprocal (S) (copyright and patents)

Custom licenses acceptable as OCL-Alternative Licenses are listed here with other Pledgors and their licenses.

As of July 29, 2020 

Updates to this page will be noted here (earlier version of this page: April 17, 2020)