A controversial new open source license designed for use with decentralized applications was recently approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). The Cryptographic Autonomy License (CAL) claims to be the first open source license specifically designed to protect end users’ rights and ownership of data and control of their cryptographic keys.

The use of open source software (OSS) for blockchain applications is common, and we addressed some of the associated legal issues in our white paper “10 Things to Know About The Intersection of Blockchain Technology, Open Source Software, and Patents.” The CAL includes many provisions that are commonly found in other open source licenses (e.g., it requires making the source code available for any modifications to the underlying work). However, it also includes a number of unique provisions and many subtle nuances to more common provisions.

We strongly encourage anyone, who wants to use software covered by the CAL, to obtain legal counsel to fully understand the ramifications of this license!